Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

Classic cars in Christmas charity rally

Many of the cars on display have both a historical and emotional value for Cypriots

By Rosie Ogden

The Cyprus Historic & Classic Vehicles Club (L.I.K.O.K) in collaboration with the Cyprus Historic and the Classic Motor Museum and Ypsonas Municipality, is organising the Christmas Touring Rally L.I.K.O.K. on Sunday.

All proceeds from the event will go to the municipality of Ypsonas to provide a Christmas meal for needy families.

The rally starts at the Cyprus Motor Museum in Ypsonas at 9am, finishing at the Rodon Hotel in Agros where participants will have lunch prior to the prize-giving.

Classic car events are always rather more ‘laid back’ and social than conventional rallies, and participants will be stopping off en route at the St Raphael marina for coffee, then at the Tsiakkas winery in Pelendri for a wine-tasting before tackling ‘regularity tests’ (the classic car equivalent of a special stage).

The museum’s collection of cars covers the 20th century and aims to highlight the cultural importance of the development and growth of the automobile industry. The oldest car in the collection is a model T Ford roadster from 1912, while the newest vehicle is a collectable piece from 2004.

The museum was founded by veteran rally driver Dimi Mavropoulos, whose personal collection of 70 historic, classic and collectable cars is the basis for the museum.

Many of the cars on display have both a historical and emotional value for Cypriots: the armoured presidential Cadillac donated by the US government and built especially for President Makarios in 1977. However, he was never able to use it and it passed into the hands of the presidential guard and subsequent governments. Because of the armour, it weighs 4.2 tons, has bulletproof windows that do not open, and features air conditioning with protection from harmful gases.

Mr. Bean’s famous green Mini is also in the museum, along with one of the Rover P5 cars used by ‘Iron Lady’ Margaret Thatcher.

The Museum also has a classic car rental service (with a driver). Says Mavropoulos: “You can enjoy special moments tootling along in a unique classic car. It’s an ideal choice for weddings, of course, but lots of people just enjoy driving round Limassol in style”.

Part of the proceeds from entrance tickets are given to charity, and after school tours the museum gives a presentation about road safety.