News: Rumble in the Desert
Story by Spc. Monte Swift
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait -- What do big-block engines, chrome, camouflage, sand, rock music and smoking tires all have in common? They could all be seen (and heard) at the first annual classic car and motorcycle show held at the Zone 1 Community Center, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, April 17, as part of a Third Army sponsored event to instill motivation and build moral for Servicemembers and civilians serving in Kuwait.
The unfamiliar sound of Detroit muscle drew in a crowd as classic cars and motorcycles from around Kuwait lined up to be viewed by gear heads and enthusiasts looking for a piece of home among the tan buildings and hot desert sand.
"This is outstanding. This is the coolest thing I have seen in a long time," said car enthusiast Sgt. Jason Nareau, 304th Transportation Company. "I wouldn't have imagined having a car show in Kuwait with all old American muscle. This is outstanding."
An early morning sand storm threatened to cancel the show since the punishing sand could damage the professional paint jobs of the custom cars and bikes. However, when the weather cleared, they emerged from their garages to make the trip to Camp Arifjan. Cars ranged from blown mid-50s coupes, to a modern Dodge Challenger, and motorcycles ranged from old to new cruisers, sport bikes and custom choppers. Many of the vehicles displayed sat with hoods open, showing off their built engines and allowing on-lookers to view the source of what makes the cars so popular.
"The point of us coming here today is that we know Servicemembers don't get to come off post to see the shows," said Andy Ozolins, classic car builder and owner of a black Oldsmobile 442. "That is the whole reason we are here. This builds good relationships too when we can come here and mingle with local Kuwaitis who share an interest in these cars and bikes."
The show, as with many events held for Servicemembers and Department of Defense civilians, offered a break from long hours supporting Third Army's mission.
"This is great!" said Airman 1st Class Tyler Craig, 424th Medium Truck Division. "It's a big, big morale booster for sure. It's wonderful to be able to see something like this while deployed."