Vintage car owners gathered for the 17th time in the Bosnian capital on Friday and set off on a ride to the south, but will return to Sarajevo to pick the best-looking of dozens of vehicles taking part in this contest.
The journey started in the morning, taking the participants to the town of Konjic, south-west of Sarajevo. More precisely, to Tito’s bunker, a secret military facility from the last century, now a museum.
After a while they moved on further to the south, to Mostar, showing the locals some of the oldest and prettiest examples of the last century’s car industry.
Nenad Jovanovic came from Slovenia on his Fiat X1/9 from 1972. He has been the owner for almost 15 years.
“I bought this car in Hungary and its repaired for five years. It took a lot of time to recover it. It’s hard to find its parts, you can find some in Italy because there are workshops producing some parts,” explained Jovanovic.
True love for old-timers is what motivates the owners to keep their cars in the best shape.
The oldest participant in this year’s international gathering is a Ford that dates back to 1917. Other cars were made in the 1960s, 1970s or 1980s. Contestants come from various countries but mostly from Hungary, Slovenia and Serbia.
“My Ford is from 1950. I am the second owner and it’s been with me for the past 15 years, it works fine, just as it should be. We bought it in Germany and it looked really bad but we repaired it and try keeping it in the best shape,” said Robert Mesaros, a Hungarian participant.
Janos Mott, also a Hungarian, claims his old-timer is a museum piece.
“If you take a look at its plates you’ll see they say OT, (it means) old-timer. It undergoes an MOT test every five years so it needs nothing else except oil and fuel,” said the Hungarian.
Some of the cars that circled around Mostar streets on Friday were used even by Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Bosnian late politician Dzemal Bijedic and others.
“Some of the cars that couldn’t be driven on our roads stayed in Sarajevo. There’s a Ford from 1917, a Buick from 1923, another Ford from 1932. Those cars with wooden rims and solid tyres cannot really go on a road,” explained Nedim Husic, head of Sarajevo Old-timer Club.
The contest will end on weekend days in Sarajevo when the best-looking among the old cars will be declared a winner.