When Iraqi forces drove Islamic State militants out of eastern Mosul a year ago, Nashwan Shakir Mahmoud raced back to his home, hoping that his red and white 1955 Chevrolet coupe had survived three years of war and upheaval.
When he saw that it had only suffered light damage from a mortar shell that landed nearby, he was overjoyed. "I had an unspeakable feeling, I sighed in relief when saw it," he said.
He spent 10 days carrying out his own repairs and then drove it all the way back to Baghdad, a 13-hour journey that would have taken four in a modern car. "When I reached Baghdad," he said, "people were stopping me in the streets to take pictures and videos. It was like a dream to me and to the people."
The 49-year-old father of six is part of a small community of vintage car aficionados who are hoping to rekindle their passion now that the war against the Islamic State group is over. For many, the cars remind them of happier times in Iraq, before decades of war and chaos, which they hope are finally coming to an end.
"These cars have something spiritual that lets you feel the happiness of the good old days," said Mahmoud, who also owns a 1964 GMC pickup. The pickup is in a mechanic's garage in Mosul's Old City, in an unsecured area cordoned off by security forces.
Mahmoud had two other vintage cars — a 1957 Dodge Coronet and a 1967 Dodge pickup — but U.S. soldiers towed them away in 2006 after warning him against parking them on the street without getting them repaired, saying militants could use them to conceal roadside bombs. He said he cried when they were taken away.