x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Exhibit showcases world's most beautiful cars

Nearly 160 classic cars are displayed together for the first time at a show, giving enthusiasts an eyeful of some of the world's rarest automobiles.

Mohammed Bin Sulayem in a 1956 Mercedes 300 SL.
Mohammed Bin Sulayem in a 1956 Mercedes 300 SL.

DUBAI // Nearly 160 classic cars were on display together for the first time at a show yesterday, giving enthusiasts an eyeful of some of the world's rarest automobiles. Twenty of the cars on display came from the personal collection of the UAE rallying great, Mohammed Bin Sulayem, including a 1956 Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing, a 1959 Cadillac Seville and a 1956 Chrysler Imperial, to name but a few.

"This is the first time such an event has happened in Dubai, and its important because it gives exposure for classic cars," said Robert Bryan, collection manager for Mr Sulayem's collection. "Just by looking at the crowd that has turned out today you can see there is already a lot of interest." At the show in Festival City, which started Monday in Sharjah, people took turns posing next to their favourite cars. Proud owners of Cadillacs, Fords, Mercedes, Chevrolets and other makes rubbed away at smudges they happened to catch on a bumper or a side door.

"It is about nostalgia, and the quality of the car," Mr Bryan said when asked about the appeal of classic cars. "Who would turn their nose up at that?" he said, pointing to a sleek, pink Chrysler. The Mercedes Gullwing at the show is the only one in the Emirates, Mr Bryan said. "They are seriously beautiful cars." Participants also included Saif Ali Mohammed, a 26-year-old collector. Displaying his 1929 Mercedes Gazelle, a cream and brown sports car that he bought in the US, Mr Mohammed said there was a market for classic cars, but that the law made it difficult to bring them here.

"Registering a classic car is extremely difficult. In Abu Dhabi for example, there is no department for registering classic cars, so you have to do it in Dubai or Sharjah," he said. "I love all cars, but classic cars are definitely my favourite. The older the better. It is a unique vehicle, and I like being the owner of one." nsamaha@thenational.ae