I’m sure that some of you are aware of my “Pakistani Truck Art Project“. Three Pakistani artists painted my ‘66 Mercedes 200 Fintail, a 2002 La Carrera Panamericana veteran, during the classic car show here in Munich. They worked for two days live at the show and completed the work after the show in my garage.
This art has a century old tradition in Pakistan. Of course, in the beginning it just was interior decor, but soon they ornamented carts pulled by donkeys, camels, horses and oxen. As early as in the 1920s and 1930s they started to paint the first trucks and busses in this manner. In the 1950s, after the arrival of the very popular Bedford trucks, this art underwent a significant upswing. Today, a group of around 20 artists try to promote this art, originally called “Phool Patti“ (Phool = flower / Patti = leaf), both in Pakistan and internationally. This also brings a different light to a country that deserves more than only negative media coverage. In fact, Pakistan is, as most nations, a country full of nice people who love to live in peace.
I am currently working on a book project about classic car people, especially in “unusual“ countries, where one normally doesn’t think about classic cars. Besides USA and Germany these countries are Kuwait, Iran, India, Pakistan and Egypt – so far. This requires a lot of travel and researching which is what I have been doing the last three years.
On my blog at http://www.classicmotourist.blogspot.de/ you can read about some of the trips (the text is in German, but there is a funny Google translator installed and there are lots of photos which don’t need translation). On my trips I not only learned a lot about the classic car scenes in foreign countries. I made a lot of new friends and I am more than glad, that I made it happen. Otherwise I would have missed many wonderful people I don’t want to miss anymore. I feel blessed that I had (and have) the chance to experience all this.
This might be the right place to thank everybody for the great hospitality they offered to a random stranger who just called one day and told them that he is interested in seeing classic cars in their country.
A famous landmark, painted on the car, represents each of these countries. In detail there is San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge for USA, Islamabad’s Faisal Mosque for Pakistan, the Kuwait Towers for Kuwait, Tehran’s Milad Tower for Iran, the Brandenburg Gate for Germany, the Gizeh Pyramids for Egypt and Delhi’s India Gate for India.
Beside these landmarks the artists had a “free hand“ to decide how they wanted to design the car. You can see the result in the photos. The Mercedes is not only a car; it is a true piece of art now. It shows serious tradition and culture and it stands for friendship and passion.
Words & photos: Claus Muller.
There is an album on my Facebook page that can be accessed by anyone, a Facebook account is not required it.To watch the metamorphosis from a normal rally car to a piece of art, go to https://www.facebook.com/Claus.Mueller.2/media_set?set=a.10200919190738088.1715065305&type=3