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Classic Cars

Nostalgia to Lebanon glory days with the Classic Porsches trip

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On the 8th of April 2018, a group of Porsche Classic Car Owners wanted to take their classic cars back to the glory days where these cars roamed the streets.

The day started at early morning with more than 7 classic Porsches from all ages got together for a trip down the memory lane. After the first sip of coffee at “Paul” coffee shop, the owners were ready to roll and headed straight to the old Train Station of Tripoli visiting this classic landmark that marked the era of prosperity in the Lebanese North Capital.

An array of colours and history was being created on that day with the 964 Cabrio and 993 Cabrio owned by Assaad Raphael, 911 Targa owned by Fouad Matta, 944 S2 Cabrio owned by Jean Pierre Kebbe, 964 Cabrio owned by Michel Nassif, 944 owned by Michel Chahine and the 930 owned by Henri Azadian.

Each and every one of these cars is a legend by itself. The 964 was the first car to be offered with Porsche’s optional Tiptronic automatic transmission and all-wheel drive as options and was considered to be 85% new as compared to its predecessor. The 993 Cabrio is Porsche’s last air-cooled 911 and also Porsche claims that every part of the car was designed from the ground up, including the engine and only 20% of its parts were carried over from the previous generation, in addition, the car was promoted via its role of safety car during the 1994 Formula One season. The 911 Targa is considered to be the newcomer to the Classic scene of Porsche and is now among the highest in demand. The 944 S2 Cabrio covered heavily in our articles is one of those often forgotten oddities of the automotive world. Its recipe is simple: it is the best, most powerful, final non-turbo iteration of the Porsche 944. And finally the 930 or as we would like to call it the Widow Maker and this car truly lives up to the legend which it carries its name.

The trip back in time was a refresher of memory for many of us and what is better than these amazing machines to feat your eyes on and remember the great days and the superb history of Porsche since the 1970’s.

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A BMW Classic Love Story

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Image Credit : K8 Car Photography

Make : BMW
Model : E24 M635csi
Year : 1980

Owner : Alaa al-Shami
Country : Lebanon

Each and every one of us has a true love in his life, love can be defined in many ways and can include a passion for cars, hobbies, brotherhood, family and that special someone.

Our love story goes back to many years before when Alaa had a beyond compare love story with his future Mrs. Alaa and another love affair that dominated his passion.

Out of his passion and love affair, Alaa couldn’t help but to spread his love on the most important things in his life.

He needed to be ready and absolutely be sure about the most important decision of his lifetime, “do I keep my love affair or do I pop the question of lifetime commitment with the person I love the most?”

Usually, a decision like that is easy, but what we didn’t tell you is that his love affair is with a classic BMW from 1980, so yes it is an important question.

So, Alaa waited till he was done with the BMW and decided to keep both relationships and got down on his knees on that snowy wintery morning to make a lifetime commitment.

Obviously, the future Mrs. Alaa couldn’t say no as she was getting the deal of her life, a gentleman with love above infinity and a classic car to stamp their love.

And that is how a love story like no other began and will continue to an ever after.

As for the Classic BMW, well it is a 1980 BMW E24 6 series M635 csi.

The BMW E24 is the first generation of BMW 6 Series grand tourer coupes and was produced from January 1976 to April 1989.  The BMW E24 6 series replaced the E9 coupes and the German manufacturer took a break for 16 years before bringing the E63 6 series back again in 2004.

The E24 was produced solely in a 2-door coupe body style which generated lots of interest among the bimmer lovers.

The M635CSi is the first of the BMW M6 model line and is the second true “M car” produced after the BMW M1.

The E24 M635CSi (called the M6 in North America and Japan) is considered the start of the M6 model line.

It has a 3.5L engine M90 engine generating 215 hp coped with a 304 Nm torque and reaches 222 Km/h

In 1980, the fuel-injection systems changed from Bosch L-jetronic to Bosch Motronic. And also The 635CSi central locking system could be operated from the passenger door and trunk, a new option at that time.

There’s no doubt, that this car is a true classic icon irrespective of its market value as it defined the “M” direction of the BMW and became one of the most desirable cars of the 1980’s era.

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1973 Rolls Royce Corniche, the blown up story from WWII

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Make : Rolls Royce
Model : Corniche
Year : 1973

Owner : Nostalgia Classic Cars
Country : United Arab Emirates

In 1939, Rolls Royce produced the first prototype car with the nameplate Corniche based on the Bentley Mark V. The car made it through the endurance testing in Continental Europe, however, the journey to England was not a success. The first Corniche was blown up while waiting at the dockside in World War II.

