Amr Hosny is a jack of all trades, and master of many. An events planner and one of the most sought after DJ’s in Cairo, Hosny restores classic cars, reviving the old tired bodies of once luxurious and iconic automobiles.
Starting his hobby of car restoration in his mid-twenties, Hosny has had over a decade of experience working with local mechanics and auto shops breeding his addiction to considerable proportions.
“In a way car restoration and DJ-ing are related, in their progression. I enjoy the journey as opposed to the destination. As a DJ, there’s progression to building up a set [of music].the progression of music gets a beautiful result. With cars it’s the same thing, one piece at a time. It brews and brews and then has a beautiful impact.
Hosny has many cars, but he says “they’re all close to my heart. He talks about them lovingly as if they were his children, or even girlfriends; talking passionately about the various rescue episodes that took place.
Currently, Hosny has four cars tucked away into an apartment building’s garage in Maadi; others are being worked on in mechanics’ shops.
He has found cars through friends and an extensive community of car restorers in Egypt, a community that Hosny states is quite large in Egypt. No cars are imported from abroad; the government refuses to import cars older than a year-old into the country.
Hosny’s collection is made of cars that once belonged to the expatriate community and the well-to-do. Growing up as a child in Maadi, he would often spot a pistachio and cream colored 1960 Karmann-Gia. Little did he know he would later own it as an adult.
“I found this car in Garden City one night when I ducked into a garage to make way for a passing car. I found the connection when I purchased the car and looked at its original papers, originally owned by a Swiss man.
Today, Hosny claims, it is the only living example of a fully restored 1960 Karmann Gia, an expensive collector’s item abroad. It was spotted under an oily rag, with chicken bones and dead rats inside, left in the garage after its owner passed away and his inheritors had no clue what to do with it.
“It was treated like a maid, and now it’s been given the proper treatment she deserves, and restored to the lady that she is, says Hosny with seriousness. It is thus no surprise that he refers to this car as Christina.
The car had been off the road for 25 years. “Ten centilitres of fuel and a new battery started the car on the third try. Brought tears to my eyes, I couldn’t believe it drove that beautifully after so long. I kept it to its original colors of pistachio and cream. Its features inside are all original, sourced from Germany and the States. Now I’m waiting for its wheels to come in.
The interiors are vintage, quaint and adorable. It is almost hard to believe that Hosny had originally intended to create a speed demon out of this car before deciding to simply keep it as is. A delicate and slim wooden steering wheel, with chrome and aluminum highlights are a surrealist trip back in time, and a far cry from the cold interiors of today’s cars.
So scrupulous is Hosny in ensuring originality; he sourced beautifully woven tweed material from the Attaba market, and had it analyzed before upholstering the car’s interiors. The tweed is not intended to give or stretch, just like the original material.
A 1989 Porsche 911 Carerra Targa, the only one in the region according to Hosny, is another highlight of the collection. Modified and upgraded with a sports package by its previous owner in ’89 at the Porsche factory, it was changed to become a turbo.
Hosny added aerodynamic spoilers and continued work on the interiors, racing this car at times, and participating in the first ever FIA-approved fast track in Sharm El Sheikh.
The car has a white body with a “big butt, fenders are a bit extended, and it squats elegantly waiting for the signal to speed ahead. Sitting inside the car, one can only imagine the thrill it gives to its owners.
A 1955 Ford Thunderbird convertible also sits quietly in the garage. The 50s was the time of great rivalry between Chrysler and Ford, and this car was intended to answer to the Chrysler Bel Air. It now sits majestically in Honsy’s garage space.
“We had a heart transplant for this car; it had a fire track engine, sounded like a fire truck and drove like a fire truck. Now it’s very smooth, with an aluminum Ford crate engine, meaning it came out from the box still new. It is still a work in progress.
Hosny garners pleasure from the very restoration process. “I can finish a car in three months but what’s the fun in that? I take my time. Redo the interior, or the body work . it’s a bit of a rough hobby if you’re dealing with the mechanics. They’ve been doing this for a lifetime and they would sometimes object to my requests, but later on, they’d have clients asking for the same things. They’re learning from the extensive research that I do on these cars.
Would he ever consider selling his cars abroad for a hefty price tag?
“I love my cars because they remind me of [Egypt’s] better days.witnesses to so many historical moments in Egypt. Some people avoid car models from 1973, and others really appreciate cars from 1967.
With a 1968 Volkswagen bus, and a 1974 Alfa Romeo GTV also in the shop, Hosny is ever busy preserving what he believes is part of Egypt’s history.