How did you get into cars?
Since I was a young boy I’ve been fascinated with anything on wheels, be it a car, motorbike, bus or an aircraft. I’ve been collecting small die-cast cars and bikes since childhood and this made me more passionate about these beautiful machines.
I’ve been to many places around the world and love spotting different cars.
The UAE is a great place to indulge in your passion...
Yes, there are a variety of cars here, almost everything under the sun. Unfortunately, in my career in the airline industry, there have not been any cars involved, only aircraft. But, I always knew cars would play a major role in my life.
I am quite a motorbike fan but in Dubai, I prefer having a car because of the scorching heat.
You’re always at car shows catching the latest models, right?
That’s right. It helps me to meet like-minded people who share this interest in cars and
I get to learn more too.
My favourite types are American muscle cars. I love them loud and powerful. These noisy monsters always send chills down my spine. My favourites are the 1969 Camaro, 1968 Dodge Charger, 1965 and 1970 Pontiac GTO (The Judge) to name a few.
Your first car was a fourth-generation Camaro. Tell us about it...
I bought that 1995 model back in 2006. It had a 3.4-litre V6 and was a seaweed-green colour and I loved it. It really got me into American cars.
I customised it by adding a Dodge Viper kit, Sony Explode Sound system, Neon Street Glow underkit lights and 20in wheels.
I used this car for more than a year and then purchased a 2005 Nissan Altima. It was stock but I soon began customising it. I painted it Candy Orange and stuck 22in rims on it...
And it won an award, didn’t it?
Yes, it bagged me second place at the Barbican Turbo Show in Abu Dhabi in 2007. I had these cars for two years and then sold them to buy my 2009 Dodge Charger SRT8. My friend from the US helped me import it here.
I remember the first time I took this car for a ride with my wife — we fell in love with it there and then. My first choice was a 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS, but my wife wanted a saloon as she was pregnant and needed something with more space.
The Charger was the perfect compromise, what with four doors and a 6.1-litre V8 under the bonnet.
You weren’t content and began tweaking it...
It was great the way it was but I wanted more out of it. So I ordered a few parts from Mopar US and got them fitted from the authorised dealers here.
These parts included the Mopar air filter and the Mopar Stage Two Exhaust system. Now it makes a lovely roar when I turn the key.
It really turns heads when I drive it. I have other plans such as making it look meaner than the new model by adding a widebody kit and painting it a different colour and getting new wheels.
I may also install a Procharger supercharger kit and Halo Demon headlights.
What do you like best about your car?
Its muscular growl. And, I love it when people are checking it out and I hit the auto-start button on the key fob. It scares them.
Driving a powerful V8 is a lot of fun and I love going on long drives in my car. Its performance is just amazing.
On the dyno, it showed over 400bhp which I am very happy with. But, I’d love it to be closer to 600bhp. Some day it will be.
It gets my vote, but do your family and friends approve of it?
My wife loves the car but my parents, my brother and my sister are literally terrified of it. I don’t take a lot of friends out in my car, I use my dad’s Durango instead, as they don’t value my car as much as I do. To others it’s just a mode of transport and it doesn’t mean anything more than that.
I get very attached to all my cars and I’m fuming if anyone bangs the door or even touches anything inside without asking me. I’ve made my friends walk home because they banged my door even after I had warned them to be gentle with it.
I get really sad when I see little scratches on my cars and I run to the dealers to get them removed.
Dodges run in the family it seems...
They do — right now we own a Durango and my Charger SRT8. My dad and I love our Dodges but I would love to have an AMS-tuned Skyline GT-R, a 2012 Camaro modified by Pro Street Customs and a classic such as 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air or a 1957 Nomad.
But before that I would like to give my wife a little Alfa Romeo Spider and my father-in-law his favourite car — a Fiat 500C turbo. He loves those. After fulfilling their car dreams, I will start buying my favourite rides.
What do you do when you come across other Charger SRT8 owners?
Well, there was this one time when I was heading back from Abu Dhabi with my wife when I saw a yellow Charger SRT8. I caught up to it and gave the driver a thumbs up. He did the same to me and we both revved our engines. Anyone who owns one of these monsters will know how great a feeling it is to be in control of a 6.1-litre Hemi.
How long do you plan on keeping it?
I would love to keep it forever but I now need a bigger family car as I’ve just become a father, so a 4X4 is next on the list.