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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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Classic Cars

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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Classic Cars

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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Muscle Cars

1980 Trans AM Turbo

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Photos By K8 Car Photography

Make : General Motors Pontiac
Model : Trans AM Turbo
Year : 1980

Owner : Seif Al Ghali
Country : Lebanon
Member of : Al Mafia Muscle Cars Club

The Trans Am that started America’s first production turbocharged V-8

The Trans AM Turbo is part of the 2nd Generation Pontiac Firebird produced from 1970 till 1981. The 1980 Trans AM Turbo marks a milestone in the history of General Motors’ Pontiac Division as it is the first ever produced American V8 Turbocharged engine.

Back in the day, with the new regulations on emissions and fuel consumption in the mid-70s, it seems that the Pontiac engineers didn’t get that memo and decided to opt for a performance engine. They took the emissions-friendly, low-deck, low-performance 301 and crafted an entirely bespoke turbocharger system for it.

This resulted in an outstanding engine at the time and created a paradox between the new US regulations, fuel crisis and the early 80’s inflation however a Trans AM needs to be a Trans AM thus the 1980 Pontiac Trans AM Turbocharged was born.

The particularity of the 1980 Trans AM Turbo comes from the hood design with integrated Turbo indicator.

Afterwards in 1981 and beyond, the Trans AM had a new meaning, with a new chassis, new design and new engine trims.

Seif’s 1980 turbocharged Trans Am comes with all original interior and loaded with options for that period of time including A/C, power windows.

Specifications

  • Top Speed: 224 Km/h
  • 0-100 Km/h: 8.2 sec
  • Power: 213 bhp & 469 Nm @ 2000 rpm
  • Displacement: 4.9 L
  • Weight: 1596 Kg
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Classic Cars Feature Coverage Videos

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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Classic Cars

1972 Alfa Romeo Spider, A True Italian Heritage

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Photos By K8 Car Photography

Make : Alfa Romeo
Model : Spider
Year : 1972

Owner : Kareem El-Khalil
Country : Lebanon

Starting any Italian cars’ conversation will definitely bring on the table the famous brands from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Fiat and others; however for those people seeking an exceptional sensation, an exceptional Italian fever there could be only one car “Alfa Romeo”. For this Classic Cars selection, we chose the 1972 Alfa Romeo Spider owned by Kareem El Khalil.

The Alfa Romeo Spider (105/115 series) is a roadster produced by the Italian manufacturer Alfa Romeo from 1966 to 1993. The Spider remained in production for almost 30 years with only minor design and mechanical changes. The famous Italian firm of “Pininfarina” which designed many of Ferrari’s models was responsible for the design, manufacturing of the body, as well as the final assembly of the Spider for the first three series. The first Spider (Series 1) was from 1966 – 1969, and (Series 2) from 1970-1982/83, and the third (Series 3) went from 1982/83-1989/90, the fourth series was manufactured in San Giorgio Canavese.

In April 1993, the last Spider was produced and it was the last rear wheel drive manufactured by Alfa Romeo until its recent launch of the magnificent Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione in 2007.

The Alfa Romeo Spider is the successor of the Alfa that appeared in the famous movie “The Graduate” starring “Dustin Hoffman” (1967) which gave the Spider a favorable recognition push worldwide.

This 1972 legend was a stunning renovation during its era due to the outstanding futuristic bullet design, added to the comfort, agility and speed, and was amongst the few cars that enjoyed 5-speed fully synchronized manual gears. This specific car was a special export edition fitted with a full width extra seat in the back, a rare feature and sight even nowadays.

Kareem takes pride in his masterpiece and he did not only oversee to the ground up restoration of this magnificent 70’s treasure, but also did enjoy participating in various classic car races with the company of his wife, Dima, and has a few cups to witness their achievements.

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ENJOY THE VIDEO BELOW:

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Muscle Cars

1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1

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Make : Ford
Model : Mustang Mach I
Year : 1969

Owner : Bassam Salman
Country : Lebanon

Let’s start with the basic, “Ford” a well-known American Auto Maker, add to it the word “Mustang” and you just stepped to a whole new level, now The term ‘Mach 1‘which is a scientific term used to describe the speed of sound. Now try to combine “Ford” “Mustang” “Mach1” and you will get an American muscle car with performance beyond compare from back in 1969. During that era, Mustang buyers had a lot to choose. Starting with the regular base Mustang, GT version, Mach package, GT350 Shelby car, GT500 also Shelby, Boss 302 all the way up to the Boss 429. In this case we are looking at 69 Mach 1.

The Ford Mustang 1969 production reach 299,824 units out of which 72,458 were Mach 1.

As for the ‘thing’ under the hood, there are several options for the 1969 Mustang: 351 cu in (5.8 L) Windsor-tall deck V8, 351 cu in (5.8 L) Cleveland Ford 335 engine V8, 390 cu in (6.4 L) V8 and 428 cu in (7.0 L) CJ/SCJ V8.

The 428 cubic inch Cobra Jet engine is very similar to the Police Interceptor 428. The combination of the Super Cobra Jet pack and the style of the Mach 1 really end up to an unbelievable car.

As for our engine, this Mach I is powered by a 351 ci 4V V-8 producing 290 hp with a 3 speeds automatic transmission special police interceptor.

Color is grabber blue, not the standard paint color for the 1969; it was created especially for police vehicle however it was added to the 1970 production.

The Mach1 replace the GT as the premier performance Mustang, it was based on the Sports Roof and came with a long list of features. The hood was painted flat black along with a similarly nonfunctional hood scoop, reflective side and rear stripes were coordinated to complement the body color. Adding to the racer image were the NASCAR hood pin latches, a deletable option Chrome styled steel wheels and a chrome pop-open gas cap among others.

The Mach I package was again released in 2003-2004 on the new style Ford Mustang after it went out of production back in 1978, the Mach I remains an icon of performance look upgrades for the all-powerful Ford Mustang.

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Some muscle cars are all about speed, others are all about style. This 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 has both.

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Classic Cars

1972 MGB MARK III, The World’s Best-Loved Classic Car

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Make : MGB
Model : Mark III
Year : 1972

Owner : Farouk El Khalil
Country : Lebanon

The MGB is a two-door sports car manufactured and marketed by the British Motor Corporation (BMC), later British Leyland, as a four-cylinder, soft-top roadster from 1962 until 1980.

The MGB was regarded as one of the most popular British sports cars and if you’re looking for a weekend toy, this would be the perfect choice. During the car’s long production life (1962-1980), over half a million MGBs rolled out of Abingdon’s factory gates.

For the first time on an MG roadster, the body shell was an immensely strong monocoque, very effectively styled by MG’s Don Hayter, with assistance from Pininfarina. It was also a great success in the US and Europe, where its mechanical simplicity, good looks, low price and honest charm were seen as assets. The only change our MGB underwent is the yellow color from its original orange color, plus brighter headlights.

The car is really sweet to drive and a head turner as not many MGB cars exist in Lebanon.

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