Taximeters

Post by Mark

taximeter

Last week a friend of mine was telling me how he’s recently been getting into cabs and the drivers use the taximeter instead of making up their own fee up and yesterday the same thing happened to me. I took a cab and when I got in, the driver right away turned on the taximeter. Is this like a normal thing now? Because nobody was using the taximeter previously.


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A Creative Classified Ad

Post by Mark

galant

Someone posted the ad below in the classifieds section and I thought it deserved a mention on the main page just because of the effort they put into it to try and make it creative:

Are you tired of paying to have taxi drivers take you from point A to point B? Are you tired of climbing into taxis only to find that the inside smells of bad body odor or smoke? Do you want the FREEDOM that comes with car ownership, but the thought of possible future maintenance expenses has got you scared?

Well let me put your mind at ease, car ownership in Kuwait does not have to be scary. The key to SUCCESS with buying a used car in Kuwait is to find a car make and model that’s AFFORDABLE and RELIABLE. Ever wondered why so many taxis in Kuwait drive Mitsubishi, Lancers? Well I’ll be the first to tell you, it’s by no means because they are as glamorus as a Mercedes Benz, it’s because they are AFFORDABLE and RELIABLE. And now’s your chance to own one. That’s right, we are selling our super sharp 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer GLX that has only 70,000km (43,495mi) (1.6-litre, Automatic Transmission, Power Windows, Power Steering.)

We bought this car new directly from Mitsubishi and have taken care of all the routine maintanace. The car has never been in any major accidents and we just put on a new set of tires this year. It’s immediately available and with a price of only 2400KD obo, this opportunity won’t last long. Call Joshua today at 6653-9801 to set up a test drive.

Here is the link to the original posting [Link]


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My Datsun 240Z

Post by Mark

240z-1

Over the past few months I’ve been on a rigorous search for the perfect classic Datsun Z. By perfect I mean one that fit into my budget, had an original and intact interior and one that required some work but not too much. Finding an original series Z was not an easy task since there were so few of them popping up for sale and those that did either had been modified heavily or were in terrible condition. Then last Monday while jumping from one instagram account to another, I found a small car collector who had a beautiful orange 240Z in his possession. I decided to leave him a comment randomly asking if it was for sale and to my surprise, the next morning I woke up to find a reply that if I was serious to give him a call. So I did and after I was done with work I headed over to his place to check the car out.

240z-2

The car had one owner for the past 11 years, the exterior was in great shape and the interior was all there, even the original tape player. After taking the car for a small drive around the block I knew this was the one for me. The asking price wasn’t very far off from what I thought was reasonable for a 240Z in this condition and after negotiating with the owner for a little bit, he agreed to drop down the price and take my offer with the stipulation that if I was ever to sell the car to let him know in case he wanted to buy it back. And so just like that, next day we got the paperwork done and I was a proud owner of a 1973 Datsun 240Z.

240z-3

The car is mostly stock except for the engine and gearbox which are from the newer 280z, a common modification since engine and gearbox parts for the 280z are more readily available. For such a physically small car, the interior is actually spacious. I’m 6’1 and don’t feel squeezed in the car at all, in fact its pretty comfortable. I’ve been driving the car non stop since Wednesday and it’s just a ton of fun on the road. As a pretty OCD this car should in fact be driving me insane since there are a ton of rattles and so many imperfections all ovre. It’s like utter chaos but I think thats why I’m loving the experience so much, it’s the opposite of what I usually am.


[YouTube]

Right now I’m not planning any major work on the car, I’m just going to drive it the way it is until the weather gets too hot for it and then will start working on it. I don’t have any plans yet but I did get inspired a lot last night after watching the video above. Come summer I’ll probably do an engine rebuild, replace all the bushings, install an aftermarket AC system and also get a new suspension. I managed to make a deal with ProTech Monte-Carlo and I’ll be dropping the car off to them tomorrow for some extreme detailing. I’m really curious to see how the car comes out after that since it should look factory new especially the interior.

240z-dad

My dad used to have a similar 240Z back in 1973, it was the first car he purchased when he moved to Kuwait and I just recently heard the story on how he got it. My dad’s an interior designer and was working on the interior of one of the properties for Abdulaziz Al Babtain. Al Babtain were the dealers of Datsun and so most of his meetings would take place at the dealership. One day while walking into the dealership he saw them rolling in a 240Z onto the showroom floor. My dad asked Abdulaziz what that car was and he told him it was the new 240Z. He then asked my dad if he liked it and wanted the car. My dad told him it was beautiful but he had just moved to Kuwait and couldn’t afford to buy one right now. Abdulaziz then called the sales manager over and told him to take my dad’s ID and register the car in his name. He told my dad to pay for it whenever he could which my dad ended up doing over time with small installments. The picture above was taken back in 1973 on Plajat street in Salmiya and my dad wants me to reshoot him now in the same spot but with my car. That should be fun.

I hope the weather stays like this for just a little bit more so I can enjoy the car as much as I can. If you see an orange 240Z zooming down the Gulf Road, that is probably me.


