04 February 2014 07:45

Dozens of unique automotive pieces are now housed in a single space, giving visitors the opportunity to take a journey back in time.
It is the largest collection of classic cars in Cyprus, with significant vehicles such as a Ford Model T of 1912, one of the cars used by Margaret Thatcher, a Rover P5 of 1973, one of Mr Bean's famous Minis - complete with an official certificate - that was used in filming, the armoured presidential Cadillac of President Makarios and many more. Also among them the famous Bough bicycle, made exclusively of wood. All the vehicles are in excellent condition, with original parts and upholstery.
The Ford Model T of 1912 is the oldest piece in Dimi's collection. It is made exclusively of bronze, which is why the cost of acquisition and primarily maintenance is very high because it requires frequent polishing. The lights are acetylene and, of course, it has to be cranked in order to start the engine. Dimis started collecting cars in 1990, when he bought a 1968 Austin Α40 Farina. 
All are on show in a space of some 1,000 square metres near Ypsonas where the official opening was held on Saturday. It is space that Dimis used to park his large collection. But the daily visits of ordinary people 'obliged' him to convert the storage space into an exhibition area, a unique - for Cyprus - cultural exhibit, with pieces that are more than a century old.
"Cars were part of my life from the day I was born, either as a hobby or as a sport. I wouldn't say that creating the museum was a life dream, it hadn't crossed my mind when I was a rally driver. At the time my passion was speed and skilful driving. But saturation with the sport led me to become involved with classic cars. I started collecting cars with the hope one day of being able to create it," said Mavropoulos.
"My aim was for a space to be built that was specially designed as a car museum. But the daily visits of people to the existing space that I was using as an area to store my collection forced me to convert it into an exhibition area."
There are more than 70 cars in the covered area of the museum, while there will also be exhibits in the large exterior areas of the museum. Among other there is an old Bedford bus that used to serve the Phini-Limassol route, some of the first Caterpillar tractors, with chains, from around 1930, which Dimi Mavropoulos' father brought to Cyprus and various agricultural and other commercial vehicles, several decades old but still in working condition.
In addition, the interior of the museum will not just have classic cars. There is a space for the screening of various films and documentaries, an exhibition of antiques and a shop.
The museum offers a classic car rental service, complete with driver, giving the opportunity for a historic ride in style, an ideal option for weddings, tours of Limassol or just for fun. The museum will also host visits from schools and tourists, and can also host seminars and other events or presentations.
Moreover, in the near future, Dimis Mavropoulos will set up the Historic and Classic Motor Club of Cyprus.  
Entrance to the museum is €7 and €5 for people under 18 and over 65, while €1 from each ticket will be donated to charity.  For children under 3, entrance is free. On completion of the tour, school groups will be offered a free road safety seminar.


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