Forty two years ago, give or take, the United Nations established a buffer zone between warring Turks and Greeks on the island of Cyprus. This zone became a long-standing no-man’s land, varying from a few feet to a few miles wide. Inside sit abandoned cafes, homes, businesses and (hey, we’re a car site, right?) a couple of car dealerships. Some of these places were photographed some years ago, by trespassers willing to risk being shot by military protagonists on both sides of the divide, but today access is nearly impossible. Photography here is punishable by up to two years in jail. Locals call this place ‘the dead zone’. Luckily for us, a MotorPunk serving in the UN peace-keeping force had a camera and recently took these snaps of the Toyota dealership that has been untouched in forty two years.


There are about ten Toyota Celicas here, first generation cars, the blue one is an ST with a 1.6 litre single carb engine and not much oomph – but with fantastic Seventies styling. Inside there’s just 38 miles showing on the clock, and note the slots in the dash for 8 tracks. Some foolhardy soul has nicked a couple of trim parts and bored soldiers have put the boot in here and there but the cars look in good shape. It’s interesting to see the rust. These cars are stored in a dry environment in one of Europe’s hottest countries and still rusted, no wonder old Toyotas out on the roads rotted away to nothingness so quickly. There are Corollas here, too, and in the basement there’s a workshop full of work-in-progress that will never be finished.

Down the road, behind barbed wire at the abandoned airport, sits this decaying Hawker Trident.


I wonder what the dead zone will look like in another forty two years time?

Car pics – (I can’t believe I’m typing this) The United Nations. Hawker Trident pic and warning sign pic courtesy of Wikipedia. 

About The Author

Rich Duisberg

Rich Duisberg* has had work published in Classic & Sportscar, Practical Performance Car, Modern Mini, Banzai, MogMag, Evo, GT Porsche, Complete Kit Car, Absolute Lotus, Alternative Cars, Classic Retro Modern, and elsewhere. Rich often appears on CBS’s XCAR and Carfection channels, and Motors TV, plus JayEmm on Cars, enthusing about historic motoring. His latest book (find his work on Amazon) was described by SniffPetrol as "hilarious", although he was also threatened with legal action by elderly DJ Tim Westwood. In his Midlands man cave is a 1972 Fiat 500, a Lotus Elise, a BMW barge and a vintage Royal Enfield pushbike. Previous machines of interest include an Mk1 MX5 (owned for 14 years!), an Alfa GTV6, a Porsche 968 and a Sinclair C5. The Metro (right) was bought for an experiment, and abandoned in Africa. "I am not getting in a car with him" -  said Le Mans winner, Derek Bell. *A nom-de-plume inspired by the BBC's League of Gentlemen.

3 Responses

    • Dr.Octane

      A long time ago I heard there was an abandoned BMW dealership in this strip too, but a Google trawl reveals nothing now. I might be mistaken.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.