Wheeled wonders: Car enthusiasts prove Karachi is more than just Kalashnikovs

The mission of Pakwheels.com was to unite car lovers irrespective of class.


Car enthusiasts in the city gathered at Port Grand on Sunday to take a look at the city’s collection of vintage and other vehicles. MPA Nadir Magsi displayed 12 of his cars. PHOTO: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS

KARACHI: “Pakistani youth is not all about Kalashnikovs and violence. Here is your proof.”

These were the words of Suneel Sarfraz Munj, the chairperson of Pakwheels.com, as he pointed towards the throngs of people who had left their houses on a hot Sunday morning, just to take a look at the vast array of cars people in Karachi possess.

The mission of Pakwheels.com in organising this event at Port Grand in Karachi was to unite car lovers irrespective of class or creed of family background. “Everyone who appreciates wheels is welcome here,” stated Suneel.

And everyone did show up.

From toddlers to teenagers, the crowd was all “oohs” and “aahs” for the spectacular spectrum of cars on display. This motor show featured vehicles broadly classified into four different categories, ie, vintage cars and modern classics, bikes, exotic and muscle cars, 4 x 4s and off-roaders. There was also a dome in which the first ever Formula 1 replica in Pakistan was presented. However, the dome wasn’t set up by 3pm, even though the show started well before 12 noon. This ‘showstopper’ failed to attract many despite the live DJ and simulators.


Car enthusiasts in the city gathered at Port Grand on Sunday to take a look at the city’s collection of vintage and other vehicles. MPA Nadir Magsi displayed 12 of his cars. PHOTO: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS

Mohammad Raheel Khan, a car enthusiast and administrator of the RX8 Club Karachi, was unfazed by this. For him, the highlight of the show was Nadir Magsi’s Phantom Ghost Rolls Royce. This 2013 model stood in all its glory; it’s black and silver surface shining marvellously as the sun beat down upon it. Right beside this classic was parked an equally breathtaking beauty - a Hupmobile from 1929, also the oldest car of the show. The owner Karim Chhapra, the director of the Vintage and Classic Car Club of Pakistan, smiled sheepishly as he narrated how this very car secured the third place in 2012’s Kuwait concours d’elegance - an international auto show where cars from all around the world compete.


Car enthusiasts in the city gathered at Port Grand on Sunday to take a look at the city’s collection of vintage and other vehicles. MPA Nadir Magsi displayed 12 of his cars. PHOTO: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS

Close by stood a white SL-500 Lorinser Mercedes owned by Ghazanfar Agha. This car was a custom-built vehicle presented to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by the emir of Qatar. It also secured the first position in the Extreme Autocross that took place on Saturday, September 14.

Car enthusiasts in Karachi are indeed fierce and they mean business.

“Please don’t touch the cars and stay behind the rope,” was a common plea heard by many car owners as the spectators longingly ran their hands over the sides of the cars they were posing next to. Some even jumped on top of heavy bikes, shades and hair a direct replica of Salman Khan, in a desperate effort to get their picture taken before the guards shooed them away.

It is for this very reason that Karim Chhapra did not bring his 1924 Silver Ghost Rolls Royce to the show. This is this same car in which Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Lord Mountbatten rode on August 14, 1947, to sign the declaration of Independence on August 14, 1947.

“It’s too precious,” he stated simply with a shrug of his shoulders.


Car enthusiasts in the city gathered at Port Grand on Sunday to take a look at the city’s collection of vintage and other vehicles. MPA Nadir Magsi displayed 12 of his cars. PHOTO: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS

There was a grand display of rare cars, Imad Samad’s 1986 Chevrolet Corvette - the last ever Sting Ray produced - among them. However, Toyota and Suzuki had also purchased stalls to showcase vehicles for the average Joe.

“We are coming back to Karachi next year, that’s for sure,” stated the Pakwheels chairperson just as a man in a skullcap posed next to an NSX. Further on, a woman was overheard complaining: “They should let us drive the cars and not just look at them!”

Published in The Express Tribune, September 16th, 2013.

COMMENTS (8)

A. Khan | 8 years ago | Reply

Just an observation. Based on the pictures provided, most the vehicles do not have number plates. Are we to infer :

a). these vehicles are unregistered b). unregistered and therefore duty not paid c). owners are such big-shots so the laws of vehicle registration do not apply to them. d). how many out of MPA Nadir Magsi's 12 vehicles were registered and had number plates ? The only reason I mention his name is because its been mentioned in the article.

King Kong | 8 years ago | Reply

ET, can you please do a slideshow for this event? I would rather see the cars' pictures than those of Veena Malik on your website.

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