We’ve decided to pair up and collaborate with one of our most appreciated knowledge sources when it comes to the automotive industry. Through this series, we aim to cover aspects of car influences in the region from rare exotics to classic modern vehicles to diplomatic characterised cars touching up on their transcendence from old times to today’s favourites.
Bedford is an English manufactured time-capsule truck, which is rarely ever seen on the roads among our high-rise towers and six-lane speedways but rather seen hidden in a shed only for the owner’s eyes to see. This metal originated from Vauxhall Motors, which later collaborated with General Motors in the early 1900s and made its way to the Arab soil circa 1950 with the rise of oil. Their use incorporated the transportation of oil in the region as well as use on homegrown farms.
The Land Rover Defender is the more common vintage vehicle spotted on roads today, ranging from the four-door vehicle to the two-door. In the old days, the grandfathers of the nation used this vehicle by the sea, on the farms and in the deserts. With a dash of vintage and a whole lot of rugged, the Defender is one of the most gruelling cars to drive in the last 60 years. It made its debut in World War 2 and has since been the true definition of a moving piece of stubborn metal. The stereotypical image of the usual beige machinery is a Bedouin man driving along a barely paved track with the smell of diesel trailing behind – and that is the epitome of the Defender circa 1980.
Many have seen this truck and it’s enlarged sister at the Rainbow Sheikh’s Museum from Jeremy Clarkson himself to the many motoring enthusiasts in the search for exceptional metal. The story behind the Dodge Powerwagon stems back to the early 1950s, originally imported by Aramco in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, where they were used for oil transportation across the mighty dunes of the Arabian deserts. With the rise of economy in the region including the boom of Abu Dhabi within the oil industry circa 1970, the concept of driving a truck of this sort on the dirt roads of the Arabian Peninsula was common. If ever you were to question the ruler of the stream of American trucks, the Powerwagon falls under the title of superior, proving to be colossal, contributing to the vast development of trucks in today’s day and age.
The vehicle that resides most in the hearts of everyone who has been here long enough is the Toyota FJ Truck, famous for being a workhorse in the Middle East. Farmers, fishermen, and the common locals have used this vehicle for many years, be it for delivery of goods among towns or the love for the metal. This particular vehicle is still evident on todays roads in many different forms be it the mechanic transporting parts across the industrial areas of Dubai or the fishermen reeling in their nets on the beaches of Fujeirah at the crack of dawn while campers slept, or your uncommon car collector restoring it beneath a shed in his backyard. As is evident, it has transcended into a cultural characterisation and stands out with its unbendable structure.
Land Rovers, FJs and American trucks still hold a very strong influence in the car culture in the UAE. We are surrounded by sand and for that we build our perfect form of transportation. From luxury trucks, loaders, towers, racers, and dune bashers, everyone loves trucks. They are the highest form of utility, always convenient, and loved.