Jeep Re-builders

by Taimur Mirza

There was a time when Jeeps were only owned and maintained by the either the Landlords for a visit to the lands or shikari's (hunters) or contractors engaged in construction/mining in remote areas. With the introduction of Pajero’s and Land Cruiser’s a more comfortable approach to the wilderness was available to the not so outdoors kind. Pakistan Army, the single largest possessor of Jeeps gradually phased out the American Legend and replaced its fleet with Toyotas, the auctioned Jeeps found their way in the driveways of enthusiasts, sparkling and shining re-built by a few Master professionals.

Only a few mechanics specialize in re-building Jeeps in Karachi like Ghani, Late Dawood whose son now manages the workshop, Laloo, Noor Mohammad and Ustaad (Teacher) Shafi. Of these Late Dawood and Noor Mohammad were apprentices of Shafi, and like countless other apprentices, having learnt the skills and the ability to manage their own workshops ventured to start a new life, of course, with the blessings of their tutor – quite unlike the colleges, technical institutes and Universities conferring Degrees and Diplomas to successful candidates- they started their careers as mechanics. Dawood progressed to achieve International fame in re-building vintage Jeeps and restoring some of the finest, now in the collection of the rich and famous.

In their 40 odd years of professional lives they further passed on training and skills to countless number of students most of who are excellent mechanics themselves repairing cars and public transport vehicles, however, Shafi, like Dawood and Ghani mostly re-build Jeeps or other 4X4 vehicles.

My first encounter with Shafi was almost twenty years back when I had a 1974 Jeep with a 4 cylinder petrol engine. Driving back from the beach one day I took the Mirza Adam Khan Road and saw five or six jeeps parked outside a workshop, without thinking twice I turned into the gate and stopped, there were people working on Jeeps and all of them were sort of stunned at my behavior of trespassing that imaginary line, looking at me not moving, as if frozen. I stepped out and asked who the mechanic was, and a simple looking elderly man approached me and said; 'aaaan bolo' (yes what can I do for you). I said my vehicle was a gas guzzler and the carb needed adjustment; 'pachaas rupiya ooaenga' (it’ll be fifty rupees) he replied without even looking under the hood what the problem was. I said I needed the work done not how much it would cost, and again it was the same reply in the typical Baluchi accent, I nodded in agreement. Ever since I have had millions of conversations with him covering a vast range of subjects; Jeeps, technology, space travel, National Geographic and Discovery Channel, drought, rainfall, politics, love affairs, family matters, boozing and prohibition, off roading, and movies; here I must mention his favorite actors; 'Butt Lungbaashter' and 'Crack Dugluss' were heroes of his era and the best movie ever made is 'Mecknas gold'.

Over the years Shafi has re-built over hundred Jeeps all according to the individual choice of customers ranging from heavy truck owners using jeeps for carting truck spares in case of breakdowns, hunters who normally are serious of-roaders use Jeeps for their hunting trips, non 4X4 enthusiasts who just for the sake of having a Jeep for an occasional drive along the Beach Avenue on weekends, people either living or working on exploration, mining or construction projects in remote areas of Sindh and Baluchistan. Then there are these groups of people who are constantly out to discover shrines of Sufi saints in the most inaccessible and remote parts and religiously visit one or the other every Thursday evening, the further the shrine is away from civilization and the harsher the terrain the higher in esteem is the saint with no dearth of stories of miracles. And finally, there is a group of people like me who feel limbless without a Jeep, who have been rendered incapable of driving even the best luxury car available, their existence synonymous with Jeep and who venture out of cities once in a while on camping and off roading trips, in short for my type of customers, Jeep is a necessity and Shafi fully understands our requirements.

Having passed his knowledge down to his two sons, Ayub and Omar, It would take a lifetime for them to equal the experience and wisdom of 45 years of Shafi’s life, successfully re-building some of the finest Jeeps in Karachi. Standing, looking out through the 2nd floor window of his comfortable retreat with glazed eyes, he once said; 'kaisa zamana badal gaya hai, bohat achaa waqt guzara hai mae nae is shehr Karachi maen.' (How times have changed, I have lived a full life in this city called Karachi.)

Posted in Workshops, May 15, 2004, by Taimur Mirza

Your Comments (21)

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M. Hameed Sumbal on July 14, 2004 10:36 PM

Extremly valuable information. I like the way U narated it sir.

I am an automobile enthusiast. I live in Lahore and I ma looking for a god Jeep rebuilder.

I think I have an answer now.

I want to get some opinions and tips from u sir.

I would be obliged if U give me ur email address.



Taimur Mirza on July 15, 2004 9:58 AM

Khurram Baig on September 8, 2004 6:09 PM

Great article, a real pleasure to see someone write on the subject of jeeps and rebuilding them. I have been going to Laloo for over a decade now, Hos sons have taken up the same line of work but are more jeep mechanics than rebuilders. Really nice to know there are others out there that share the same passion, Jeeps.

