LAHORE: The Vintage and Class Car Club of Pakistan (VCCCP) organised the show in collaboration with specialists of INH Automotive into Royal Palm for the fifth annual cross country Rallies vintage car show. A glittering line up of vintage cars and shiny wheels vroomed.
Around 70 vintage Mini Coopers, Mercedes, BMWs, Ford Thunderbirds, Mustangs, Chevrolets, Cadillacs, Fiats and Buicks stood in the stands surrounded by children and adults posing for pictures. The organisers said some of the cars had travelled all the way from Karachi and the rest were from Lahore.
VCCP president Mohsin Ikram said the club had been organising vintage car shows for around 12 years in Karachi. “Now with the cross-country rally, we can take the car show to other cities.” He said they were planning to hold a show in Islamabad and later make their way to Khyber.
Ikram bought his first car at the age of 16. By the time he was 19, he owned five cars. “We love vintage cars and want other people to enjoy them as well,” Ikram said. These cars don’t deserve to become scrap. “We want the cars to be brought back to life and allow other people to share in our love for these cars.” He said such shows promoted a soft image of Pakistan
Ikram’s 1954 Austin Healey made a grand entrance in the arena. “Everyone in the club brings at least one car to the show, I bring three,” he said with a smile. One of his cars, however, broke down on the National Highway and had to be taken to another city for repairs. The other two cars he has brought to the show are a Chevrolet Corvette and a 1967 Volkswagen Beetle.
Ikram hinted that they might announce a motorcycle rally soon.
Karim Chhapra, a businessman from Karachi, stood next to a beautiful red 64-1/2 Ford Mustang which he said he had gifted to his son last year. “It took us six months to restore the car as we had to import the parts from America,” he said. Chhapra has been collecting cars for 14 years and is the proud owner of 13 cars, one of them a 1924 Silver Ghost Rolls Royce, which Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah travelled in for the August 14, 1947, parade.
Khalid Aslam, who was participating in the show for the first time, said he had driven his MGTD 1949, to Lahore all the way from Karachi. He said he had the MGTD 1949 for around 15 years. “When I bought the car, it needed a lot of work. I had to replicate several of the missing pieces in fibreglass,” Aslam said.
Sarah, a first grader beaming with excitement, attended the event with her parents. “I love this blue car,” she said pointing towards a Ford Triumph.
Tanzeel Gohar, a 17 year-old student, who attended the show for the first time, said “Such events provide great entertainment. I liked all the cars.”
Saman Asif, who teaches French at a school, was taking pictures of the cars. “I attended the first car show in 2010 and fell in love with them. I don’t know much about vintage cars, but they have a certain personality lacking in new ones,” she said.
Rizwan Naqvi, spokesperson for the INH automotive specialists, pointed out various cars they had helped restore and maintain. He said they had been in the business for almost four years but started collaborating with the VCCP on the vintage car show last year. He said the three owners of INH had other businesses and they maintained vintage cars as a hobby. “The owners of classic cars don’t trust anyone with their cars. The INH workshop is pretty much like a club. The owners bring us their cars themselves.”
He said international car rallies travelled through Europe, India and even Afghanistan. “But they don’t come to Pakistan,” Naqvi said. Hopefully car shows will help change that, he said.