When Emirati Jassim Mubarak traveled the world as part of his job, he always looked for classic cars and admired them from afar. He had a dream: to retire and buy several classic cars. Today he lives that dream and is popularly called Jassim Classic.
“I have about 27 classic cars,” he said. “Some of them are in my house and others in a garage I built in Sajaa. I drive these cars every day. “There is something so pure and unadulterated about driving a classic car and enjoying its excitement.”
Jassim was one of several classic car owners who showcased their collection at the inaugural Sharjah Classic Car Festival that began on Friday. The event to be held at the Sharjah Classic Car Museum, which will showcase more than 300 vehicles, will run until Sunday, February 4. The museum displays a collection of the world’s rarest cars, some dating back to 1915, with a special exhibition highlighting the oldest metal car plates. and vintage fuel pumps, presented for the first time.
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‘Like your own baby’
While some of his cars have been modified to fit modern roads, Jassim has gone to great lengths to maintain the originality of most of his cars. “It’s hard to find parts for most of these classic cars,” he said. “Even when you find it, sometimes it will be in some remote places in the US and it will take months to be shipped here. But that’s part of the appeal of owning a classic car. The time and patience you have to dedicate to perfecting each car. “It’s like your own baby.”
Nasser Alarif agrees. Every year he spends hundreds of thousands of dirhams on classic cars. “The biggest challenge of owning a classic car is that you have to spend a lot of time and money rebuilding the car,” he said. “Sometimes you’ll need a specific car part that you’ll have to keep digging all over the world for. It could take months to get here. So you end up spending a lot of money and time working on just one car. It is a hobby that requires money and patience in great measures.”
The young man’s earliest memory is of being in love with classic and vintage vibes. Today he has accumulated around 15 cars and regularly posts about them on his Instagram channel 39 classics, an ode to the Villa 39 in which he lives. “Once you buy a classic car, it’s a lifetime commitment,” he said. “Besides, you can never stop at one. You still have many dream cars left to buy and you want more.”
Nasser was on site displaying four of his cars, including a 1929 Ford and the 1974 Volkswagen Kombi minibus. The Kombi, one of VW’s most iconic models, was first produced in 1949 and became one of the Favorites among adventurers and families. “I wanted to get this for my collection,” he said. “There were many options in Germany, but I found this one in Brazil and sent it here.”
First time owner
For Lebanese expat Charbel, owning a classic car was a lifelong dream, something he realized last year when he bought a 1937 Jaguar. “It’s custom-built and one of a kind,” he said. “When I registered it here in the UAE, I added this car to the RTA system because it was the first one here. I sent it here from the UK.”
Charbel, new to this hobby, said he spent between Dh200,000 and Dh250,000 on the car. “The cost depends on the model of the car and its condition,” he said. “Overall, it’s an expensive hobby, considering how much replacement parts cost.”
For him, the best part of owning a car has been the adulation. “I take the car out for a spin at JBR and the Marina over the weekend,” he said. “People come to take selfies with me and the car. It’s the best feeling ever. Now I’m planning my next purchase.”
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