As for the name “The Corniche”, it is inspired by the French word “Corniche” which means a coastal road, especially along the face of a cliff, and mainly it is inspired by the luxury scenery of the Grande Corniche along the French Riviera above the principality of Monaco.

As for the history and how it started. Well, basically the Corniche is a Silver Shadow with two doors and that’s exactly how it started out. Back in 1965, the Silver Shadow replaced the aging Silver Cloud with what was then cutting-edge engineering.

In September 1967, a ‘proper’ convertible version was launched, with an electric roof.

Visually similar to the two-door saloon, the convertible had the advantage of frameless windows, giving a very elegant appearance with the roof stowed away. Apart from the obvious styling differences, under the skin, these two-door cars were pure Silver Shadow, so performance was much the same. However, after five years, they were heavily revised in March 1971 and relaunched simply as the Corniche both in Rolls and Bentley forms.

In February 1977, the Corniche was heavily revised again, with the most obvious changes being the split-level automatic air conditioning and the rubber-faced bumpers from the Shadow II/T2. Mechanically, the biggest improvement was the fitting of a rack and pinion steering replacing the old recirculating ball set up.

The Corniche was equipped with the standard Rolls-Royce V8 engine of 6.75 L Twin SU carburetors and was fitted with a three-speed automatic transmission (a Turbo Hydramatic 350 sourced from General Motors) and a four-wheel independent suspension with coil springs and four wheels disc brakes were specified, with ventilated discs added for 1972.

Corniche models received Bosch KE/K-Jetronic fuel injection in 1977. This engine, called the L410I, produced approximately 240 PS (177 kW) at just above 4,000 rpm for a top speed of 190 km/h.

Production totaled 1090 Rolls-Royce Corniche Saloons, 3239 Rolls-Royce Corniche Convertibles, 69 Bentley Corniche Saloons and 77 Bentley Corniche Convertibles.

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1987 PORSCHE 911 Turbo (930)

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Photos By K8 Car Photography

Make : Porsche
Model : 911 Turbo – 930
Year : 1987

Owner : Henri Azadian
Country : Lebanon
Member of : Porsche Club Lebanon

Owned by Henri Azadian since 2004 (Driven and cherished for +80,000 Km), this Porsche 911 Turbo (930) produced between 1978 and1989 has a 3.3 Liter – Flat 6 originally pumping 300hp pushing those 1300Kg for less than 95,000Km as mileage since it was bought back in 1987.

Underneath, the factory standard original look; many modifications and improvements were made, so this 930 can keep up with the most recent 911s.

– Stainless Steel Braided Brake Lines

– KEP/ Saks Lightweight Competition Clutch

– Heavy-duty Front Aluminum Strut Brace

– K&N High Flow Air Filter

– Turbo upgraded from 0.7 to 1.0 Bar Boost Spring

– Stainless Steel Free Flowing De-Catalyzed Exhaust

These modifications results in a faster revving engine thus giving this 930 more punch towards the rev limiter. (Horsepower: at least 350hp).

So what makes the Legend of the “Widow Maker”?

The Porsche 911 Turbo 930 is one of the first commercialized manufactured Turbocharged Sports car, the first production car with ventilated and drilled disk brakes (technology directly inherited from Le Mans 917 race cars winners).

In addition, this second generation Turbo 911 has a larger capacity engine of 3.3-liter, and added intercooler boosting the power to 300hp (the first 911 turbo had a 3.0 liter Flat 6 (260hp) 75-77).

It is called Widow Maker as its specification and setup turbo have enormous lag and would surprise the unwary drivers in a split second thus resulting in losing control of the car and crashing it most of the time.

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One day in 2004 I was visiting Porsche Center garage. I saw, lying in a dark corner a shadow of wide body 911. It reminded me of the Black Carrera I previously owned in the early nineties. I asked; who is the owner? The answer was: It’s for sale and the rest is history…

Henri Azadian

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1993 Ferrari 512TR, The Red Head

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Make : Ferrari
Model : 512 TR
Year : 1993

Owner : Nostalgia Classic Cars
Country : United Arab Emirates

Ferrari have always been the main player in the Super Car Market. The Italian manufacturer will never settle for 2nd place when it comes to super-fast and super luxury vehicles. In 1990, Lamborghini, the Italian bull, introduced the new Lamborghini Diablo, an evolution in the world of Super Cars. The Stallion reacted with a completely new vehicle considered to be the masterpiece of the 90’s Super Cars era, the Ferrari 512 TR.