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A Man, a Skyline and Lots of Poetry

Post by Mark

skyline3

There’s something about this instagram account that I find very liberating. The account belongs to a guy called Ahmed Abou Hameed and I found it by chance while looking for old Datsuns in Kuwait. Ahmed owns a beautiful classic Skyline GT and the account is just pictures and videos of him and his car traveling around the region. The guy seems very chill and also a poet since most of his captions are full of poetry.

skyline2

Just flipping through his account kinda makes me want to take a road trip with him. He seems to love his Skyline and also picnics in the desert. It’s all so odd, I mean most of the photos look vintage because of the car and the way he looks but then you have his choice of music and all this poetry that just tops everything off. I love it and can’t get enough of him and I respect him a lot for actually driving his pristine condition Skyline everywhere instead of parking it to gather dust.

skyline1

I think I’m the only guy who writes in English on his account although most of the time I’m tagging my friends who don’t understand what I find so fascinating about this guy. I like him, I love his car and he seems like a cool guy so check out his instagram account @a.a7mad.1973

Update: Ahmed somehow found out about my post and shared it with his followers on his instagram account along with the poem below. Now I need to give a call and see if I could have tea with him somewhere in the middle of nowhere.

poem


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Alghanim Automotive Acquires Ford

Post by Mark

ford

Last month I posted about a rumor that Alghanim was acquiring the Ford dealership for Kuwait and now it turns out that rumor was true. Ford sent out an email over the weekend letting their customers know that Alghanim is now the official dealer for their cars in Kuwait. Here is a link to that [Letter]

This means Alghanim now have the following car brands split between their two three automotive divisions:

Alghanim Automotive
Chevrolet
Cadillac

Alghanim Auto
Ford
Lincoln

Alghanim Motors
Honda
Lotus

Update: Added Lincoln to the list. Also a reader made me realize that Alghanim Auto is not short for Alghanim Automotive but is in fact a completely different division. So updated post now reflects that.

Thanks Osama


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Lotus Car Dealer Now Open

Post by Mark

lotuscars

Alghanim Motors have officially opened the Lotus dealership in Kuwait. I passed by yesterday to check it out and they’ve got two models in stock, the Lotus Exige and the Lotus Evora. The Exige starts at KD27,000 while the Evora starts at KD34,000.

testdrives

For those interested, according to the salesman they’ll have two test drive vehicles available in the next couple of days (pictured above). Here is their location on [Google Maps]


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Lotus Cars Coming to Kuwait

Post by Mark

lotus

Alghanim Motors are bringing the Lotus brand to Kuwait and they’re opening their first showroom in Shuwaikh opposite The Historical, Vintage and Classic Car Museum. Lotus is a British car brand and currently have some really hot looking cars like the Exige and Evora range. They aren’t a mainstream brand but they do have a bit of a cult following.

I’ve also heard rumors that Alghanim Motors acquired the Ford brand but I haven’t been able to verify that so I’m treating it as just a rumor for now. I heard that Ford and the current local dealer weren’t getting along and so Ford gave the brand to someone else. We’ll find out soon enough, I’m just glad that someone finally brought Lotus to Kuwait.


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The Hunt for the Perfect Z

Post by Mark

datsunz

It’s been just over two weeks since I started looking for a classic Datsun Z and what an experience it has been. I’ve been mostly using the 4Sale app to find a car and I’ve noticed a few things in common between all the sellers:

shenoo

– None speak english no matter how basic I kept my language as you can see above. So, I resorted to installing the Arabic keyboard on my phone and with the help of Google Translate communicate with them. In the end I realized it’s just easier to call them since I talk better than I write Arabic.

– All the Z sellers I called up (and by all I mean ALL) had the Koran play when you called them up instead of the usual dial tone

– They all lived in areas I had never really been to like Omairiya, Dahar, Qurain etc..

porsche

Qurain is one of the areas I went to twice, first time to meet an owner of one of the cars I wanted to check out and the second time to the used car lots in “Aswaq Qurain”. Those car lots had a bunch of interesting cars for sale from the latest Range Rovers and Ferraris to classic 70s Porsches and 60s Stingray.

datsunz2

While there I spotted a like new condition red 1983 Datsun 280z with only 52km on the clock which is basically 0 mileage (pictured above). The price? KD7,000 which honestly isn’t THAT expensive for what is essentially a brand new car from the 80s.

datsunz3

But while I was originally looking for an 80s Z, during my search I started falling in love with the older 70s Z. The simple wooden steering wheel by itself was enough of a reason but combined with the much simpler interior with less electronics and what I now think is a nicer exterior, I knew thats what I wanted. But they’re also harder to find, I just found 4 over the past two weeks and neither one of them were in great condition with all needing a lot of work. I was actually pulling the trigger on the silver blue one pictured on top of this post but backed out an hour before I finalized the paperwork because I realized it would need a lot more work (aka $$$$) than I was willing to put into it.

So right now I’m going to continue looking for the perfect Z. I’ve heard their prices are going to increase since they recently allegedly got banned from being imported into Kuwait because of the shenanigans involved with the cars. But hopefully I’ll end up finding what I’m looking for.


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Registering a Saudi Car in Kuwait

Post by Mark

280zx

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been looking for a clean Datsun 280zx to buy and I’ve noticed that the cleanest (and closest to stock) models I’m finding all have Saudi plates. Does anyone know what the process is to register the cars in Kuwait? Is it an easy process or do I need some sort of wasta? All the cars I’ve been checking out are older than 25 years old so they should be considered a classic for importing purposes.

If anyone can shed some light on this I’d appreciate it.

Update: If you know anyone selling a clean 280zx or even a 240zx or 300zx let me know as well!


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KD70 Million Collected from Emergency Lanes Cameras

Post by Mark

Around KD1 million of those fines is from me alone. [Link] (it’s in Arabic)

via Sala6a


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