Dubai’s new classic car showroom is heaven for gearheads
A new Dubai showroom of classic cars takes visitors back in time to the golden age of motoring.March 30, 2017
When he was a teenager Mazin Al Khatib saw an AC Cobra sports car and dreamed he would one day own one. Today, he has an AC Cobra and, what’s more, drives it most days – mission accomplished.
Al Khatib is the founder of Nostalgia Classic Cars, a showroom in Alserkal Avenue that houses more than 100 old cars for sale between $50,000 and $100,000. He told EDGAR about his dream car he’s still trying to find.
When did your love affair with classic cars begin?
It started when I was about 15 years old. That was the first time I saw the AC Cobra – also known as the Ford Shelby Cobra – and fell in love. I knew that this was a car I had to have one day, and I did not rest till I acquired it in 2006.
Would you say you might be a little addicted to cars?
I have loved classic cars for as long as I can remember, and as an investment banker, I have always perceived classic cars as investment assets rather than liabilities. It is my love that comes first, and since the models are always appreciating in value, it converts my love into an addiction as it gives me a reason to justify the purchase.
Is there one elusive car that you’ve been chasing, but cannot find?
Yes, the 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS. The price of this car increases on a daily basis. The ones that I have found are not in the best shape, and the ones which are well maintained are amazingly expensive.
Which was the hardest car to acquire in your collection?
The Lamborghini LM002 1988 – only 300 were ever produced. We found this car in Lebanon in a junkyard. We had to completely rebuild it and finding parts was quite challenging.
How long have you been collecting?
Since the early 2000s, and with time my hobby turned into a passion. But I always faced problems collecting cars, whether it was sourcing a car and parts, restoration or maintenance. That led me to envision a one-stop-shop for classic cars. When I eventually ended my 27-year banking career, I chose to invest in my passion, which is this one-stop-shop for classic car owners.
What does the showroom provide?
We’re not only about selling classic cars, but also providing our customers with restoration and after-sales services through our workshop Nostalgia Restoration. It’s the first workshop in the GCC region that offers body, mechanical, electrical and upholstery services for classic cars.