The 512 TR was introduced at the 1992 Los Angeles Auto Show and was an evolution of the Testarossa. The 512TR was a whole new car, with a bigger engine, a new air intake system, an updated gearbox, four-wheel independent suspension with unequal length wishbones, coil springs, anti-roll bars, four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes, and a Bosch management system. The interior was upgraded as well to reflect more comfort and control for the driver’s cockpit, and the exterior was to die for.

What’s more significant is actually the name of this chef-d’oeuvre “512 TR”, which stands for 5-Liter engine capacity with a V12-Cylinder capable of producing 430 HP @ 6750 RPM and 490 Nm @ 5500 RPM reaching a top speed of 306 Km/h and an acceleration of 4.9 sec from 0-100 Km/h.

As for the TR, it is after all a Testarossa. The Testarossa name paid homage to the famous World Sports Car Champion, 1957 Ferrari 250 Testarossa sports racing car. Testarossa, which literally means “red head” in Italian, refers to the red-painted cam covers for the 12-cylinder engines.

Finally, the Ferrari’s 512 TR has proven to be an icon of the early 1990s, with distinct roots in the 50’s and 60’s Testarossa. However, its upgrades set it apart from its predecessor. The Ferrari 512 TR and M are considered to be the last normal production of the Ferrari flat-twelve mid-engine.

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1990 VS 2015 – The Classic Porsche Vs The Modern Porsche

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Make : Porsche
Model : 944 S2 Cabriolet
Year : 1990
Owner : Jean Pierre Kebbe
Country : Lebanon
President of : Porsche Club Lebanon

  • Inline 4-Cylinder
  • 3.0-Liter
  • 208-hp
  • 280 Nm
  • Front-Engined
  • Rear-Wheel Drive
  • 5-Speed Manual Transmission
  • 0 To 100 Km/h 6.9 Seconds
  • Top Speed 240 Km/h

Make : Porsche
Model : 911 Carrera 4S
Year : 2015
Owner : Jean Pierre Kebbe
Country : Lebanon
President of : Porsche Club Lebanon

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  • Flat 6 Cylinder H-6 (premium)
  • 3.8-Liter
  • 400-hp
  • 500 Nm
  • Rear-engined
  • All-Wheel Drive
  • 7-Speed Auto-Shift Transmission
  • 0 to 100 Km/h 3.6 Seconds
  • Top Speed 303 Km/h
  • Porsche Exclusive Sport Techno 2 Rims
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The Story

In the continuous battle of Old Vs New, here’s a story from someone who owns both.

Jean Pierre Kebbe, President of Porsche Club Lebanon and proud owner of 1990 944 S2 and 2015 911 Carrera 4S.

“The 944 was the first Porsche I owned back in the early 90s and I only had it for a short period of time, the impact that this vehicle engraved in my heart made me want to own it again. In 2015, I got my 911 Carrera 4S and as time passed by I wanted to own a classic Porsche as well, so my quest for that 944 began Black is the only color for me and finding a black 944 was not easy. There aren’t many of them around. Until eventually I found it in cabriolet trim as black as it can get. I had never thought I would actually buy a convertible 944 nevertheless once I started driving it I fell in love with it.

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As for the 911, it was a childhood dream and it was only a matter of time until I ordered the car in hopes of keeping it forever. It is such a pleasure and a rush driving this particular car, the way it revs, the continuous buildup of torque, the roars it makes; in a nutshell, it puts a huge smile on my face every time I drive it.

I chose the 4S model simply because it handles much better than RWD cars, it drives like a RWD with 100% torque to the back and flows traction to the front wheels on demand and when needed.

Black of course… cause other colors are not an option for me.”

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1984 Porsche Carrera A Classic Icon

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Photos By K8 Car Photography

Make : Porsche
Model : Carrera
Year : 1984

Owner : Georges Tcheroyan
Country : Lebanon
Member of : Porsche Club Lebanon

The Last Original Porsche Carrera Breed

In 1963, Porsche AG of Stuggart introduced the Original Porsche 911 (pronounced nine eleven, German: Neunelfer) as the famous, distinctive, and durable design we all know today.

