There is no dearth of people who love to have customised cars and motorbikes, besides ensuring old cars are made into working condition. It is a hobby that many people cherish world over and Qatar is no exception.
Recently-held Qatar Custom Show saw an increasing number of participants with their classically customised trucks, cars and motorbikes. The successful event vividly manifested the snowballing of interest in custom vehicles.
One such car in the show was Nissan Datsun Laurel 240L, made in 1980. There is an interesting story about how two young men stumbled upon the rusting car in a junkyard and how they purchased the car skeleton and gave it a beautiful shape in almost 10 years. The car, co-owned by two friends – a Qatari and a Pakistani, won the first prize in the Classic Japanese Category during the custom show. Abdullah al-Hajri and Ismail Waheed are proud of their product and say it is a one of its kind car in Qatar.
They found the rusting remains of the car in a junkyard in the Industrial Area and got immediately attracted towards the idea of restoring the classic car and giving it the original shape. “My friend Abdullah al-Hajri and I came across this car in a junkyard in 2011. It had a totally rusted body. Most of the parts were damaged. We still wanted to get the car but they told that the car had no registration documents or anything. They told us that they bought this car for QR200 and wanted to get rid of it and recycle it for scrap. We told them that we can find the documents for this car and offered them QR1,000. They agreed to sell us the car afterwards,” Ismail told Gulf Times.
It took almost 10 years for the car enthusiasts to bring it back to its original shape. “For 10 years, we were trying to find its parts from different countries like Japan, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman. By November 2019, we had found all the parts that we needed and most of the parts were renewed. We started working on this car in December 2019, and we were done with the project in December 2020. The car got ready for the January 2021 Qatar Custom Show. We took part in the show and won a prize. Also, we got the first position in the Classic Japanese Category,” said al-Hajri.
The owners are happy to possess the unique and rare car that they are not ready to sell. “The most unique feature of this car is that it is the only car of its type in Qatar. Also, it is rare in Japan and GCC countries. The most important thing for us was to search for its registration documents. When we were in search of the documents of the car, we found that it was bought from Saleh Al Hamad Al Mana Company and the first owner of the car was Saif Diyab al-Sulaiti. We got more interested in it when we found out this information and became more eager to rebuild it,” said Ismail.
Al-Hajri has been attracted towards the customisation of cars for a long time and sees a rise in the trend in Qatar with every passing day. “I have been interested in customisation of classic Japanese cars since my childhood. The new generation of Qatari citizens are getting more and more interested in customisation of cars. I have come across a lot of people who get support from their families or friends to pursue their passion for custom cars. I am currently very happy to revive a scrapped car and turn it into a rare jewel that has in return won me awards and recognition,” al-Hajri added.