Restoring Classic Cars in the Gaza StripS

Our hero of the day is Palestinian car geek Mahfouz Caberetti, who restores vintage Detroit and Stuttgart iron in the most useless spot on Earth for restoring cars: the Gaza Strip.

Restoring Classic Cars in the Gaza StripS

Twenty years before Israel imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip, the Pixies released a song called River Euphrates, which kicks off with the line Stuck here out of gas / Out here on the Gaza Strip—a rather accurate description of life for Mr. Caberetti.

For while the Mediterranean coastline is home to glamorous automotive spots like Monaco, the Gaza Strip is about as unlike Monaco as it gets. What it is instead is 139 square miles of unlucky beach, home to an incredible 1.5 million people, who have drifted through various foreign occupiers over the past century. On a good day, they live in an overcrowded refugee city lacking supplies and amenities. On a bad day, they get bombed by F-16 jets.

Restoring Classic Cars in the Gaza StripS

None of which is much of a hurdle to Mahfouz Caberetti. In spite of the unpleasant circumstances, he restores old Oldsmobiles and Benzes in the Strip. The BBC has produced a lovely audio slideshow about his unwillingness to give up on cars, for which he deserves one hell of a salute from all of us in Jalop-land.

Rock on, Mr. Caberetti, rock on. And get a Sunbeam Tiger to ride it down the River Euphrates.

Restoring Classic Cars in the Gaza StripS

Photo Credit: Jon Donnison, Ian Druce, AFP, Getty, AP