Sameer on November 21, 2004 11:31 PM

Hey i`m Sameer, I live in Lahore.It started with like a week back when i started taking interest to build a jeep for myself. The actual motive of the jeep would not be to indulge itself into full time off roading but sometimes for the sake of fun. Basically i would like to have some info about where to buy the jeep from ? where to get a new engine from ? questions like these are bluging out from my head and after colsulting your website and reading these articles i decided to post you for help. My basic objective would be to get built a attractive wide body converted jeep maybe a new model of CJ7 could work out very well or you suggest me any other model available in the local market. I certainly do expect a reply from you. And with the detail of the workships the resale showrooms and all .... Expecting for an early reply .. ( i need information regarding Lahore`s accesibility )ThanXx

Taimur Mirza on November 23, 2004 11:37 AM

I suggest you take a trip to Pindi and check out the re-builders there, some excellent work is being done there and good sturdy offroad Jeeps are re-built. It would be cheaper and you would have hands on experience while your dream jeep is being made besides knowing your vehicle inside out, a pre requisite for an offroader.
All the best.

Shakilur rahman on November 28, 2004 5:37 PM

We are also in the making of 4×4 jeeps with the exception that we specialize in giving our own design to the vehicles.
In case you or your members are interested in 4×4 jeeps (custom made) we are there.


Moca Technologies

b.t.butt on December 27, 2004 8:42 PM

i was very pleased to read all the letters from jeeps shokeen , i thought i was the the only one in the field. although i donot have a jeep in uk but soon i will be retiring to my native pakistan jhelum . and then i wish to buy one smaller version of course . do you know anywhere i can buy a second hand jeep not 4/4 desiel one. please advise me. happy nw year to you all. i found t. mirza letter very interesting.

Shaikh on March 11, 2005 10:16 AM

Asalam O Alaikum,
I am from Karachi and what a piece of article by Mr Taimur Mirza. Specially the funny part of balochi ppl used to say crack douglus i have my balouchi friends and they used to say "awaa khata hai" need air and "fetrol fumf" Petrol Pump
anyway rest is that i recently visited Gwadar 3 months back and as u know that FWO made nice track all over and through that i have an interest in buying jeep
I was broke and then i buy SUZUKI LJ 50 I have rebuild myself the exterior part but i am little confused with the engine part it has a 2 stroke engine can any one help me out who is the professional in makin these engine or should i put on 4 stroke engine and i m interested in buying CJ7 if anyone has it plz let me know.
Sorry that there should be comments regarding this article , Actually i must say that u are really a fine discoverer and what a trip it would be and nice piece of mahine u have.

Bilal Bajwa on July 27, 2005 12:46 AM

Taimur, great article. Need your advise. Can I get your #? You can either email me or sms me at +92 300 8432187. Thanks a bundle.

Perwez on August 29, 2005 2:22 PM

Dear taimur Mirza,

I would like to know the postal addresses of Ghani, Laloo, Noor Mohammad and Ustaad Shafi. Please reply ASAP as I could spare some time for my dream jeep that I have been thinking about for years. I want to get the job done by your recommended Jeep builders but I do not have their contact number or address. Please help.

Taimur Mirza on September 1, 2005 1:58 PM

What I can do is to get phone numbers of these guys and post them here for quick easy access.
fot the moment I have only:

Shafi's : w/shop: 2520538
: cell: 0333 3031050

Salman Khalid on October 24, 2005 9:34 AM

Hi..I live in Lahore and I am looking for some experienced and competent mechanic to rebuild my Cj-7 Jeep. Please help me to find some experienced one in Lahore. Thanks

ryan on December 28, 2005 11:53 PM

hello my name is ryan , and i am just wanting to let you know i manage a jeep wrecking yard where we have all years and models (lots of used parts)and we ship world wide. please e-mail me with any questions or requests.
jeeprecyclers redding CA. USA

Ali Saeed on February 15, 2006 4:31 PM

Awosome info.

I know nothing about jeeps, recemmend a jeep to me, which can go smooth on beach sand... i use to go Mubarak Goath weekly for fishing

I want a basic jeep which can fillfull my requirement ...

please reply

shahzaib on March 15, 2006 8:05 PM

i am the worlds greatest automobile enthusiast any one who is building or involved in any type of auto mobile work i can help him both technically and financially

hammad shah on April 28, 2006 12:48 PM

its amazing stuff......... i just got absorbed in the narration.....

Aamir Basrai on May 26, 2006 2:43 PM

Hey Taimur, Excellent information, for laymen like us!, however wanted advice from pro's like you onbuying a jeep, i go to Hingol 4-5 times a year, for fishing, but am dependent on ppl who have 4wd, so want to buy one of mine, got to Mubarak Goth, Ormara & places like about Vintage 1951? much would that cost?....or some other 4×4?.....
Will be looking fwd to hearing from you soon.

Arsalan on June 11, 2006 3:28 AM

Assalam O Alaikum.
I've a Isuzu Trooper, 1990. My rides engine is almost dead. and I'm unable to locate a good engieire for my ride. Is this mechanic still alive?
If yes, can you e-mail me his details?

Best Regards,
Arsalan Arif

Mir Islam on October 4, 2006 7:19 AM

Ustaad Ghani's Number is
and his son FAYAZ whose in the same line...

Farhan on May 23, 2007 1:55 AM

Excellent Article by Taimur ! Recently I bought Pajero '92. The only thing that worries me is its engine, its weak, yet the mech I consulted recommends not to rebuild it but better change it. Any idea where can i get a good 2800CC intercooler sound one (on exchange basis) Or if anyone who can testify that Ustad Ghani should have a second look at it before i decide to change it.

Thanks a lot to everyone.

farhan on September 21, 2007 3:42 AM

I have a CJ6 jeep,also have an unregistered wrangler,wanted to convert my CJ6 into wrangler,is it possible,how much would it cost?

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