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Mike999

Strangers in a Strange Land

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Some pix of old American cars in Egypt. I worked there from 2005-09.  Most of these cars are not only still running, they are used as taxis every day driving people between villages in the Nile Delta.  Sorry about the quality, I took most of these from a moving car.  I have hundreds of these, may post a few at a time...

 

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I like your photos. This reminds me of some of the photos from Cuba. Since Egypt and the US seem to have trade agreements the people of Egypt would be able to get more parts as needed to keep these old cars running.     

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The '55 Chev wagon is cool. The side trim looks like someone made it at home to match pictures in a catalog, or something. 

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Thanks for the comments! 

Many of those cars are running with Russian truck engines, or parts of them. Every village still has a blacksmith who can modify GAZ or URAL engine parts into...well, whatever you need.  Those guys are amazing.  We occasionally hired them to weld pieces, or make brackets etc.  Sometimes they didn't speak English and we didn't speak Arabic.  Didn't matter.  A rough sketch and some pointing/gesturing would get the job done.

Not sure about trade agreements, but getting car parts into Egypt thru the regular Customs process is horribly expensive.  One of our drivers had a Ford Escape.  We used to bring parts for him in our luggage, just to avoid the shipping hassles.  As I understand it, Egypt forbids the export of old cars like those. Which probably doesn't matter. An Egyptian friend of mine told me he had been trying for a couple of years to buy a '55 Chevy from a farmer. He wouldn't sell it for any price. 

Edited by Mike999
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And they keep them running with the most basic tools, in many cases. I remember reading an article about a mechanic in Iraq, and he had a Ford product in his shop (which was basically a car port) that needed a radiator. Ford and Chrysler components are hard to come by in Iraq, but GM stuff is more common, so a lot of the time it's finding something that's close and making it work. This guy talked about repairing radiators with battery acid and old wire brushes and all kinds of crazy stuff. I kept thinking "put this guy in a fully-stocked service bay at a dealer and he could probably build his own vehicle"! I don't recall exactly what radiator he used for the customer's vehicle, but he got the job done. I have to say, reading about what some people have to put up with to do what would be a simple afternoon repair here makes my missing 10mm socket or one-day wait on a replacement part seem trivial. 

Edited by Chuck Most

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Awesome. I'm glad to see those cars being used, like they should be, making people's lives better. And I'm actually surprised to see things like '56 Fords and '55 Chevys. Makes me wonder how many still survive over there!

Last year I watched a short video about the Royal Enfield motorcycle and the repair shops in India...guys welding in bare feet, squatting on dirt floors...able to fix absolutely anything. And then some stunning shots of a pinstriper knocking out perfect double stripes around the perimeter of a freshly painted ellipsoid gas tank. Amazing work.

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Great photos. I love the grille on the '65 Ford!  I remember someone posted on a board photos of taxis in Syria.  Same kind of battered US cars.

I lived in Turkey from 1966-68 and there were old US cars everywhere, a lot of them used as taxis.  And some of those were stretched to add an additional row of seats. It wasn't unusual to see a car that was the front half of a Ford and the back half of a Dodge.

 I have a friend there now and Turkey has become a modern Euroasian country with modern vehicles so those old US relics are all gone now.  

We had brought a new 1966 Pontiac Lemans 2 door hardtop (326 4 speed) to Turkey and while there it was damaged. The entire nose was pushed in when my father had to run a highway robber roadblock.  The car went to the Turkish body shops and they spent a few months massaging it back. They had no new parts, so they'd bend and beat the panels back to their original shape.  When we got the car back the bodywork was perfect, although the car was missing a few emblems.  They also made a new grille out of brass.

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Here now I thought it was gonna be pics of Iron Maiden!!!! LOL, kool pics though... Lot of nice iron still around over there!!!!!

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Great pictures, thanks was a blast to look at.  Maybe every now and then you could post more pictures, I am sure others like myself would like to see more.

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