Man restores Turkish Fiat 124 in father’s memory with Italian parts | Daily Sabah – Daily Sabah

July 30, 2022 by No Comments

Ömer Faruk Yılmaz from the Akseki district of Turkey’s Mediterranean resort town of Antalya restored a Turkish-built version of the legendary Fiat 124. He bought the car and spent approximately TL 150,000 ($8,400) to restore the classic car in memory of his late father. He describes his passion for this specific model as a “passion inherited from my father.”

The front grill of the authentically restored Murat 124 model classic car, the Turkish-built version of Fiat’s 124, Antalya, Turkey, July 11, 2022. (AA Photo)

The car is branded the “Murat 124” in Turkey and was produced by Turkish carmaker TOFAŞ in 1971. The model is named after Sultan Murad I, who ruled during the period when Bursa was the capital of the Ottoman Empire. The model has a cult following still attracting the attention of enthusiasts, even though their numbers in traffic decreased after the scrap law.

Affectionately known as “Haji Murat,” Murat 124s find buyers at different prices, depending on their original preserved features.

Yılmaz, who is a secondhand car dealer in Akseki, bought his Murat 124 two years ago. Yilmaz bought the car from its original owner who had bought the car brand new in 1976. He lovingly takes care of the car that he restored strictly in accordance with its original condition.

He even bought some original parts all the way from Italy.

Ömer Faruk Yılmaz stands with an original user manual in front of the Murat 124 model classic car that he restored in memory of his late father, Antalya, Turkey, July 11, 2022. (AA Photo)

Yılmaz told an Anadolu Agency (AA) correspondent that Haji Murat is two years younger than him.

Stating that he started restoring the car 1.5 years ago, Yılmaz said: “I learned that there are specialized mechanics between Konya and Seydişehir. I took the vehicle there and brought it back to its original state after 1.5 years of effort. I found original parts from many places and fitted them to the vehicle, some parts had to be brought in from Italy. I spent about TL 150,000.”

His late father bought and sold Murat 124s in past years. Yılmaz explained that he spent his childhood with Haji Murats around the place.

Yılmaz said that because of these memories, the Murat 124s were for him “inherited love from his father.”

Not for sale, but you can drive it

Yılmaz truly loves his car. “I only take my car out once a month on the weekend. I take great pleasure in driving my Haji Murat. New cars don’t give the same pleasure,” he said.

Emphasizing that there are Murat 124 enthusiasts in many parts of Turkey, Yılmaz said that since his vehicle is completely original, it attracts immense attention from people with this passion.

There are constantly offers to buy his pride and joy, but he does not want to sell. “A person from Samsun constantly calls and asks if I will sell the vehicle. I say I will not sell it, but if he wants, he can come and use it. I definitely do not plan to sell my Murat 124,” he explained.

Ömer Faruk Yılmaz’s restored Murat 124 model classic car driving off on the highway in Antalya, Turkey, July 11, 2022. (AA Photo)

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