Pic of the Day: Damascus Gate Parking Chaos, Early-1990s *Updated

Damascus gate taxis

This photo came up at an Israeli cars’ forum some time ago, and I thought it might be of interest to the CC community. Its origin is from a book about Jerusalem, and it shows an aerial view of what used to be a parking area (if you can call it that) near the Damascus (or Nablus) Gate at the old city walls.

Up until the formation of the Palestinian Authority in 1993 and the Israeli-Jordanian Peace Agreement in 1994, the West-Bank was, among other things, being governed rather messily. Although the region was under Israeli military law since the 1967 Six-Day-War, many services were still being provided by Jordan, including registrations and licensing of cars, clearly bearing blue plates rather than the Israeli yellow ones. Besides that, many cars, mostly Taxis (a lot of which were elongated W114/115, W123s and W124 MBs) would cross over the Jordan border carrying passengers on their way to meet families in or near Jerusalem (and of course, around Israel itself. I have vivid memories of these driving around my home-town as I was growing up).

Essentially this is what you see here, hoards of W123s (with inevitable roof-racks) but also many Peugeot 504s (sedan and estate), VW T2s and Transit vans, all of which were very favorable with the local inhabitants (whether Jews or Arabs). Of course, there are more marks, such as Subarus, some early Ford Sierras (one of which is a Police-car!), an early Fiat 127, an elongated Opel Omega, first gen. Seat Ibiza, a couple of CJ6s and many more.

Although in the aforementioned forum it was claimed that the photo dates to the early 1990s, I’d wager that it was actually taken in the mid-1980s, as I could not spot a single W124, and that’s just wouldn’t be possible in Israel come the early 1990s; W124s were selling by the bucket-load especially as taxis, both regular or elongated. * Following the comments below, I concede that this photo indeed dates from the early 1990s, thus changed the post’s headline.

I’ve divided the photo in two to make it essentially larger and easier on the eyes. I’ll leave you the rest to go over and discover whatever you may find, but see if you can spot the sole Fiat 132 in there: