Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Funkengroovin Wednesday- Abu Dhabi Friday Car Souk

VB has mentioned the Al Nasr City (Cairo, Egypt suburb) Friday Car Souk in previous posts. Today she focuses on fond memories of Abu Dhabi and, strangely enough, a used car souk there.

We lived not far from the Corniche in Abu Dhabi and regularly went for walks with Doggie while we lived there. The first year we lived in Abu Dhabi (1997) when we would sometimes walk down along the old Corniche, we would stop at the Friday Car Souk. Every Friday, owners would bring their cars to the parking lot of the strip mall housing Abu Dhabi Marine Sports Shop, and home to a wonderful Lebanese Restaurant. The cars would be deposited for the Friday show, with notes in the windows. Rarely did we ever see the owners standing by, waiting for offers.

As VB stated in her last blog, Sheikh Zayed decided to widen and renovate the Corniche, so the spring of 1998 the Friday car market came to an end, and would be no more, at least not in the Khalidya area.

Even though it seems the Emiratis and rich businessmen in the U.A.E. change new cars like we change our socks, and it is unusual to see older cars on the road in Abu Dhabi, there are collectors. We had our 1965 VW Beetle Convertible shipped to Abu Dhabi when we moved there (it fit into the 20 foot container, along with the furniture!) We drove it around three seasons, usually to the beach, and to Spinney's, where the bag boys would always compliment VB on the car or ask, "Where is the open car madame?" The Indian workers loved it, because they said, it reminded them of the Morris Minor (more on that in another post). We were constantly asked if we were interested in selling it, with very high offers - that is, until they found out there was no air conditioning.

Well, the 6 volt battery eventually died. We looked high and low, drove to Dubai, and Sharjah searching for a 6 volt, with no luck. We couldn't import one as they're "flammable." Finally a friend with old and extensive connections within the royal family and old timer Emiratis, mentioned our plight to a well known Emirati, who was a car collector. He immediately had a battery delivered to our villa, much to our surprise. We, in turn, sent over a chocolate cake shaped like a bug.

He was very happy, and his kids loved the cake. As it turned out, not too long after getting the 6 volt, the brakes went out and the repairman could never figure out why the brakes were leaking (something Bob in West Springfield, MA. ended up fixing). The last year we were there (2001-2002) our baby pretty much sat, sadly, in the garage. Seeing an older car in Abu Dhabi is an oddity, but here's two we found (from 1997) at the old Friday Car Souk along the Corniche.

These are SLR photos that VB has had digitized - as usual, click on the photos to see the ads and more detail.

1976 Cadillac Eldorado

Buick Super

Our '65 Beetle with Abu Dhabi plates.

When we returned to the States, we had to pay for the return of our Beetle ourselves, to the tune of approximately $2,000. It was shipped early June 2001, and was scanned by U.S. Port Authority on September 11, 2002. We were told, by our pick-up agent, that we were very lucky it arrived undamaged.

Again, no news (it's the holidays.)

Fine Young Cannibals - Don't Look Back

No comments:

Post a Comment