Snuggled off in the middle of the cornfields of central Illinois, is the little town of Chenoa. That is where I spent my 4th of July, 2016. Chenoa is situated about 20 miles from where I live.
There was a local car show as part of the community celebration. I decided it would be fun to take the Iraqibu and show it off. I was surprised at the response. I had not even been parked 5 minutes before the gentleman (shown in the pix), came over to look at my car. "I know this car", he said (in broken English). " I have seen many of them. Not so many lately, but in the past." I asked where he saw them and he responded, "In Iraq. I am from there and came over to visit my son who lives here in Chenoa." He noted that he had not seen one in such good condition for many years.
I had the Len Coates review laminated and stuck on one of the windows. He looked at it and said,"This is somewhat wrong." When I asked why, he told me that they were never used as a taxi in Iraq, at least not at first. He said that Saddam Hussein, in 1981 and 1982 awarded them as gifts to his senior officers when they came back from fighting the Iranians. I then asked how he knew this and he said, "He gave me one." What a small world! He also noted that "Nobody really like the manual gear shift, so in 1983, they switched to VW Passat's, then later to Toyota."
You can't have a car show without awards. Although greatly unexpected, the Iraqibu was chosen 3rd best vehicle in the 1976 & Above class. What made it interesting was that the voting for the awards given out was done by those whom had entered cars in the show. I felt honored.