Welcome back to wheels, Zaki. We last featured you a year ago with your customised Charger which had a design theme that was inspired from the V For Vendetta movie; the black and white paint scheme looked great — but you have since updated your ride’s looks again... You just can’t leave it alone, can you?!
Thank you for having me back again; what can I say, I’ve got the customising bug, I can’t help myself! I thought that by adding some red to the car would bring it to life a little more and I feel the new paint job has achieved this. If you look closely, I have yet another movie represented in there — the recent Tom Hardy anti-hero flick, Venom.
Now the car has a split personality; it is black on one side and white on the other!
What is it about car customising that you like so much and where did this passion stem from?
It is in my blood. It all started from day one; I loved toy cars when I was kid and I always made my own designs on them using pens and stickers and so ever since then customising has been my passion.
As you know, people here are passionate about cars and there is a lot of love and support which has helped the custom scene to grow.
How long did it take to complete the work on your car and what did it cost to do?
Strictly speaking, it isn’t finished yet! I still have more work planned which I hope to complete before the 2019 Custom Show, however, ever since I bought my Dodge back in 2016 I have been busy working on improving it, so you can say I have been fiddling with it for three years! I have never had the courage to calculate what I have spent on the car in all of that time, I think I would be in for a pretty big shock if I did!
Tell us about the legal process of customising a car in such a major way; did you face any issues?
Each emirate has a different process which must be followed and as my car is registered in Abu Dhabi, the first thing I had to do was to get approval from the ADNOC vehicle inspection centre. They then issued me a no-objection letter stating my wish to add an extra colour to my car. This was valid for 15 days and in this time I had to show them the design I was planning on getting, have it approved and then added to my car and get the registration card updated.
You can have three different colours in total on your car, but no more than this. I faced a lot of problems during the registration process but not because of the new look of my Charger — but for the window tints being too dark. I changed them and so now, they are at the permissible 50 per cent level which helps keep the car stay cool and retains that aggressive look that I was after.
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Are you ever stopped by the police?
I have been stopped before; the police officer just wanted to check that the work done to my car was legal. Since my Mulkiya (registration card) was up to date, he let me go without a fine and in fact he was very complimentary about the way my car looked which I must say made me smile, probably more out of relief than anything else!
It turns more heads than ever now — what do people say to you and how do they react when they see this Charger?
They can’t stop staring at it now, and I suppose I can’t blame them. People are always taking photos of it and asking me questions about it and I am always happy to engage with them as it makes me feel proud that people take such an interest in my car and the work that has gone in to it. My family and friends have been supporting me from day one and my dad has always been my biggest supporter and always encourages me to chase my dreams. In fact, it was always his dream that he see me in a magazine — well, here you go, dad! I’m here — again! And of course my mother is so supportive, in fact, she is my backbone.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering customising his or her car?
I would say first and foremost to do something different that really stands out. Also, do it for yourself, not for anyone else.
You have attended several cars shows with your Dodge, have you won any awards?
Not yet but I have won a place in a lot of people’s hearts!
It is mostly just a cosmetic upgrade but your car has some mechanical tweaks too, right?
Yes but since it is just a V6 I haven’t looked into improving the performance that much, however I have added a cold air intake, Mopar tune and Corsa Performance exhaust. These modifications have improved the performance just a little.
My ultimate dream is to get the Charger Hellcat; with 707 horses there’s no reason to modify a thing!
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