On the first day of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Polo Championship that is being held in Ludhiana, spectators got a whiff of luxury as the who’s-who of the state assembled in their very best. But, even before the polo match began on Friday, visitors were treated to a glance of vinatge cars that date back at least three decades. Driven on the grounds by their passionate and proud owners, these vintage cars made a grand and much whistled-at entry on the grounds. A talk with their owners, mostly businessmen, reveals how it feels to own an evergreen entity.
Avtar Singh Bhogal, 61
The car that he owns carries a rich and prestigious heritage. After all, it is a 1933 model Aston Martin that towers above all others when it comes to luxury and elegance.
Owned by Avtar since the last 30 years, he and his family love it so much that they can never think of selling it.
“It is priceless and beyond comparison. We feel very special when we enjoy its ride once a week in the evening. In fact, it is no less than a celebrity as everyone wants to take a picture along with it,” smiles Avtar, who also makes it clear that passion and age have no expiry dates.
Pavit Libra, 35
Pavit displayed two of his best cars out of his grand collection that he claims to own. Both the US-made cars - a 1966 model of Mustang V8 and a 1956 model of Studebaker - stand out for their iconic brand value and classic bodies. “I have a big collection of vintage cars, but for this championship, I decided to display these two. All my cars are the cynosure of all eyes and I call them evergreen cars. No matter where I take them, they don’t fail to captivate people,” boasts Pavit, adding with a laugh that many a times, youngsters follow them till the gate of his home.
Shivraj Singh Sidhu, 24
The youngest of all vintage car owners maintains that it is all together a unique experience to own an old 1961 model of Italian-made Fiat car, which makes him and his family feel very imperial whenever they enjoy its ride.
“We use it more in the winters as it isn’t air conditioned. But, its seats are very cozy and comfortable. Interestingly, when we take it on the roads, people go crazy while taking its pictures.
This makes us feel so good,” smiles Shivraj, whose father, Parminder Singh Sidhu, 57, also takes keen interest in old luxury cars and was the one to have bought it about 20 years ago from a dealer in Ludhiana.
The car is now an antique possession of the Sidhu family, making a rare public appearance on special functions.
Parminderpal Singh Gill, 61; Inderpal Singh Gill, 36
Both father and son displayed their 1969 German Volkswagen, a camper that they own since 1977 and have been using only to go on picnics or for long journeys.
Europeans, especially the Germans who are very fond of travelling, have maintained the tradition to own such vehicles that come replete with a mini, full-service kitchen, including a washbasin, bed, table, a baby cot and much more.
Last year, the Gill family travelled to Shimla on the same camper.“We love using it, especially when we have to cover longer distances,” says Parminderpal, adding, “Often, at Wagah-Attari border, parked campers from Europe can be spotted.
They come to India via road from European cities, travelling with ease using all their modern facilities.”