Welcome to My Wheels Nawar. How did you come across this awesome Corvette?
Thanks for featuring me in the magazine. Well, I used to own another C3 and that was a brilliant car, so much fun to drive and a real head-turner. I sold it and instantly regretted that decision, and so my search for another C3 began.
This one was sitting in front of one of my friends’ houses for quite a few years but he wasn’t keen to sell, even though its condition was getting worse and worse. In the end, I managed to convince him to part with it and then it was time to bring it back to life.
You have a real passion for American muscle — this is your fifth Corvette and you have something else pretty cool tucked away, don’t you?
I love classic American cars — my passion for them started at a very early age thanks to my dad. He was a classic car lover and owned many classics and sportcars, which were mostly American. And, yes, I also own a 1981 Pontiac Trans Am back home in Iraq and, in fact, I am on the lookout for another one to drive here in Dubai.
I know a few people who are selling theirs, I can put you in touch…
Is yours for sale?
Nice try! Back to the Chevy, what is it like to drive?
Well firstly, being back behind the wheel of an ’81 Corvette is a dream come true for me.
I am massive fan of these. When you drive past in one, the amount of smiles it generates and thumbs up it receives is incredible. It’s almost as if the car has turned me into a celebrity! If you are of a shy disposition this car is not for you — it’s a real attention-getter. I was pulled over by the police once and I thought I was in trouble for something — but the officer just wanted to know if the car was for sale! Also, when I drop my son Faisal off at school, his friends always shout out, “Look, it’s a Hot Wheels car!” as they don’t know what this car is.
I have had some other really cool cars too, such as a Porsche 911 Slant Nose, ’81 Cadillac Deville, ’81 Chrysler Imperial, ’65 Ford Mustang and a lot modern-day sportscars too. I have also driven a lot of supercars, but I am a Corvette guy and so I have to say that the best car I have ever driven has to be the ZR1 C6. But my dream car is a C1 Corvette.
Those are fabulous. What was your very first car?
It was an MG Midget. I loved it so much, but I had a lot of trouble keeping it running due to the difficulty of finding parts. I had that car before the internet came along — maybe it’d be easier to keep a car like that now, what with almost every part seemingly available online. As for my C3, I make sure I drive it daily and it is wonderful taking it out for long rides. I live in Sharjah and often visit Khaled Lake, but when the road is clear I often find myself near Yas Marina before I realise how far I have driven!
I also love heading out to the Last Exit on Shaikh Zayed Road, this is a popular spot for car and bike lovers and the Corvette fits in rather nicely.
It came with a big 5.7-litre V8; does it still spin the wheels when you floor the throttle after all these years?
It is a very healthy engine but I have upgraded mine with long tube headers, a camshaft, a bigger Edelbrock carburettor and intake, B&M transmission and a limited slip rear axle. It’s safe to say this C3 is more potent than ever.
I am really thankful to own this beauty — it gives me an adrenaline rush every time I drive it. In fact driving a classic car gives you a totally different sensation from a new one; there is a mutual understanding and bond with older cars — while newer ones just aren’t as involving or engaging.
You worked from front to back, inside and out on this car, didn’t you?
Yep — it needed a lot of work and rather than just giving it a lick of paint, I decided to do an extreme makeover.
I started with the chassis and added new shocks and springs, along with new bushes, then I changed the ball joints and the body mounts. Then I gave it a full respray and spruced up the interior too. I wanted the engine bay to look good for shows and so I made sure it was presentable — but I still have more that I would like to do to the car. But, as it is, it’s looking rather good, even if I do say so myself, and it’s a pleasure to cruise around the beautiful cities of the UAE with it.
Got a hot ride? Email us at email@example.com with a photo and description and you could be our next my wheels star!