Sharjah Vintage Classic Cars Museum – a Photo Essay
Sharjah Vintage Classic Cars Museum is a MUST VISIT if you are an automobile pundit! The variety of classic cars of early 20th century displayed here is mind blowing. They have car models from as early as 1917. In addition to those they have motor bikes and bicycles too. Display area of the museum is huge, a little bit of planning will help cover the museum displays in a very organized manner. You can cover the museum in half an hour but for true car lovers even 3 hours may seem less.
History of the Classic Cars Museum
The museum is a recent one. It doesn’t really have a long story behind its origin. Classic Cars Museum was first opened in 2008, but for some reason went into oblivion and then reopened with a bang in 2013. Today it has turned out to be one of the best resources of information on cars ruling the roads during the years 1917 to 1960. Classic cars here symbolize the very best of design and engineering of their time. Development of automobile technology over the years has been well showcased here. The museum is sought after by school groups, families and tourists. Models displayed here rekindle the memories of seniors having driven them and also build a passion in young minds to design new automobile.
People can have the Model T in any color so long as it’s BLACK. – Henry Ford
It is always better to do a thing the second time. – Henry Ford
Classic Cars Collection
Stepping in to the huge hall of cars we saw the museum is divided into 5 sections. There are 85 cars in all. Plan well how to tour so that you can cover it fruitfully in case of crunch of time. You can tour through 4 of them first which primarily showcases the development of cars and the automobile industry. Finally tour the 5th one which is dedicated to displaying special cars on loan from the public. They have segregated an area specifically for activities and interactive games where children can happily indulge. You will find a replica of an old emirates petrol station too.
First section – displays cars manufactured in the years 1915-1939. To name some: the model T Ford, Rolls Royce 25/30, and Fiat.
Second section – includes cars manufactured between 1940-1959. You can see models of the Cadillac Fleetwood and Stood Baker Wood, Riley RM, Bentley Mark VI, and Chevrolet Bel Air.
Third section – features cars manufactured between 1960-1987. Several important cars are on display in this section. To name some: Mercedes Bolman, the car of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, as well as a Ford Mustang, a MG Midget, and a Volkswagen Beetle.
Fourth section – features big vehicles and cars used in the UAE. They are the Jeep Land Rover, Nissan Patrol, Renault Van, and Chevrolet Tanker Truck.
Hood Ornaments of Vintage Cars
I love cars and vintage cars even more. I drive for regular use, I have test driven some new launches by TATA Motors India like the Tata Tigor and Tata Hexa, but I have never driven a vintage car. It is a dream to do so some day. What interests me more while photographing these beauties are their hood ornaments. It is a pity that new cars have done away with hood ornaments. More attention is paid to interiors, the seating, air conditioning, storage boxes and other practical stuffs. Only the extreme high end ones roll out with one.
Manufacturers of early 20th century cars in a bid to cover up the radiator caps dressed them up with winged beauties, sleek beasts, and mythical figures. 2 factors contributed to their disappearance; one being the safety of pedestrians and other the fear of theft. Customers hardly care, as they will have to shell out extra for the ornament. All we have now are the old models and their photographs.
Jaguar Mark VIII Sedan
The hood ornament became factory-installed on the Mark VIII sedan in the 1950s and continued to appear on many Jaguar vehicles like the 240, S-Type, and X-Type up until the 2009 Jaguar XJ. Throughout the years the leaper was featured as a hood ornament, it evolved to be left-facing as standard and positioned in mid-leap rather than in a crouch.
The Spirit of Ecstasy is certainly the most attractive and probably the best known motor car mascot in the world. Designed by Charles Robinson Sykes, she has adorned the radiators of Rolls-Royce motor cars since 1911 and concealed a hidden passion. This marvelous mascot was modeled after a woman who had bewitching beauty, intellect and esprit – but not the social status which might have permitted her to marry the man with whom she had fallen in love.
Pontiac Torpedo 1942 USA
Pontiac, the car brand, was named after Pontiac, a badass war chief of the Ottawa people in the 1700s. Conveniently, the city the cars were manufactured in was named after him too: Pontiac, Michigan. The cars featured hood ornaments of Chief Pontiac, and this model’s clear yellow bakelite looks stunning. The cracks from age makes it priceless.
Here is my haul of hood ornaments of vintage cars from Sharjah Classic Cars Museum.
Entry Fees to Classic Cars Museum:
Children (under 2 years): Free
Children (2-12years): 5 AED
Adults (13+ years): 10 AED
Opening Hours of Classic Cars Museum:
Saturday to Thursday: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Friday: 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM
I was in Sharjah in the month of February 2017 on invite from Sharjah Tourism to witness Sharjah Light Festival. This visit to the Classic Cars Museum is courtesy Sharjah Tourism. My sincere thanks to them.