Welcome to My Wheels, Sulaiman. You probably get asked this all the time but why did you customise your Challenger with images from the movie 300?
When I saw the movie 300 for the first time, I connected with it in a very big way. I wanted to do something special to show my love for this film — and I think I managed to achieve that.
You sure did! How many times have you watched 300?
I’ve probably watched it over 300 times! What inspired me to do this to my car is my passion for Greek mythology and culture, which is never-ending. I just love it and I also love the colour red and black and wanted these two to be predominantly featured on my Dodge as I feel it suits the car’s character.
You needed permission to get this artwork done to the car — was it easy to obtain?
Nothing worthwhile in life is easy, it’s hard, as was getting permission to do this to my car.
I went to Dubai Police and had to follow their protocol and I had to wait a long time to get permission. I wasn’t sure if they would accept my plans to customise my car this way but eventually it was granted and I then set about finding a good garage that could undertake the work for me.
So who did the airbrush and how long did it take them to complete it all?
It was done by a garage in Ras Al Khor. It took three weeks to complete and believe me, passing those three weeks was the hardest time of my life. It felt more like three years than three weeks!
Were you allowed to see the car in various states of progress or did you have to wait until it was all done before laying eyes on it for the first time? And just how pleased are you with the finished article?
No, I actually wasn’t allowed to go anywhere near the car or the garage and this was ever so painful but I kept away from it. It was supposed to be a surprise for me and believe me when I did eventually see it, I had tears of joy in my eyes when I saw my baby with such a drastic new look.
We’re really happy for you and wish you years of happy motoring. You could have done this to any car but what made you buy the Challenger in the first place?
It was because of Hollywood star Vin Diesel who is my role model. He is a big Mopar guy in his Fast and Furious movies so hence, I fell in love with the Dodge brand and in particular the Challenger. I have had my car for a year-and-a-half and even before I got it customised it was bringing a huge smile to my face thanks to its exhilarating performance and muscular looks — but I knew there was a way of making that smile even bigger.
However, it wasn’t the only muscle car I was considering; I almost bought the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 and also came close to snapping up the Ford Mustang Supersnake but I am so happy to have opted for the Dodge. It has a 6.4-litre V8 with a stroker kit and makes a whole lot of power and sounds very menacing indeed — I love the sound of it.
I’d say I am a car freak — my first car was the Nissan GT-R R34 and it opened the world of powerful cars to me. Then I got an Infiniti G35 with a GT-R RB26 engine. The car was custom-made for me and was a blast to drive but my dream is to own the new Challenger Demon.
Maybe one day. Finally, where do you enjoy driving your Challenger and how do you deal with all of the attention that it must get?
I love driving it around JBR and showing it off any chance I get. In fact, when it first came back from the garage I was practically living in the car! I was totally besotted with it.
I feel like I’m a celebrity whenever I drive the car — literally everyone on the street points and stares and takes photographs with their smartphones.
They also love to pose for selfies with it and I am more than happy for them to do so! There have been times when people have left their contact details behind the wiper asking if it is for sale and where I got the car customised.
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