Helping cars stand the test of time
dubai — Calling all car enthusiasts: It’s time to head to Dubai’s Al Quoz. Nostalgia Classic Cars, which is located in Alserkal Avenue, is home to about 100 immaculately maintained and restored cars from as far back as the 1920s, and includes such classics as the 1923 Ford Model T, 1959 Ford Thunderbird and 1965 Ford Mustang.
The showroom’s vast collection also includes newer models, such as 2016 Land Rover Defenders and Porsche GT3 RS.
The massive location is split into two parts: A 1,000-square metre section that functions as a gallery with a lounge area and library, and another 1,000-square metre section in which Nostalgia’s vast collection is on display for car fanatics and potential buyers. The cars are priced between $50,000 and $100,000, making them accessible for everyone from newbie classic car enthusiasts to seasoned collectors.
The venue was founded in 2016 by Jordanian Mazin Al Khatib, a former investment banker who left the world of high finance to follow his dreams.
“I had worked in the banking industry for almost 27 years. I started hitting the ceiling, as they say, about a year before I officially resigned,” he told Khaleej Times. “I realised that I had much more to offer that to wake up every day and try to make an extra buck.
“So I decided to leave and pursue my passion,” Al Khatib added. “I’ve always been a car collector, and it had been my dream for a long time that one day I would convert this passion into a business.”
Classic cars, Al Khatib said, have been a longtime interest, even before he had the means to have his own. “Ever since my high school days, when I was maybe 16 or 17 years old, I liked and appreciated old and classic cars,” he noted. “I started collecting at the end of the 1990s; beginning of the 2000s — once I had money.”
Nowadays, however, Al Khatib is himself a prolific collector of private cars, and he said that all the cars currently on display at Nostalgia are his.
Restoring the classics
Nostalgia also prides itself on its restoration work, with a team of experts on hand to bring cars — some of them little more than rusted skeletons — back to their former glory. Among the cars that Nostalgia has restored are an iconic 1972 VW Beetle and an exquisite 1976 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow.
“Our restoration facility is open for my own collection, and for our customers as well,” Al Khatib said. “We have done cars that are about a two (on a 10-point restoration scale) and we redo the design to bring them up to an 8.5 or nine. We’ve also received cars that are quite basic, like a six, and bring them up to eight or nine, de- pending on what the client wants. We have the capability and ability to do both.”
Looking to the future, Al Khatib said he hoped the Nostalgia “concept” will spread to other countries from Dubai. “I have a lot of faith ... I’d like to see it replicated across the Gulf countries, at least,” he noted. “I’ve already received interest from a couple of parties that want to do the same.”
Additionally, Al Khatib said that he is keen to introduce a number of “special brands” to the Gulf for the first time.
“It’s still at an early stage, but it’s already in my mind,” he said. “Some of these cars are from the US and England, and some from Germany. Old, iconic cars, but with the newest technology.”
I had worked in the banking industry for 27 years. I started hitting the ceiling, as they say, a year before I officially resigned. I realised that I had much more to offer that to wake up every day and try to make an extra buck.” Mazin Al Khatib, founder of Nostalgia Classic Cars
SPARKING NOSTALGIA ... A mechanic at Nostalgia Classic Cars in Al Quoz, Dubai, works on a car to restore it. A team of experts is specifically assigned to bring the cars back to their former glory.
IT’S STILL GOT IT ... Mechanics at different stages of restoration works on cars. Some of the cars that are brought in to Nostalgia are little more than rusted skeletons.
SHINE ON ... A classic car shines after restoration works are carried out. These old, iconic cars are ready to be out on the roads again.
FINISHING TOUCHES ... A mechanic applies finishing touches to a restored car. The facility is open to other classic car owners, too.
GOTTA LOVE THE JAGUAR ... Visitors check out a Jaguar E type 1971 at Nostalgia. The showroom’s collection also includes newer models.
THAT CLASSY FEEL ... (Left to right) Sunbeam Alpine 1962, Austin Healey 3000 MK ll 1963 and MG B 1963 on display at Nostalgia.