Oldest and rarest automobiles dazzle at Antique Car Show in Karachi – Pakistan

KARACHI: The Frere Hall lawns hosting the first of its kind annual Antique Car Show was the centre of attraction for all lovers and collectors of vintage and classic cars on Sunday.

There were over a hundred cars on display of which the oldest cars happened to be 99 years old and the youngest not less than 40 years old.

Shoaib Qureshy, the founder and owner of the online Antique Cars Museum who also organised the Antique Car Show, told Dawn that vintage and classic cars are like ambassadors of their countries of origin. “We need more such car shows to not just showcase our cars but also attract our youth to this kind of healthy hobby where they can learn about classic cars and appreciate them,” he said.

“It’s also a part of our art and culture just like music and cricket is. And classic cars don’t have to be expensive Rolls Royce or Mercedes. They can also be Fiats and Volks­wagens,” he said.

There were a number of visitors enjoying the beautiful cars. There were people getting themselves photographed or taking selfies with the cars, there were also people completely in awe of the automotive beauties and wanting to know the history of each and every car they encountered there. And those who could not be there always have the option of learning about the cars by simply accessing the online Antique Cars Museum, which already features each and every classic car in the country.

Getting back to the Antique Car Show, each car there had a personality, thus needing to be introduced to and their owners were there to do the needful. Among the several cars Mr Qureshy had himself brought was the black Vanden Plas 1956 Princess limousine. It was a British Embassy car brought to Pakistan for the British ambassador. It is called ‘Princess’ because when it was made the late Queen Elizabeth was a princess. And the very first two cars from the production line were bought by her.

Well-known collector of classic cars Razi Nayyer had not just brought his pride and joy, his 1972 deep green Jaguar XJ6 Series-1but also father’s inte­­rn­ationally-travelled Merc­e­des and a Ford Cortina.

Some car owners were trying to keep people from touching their cars but then there were also some like Mohsin Ikram, the founder of the Vintage and Classic Car Club of Pakistan, who is known to have restored Miss Fatima Jinnah’s 1955 Cadillac and 1965 Mercedes, who was inviting people to sit inside his car. He had brought with him a red 1920 Packard.

“It’s a fantastic show, a great initiative. But even beyond this show is an even greater initiative in the form of the online Antique Cars Museum,” said Mr Ikram.

Karim Chhapra, who had brought with him his 1924 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost in which the Quaid-i-Azam, too, had travelled when it was originally owned by the Nawab of Bahawalpur. He also got a 1929 Hupmobile in which he was happily seated with his better half Rumana along with their picnic basket. The Hupmobile was originally owned by the first IG of West Pakistan Qurban Ali Khan inherited by his son Anwar Ali Khan and now possessed by Mr Chhapra. He had also brought his beautiful red MG.

Another rare classic owned originally by the Nawab of Bahawalpur was the cream colour 1926 Renault. It was a very fast sports car of its time designed and manufactured by the French. It’s owned by the Magsi family.

Other cars included Cadillacs, Chryslers, Chevrolets, Corvette, Porsche, Mercedes, BMWs, Mini Austins, Fiats, Pontiac Trans Am, several models of Fords, Buicks, etc.

Published in Dawn, January 30th, 2023

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