On its first edition, the Auto-Car Show made an entry; bringing uniqueness in showcasing, while harnessing the culture of appreciating automobiles.
Hosted by the Gahanga Stadium Parking space, in Nyamata District, the event introduces another brick onto Rwanda’s social scene. The appreciation, through the exhibition of cars, is nearly new, and an odd culture among Rwandans that a lot ought to be done to boost it.
The time is 2:30 pm, a Saturday when I make it, into the venue. For an event of its kind, it is nearly empty of revelers. A cricket match is ongoing, which then holds a mild audience too. These are stationed under the tree shades, in the escape of the scorching sun. It is the music, by a Deejay which signals anyone of the ongoing car exhibition, while the few drinks and eatery stalls too crave for passers-by. In reflection of the day’s theme, of the Car exhibition, indeed cars are paraded, with a few modern ones on the left, old ones on the right, and some motorcycles. One thing, that raises my interest is the vintage car section, which from the look of it all sparks an urge for learning more.
Although the local events scene has before witnessed the Shyuha Car Show, a similar event that made an entry in 2018, for only two editions, Auto Car Show comes with a twist to it which is the showcasing of Vintage Cars and Modern Cars, alongside the incorporation of motorcycles too.
Among the Vintage section is the 1978 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40, which from the outside can easily hide its age of build. Republished, first with the visible maroon paint, the vehicle possessing a Petrol Vacuum engine system acquired seventeen years ago by Frank Rukambura, 68 is unbelievably still in good shape, “This is a historical car,” he boasts,
“My trip to a garage in America specializing in this type of car revealed how its current price in USD60,000,”-Frank Rukambura
Still running, without breakdown, the owner of this four-seater says he is still upgrading it,
though with a vintage touch so as not to lose its original feel and look
The 1940s four-wheel Range Rover, of British origin, sparks one’s early years during the realization and fantasies of cars. The cream-colored vehicle, which hasn’t changed, apart from the tires which are replaced carries its vintage tagline right through its sticker, rims, mirrors, front and rare lights, which are still intact.
Kassim, who is a Tour Guide and a Vintage Car collector presents a 1972 Volkswagen Camper Van, which he acquired in 2019, “Classic Car sight, and collection is a culture, and therapy for me,” he states.
Possessing an adjustable Sitting space, the Two-wheel Petrol engine van, formerly an Air-cooler and now an Air-cooler has a Gas cooking space, sink, and a bed space on top.
It used to belong to a Pastor in Butare, who years ago had also received it as a gift from American evangelists,” he states, “It was completely down, with some of its parts stolenKassim, who is a Tour Guide and a Vintage Car collector presents a 1972 Volkswagen Camper
With its value over Euros 26,000 (RFW37,491,853), information he learned of from a German car dealer, he further hoped to own it one day, “I grew up watching this type of car, with mostly Burundian number plates, since most vehicles were owned by travelers from there,” he recalls.
Although he had tracked a similar one in Burundi, he wasn’t able to acquire it too, and had nearly given up on it, and instead looked out for the Volkswagen Beatles, until he received a call in 2019, to which he drove to Butare and bought it at RFW4,000,000 (USD4,000). Kassim is eying Kenya, to take part in upcoming vintage Car shows.
Also, outstanding, that lured many was the Harley Davidson Three-wheeler. Holding a laid-back leather seat, glossing Aluminum designed wheels, and a loud engine, which roars, leaving no one settled, for the attention it attracts. The tricycle, which cruises at a low altitude compared to normal cars creates a sporty feel for any seer.
Challenge in Sponsorship
With the event to have attracted 150 exhibitors, the organizers’ effort to attain sponsorship didn’t pay off as expected, “We had consulted Car Sales companies, who didn’t comply, but I think it is mainly because this is still a new concept,” states Fred Ceaser Mwerekande, one of the event’s organizers.
Lee Peterson, the President of Silverback Motorcycle Club in Rwanda states that vintage Cars and Motorcyclists and events like these can be a greater way of tourism promotion, and