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Karachi

April 11, 2016

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A luxurious drive down memory lane

Karachi

Whenever I take my car out for a spin, people just don’t stare; they usually come up to me with questions such as ‘Yeh janaaza kyun chala rahe ho (why are you still driving around in this relic)’ as not many here understand the appeal of a timeless classic. For all the naysayers, my only reply is ‘A Mercedes is a Mercedes, be it the latest or a vintage’. 

This was how Taha Siddiqui, the owner of a vintage Mercedes-Benz, summed up his experience as a proud owner of what is widely considered among the very best in luxury automobiles. It was to pay homage to the German car manufacturer that an exhibit exclusively for Mercedes-Benz owners of Karachi was organised at The Forum Mall, Clifton on Sunday.  

The mall’s parking lot, which has hosted several car shows over recent years, was brimming with visitors all through the day as families, young and old in tow, and groups of friends showed up in droves to see Mercedes-Benz models ranging from 1940 to 2015.

As the polished, metallic bodies glistened under the Karachi sun, admirers of all ages were afforded an opportunity to explore their favourites to the most minor details, be it their interiors or the power hubs stored under their hoods.

However, while each vehicle on display had a certain appeal to it, three models remained the centre of attraction for many visitors – a G-Wagon with a V12 engine, a blue-coloured Fintail that was used by former president Ayub Khan, and a 2015 model of the Brabus 730 V8, which was said to be the only one in Pakistan at the moment.

The proud owners of all these vehicles were beaming as they welcomed visitors taking an interest in their cars, making it quite evident that all these collectors indeed remain madly in love with their prized possessions.

 “This car is my love, and it would be no exaggeration to say that almost half of my monthly income goes towards its upkeep. But, as they say, all is fair in love and war,” said one collector who had a moment to spare as a group of admirers moved onto the next car on display.

The event itself was well organised, as food and refreshment stalls served up delicious snacks and beverages that left one wanting more. Ahsan Ikram, son of the event’s main host, Mohsin Ikram, spoke to The News about the event’s vision and eventual execution.

“We knew it had to be on a Sunday, as families remain our primary target for these events. Plus, it is the only day on which you know everyone can take time out for a visit and, so far, the strategy seems to have worked well as the response has been great,” he said.

“This particular event is something we had been trying to pull off for almost three years now. The car collectors and owners had been hesitant, but they finally came around,” added Ikram, as his words made one connect the city’s vastly improved security situation to the new-found confidence of the exhibitors.  

No event these days could be complete with some selfie fanatics, and yesterday’s show was no exception as groups posed by the vehicles for a permanent memory. As one such boisterous group moved away from a vintage model, Dr Nasrullah, a self-proclaimed car aficionado, summed up the event’s significance by saying, “These are the type of events this city needs. Not only do they provide a chance for families and friends to get out together, such activities can go a long way towards improving what is largely a negative image of Pakistan abroad.”

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