Friday,16 November, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1317, (27 October - 2 November 2016)
Friday,16 November, 2018
Issue 1317, (27 October - 2 November 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Classics in Egypt: Mahmoud Ezzeddin - The black box

 

 

Imagine a huge force of enthusiasm strong enough to push you into turning your hobby into a profession to keep the kid inside you smiling every day. Meet Mahmoud Ezzeddin, one of the top commanders of classic cars in Egypt, who organises most of classic car events and can tell you about the history of classic cars in Egypt with his eyes closed.

It all started when a child sitting in the back seat was highly impressed by his father’s super knowledge. “I was amazed how my father used to tell me all the facts and figures about any classic car that we passed on the road,” said Ezzeddin. This was the moment Ezzeddin felt something inside him was triggered and he later realised it would be the start of his lifetime hobby.

Things escalated. Ezzeddin started running after classic car magazines to try to match his father’s knowledge. His father then surprised him when he bought a 1968 classic Mercedes 280SEL. Ezzeddin started feeling for the first time how special it was to own something from history, and it really meant a lot to him to the extent that he decided he wanted his own classic car. He got his hands on his first classic car in the early 1990s -- a Jeep CJ 1975.

Fast forward to 2004, the year that marked a dramatic change in Ezzeddin’s approach to classic cars. He was reading Al-Ahram one morning like any other day when his eyes popped. A car show held by the paper was asking classic car owners to join. Ezzeddin asked the organisers if he could help, not just participate. Since then he never stopped organising classic car meets and events until it was time for him to turn it into a profession and establish his own company, Vintage Wheels Egypt.

“Since 2004 we had a permanent event called Egypt’s Classic Car Awards. We held five events until the revolution of 2011,” Ezzeddin said. The activities Ezzeddin used before 2011 included parades in downtown Cairo as well as touristic locations like Ein Sokhna aiming to spread knowledge about the hobby and promote tourism. Charity was also a major part of the classic car activities held by Vintage Wheels, arranging a classic car parade on Orphan Day and collecting funds to support orphans all around Egypt.

Ezzeddin then decided he wanted to work on the international level, so he staged his first international classic car rally in 2009, The Nile Trial. The rally started in France, moving to Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. The teams found Ezzeddin paving the road for them by starting the paperwork on the borders until they had crossed approximately 2,000 km before reaching El-Gouna.

Ezzeddin believes all classic cars in Egypt are a national treasure that should be taken care of. “Every classic car that still exists within the borders of Egypt tells a story from a different era.”

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