Nelson Mandela was also a car aficionado image

As we all mourn the passing of the great Nelson Mandela, interesting facts about his life come to our attention. And one of them turns out to be an appreciation for cars.

It’s all made very clear the in the film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, which just came to theaters, directed by Justin Chadwick. Especially in his early days as a lawyer, before joining the African National Congress in the struggle against the apartheid government of South Africa, Mandela had an eye for great cars.

“Mandela loved these cars. He was a real fanatic as a young man,” says Chadwick. “If you knew Mandela as a young man you knew he had a love of fine clothes, tailoring and these great vehicles.”

The British-born Chadwick, whose own father is a car enthusiast, said he paid special attention to getting as many unique period cars into the film, which spans the greater part of the century for the now 95-year-old Mandela.

“I was obsessed about having the best cars available. And we kept unearthing these great cars. We had over 500 vintage cars in the movie, which has to be some kind of Guinness record for a film. They are in the background and the foreground throughout,” says Chadwick.

Of particular importance was getting the ancient Chevy that Mandela proudly drove as a young man. The filmmakers found a like model and Chadwick spent lots of time in the back seat shooting scenes with Idris Elba, who plays Mandela, driving down South Africa’s winding roads.

Via USA Today