By christophersaul on Nov 09, 2008
I'm in sunny Casablanca this week, coming home on Weds.
Casablanca seem to have sprouted some more modern buildings since I first started coming here, 6 years ago. Lots of newer cars on the road as well, vying for space with the odd donkey cart and the ancient Mercedes and Peugeot taxis. There's quite a stark contrast between new and old.
New airport terminal as well, which gives a much better impression on arriving. It still retains some features of the old terminal though, with no-smoking signs being largely ignored.
Coming out of the airport I saw two of my favourite cars on Moroccan roads. A classic Series III SWB Land Rover and a Police Wrangler Sport.
The Land Rovers are everywhere, used as recovery vehicles. They must be at least thirty years old now. I wonder who sold that deal? They probably retired to a large mansion just outside of Coventry.
The Wranglers always surprise me - I would have thought that they weren't very practical police vehicles. The 6 litre engine would be uneconomical and the 4 litre version a little underpowered for bumpy roads and four people in the car. Maybe Jeep got them a special diesel model? Two doors and no storage space as well - where do you stick your hardened criminals after they've given themselves in, guvnor? If you've seen Babel, with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, the Moroccan police use these Wranglers while tracking down the boy who fired the rifle shot that hits Blanchett's character.
The Land Rovers are a good fit, with various other models to be seen in public and private use. The only Jeeps around are police only. Purchased as part of some kind of US investment package maybe?