What it’s like owning a classic car

Post by Mark

240

I’ve been getting a lot of people asking me if owning an old car is a pain in the ass. Like how difficult is it to maintain? Is it reliable? How practical it is as a daily driver? I got my Datsun back in April and I’ve been driving it every day since, so I think I’m now qualified enough to answer some of those questions.

Classic Cars Expectations
First thing you need to do is manage your expectations with the car. You’re not buying a brand new car off the dealership lot so you need know that the car won’t be perfect. My car for example has a bunch of quirks if I can put it nicely, here are some of them:

– I need a new gearbox, right now my gears jump to neutral randomly when in 1st, 3rd or 5th gear. New gearbox with installation will cost me just KD150, but I’m not in the mood to get it done because end of the day my gearbox is working fine, it’s just a bit annoying. I’ve got a temp fix right now which is, whenever I am in one of those gears, I just keep my hand on the gear knob so it doesn’t jump out of place and it works. Simple.

– When I close my drivers door it automatically locks. So I ALWAYS make sure the keys are with me before exiting the car.

– When I fill up gas I spend the rest of the day inhaling gas fumes in the car.

– Speaking of fumes, if I have one window open, the cars internal air pressure changes and starts pulling in exhaust fumes from the rear. So I need to either have both windows rolled up or both windows down. So if a passenger rolls down their window I roll down mine, if they roll there’s up, I roll mine up. No biggie.

– When I go through a drive-thru car wash I get soaked a little while sitting inside the car. It leaks water from on top of the door and it’s not because of the rubber seals which I’ve already replaced. The car is just so old that the body has warped a bit and so the doors and rear hatch don’t properly seal.

– It’s really loud, old cars had no sound insulation and I can’t really converse with anyone inside the car. The sound of the road, wind, engine and exhaust just doesn’t make it possible.

These are just some of the “quirks” and I’ve got a bunch more. So when you get an old car expect there to be weird issues. My car is 43 years old and I’ve accepted all the issues that came with it and they don’t bother me at all.

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Remember this Bus?

Post by Mark

doubledecker

Spotted the bus above at the double decker bus graveyard in Amghara. Back in the 90s this bus used to take tourists around or at least I think it did. I used to spot it mostly on Salem Mubarak Street.

I counted 21 busses at the bus graveyard, and a few of them had interiors that were in better condition than some of the busses currently in service.


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Looking for a Unimog

Post by Mark

unimog

Anybody know anyone selling a Unimog by any chance? If yes then please let me know!


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Cops Chase an Escalade

Post by Mark

I wonder if they finally ended up catching him.

copshade


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Cops Aren’t Messing Around

Post by Mark

noplates

Last week the cops announced they were going to start removing the license plates of illegally parked cars and they weren’t joking around. Yesterday I had a meeting at Arabica and while I was driving around looking for parking, I spotted not one, not two but at least a dozen cars with their plates removed. Just a whole line of illegally parked cars with no plates on them. Super freaky shit, obviously that deterred me from parking illegally so their plan is definitely working.

On the bright side, I noticed for the first time there is actually a multistory car park on the street behind Arabica so ended up parking there.


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Is this the New Long Term Parking Lot?

Post by Mark

longtermparking

A reader just let me know there is a huge new parking lot that was recently constructed very close to the airport. Could this be our new long term parking lot where they shuttle passengers to the main terminal and back? I can’t imagine it being anything else since there is no building next to it and the lot seems huge, more than double the size of our current long term parking lot.

My theory is they’ll most likely convert the current long term parking lot into a short term lot since the current short term lot isn’t big enough. They would then completely move the long term parking lot away to this new location if it is in fact the new long term parking lot.

Does anybody have any information on this?
Here is the location of the new lot on [Google Maps]


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Courteous Drivers

Post by Mark

headlights

Although I think drivers in Kuwait can be the worst sometimes (people stop driving while whatsapping!), what I’ve also realized because of my Vespa and Datsun 240z is that there are a lot of drivers out there that can be pretty nice. When I used to have the Vespa and I’d be stuck in traffic, people always moved their cars a bit when they saw me so they could let me ride all the way to the front in between the standstill traffic. It felt like everyone was rooting for me to get out of the traffic that they were all stuck in.

