The neighbourhood’s wall of exclusivity has since been chipped away by the pedestrian masses. But the vintage classic cars Mr Anobil repairs at his One Stop Auto Centre provide a bridge to the past.
While one apprentice hammers at a stubborn piece of metal that is resisting remoulding, a young man with a pair of pliers dangling from his pocket hunches over the skeleton of a 1958 Mercedes Benz 219, trying to coax and tickle the engine back to life.
After a bit of spluttering, the old Merc clears its rusty throat and responds, revving again and again. “Sounds like music; it’s like a jet fighter, man,” exclaims Mr Anobil.
And as if on cue, the radio DJ belts out “Keep on Moving, Don’t Stop” by Soul II Soul from the 80s.
All around the part open-air workshop, there are vintage classics in various stages of resuscitation. “The owner gave me this Merc 219 to fix and sell so that we’ll share the money,” says Mr Anobil.
“The 219s were team rally cars so they’re quite unique and very rare; very powerful as well.”
The engineering that goes into old cars – the shape, the suspension, everything is much more rugged and suitable for Africa
A friend of Mr Anobil’s has made brand new leather upholstery for it.
The clutch isn’t working properly, however. “I’m going to re-modify the whole clutch system and then it’ll be ready to take on the new E-class,” laughs Mr Anobil.
One of the most elegant cars at the workshop is a 50-year-old Austin Princess, a roomy vehicle sprayed in two tones of tan.
“This ‘girl’ belongs to an investment banker,” says Mr Anobil.
“He rents it out for weddings at about $500 per event.”
The Princess has come to the workshop for a few cosmetic enhancements.
Mr Anobil tries as much as he can to use parts that are as close to the original as possible.
But sometimes that is difficult for vehicles that are so many decades old.
“Like that Jaguar over there,” says Mr Anobil pointing to a gleaming dark-brown 1960s Mk II.
“It was in such a bad state that we rebuilt the engine with donor parts from Nissan and other brands, so it’s not a thoroughbred.”
But it looks like a big, bad, beautiful boy nevertheless.
Mr Anobil understudied his father who had a workshop in Accra.
“He was a champion mechanic; he used to fix Austin Healeys, Rolls Royces and so on,” he recalls.
When his father passed away, Mr Anobil took over the tools and hasn’t laid them down since.
He earned a Higher National Diploma in motor mechanics in the UK and worked for the UN in Sudan.
Now, he shuttles between Ghana and the UK where he teaches motor mechanics in technical schools.
Mr Anobil doesn’t limit himself to vintage classics, however.
Enoch Anobil (r) is trying to bring the glory days back to Ghana
“I have to work on new cars but that’s just to pay for a few expenses,” he says.
“But my passion is with old cars. The new cars have all these chips. You don’t have to do any work at all. You don’t have to think because there’re diagnostic readers which will do that for you,” moans Mr Anobil.
He believes that the new brands aren’t well-suited for the conditions in Africa. “The engineering that goes into old cars – the shape, the suspension, everything is much more rugged and suitable for Africa.”
Mr Anobil drives a 37-year-old Lancia Fulvia. “It’s strong, it’s fast, it’s got a veneered wood and leather interior and it carries me like an old loyal friend.” BBC