Tuesday,23 April, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1387, (29 March - 4 April 2018)
Tuesday,23 April, 2019
Issue 1387, (29 March - 4 April 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Cairo turns classic

Going as far back as 1924 was enough to thrill hundreds of visitors at the sixth Cairo classic meet, reports Mohamed Abdel-Razek

photo: Mohamed Hamed

Close to 200 classic vehicles gathered on a quite wide patch of grass inside the Smart Village, not far from Cairo-Alexandria desert road gates. Away from the downtown madness, it was ideal for classic music to play in your head, with your eyes moving across classic cars and motorcycles, sending you to different eras in history, in just one day. On Friday 16 March the Cairo classic meet came with its enhanced sixth edition. It is no longer just a number of fine classic jewels displayed to turn heads. This year, Vintage Wheels Egypt, founders of the classic meet, were joined by Showtime Events and Scash Investments, enhancing the event, making it an entertainment carnival for the whole family.

“Getting partners on board made it easy for us to expand the event’s activities,” said Mahmoud Ezzeddin, CEO of Vintage Wheels Egypt. Ezzeddin, who spent four months with his team to prepare for the event, said each company had its responsibilities according to its specialisation, from managing the classic vehicles, to bringing in sponsors, getting entertainment and activities, to services and more.

It wasn’t an easy job, not only due to the vast number of vehicles displayed but also because of the various activities and services provided.

The event started 9am. Car owners entered the venue on the red carpet where the cars posed for quick photo and video sessions. Classic vehicles were displayed starting from the one of its kind in Egypt, the 1924 Ford Model-T touring, up to cars from the 1980s. The American muscle cars section received a lot of attention, especially from younger generations who love big powerful engines and cars from movies, like the Ford Mustang Eleanor similar to the one which appeared in Gone in 60 Seconds, as well as other iconic classic muscles like the Camaro SS.

photos: Alaa Nour

One of the great cars spotted in the event was a red 1954 Chevrolet Corvette, an absolute beauty in very good shape, and not a replica. There was a minimal amount of replicas but they still had their charm on people, like the Porsche 356, an official replica by the German manufacturer. Vintage motorcycles had their spot as well, lovely BSA bikes lined up to send you back far as 1938 up to the 1950s. Micro cars like the BMW Isetta and the Kr200 Messerschmitt owned by Ahmed Al-Kabbani are very small but had lots of glamour to spread. They were made out of the cockpit remains of war birds fitted with motorcycle engines, according to Ezzeddin.

Presidential limos always carry a lot of history with them, and at the event Gamal Abdel-Nasser’s 1961 Cadillac Fleetwood special edition was there. Also from the celebrity cars were two belonging to famous singer Abdel-Halim Hafez, a Ford Thunderbird 1955 and 1968 Mercedes SL Pagoda.

“We had the 4x4 section, the customised, the Mercedes, the European GT tourers, the air cooled VWs, the Minis, the American four-door sedans showing the transformation of vehicles through time,” added Ezzeddin.

Modern exotic cars made an appearance as well. “Exotic cars will eventually be valuable classics, so we were keen to reserve a place for them,” Ezzeddin said. The exotics included a Ferrari 458, Mclaren 570s, Ferrari California, BMW M4 CS, 1990s Porsche 911 Turbo, and a Chevrolet Corvette C6, Mercedes SLS, all secured behind poles and guarded by security.

Ford Model-T

In the children’s area there was that classic Mercedes SL R107 provided by the organisers and which many kids didn’t agree as to what colour it should be painted, so everyone decided to get a brush and paint it according to his or her favourite colour. It was fun for the kids and rather frightening for some adults. 

The Takh band rocked the event with their fun songs that captured the interests of many and drew happy smiles.

Many companies, big and small, took part, providing their services with special offers and discounts especially for the people at the event: car tyres, boats, furniture, antiques, you name it.

“We made sure to keep the public busily entertained from the early morning till dusk,” said Ezzeddin.

Ezzeddin told Al-Ahram Weekly that the feedback after the event exceeded his expectations. He said someone told him he felt the event was taking place in the US or Europe.

Just a couple of years ago, the classic car community in Egypt wasn’t that big, or at least couldn’t find a way to get together. Now it’s getting bigger and bigger, from car enthusiasts who like cars from various eras, to a whole family with everyone having fun, from kids to elders.

The event accrued several benefits. Classic car owners are now encouraged to always keep their vehicles in good condition and even start building a collection knowing that it will be appreciated by the crowds in such events, with the whole family supporting the idea, fuelled with love and excitement, of participating in the next event with a new car.

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