With my 240z I’m now experiencing a lot of niceness as well. Because the car is so low, usually the headlights of other cars (mostly SUVs) is higher than my car as you can see in the picture on top. So if their lights are on it pretty much reflects off my rear view mirror and into my face. Nearly all the drivers who pull up behind me at a traffic light turn off their lights so not to blind me. It’s a small gesture but I love it since its from total strangers.

datsun240z

I’ve also gotten so many compliments on the car from total strangers. For someone like me who doesn’t like attention, the amount of attention I get because of the car is so uncomfortable. On Friday I was heading back home on the Gulf Road and listening to my music loud while driving like a nutcase when I get to a traffic light. So I’m sitting there checking my phone when I here a beep of a police siren. I ignore it. Then I hear it again and I look out my rear view mirror and can’t see anything so I continue to ignore it. Then I hear the quick siren burst again the third time so I look to my right and there is a cop car right outside my window with a cop inside it trying to talk to me. So in my head I was like shit I’m screwed either because of my erratic driving or the fact my music was loud or because I was on my phone. So I quickly pause my music and yell out “Sorry?” cuz I couldn’t hear anything he had said. The cop then points at my car and says “very nice very nice” while giving me the thumbs up. I say thank you! and in my head I’m going wtf this is all so weird.

I feel like I’m in bizarro world sometimes.


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Don’t Park Illegally!

Post by Mark

I’ve asked a few people and it seems the video above is current but don’t take my word for it. Lifting a car with a forklift is a pretty extreme move considering the cars would most likely get dented or scratched. In any case, I’d avoid parking illegally for the next few weeks until the cops go back to their usual routine.

I also got the screenshot below supposedly showing the new fines for breaking the law. I doubt its real though since there are a bunch of spelling mistakes and translation errors, but then again, that could also mean its authentic. If it’s true then those new speeding fines are gonna make me go broke. UPDATE: It’s false!

notreal

Thanks Holla


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Download All the Kuwait Traffic Laws as a PDF

Post by Mark

police

A friend of mine read my post from yesterday and sent me the link below this morning that is basically a list of all the Kuwait traffic laws in English. I went through the list to see if there was anything mentioning car lifts but didn’t find anything about it. But, there are a lot of laws that are too generic and could mean anything and I’m willing to bet because of that, everyone here is breaking at least one law from this list. If you want to view or download the PDF, click [Here]

Thanks Musaed


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Cops vs English vs Me

Post by Mark

fjcruiser

So this morning I’m driving casually on the Gulf Road (not speeding) and suddenly I see a cop car with the flashers on racing towards me in the rear view mirror. At the speed he was going I thought he was responding to an emergency and was expecting him to pass by my side but instead he slowed down and started tailgating me while yelling over the speakers to pull over. I was thinking Jesus wtf did I do now? I double checked my speedometer and I wasn’t speeding but the way he pulled up quickly behind me I figured it was a lot more serious, like maybe he mistook my car for one of a serial killer on the loose or something.

So I pull over into the McDonalds parking lot on the Gulf Road and roll down my window. The cop comes up to me and asks for my car registration and my license in Arabic which I hand over and then he mentions something to me in Arabic about my car being lifted. So I reply in English saying “Sorry what did you say?”. He looked at me, looked at my license which has my nationality listed as Canadian, then in a state of panic quickly hands back my papers and says sorry sorry go go. So I was like “Is everything ok?” and he responded in broken English that he didn’t speak any English and apologized again while stepping backwards. The whole thing looked so bizarre, like he had just seen a ghost or he had accidentally pulled over the chief of police.

I was thinking to myself wtf just happened here? I mean I always talk to cops in English because 90% of the time they find it too much of a hassle to communicate back with me and just let me go, but I’ve never had a cop apologize so profusely while backing away as if he was in fear of his life.

Now the annoying part is how some cops keep making a fuss over my lifted car. I’ve got an FJ Cruiser with a 2” lift (which is really not much as you can see in the photo up on top) and I’ve had the car for 6 years and it’s passed 3 car inspections. I’ve also stopped at countless check points without any issues yet every now and then a cop has to bring up the fact that my car is lifted. I don’t mind rules/laws as long as they’re consistent and I haven’t been able to find any law/rule regarding lift kits. But, if they were illegal I would assume I wouldn’t be able to pass my yearly car inspection which I have been for years even with my previously lifted car which was a Wrangler. So it’s frustrating some cops are making an issue out of it when they let more serious issues pass like people running red lights.

Anyway, if anyone can shed light on what the law is regarding lifted cars I’d appreciate it. What I’d love to have is a printout of all the car related laws and just keep it in my car so when I do get stopped again for having a lift kit I can say “So what?” and then pull out the sheet and have them try and find the corresponding law.


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