PESHAWAR: Whether it was American muscle, British luxury or Italian flair, the wheels that rolled into Peshawar at the end of a classic rally created quite a stir.
Large crowds of motoring enthusiasts gathered on Saturday to catch a glimpse of these jaw-dropping beauties, but sadly the show was not open to all. Over 70 cars from many a childhood fantasy and bedroom wall posters were in the flesh at Peshawar Services Club. These included the 1960 Ford Thunderbird, 1939 Royce Silver Wraith, 1964 Ford Mustang, Mercedes 108s and the iconic, not to mention symphonically loud, Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.
On display : Vintage car lovers throng auto show
Some of the other classics parked beside each other were the 1961 MGB, MG Midget, Austin Healey, Volkswagens, Willy’s jeeps, 1939 Chevrolet Master Deluxe, 1965 Peugeot and the Mini Clubman.
Cars from all over the country joined the rally which started in Karachi and accumulated petrolheads from Lahore and Islamabad on the way to the city. The provincial capital’s vehicles also added tremendously to the value of the show with 25 classics.
The rally is organised every year by the Vintage and Classic Car Club of Pakistan. In Peshawar, the car show is sponsored by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Tourism Corporation.
Also drawing the attention of the crowd were the 1967 Austin Mini, 1951 Mercedes Benz 170 SD and the magnificent Humber Hawk. Running beautifully—and achingly pretty—was a 1957 Alfa Romeo.
Although not exactly a classic, one car which turned heads was a Ferrari 360 Modena, clearing its exquisitely crafted Italian exhausts.
The only vintage and classic car rally of the country started from Karachi on November 24 and passed through Gambat, Rahim Yar Khan, Multan, Lahore, Islamabad, Bhurban and Abbottabad before reaching Peshawar on December 4. In Peshawar, the vintage cars were welcomed amid traditional Khattak dances.
The organiser said 15 vehicles started the journey from Karachi and were joined by another 20 in Lahore. Some of the owners said they have been invited abroad, especially to India, to display these vehicles. They shared a common view that vintage cars were common world heritage.
“The Vintage and Classic Car Show has been a resounding success for several years,” said Peshawar Classic Cars and Land Rover Club CEO Asim Durrani who organised the event in Peshawar. Durrani added the gleaming paintjobs, shiny chrome grills and door handles, meticulously kept interiors, and curvaceous bodies of these vehicles were the fruit of their labour. He added a lot of passion was required for this hobby.
“We have to look after these cars like our children; it takes a lot of struggle to maintain the old engines,” said Durrani. “We received great feedback from car enthusiasts and the show was a success.” He added such vehicles still have a considerable market in the country as there is a lot of demand and interest in them.
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa is known to the outside world for violence and militancy, but the gathering of cars spanning decades adds to its image and educates people on the evolution of the automobile industry.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 6th, 2015.
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