YASSER Ejaz remembers the first time a car caught his eye.
“I was five years old and walking with my dad – I vividly remember seeing a BMW from the 1980s and being immediately fascinated by it. It was the first car I saw that interested me and the first time I saw someone lock a car with a remote, something we take for granted now.
Born in Little Horton, Yasser’s parents ran a mini market called Top Shop. Born in Little Horton, Yasser’s parents ran a convenience store called Top Shop and a restaurant, Shezan, near Bradford University. “I grew up helping lead them both,” he says.
As soon as he passed his driving test he bought a 1990 Vauxhall Nova. Since then the law graduate, who lives in Chellow Dene, has owned a range of cars.
“At first I owned four different models of the BMW 3 Series,” he says, “Then a Nissan Prelude and a Toyota Corolla GTi Twin Cam.”
Four other BMWs followed: BMW 530i M Sport; BMW 740i; BMW 750i Individual;
and BMW 750iL Individual.
“I then had a Toyota Land Cruiser Amazon, a Range Rover Vogue, a BMW 6 Series and drove BMW Z3/Z4 convertibles in the summer.”
Yasser developed an interest in retro classic cars, especially BMWs. “I bought a series of BMW 7 Series from the 1990s because they have always appealed to me and are iconic examples of over-engineered luxury cars that still have great appeal,” he says.
He built his passion for BMWs and started collecting them.
“I was involved in a car business that sold everyday cars. I quickly realized that I wanted to pursue my passion in trading and selling retro classic cars – I spotted a niche in the car business. selling cars: nobody in Bradford did that at the time and there was nothing dedicated to selling retro classic cars.”
Thus, in November 2019, he created Retro Classic Automotive.
“I run the business with my executive, Maf Farooq of the MyLahore restaurant chain. He and I have always shared a passion for retro classics and I invited him aboard to start this journey with me. Maf manages other parts of the larger MyLahore business, so he is very busy and therefore dedicates what time he can to Retro Classic.
Kashif Hamid is the second executive. He and Maf also own a grocery store in Shelf called Wagners.
Yasser’s two young sons share his interest in cars. “My six-year-old son, Adam, likes to be involved in all buying decisions and often recommends cars he thinks I should stock next,” he says.
A network of contacts in the automotive sector knows what the company is looking for and offers vehicles. “As the business has grown we are now being offered vehicles for sale by classic retro enthusiasts on their behalf. This is a significant milestone for us as it signifies that we are a We’ve worked hard to earn a five-star rating online and pride ourselves on excellent customer service.”
Specialized garages carry out the work on their behalf. “We always use the best, depending on the needs of each car. I know everything about every car we feature and sell, including mechanical, auto-electrical, and detailed requirements. However, I leave the work to my trusted contacts so I can focus on running the business. »
The company, based at the Crossley Hall Retail Center near Thornton Road, has sold many rare cars. “We recently sold a BMW Alpina B5 which is extremely rare. We have a unique BMW Individual 7 Series V12 in our private collection.
“One of the most expensive cars we have sold is a Porsche 911 Widebody Edition. These cars regularly sell for over £60,000.
“At Retro Classic, our private collection includes over 20 cars including Ferrari, BMW, Toyota and Mercedes. We recently acquired iconic 1990’s Toyota sports cars, Toyota sports cars and a Mercedes limo. My personal favorite is our unique BMW 7 series.
As for Yasser’s personal favorites: “It depends on what they’re used for – as a daily driver and all-around superstar, you can’t beat a Toyota Landcruiser. But then we have a 1984 Porsche 944 which is a great driver’s car. He adds: “I’ve always wanted a 2003 E39 M5 with caramel heritage leather – it’s a rare car and one of my all-time favourites.”
He currently drives a Toyota Landcruiser Colorado “because it’s winter and it allows me to get around easily if it snows.
“I have just bought a classic Mercedes SEC500 – a very rare car and one of the few in the UK. I bought it as a present for my father’s 70th birthday to enjoy in his retirement He has worked in the textile mills since he was a teenager and has been in business in Bradford for over 40 years. He deserves the best.”
Yasser is used to commanding attention when driving one of his retro classics. “People like to ask questions and admire the rarity of our vehicles. It shows us that people still appreciate that cars are built to last. We love to engage with people who share our interest in retro classics.
Last year, Retro Classic Automotive opened a stylish new dealership. “We have enjoyed establishing ourselves as a trusted supplier to customers across the UK and beyond. We are a proud local business and hope to continue to expand as interest in these types of cars grows. Our stock has increased significantly and we are about to start importing custom cars from the United Arab Emirates and Japan.