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Friday, March 5, 2010

Land of the Giants

Last weekend I visited a little known place in the hinterlands south of Abu Dhabi. It is called the Emirates National Automobile Museum. This is not your usual "walk around an nod" museum. I actually liked it here!

Entrance to the ENAM

It is filled chock-a-block with the loud, smelly, powerful machines that I have always! Not the trendy, wimpy hybrid electro-green variants we are plagued with today. I am talking about Hot Rods that make our chests rumble when they are at full throttle. Machines that burn dead dinosaur juice and make a proper show of power! I am partial to big American V-8 engines. Crude as they may be, there is nothing that sounds like them! They are an exclusive Detroit invention and the Europeans and Japanese have tried but have yet to duplicate the raw torque, power and sound of these engines!

ENAM was designed and built by a member of the UAE Royal Family, Sheikh Hamad bin Hamdan Al Nayhhan, AKA the Rainbow Sheikh. He has generously opened his museum to the public. He is well known for his chartiable contributions. The museum is free to all and I met visitors from all over the world there.

The Sheikh is apparently a fan of all things automotive, he likes his cars so much, he made large examples of them. Take a look at this motorhome in the parking lot of the museum.

The Guinness Book of World Records Motorhome. Eight bedrooms and me by the tire.

Another Type of Motorhome 

No....this is not a photoshop,,,,it's the real deal! The detail is amazing!
I considered quitting drinking that day!

A Lockheed L1011 sitting on the desert sands.

A 1950's Dodge Super Lancer, when Detroit ruled the world!
Typical Americana. The Coral color was popular in the 50's.

Me standing in front of the Giant Power Wagon,  HRH Sheikh Zayed in the background. 
There are 4 bedrooms in the big truck...perfect for a night out at the drive-in movies!

"Screaming Chicken" on a 70's Pontiac Firebird Trans Am hood.

I brought my checkbook...OK, How much?

An evil looking Dodge Prowler....The Rainbow Sheikh seems very partial to Dodge automobiles

A classic Rolls Royce. They are fine machines but all British cars tend to leak oil. Note the drip pan. Part of the charm. I guess.

One of the Sheikh's personal Mercedes Benz.

I still can't get over this thing!

My favorite grillage!

The ultimate UAE commuter vehicle! 

Lunar Excursion Module


Safarimobile. Nothing like standing out while trying to blend in!

An early 70's Cadillac Eldorado Convertable. This beast sports a 500 cubic inch V-8 and front wheel drive. My brother owned one back in the day and it was like driving an aircraft carrier! Carbon footprint be damned! A fun car!

OK, I am secure in my manhood but I don't think I would be driving this thing around! That would just be asking for an ass whuppin!

Thanks to the "Rainbow Shiekh" for this museum. He has an amazing amount of vehicles that he obviously takes care of and allows us common folk to see for free.

I wish I could tell you exactly how to get there, but my Navigator and I got slightly lost on the way due to a severe dust storm enroute which masked landmarks. My GPS blew up, too! Navvie had been there before and we were "bewildered" for awhile. I had a full tank of petrol so I was never worried.

We finally made it due to Navvie's razor-sharp recollective skills ( I would have ended up in Saudi Arabia as is my male right, I never ask for directions) but an obscure roundabout was discovered that pointed the way.

From one gearhead to others, this is a must see! There is something for everyone there!

Kudos to the Rainbow Shiekh, he doesn't have to do it but he does! Cool Stuff!

I am still getting nightmares about the giant Jeep!


Anonymous said...

LOL! Sh. Hamda is very well known for 2 things, one of them are his cars and love for cars. You ask around about the 2nd...


You really should have stolen it!

Ace said...

I don't think I need to speculate about the 2nd, I would get my ass dragged out of the car and beaten severely in Chicago if I was driving a "Rainbow Car".

Cool stuff though, the man loves his Pontiacs! Many Trans Ams and Firebirds there! V-8's rule.

I have to give Sh. Hamda his props though. He has made a cool museum!

Chuck said...

I'd have to pass on the rainbow car myself, I'm afraid. Although it would probably fit right in when they have the annual Art Car parade here.

Dave said...

What a fantastic collection. I will definately be going.

Ace said... is definately "over the top"!

@Dave....well worth the trip!!! I was glad to see the cars seemed well taken care of.