KARACHI: There was a debate under way between two little boys at the entrance to the Frere Hall grounds about whether the two cars on display there happened to be Porsche, MG, Aston Martin or Jaguars. Meanwhile a mother was trying to urge her daughter and son to think about going home as they had school the next day.
The Karachi Car-Nival 2017 organised by Motorheads Pakistan, the CEO of which is Ahsan Mohsin Ikram, in collaboration with Bullseye Communications on Sunday attracted a huge crowd of classic car admirers.
Maaz Mughal, one such admirer, was there with his three friends who were enjoying the exhibition even more thanks to his knowledge of cars. The dual exhaust of the E-Type Jaguar placed right in the centre had caught their interest. Maaz was telling his friends that it couldn’t have been this way originally. “It must have been on the left originally,” he was telling his friends who then wondered why change the position anyway. “Maybe they couldn’t find the proper parts when restoring it,” Maaz replied, thinking aloud. When asked about his knowledge of cars, the young man said that he was an importer of Japanese cars.
Meanwhile, the car owners had a lot more to share about their pride and joy. There were around 100 to 125 vintage and classic cars and some 30 heavy bikes, mostly Harley-Davidsons, in the show. There were Rolls Royce, Packard, Chevrolet, Bentley, MG, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Ford, Buick, Mercedes, Norton, BMWs, etc.
Thanking the mayor for allowing them to display the 1912 fire tender truck for the first time, Mohsin Ikram, chairman and founder of the Vintage and Classic Car Club of Pakistan, said that among the oldest they also had a 1922 Amilcar on display, also for the first time. “We also have on display a beautiful line-up of vintage rally cars which travelled all the way from the Torkham border to arrive here only two days ago. The Amilcar was partly driven and partly carried throughout the way.
Karim Chhapra’s Rolls Royce Silver Ghost in which the Quaid-i-Azam had also enjoyed a ride was also present though it was not a part of the rally but his son’s old Mustang sure was.
Owner of some 10 classic cars Sikander Ali was also there, sipping hot tea in the driving seat of his metallic orange Ford Topolino, which originally belonged to his sister. After inheriting the car, which was black originally, he thought that it was too old and beyond repair so he disposed it of, selling it to the first buyer that came along. But later he realised he missed the car and bought it back from the person he had sold it to.
Khalid Aslam was there with his 1950 MG TD replica. He had also put on display his friend Capt Mansoorul Islam’s 1938 white Rolls Royce. “It took us three years to restore it,” Khalid said, adding that they bought the car from someone who didn’t know what to do with it. “Its rear was completely destroyed because a wall had fallen on it when it was parked in the fellow’s house gathering rust,” he said.
“That’s when Mansoor and I took it on ourselves to restore it. Some parts were acquired from England while some, including the inside woodwork, had to be manufactured here in Karachi. We are both retired individuals, not rich businessmen. It cost us an arm and a leg but our love for vintage cars saw us through it all,” Khalid said smiling.
Every car in the show had an interesting story to it about who owned it originally and how it reached the hands of its current owner who loves it more than life and the visitors to the exhibition were lucky to get to hear them.
Published in Dawn, December 4th, 2017