Toyota 86 “launches” at MME Meet No.10
The Force was strong with this one! (Well it was held on May 4th!)
By Imthishan Giado
They said it was too hot. They said we’d never be able to show the Toyota 86 a month before its official unveiling. They said a lot of things – and all of them were wrong, because our tenth meet (as Motoring Middle East) was once again a huge hit!
Dubai Festival City was our gracious host on the 4th of May for our tenth consecutive event. Rolling Art Emporium and Project A Automobile returned as sponsors, but this time they were joined by Chrysler Middle East, Al Futtaim Toyota and the Emirates Sport Federation. In fact, we even had a surprise visit from EMSF chairman, Ahmed Al Sherif, who also graciously provided us with volunteers to help us manage the chaos!
Chrysler brought out their big guns including the HEMI 300C, the Wrangler unlimited, the Grand Cherokee and undoubtedly the most intriguing car in their lineup at the moment, the monstrous Grand Cherokee SRT8 which was driven to the meet by Jack Rodencal, Managing Director of Chrysler Middle East – which is even more impressive when you consider that it’s his own car! How many of you would let hundreds of strangers paw over every inch of your pride and joy? But then, Jack’s no ordinary chap…
To make things more interesting, this time we broke the area down by geography, with sections demarcated by country of origin. Whether you came in something European, American or Japanese, there was a space for you at our meet. SUVs of course had their own venue area, and who could ignore our classics?
As you’d expect, the American section was dominated by the traditional muscle car rivalry between the Mustang, Camaro and Charger, with the evergreen Pony car once again taking the crown for most examples on display.
The European section came down to a close battle between the Volkswagen GTI club who turned up with a horde of intimidatingly black machines from Wolfsburg…
…and the MINI club, who made a good showing.
Honestly though, who could resist an utterly adorable original like this one?
Our usual assortment of classics made their appearance, with quite a few new faces at the wheels. Classics new to the meet this month including a tasty looking Baja bug replica (which was actually electric powered!), this very original Buick Skylark convertible, a 1965 Chevrolet Impala SS, a 427 Cobra, and even a Ford Model A!
It goes without saying that it wouldn’t have been an MME meet without the presence of our mascot, the Red Baron, now restored to full working order after last month’s unexpected hiccup.
Plenty of Hondas mades the pilgrimage to the Festival City grounds with S2000s being the most popular choice, as well as appearance from the Integra Type R of storied racer Zlatko Mulabegovic, and triple UAE class Touring Car Champ, Honda-racer, Umair Khan, and a few very tasty modified Civics.
Modified cars in general were abundantly present, which goes somewhat against the grain of all the news stories you’ve perhaps been reading. Can’t keep car enthusiasts down for long, it seems!
At 5:30 we staged our popular quiz, with many of our prizes graciously provided by Chrysler Middle East.
The biggest prize of all was the chance to pilot an brand spanking new Toyota 86 around Yas Marina circuit at a special VIP event, an rare opportunity quickly bagged by two lucky readers.
Wait, what’s that about a Toyota 86….
Yes, you heard right – Motoring Middle East was the first media outlet in the region to show the super hot new Toyota 86 to the public! Nobody even knows the price yet, but thanks to the efforts of the hardworking team at Al Futtaim we were able to bring a near production-spec 86 to the show and allow our lucky readers the chance to see touch and in some cases smell this long awaited new sports car.
No surprises, the car was a huge hit with test drives being constantly filled out and the crowds around the diminutive coupe never flagging. Then again, are you really surprised when the Toyota 86 came with these lovely minders?
In fact, we can’t really work out which was more popular!
The girls were kept busy all afternoon signing up readers for test drives, as well as posing for pictures. Needless to say, the men were rather happy…
We love to get your feedback on the event and suggestions so please feel free to send in your comments to MME@motoringme.com. Despite the heat, we aim to have scaled down events scheduled during the summer; interested sponsors are welcome to contact us at any time to discuss ways in which we can work together.
Check out our galleries from the Meet, as well as albums from our friends!