12th Annual Car Show at Frere Hall Karachi

Written by  Published by:Pakistan Views Sunday, 01 March 2015 11:07

KARACHI: Frere Hall witnessed some 140 great machines on four wheels from the 1920s during the 12th Annual Car Show organised by the Vintage and Classic Car Club of Pakistan (VCCCP) on Sunday.

Among them was the Quaid-i-Azam’s 1924 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost salvaged by VCCCP’s director Karim Chhapra after acquiring it from the Nawab of Bahawalpur’s collection during an auction back in 2004.

Restoring the vehicle to its original condition was a labour of love. Every little detail had to be taken care of.

For example, the missing clock in its dashboard, which Chhapra could only replace after shaking heaven and earth. “After advertising for it in several automotive publications, I was finally approached by a broker in London with whose help I was eventually able to buy the clock for 500 pounds,” he said.

Khalid Aslam is another lover of vintage cars who took great pains to restore his maroon 1950 MG. “It was economically impossible for me to replace the missing parts and pieces of the car with original ones so I had them re-fabricated in fibreglass,” he said. “And during last year’s exhibition, I was heartbroken to find that some child had walked off with my car’s silver monogram. I had to get another one made of stainless steel,” he said, adding that he also owned a 1938 Rolls Royce Wrath.

“Being a retired person, I have the time to enjoy this hobby and after 35 years of marriage now, my better half is actually quite happy,” he said.

Another fascinating car at the show was copper colour Fiat Topolino. “Originally black, it was owned by my sister, who also learnt how to drive it, and she used it until 1967 after which it came to me,” said Sikander Ali, who had once sold the car thinking it beyond repair but then missed it enough to buy it back. “Today I own some 10 classic cars. Six are parked at my younger son’s place and four are with me at my elder son’s house. My sons share this love as these were the first cars they came into contact with,” said the gentleman, who treats his cars like living people with feelings.

Two brothers Aijaz Malik and Tariq Malik said that they owned a few classic cars and had been attending all such car shows over the years but were yet to enter any of the vehicles. Giving reason, Tariq Malik said, “Well, we have a 1968 Toyota Corona, a 1970 Toyopet Mark-I and a 1978 Buick Riviera in which we fled Kuwait to reach Karachi in 1990. And all these cars carry sentimental value for us,” he said.

“It’s a beautiful show. Though it is being enjoyed by the young generation, fascinated by the vehicles, we like to come here and see the models as old as us here,” smiled Aijaz Malik, the elder brother.

Still, not all the cars at the show were old. There was also the NAS-14, a race car designed and developed by students of the Pakistan Navy engineering college in Karachi who call themselves the ‘NUST Formula Students’. “Our car NAS is named after our mentor and dean, Nadeem Ahmed Shaheed, who was also our faculty adviser,” said Fatima Ali Kazmi, one of the students, adding that the race car won the Most Effective Communication Strategy Award in the 2014 Student Formula Competition in the UK.

VCCCP president Mohsin Ikram, said that this time around we stretched the definition for classic cars a bit by including some born classics as well as cars that people in Pakistan didn’t get to see too often, at least not together at one place. “There are Rolls Royce, a line up of Porsche cars, Ford Thunderbirds and Mustangs, Lincoln Continentals, Cadillacs, Mercedes, Ferraris, etc,” he pointed out, and observed that most of the owners appeared a little nervous about letting visitors to come closer or touch the vehicles at the show.

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