Mazin Al Kahatib, Founder & CEO of Nostalgia Classic Cars, discusses how he turned a passion for collecting and restoring vintage cars into a thriving business.
What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine?
I begin my day by reading the newspaper headlines to have an understanding of what’s happening around the world. Next, I read through the sales report and workshop reports of the previous day to make a list of what needs to be done for the same day. I then have a quick meeting with the admin, sales and workshop supervisor for 10 minutes.
What inspired you to launch Nostalgia Classic Cars?
It has been a dream of mine since I was a banker. I knew that after completing what I wanted to achieve in my banking career, I could convert my passion into a business.
Every car should tell a story. Does this impact your decision when buying a car?
When this was a hobby of mine, that was the case. Now, when I look at it from a business perspective, I buy according to the demand and market needs. Of course, when it comes to collecting classic cars, the story plays a big role in the purchase.
The concept is located in one of Dubai’s key artistic hubs. Was this the plan from the start?
I consider my collection as pieces of art and when I was thinking and deciding on a place, of course Alserkal Avenue came to mind, as it’s one of the first “art hubs” of Dubai. Hence, the decision was made to be located in Alserkal Avenue.
What was the first car you restored?
The first car I restored was the 1948 Packard.
You’re the first of its kind in the UAE. How did you see a gap in the market?
I learned my lesson the hard way as they say. When I was a hobbyist, I would struggle to find the best denter or the best mechanic or the best painter and my car would move from one place to another. This made me always think of having a one-stop shop that covers everything when it comes to restoration. Nostalgia Classic Cars Workshop does exactly that. Any project we do, the car never leaves the premises until the job is done. If we require additional support, we subcontract it to other shops. Everything from A to Z is done under one roof, this is what differentiates Nostalgia Classic Cars from all the other players in the market.
What advice would you recommend to those who wish to invest in collecting vintage cars?
When it comes to investing and collecting vintage cars, it’s important to choose the right brand and the right model. Try to have a detailed history of the car as much as possible. It’s imperative to prove the originality of the car and its parts, including the interiors, mechanical and the body.