The Porsche 911 was a luxury 2+2 sports car that created its reputation of being one of the most wanted sports cars throughout history.

Moving further into the history of the Porsche Carrera, we found out that Carrera is a Spanish word and stands for “race”. Porsche started using the name on the 356 series, to show homage to Carrera Panamericana, a border-to-border race held in Mexico from 1950 to 1954. The Carrera name has been added to many racing and race-ready models since 1955: the 356, 904, 906, 911 up to 1977 and the 924.

As for the car itself, it wasn’t until 1984 that Porsche decided to roll out a replacement for the extremely popular Model 911SC named 911 3.2 Carrera. Porsche decided to revive the Carrera name for the first time since 1977, Porsche’s marketing department started using the Carrera name for a basic model to boost sales.

The 911 3.2 Carrera featured new body styling with new brake, electronic and suspension technologies. The new model had a lot to prove, was it going to live up to its classic predecessor’s reputation?

The Model 911 3.2 Carrera was available in three basic models, the coupe, Targa and cabriolet. Porsche also produced 4 optional limited production versions. The first option was introduced in 1984 as the M491 which was called the ‘Supersport’ in the UK, and commonly referred to as the ‘Turbo-look’. The M491 option closely resembled the Model 930 Turbo with its exterior styling that included flared wheel arches and the classic rear spoiler. It also featured wider wheels, a stiffer suspension and the superior turbo braking system.

The 1984 Porsche Carrera 3.2 came equipped with a higher displacement and electronically controlled fuel and ignition, the engine capacity was raised to 3164cc by employing the 95mm bore from the previous SC model along with the 74.4mm stroke of the 1978 Turbo 3.3’s crankshaft.

The 3.2 Carrera was both faster and more fuel efficient. The American versions were pushing an impressive 207HP and the European market versions were pushing an even more impressive 231HP.

Continuing into production till 1989, the 911 3.2 Carrera remained basically unchanged during its 5-year production run with the exception of a new 5-speed gearbox, a hydraulically operated clutch and a thermostatically controlled fan to improve oil cooling, all implemented in 1987.

When all was said and done the model 911 3.2 Carrera did not disappoint. It not only lived up to the standards set by the model 911SC that it replaced, it exceeded all expectations. Now a much sought-after classic car for Porsche enthusiasts, the model 911 3.2 Carrera was the last version of the original 911 series. The model 911’s produced after 1989 all came with completely new exterior styling as well as new brake, suspension and electronic technology. You could say the 3.2 Carrera was a grand finale of sorts, but it was certainly not the end of the road for the 911.

ENJOY THE VIDEO BELOW:

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1993 Maserati Shamal, The Classic Wind

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Make : Maserati
Model : Shamal
Year : 1993

Owner : Nostalgia Classic Cars
Country : United Arab Emirates

The Italian manufacturer produced the Maserati Shamal (Tipo 339) from 1990 to 1996. The car was first introduced on 14 December 1989 in Modena by Maserati president and owner, Alejandro de Tomaso. The Italian vehicle was named as per the Maserati wind naming tradition: “Shamal” which is a well-known hot summer wind that blows in large areas of Mesopotamia.

The Shamal was the last Maserati vehicle produced under the reign of de Tomaso prior to Fiat acquisition in 1990. Maserati produced 369 units from Shamal by 1996.

The Maserati Shamal is a two-door coupe equipped with a twin-turbocharged V8 AM 479 3217cc engine coped with a manual 6-speed gearbox capable to reach a top speed of 270 Km/h and an acceleration of 0-100 km/h in 5.3 sec while producing 322 hp and 436 Nm of torque.

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The exterior of the Shamal was designed by Marcello Gandini. Gandini’s touch is clearly visible in the slanted profile of the rear wheel arch and the numerous headlamps in individual housings. The name “Shamal” appears on either side of the vehicle in chrome letters. The Shamal’s body is also equipped with a small rear spoiler and a blacked-out grille with chrome accents.

The Italian car has a two-seat interior that features extended leather seat cushions, temperature control, and the famous Maserati oval clock. The gear lever is finished in elm.

The adaptive suspension of the vehicle was custom built for comfort and road driving and was developed between Maserati and Koni using MacPherson struts upfront and semi-trailing arms at the rear.

The Shamal was a Maserati built for comfort, as well as performance.

