Classic vehicle show held in Albanian capital city

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TIRANA, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- A two-day classic vehicle show ended in Albania's capital city of Tirana on Sunday, featuring collections of old cars, trucks and motorcycles for the general public.

The classic vehicle show entitled "Retro" was organized in "Skanderbeg" square in Tirana to mark the 20th anniversary of the foundation of the General Directorate of Road Transport Services in Albania.

Over 200 classic vehicles of different brands and models were on display, attracting large number of visitors, who had the chance to admire from exterior and interior, as well as to take photos of these classic vehicles for two days.

Arben Prrenjasi, 54, one of the best known collectors of classic cars in Albania, said that in his collections he has some Chinese classic vehicles such as one Beijing Jeep BJ212, two Nanjing Yuejin NJ130 trucks and one Chang Jiang motorcycle.

"After 1960s Albania and China had very good economic and trade relations. Chinese brand vehicles were widely used for transport in our country, mainly by the Albanian authorities like the interior and defense ministries," Prrenjasi told Xinhua.

According to him, the Beijing Jeep BJ212 was one of the most liked cars by the users at the time and it was considered a luxury car.

In his special collection Prrenjasi also has a red China-made Jiefang CA10 fire extinguisher truck which he likes a lot.

"Many China-made vehicles that came to Albania after 1965 have been a priority in the entire Albanian economy and transport and those are the vehicles that contributed to the construction of Albania at that time," Prrenjasi said.

According to him, the Chinese automobile manufacturing industry has left very big footprints in Albania and was one of the major suppliers with heavy tonnage vehicles.

Prrenjasi underlined that these vehicles are very strong and a good part of them have survived nowadays. Due to his passion for classic vehicles that made history in Albanian auto-motorization he has been able to find and restore these vehicles.

Among the vehicles on show in the square was also a large classic Chinese Hongqi (red-flag) limousine owned by the state movie production company in Albania, Kinostudio.

"When (late Chinese) Premier Zhou Enlai visited Albania," Prrenjasi said, "the Albanian authorities welcomed him in a Chinese Hongqi car."

Prrenjasi told Xinhua that all his old vehicles are in working condition and restored with original spare parts without making any additions to the engine and cabin parts.

When asked if he uses these cars to make some profit, Prrenjasi said he collected them based on his passion, adding that there is a demand for his cars for the old movie productions based on stories related to that time of history in Albania.

Meanwhile, speaking to the local media, the General Director of the General Directorate of Road Transport Services in Albania, Blendi Gonxhe announced that starting from Nov. 1 the directorate will have a first retro registry, where all the owners and collectors can register their vehicles or motorcycles with a special number plate. Enditem

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