x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Brand new friend

At only 32, Ahmet Bulbul, from Izmir in Turkey, owns a branding agency in Dubai as well as a limited edition 2003 Audi TT S-Line.

Ahmet Bulbul says his Audi TT is a perfect match for his character and personality.
Ahmet Bulbul says his Audi TT is a perfect match for his character and personality.

At only 32, Ahmet Bulbul, from Izmir in Turkey, owns a branding agency in Dubai as well as a limited edition 2003 Audi TT S-Line. A resident of the UAE for more than nine years, Ahmet bought the car six months ago through an online community portal when the advertisement piqued his interest and appealed to his creative nature. When the first-generation model was released in early 2000, extraordinary demand meant a huge supply shortfall, with many customers waiting well over a year for their order. Winner of countless awards, including Automobile Magazine's Design of the Year 2000, this black TT is, in Ahmet's opinion, the epitome of brilliant and sleek sports car design.

He says, "As with many creative directors, I tend to be turned on by the way things look. This was the case with this beauty. I took one look at it and fell passionately in love. I knew instantly that I would look better standing beside it." Purchased from a British lady who also works in the media, Ahmet is adamant he would only ever consider selling the car to someone else from the creative industries. "I want to continue with this circle and believe this car will be best kept as the apple of a creative professional's eye.

"The classified advertisement stood out for me, as the previous owner declared, 'If you want to look great then you really should have this baby', and, as a marketing guru myself, I liked her strategy. The fact that she used great marketing to sell the car appealed to my professional tastes. "I was always planning to buy a sports car that would match my character and personality," says Ahmet. "So I bought a car that looks clean, stylish, sporty, modern and agile. On a beauty scale of one to 10, I would say the car is a 10. I would also say I was a 10 - but only when with the TT. Otherwise, I wouldn't score myself very high."

Even with 132,000 km on the clock, Ahmet paid Dh65,000 for the TT and, once the deal was struck, paid an extra Dh1,000 in order to have ownership transferred immediately. "I couldn't wait to drive the car once I had agreed a price on it," Bulbul says. "I'm an emotionally driven person and once I set my heart on something, I will rarely stop until I have it - just ask my wife." And his wife was the biggest obstacle to Ahmet buying his dream car, "My wife initially said I was banned from buying such a sexy car, as I would get too much female attention. It seems her jealousy was well placed, as it is a real head turner with the ladies - but don't tell her this," he jokes.

Bulbul also owns a 2007 Ford Explorer to accommodate the arrival of his young child and possibly any future additions to the family, as there is not enough space for a baby seat in an Audi TT. "Space is probably the only downside to owning a sports car like this. It's great for work and fits my image, but I need a larger and safer alternative for family time." If Ahmet decided to trade up and keep the TT in a circle of creative people, he has already decided what the replacement car might be. "Perhaps I would consider selling it to the right person, but only once I find a new Audi R8 to buy, which is surely the only car to rival the TT's beauty."

Ahmet is probably wise to continue driving his beloved car in the UAE rather than his native Turkey for a number of reasons. "Petrol costs in Turkey are expensive, so most people drive small Renaults or Peugeots. Some even change their car from petrol to a type of cooking gas, so it is much cheaper to run," he says. "One of my friends begged me to send my car back home to him where he planned to change the engine, probably making it the first TT to run on gas!"

motoring@thenational.ae