Classic cars stand out of the crowd of lookalike modern cars, and will guarantee you plenty of attention and conversation from bystanders.
Ugandans have lately embraced the love for vintage cars and this was witnessed by the numbers that turned up for the CBA vintage auto show held on August 28, at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel Gardens. Among the participants was Hajj Wazir Kakooza who was above ordinary. With a fleet of more than 10 cars, Hajj Kakooza has made vintage cars part of him and a hobby. He says that he has participated and competed in several Auto and Vintage shows in Uganda and concours d’elegance in Kenya. He boasts of winning countless prizes and certificates and was also excited to be part of the event that attracted a cash prize of Shs10 m, courtesy of CBA bank. He shared with us the bits and pieces of one of his cars; the “Jaguar” whose first registration in Uganda was in 1967 and is believed to have been a version of 1960.
Acquiring the car
“I got my now maroon and black car as it was on its way to a destruction centre or preferably a scrap area,” Hajj Kakooza shares. Because of his passion for vintage and classic cars, he inquired about the car’s destination. “They told me it was heading to the scrap yard,” he adds. On asking about its price, he was told to pay Shs10M. Despite that being so high a price for a reject, he paid knowing that he would improve its look, making it eye catching.
Hajj Kakooza says that with a body so dented, his first step was to take the car for re-molding to give it a well sprayed body with colors of his choice. Thereafter, he bought a new engine which he says was a complete set with the gear box. He chose to go for a Toyota engine whose parts were easily accessible seeing that most had been built abroad.
While the “Jaguar” initially had a 2.8L Ford engine manufactured in the USA and its speed was 240Km/hr, Hajj Kakooza decided to buy an EK 17 Toyota Town ace engine whose consumption is 1.5L with a speed of only 160Km/hr. That was because his target was not a high speed car but something cost effective yet easy to maintain. He says that these adjustments have worked well for him.
Exterior and Spare parts.
To the engine, he added new engine mountings, fiber, radiator, and bumpers because the old ones were beyond repair. However, for parts such as head lamps, Indicators, reverse lights, he bought online from California and they were later shipped.
He also mentions that the car has got relatively big tyres to ensure stability on the road hence enhancing safety of the car.
The interior was initially assembled in Turkey and was devoid of a radio. Hajj Kakooza kept it that way, more so because it is open roof. He loves his car because it has very comfortable with adjustable seats that make a journey memorable.
“I worked with many mechanics and successfully got the car back to the road”, Hajj Kakooza says triumphantly, “But the most beautiful part of the journey are the lessons learned.”
For one that has invested love and time, it is hard to believe that Hajj Kakooza can easily part with his cars. However, he says that he can happily give it away, to a serious buyer at $20,000 (Shs74M). When all us said and done, the price says a lot about the value he attaches to these vehicles.
Hajji Kakooza is working hard to win more and to participate in other vintage shows. He is also doing some more restorations on his cars. He had a total of three cars at the car show including an American made Panther Kallista and a Corona Mark II model 1980. He has many vintage cars and he mainly uses them for wedding ceremonies.