Cars in the city can take a beating – between soaring temperatures, insidious desert dust and the crowded streets. Classic models are not uncommon, but they often languish in dusty alleys or garages. One man, however, has decided to try to preserve a slice of Egypt’s four-wheeled history.
Abd Allah Ragab works on a 1966 Mercedes at a private collector's lot in El Saff city in Giza, just outside Cairo, Egypt, April 8, 2022.
A fleet of this size would rank him among the world’s top classic car collectors. Experts typically classify vehicles as vintage, antique or classic depending on their year of production.
Five-year-old Samar sits for a photo in a 1924 Ford T owned by Egyptian collector Mohamed Wahdan during a classic car show in Cairo, March 19, 2022.
The 52-year-old Wahdan runs a tourist company taking visitors to Egypt's famous landmarks. But he’s devoted to his hobby. He owns several different garages to keep all of them and employs a full-time team of mechanics for maintenance.
Egyptian collector Mohamed Wahdan sits in his 1924 Ford T at a public show in Cairo, March 19, 2022.
The country’s layered history makes it a treasure trove for antiques. Egypt, a former British protectorate, was a destination for Europeans in the late 19th Century and the first half of the 20th century. Italian, Greek and Jewish communities once flourished in Cairo and the Mediterranean city of Alexandria. Its historic markets, or souqs, sell many reminders of times gone by, replicas and genuine.
Classic cars enthusiast Carine Sherif poses in front of a 1924 Ford T owned by Egyptian collector Mohamed Wahdan during a classic car show in Cairo, March 19, 2022.
Recently, his cars have also made a name for themselves, with one appearing in a TV series set in the 1930s. He’s noticed that interest in car collecting is growing among Egyptians, as more flock to classic car shows where his vehicles are displayed.
Collector Mohamed Wahdan talks to people about his 1924 Ford T at a public show in Cairo, March 19, 2022.