American Classics in Istanbul…
The first time it happened, I was completely blown away…
One day I was walking up a small cobblestone road adjacent to the Grand Bazaar, just up from the Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi Coffee store, when behind me I heard a rumbling, coughing, carbon-belching engine coming up the road.
I knew without looking that it had no place in the audio landscape of Turkey. It was the sound of home. A sound alone that transported you to a driveway with a smoky grill and a cooler full of beer, the smell of WD-40 and cigarettes in the air. Some classic rock station would be on the air.
It was the sound of an American Hot Rod, its header driven exhaust rumbling off of the walls of the compact street lined with centuries old buildings.
I resisted turning around right away because I wanted to guess what it was before I did – though to no avail I couldn’t guess and I finally gave in and turned around.
I was amazed to see a lowered, rodded-out 1966 Mustang coming up the street. I stopped and watched as it crept up the road and past me. The owner and his occupant smiled as they passed me. It was a smile that is all too well known by car enthusiasts – that smile that says, “Yes – I know what I have – and yes – you can stand there and drool…”
It was too cool. I just couldn’t believe my eyes…
Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera with me – and the only picture I could find that most closely resembles the car is this one below.
It was a trill to me to see such fans of American hot rods in Turkey. It opened my eyes to the possibility that there may be more. I readied my camera and kept on the lookout for more. And I found a couple of classics – which are pictured below.
And of course – Mopar had to be represented! Aside from the occupants not being thrilled about being photographed – an impeccable example of restoration and a true beauty.
I’ll keep my eyes open and my camera ready for more.