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1952 Land Rover Defender Minerva

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Make : Land Rover
Model : Defender Minerva
Year : 1952

Owner : Nostalgia Classic Cars
Country : United Arab Emirates

Winner of Custom 4×4 Award at the 8th Emirates Classic Car Festival

After World War II, several countries started developing their military fleet, and with the rise of the automobile industry in the US, Land Rover found itself competing with Jeep to dominate the military vehicle segment.

The first prototype of Land Rover was built up over the summer of 1947 and had been completed by mid-October of that year. It was built on the chassis of a war surplus Jeep and had a 1389cc four-cylinder petrol engine from the contemporary Rover 10hp saloon car.

In 1952, Land Rover made its reputation in building military vehicle, thus LR was approached by Minerva, a Belgium automobile production company, to build military vehicles with custom specifications needed for the Belgium army. Land Rover was competing with Jeep for that contract and eventually was won by the British automaker. Both 80” and 86” models were made until production ended in 1956. Most were for military use, and very few were built for civilian use.

This specific 1952 Land Rover Defender Minerva is still almost at factory conditions and comes with left-hand drive specifications. The 2-door soft-top body type light weight military vehicle weighs in at almost 1820 kg and is a 4×4 part-time drive with rear permanent drive and front engaged manually in off-road conditions, it comes equipped with a 1997 cc engine displacement and capable of producing 52 hp and 137 Nm of Torque.

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1961 Mercedes Benz 190b

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Make : Mercedes Benz
Model : 190b
Year : 1961

Owner : Farouk el Khalil
Country : Lebanon

Last GENERATION of the Ponton Style

When any auto connoisseurs talks about collectible vehicles, he cannot but refer to Mercedes Benz as the most reliable and most luxurious vehicles ever produced.

Collectors of classic cars tend to collect several brands; however, Mercedes Classics are probably among the dearest to their hearts.

For this issue of Arab Tuning Magazine, we chose a very special vehicle, the 1961 Mercedes Benz 190b, and we decided that the story of this vehicle in specific can not be told by anyone other than its owner, Mr. Farouk El Khalil.

The 1961 Mercedes Benz 190b car belongs to the Ponton family of Daimler-Benz, the first totally new series of passenger vehicles produced after the Second World War. Before the war, Mercedes Benz produced the Type 170,
which was later on replaced by the Ponton family, in July 1953. The Mercedes Ponton was produced up until the year 1961, and in 1962, very fewer units were produced.

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The nickname Ponton comes from the German word for “pontoon” and refers to pontoon fenders; the term ponton-styling derived from the wartime practice in Germany which means adding full-length tread armor along each side of a tank.

The suffix “b” indicates the type of car variant; four types of Ponton cars were produced: the “D” designates a diesel engine, and the “b” and “c” are body variants introduced after mid 1959.

The Four-cylinder Sedans were produced as follows:

• 1953–1962 (Type W120) — 180, 180a, 180b, 180c, 180D, 180Db, 180Dc

• 1956–1961 (Type W121) — 190, 190b, 190d, 190Db

According to Farouk, the Mercedes Benz 190b, being a very economical 4-cylinder vehicle, is very safe, durable, and comfortable, and it has long-lasting mechanics, which is why it acquired rapid popularity in Lebanon, making it one of the most popular cars of that era. Today, it has gained its reputation as a taxi car, but back in the day, it was considered a luxury, middle-class vehicle.

There are only a few of these cars left and some of it are accredited to have covered more than a million Km!

“I bought this car in 1997 from its first and original German owner Hildegard Knod. Funny enough, we were both born in the same year and shared the same passion for this car.

Having run just under 16,000 Km, this Mercedes was a rare thing to find with such a low mileage, so I went for it. Everything in the car was and still is in its original and perfect condition. Minor maintenance work had to be done, common with its age, in order to it to bring it to show condition. It performs amazingly well”, says Farouk

“Since I’ve had the car, it has participated in many car exhibitions and starred in 2 films in Lebanon, “Taxi” and “Marcedes”. The last one talks about the history of this car in Lebanon, from a car’s point of view.”

“I love the smoothness and soft ride of this car. To me, it brings back great memories since I first learned how to drive on a similar car owned by my brother back in those days.”

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1976 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow

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Photos By Nabil Moustafa

Make : Rolls Royce
Model : Silver Shadow
Year : 1976