This Saturday, January 27, the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre (IPRC) Kigali will host the country’s inaugural festival for vintage, pimped, luxurious customised cars and superbikes.
Owned by both locals and foreigners living in Rwanda, American muscle cars, European and Japanese cars and superbikes among the automobiles are currently undergoing mechanical inspection to ensure they are in good shape to entertain car lovers this weekend.
At such races, car enthusiasts look forward to displays of the power of the engine through revving prowess, the design and different add-ons to the automobiles.
The organiser of the festival, Paul Bakuru, told The New Times that he came up with the idea after realising that most of the vintage cars are kept in home garages from where they are admired, mainly by just their owners.
“I thought of it because I know it’s something other people have been doing in other countries for many years. I realised that, in Rwanda, people like cars but do not get out there and see them. Most of them are kept in garages, and we thought it would be good if we came together to entertain enthusiasts and other members of the public,” he said.
Though primarily the festival aims at having fun and enjoying cars and superbikes, Bakuru notes that it will be a sort of a business venture in the future where they plan to have a permanent showroom for such cars, where already established dealerships can have space to display their products.
“This will also be a good forum to bring together car dealers, owners and mechanics. We have good mechanics in town but they do not have a showroom to exhibit their skills, especially in the area of customising cars,” he added.
By press time, about 20 car owners had confirmed to attend this weekend’s festival. Most of their cars were customised from abroad, but there are a few that were transformed from wreckages by local mechanics and are back on the road.
Bakuru says that they have cars from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s which include renown models like a 1988 Chevrolet Caprice that belonged to a former US Ambassador to Rwanda – in the 90s.
The famous 1960’s Volkswagen Beetle, 1968 Buick Riviera, Dodge Challenger, 1980’s Toyota Corolla, Chevrolet Camaro, French’s Peugeot 305 and many others are among the old cars confirmed to be part of the festival.
The festival will include the drifts of Japanese superbikes like Honda and Kawasaki, but also American’s Harley Davidson customised motorbikes will showcase their powers.
Dubbed Shyuha Festival Edition 1, the event will feature old, restored or well-kept cars and superbikes, as well as performances from local musican, Yvan Buravan.
Entrance fee is Rwf5,000 and you get two drinks of your choice (Beer or Soft), but it will be free entry for the owners of the sought after cars and bikes.