KARACHI: A row of well-maintained Volkswagen Beatles parked in a semicircle formation, another of Mercedes Benz and yet another of sleek sports cars. It was sheer therapy for the machine lover’s heart at the PakWheels Automobile Show at the Expo Centre on Sunday.
On display were over 500 cars, trucks and motorbikes in classic, vintage, exotic, luxury, 4x4 and SUV categories, celebrating the biggest breakthroughs in automobile technology, speed, design, elegance, horsepower, comfort and beauty.
With each passing year, the auto-shows orchestrated annually by PakWheels, in all major cities of Pakistan, are growing in size and popularity. There were numerous classic masterpieces and marvels from the evolution of automotive engineering. “Remember, when you had come to our house, and I had shown you our Taya Abba’s old black rusting car in the backyard? Well, look at this maroon beauty now,” said one friend proudly to another, while pointing to a shiny old model in maroon of something on wheels, which looked like it had followed the bullock carts of Meonjodaro.
Among the newer models stood a silver Suzuki FX with its hood open for all to admire the gleaming engine. “It’s a 1982 model, which my father, Iftikharuddin Ahmed Siddiqui, imported from Japan in 1983. We take very good care of it and don’t even take it out very often except for some grocery shopping in our neighbourhood because many jealous people love to scratch its body with their keys,” said Mohammad Dawer, the owner.
Another car making explosive sounds as if there was gunpowder in its exhaust pipe was Asad Akhtar’s red 2000 model Honda Civic. Every time the crowd walked away from the car, its owner started its engine and they were back trying to figure out what was going on with it. “The noise is deliberate,” Asad Akhtar said with a smile as he played around with its tuning. “I drive it around Defence Phase-VIII and other open spaces only so that the neighbours don’t complain.”
“All the technology you see around and the extra powering of these car engines is the work of local automotive engineers only,” said Omar Saleem.
Meanwhile, as everyone wanted their picture taken next to a sparkling vehicle to upload on social media or perhaps impress someone, the young volunteers were finding it hard to control the crowd.
“Well, yes. Controlling the people is a bit if a problem but we are also trying to control our tempers here as everyone’s excitement is understandable. Many of these cars are older than us even,” laughed Maaz Hassan.
At one enclosure, the people pushed so hard that the braided rope barriers fell. “It is okay. The posts weren’t very stable anyway,” said Husnain Abbas while quickly assisting his friends to lift up the posts again to create the barriers.
The enthusiasts were also seen feasting their eyes on a large variety of sports bikes, while enjoying the first-ever picture gallery and automobile art exhibition arranged at the venue. It was also a chance for marketers of motor accessories, engine oil and batteries to promote their stuff.
Chairman of PakWheels, Suneel Sarfaraz Munj said, “Family entertainment shows like the Auto Show have always provided people with a refreshingly peaceful retreat and healthy entertainment.”
Formed in 2003, PakWheels.com is one of the largest community-based automobile websites in Pakistan with more than 300,000+ registered car and motorcycle enthusiasts.
There are around 18 million hits on the site every month, with people searching the classified section there while researching new cars and motorcycles and discussing auto-related issues with other members, sharing information, pictures, videos, etc.
Published in Dawn, September 15th, 2014