Video: The heritage of Pakistan, the cars of Fatima Jinnah, come back to life.
Karachi: After a strenuous journey of 25 years today, Fatima Jinnah’s 1955 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible and 1966 Mercedes 200 have finally been restored preserving the heritage of Pakistan for generations to come.
In 1997, owing to his love for vintage cars, Mohsin Ikram, the founder of the Vintage and Classic Car Club of Pakistan, discovered these cars at Mohatta Palace and took it upon himself to restore them to their original condition, “When we entered the Palace the Mercedes was right in the front on the porch in a decent condition. There was a garage which had a rusty lock on it. When we lifted the shutters of the garage we saw a beautiful Golden color Cadillac standing inside.”
To Mohsin’s surprise, the cars’ condition was such that not much had to be done before the cars could be put on the road to preservation, “The tires were punctured. The rest was all fine. The seats were also fine, we cleaned them, they had dust webs on it. We opened the bonnet, the engine even had original factory stickers on it. This car was driven for around 10-12,000 miles only.”
But things didn’t sail as smooth as Moshin thought they would . Not receiving the attention it deserved, the cars of Fatima Jinnah were put out on the streets to be used as a place to eat by the labors working on the renovation of Mohatta Palace, “The contractors didn’t pay heed to the fact that this car was of Mother of the Nation Fatima Jinnah. It was one of her favorite cars in which she used to travel often. They broke the garage and put the car outside in which the labors used to sit and eat and whoever saw it stole whatever they wanted. Rims disappeared, tires, wheel caps, clock, radio, lights and many other things. In 1997, somebody met me roadside and said, have you seen Fatima Jinnah’s cars?” I said, “Yes” He said I have stolen the clock from its dashboard.”
For a good 20-25 years, despite constant letters to the authorities and a petition filed in the High Court for the restoration of the cars nothing happened until one day when Mohsin received a call from the High Court, “I got a call from High Court saying that we want to make a two-member bench can these cars be restored because according to our information these cars cannot be restored. I told them that because it is our heritage, these cars should be made at any cost.”
The cars took 1.5 years to complete.
Today, Mohsin proudly looks at these cars emphasizing the importance of the restoration of these cars, “A heritage is saved and God willingly, until there is Pakistan which is going to be there till the end of the world, till then these cars are going to be maintained.”