AP PHOTOS: Egypt collector saves lots of of basic vehicles | Existence

CAIRO (AP) — The previous regularly collides with the current in Cairo, with site visitors snarling subsequent to historic websites.

Cars within the metropolis can take a beating — between hovering temperatures, insidious desert mud and the crowded streets. Classic fashions are usually not unusual, however they usually languish in dusty alleys or garages. One man, nevertheless, has determined to attempt to protect a slice of Egypt’s four-wheeled historical past.

Car collector Mohamed Wahdan says he has gathered greater than 250 classic, vintage and basic vehicles. Most of them he found contained in the nation.

A fleet of this measurement would rank him among the many world’s prime basic automobile collectors. Experts usually classify autos as classic, vintage or basic relying on their yr of manufacturing.

The 52-year-old Wahdan runs a vacationer firm taking guests to Egypt’s well-known landmarks. But he’s dedicated to his passion. He owns a number of completely different garages to maintain all of them, and employs a full time staff of mechanics for upkeep.

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He says one of many challenges is in getting the vehicles license plates. Government staff usually aren’t certain the way to classify them.

Wahdan’s oldest, a 1924 Model T Ford that belonged to Egypt’s final monarch, King Farouk, is a museum piece, full with a velvet rope to mark its parking place in his storage.

The nation’s layered historical past makes it a treasure trove for antiques. Egypt, a former British protectorate, was a vacation spot for Europeans within the late nineteenth Century and the primary half of the twentieth century. Italian, Greek, and Jewish communities as soon as flourished in Cairo and the Mediterranean metropolis of Alexandria. Its historic markets, or souqs, promote many reminders of instances passed by, replicas and real.

Wahdan has collected a lot of them. Rotary-dial telephones, gramophones, and previous newspapers and stamps additionally fascinate him.

Recently, his vehicles have additionally made a reputation for themselves, with one showing in a TV sequence set within the Thirties. He’s seen that curiosity in automobile accumulating is rising amongst Egyptians, as extra flock to basic automobile reveals the place his autos are displayed.

One of his dearest objects is his first buy, a Seventies Mercedes. Like his different vehicles, he doesn’t drive it usually. But he says he would by no means promote any of his assortment.

“Anyone who is passionate about those cars is unable to do without them,” he stated.

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