Cruising along in a classic beauty | autos | Hindustan Times
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Cruising along in a classic beauty

56 historic cars including Chevrolet Belair, Volkswagen Beetle and Fiat Millicanto showcased in the capital.

autos Updated: Mar 13, 2011 01:35 IST
Namya Sinha

Delhi definitely likes to show off its swanky and shiny new wheels. But the city also has a thing for vintage cars. On Saturday, Delhi showcased 56 historic cars at the Cartier ‘Travel With Style’ Concours event. On February 26, the Heritage Motor Club of India, in association with Nizamuddin East Colony Association organised a Ride with History — which showcased cars, such as the Chevrolet Belair, Volkswagen Beetle and Fiat Millicanto. Talking at the event, Diljit Titus, HMCI secretary, explained that the purpose of such rallies is “to showcase the vintage beauties to children and inspire them to become collectors.”

As old and new collectors bring out their vintage beauties for a cruise around the Capital’s roads, we talk to three such collectors and find out what fuels their passion for classic cars.

Anubhav Nath, 29, Sundar Nagar
1936 Car Maybach model SW 38
This convertible was originally owned by Maharaja of Patiala Anubhav Nath, the 29-year-old entrepreneur, inherited the passion for cars from his grandfather. “I have inherited these cars from my grandfather. I grew up with them and I just love them,” says Nath. Though he hasn’t expanded on his inherited collection yet, he says he ensures that they are well looked after. “I ensure that they are maintained in top condition — regularly painted and oiled, among other things,” he explains. Two of his favourite cars are the Rolls Royce (1912) and a Blue Cadillac (1959). Like most vintage car collectors, Nath too, has to make special efforts to get spare parts for his cars. “I get them from all over the world, sometimes spare parts need to be locally made if it is not available anywhere.” “It is not possible to take out these cars in the summers because there is no air-conditioning. Generally, October to March is the best time to drive these vintage cars,” he explains. However, Nath rarely takes these cars for a drive around Delhi. “It attracts a lot of attention and in the attempt to get near the car many drivers end up bumping into it and making a dent on it! It is just not a good experience to drive them in Delhi’s congested traffic,” he says.

Diljeet Titus, 45, GK I
1957 Chevrolet Belair Sedan Belonged to the Raja of Tehri Garwal

Delhi-based entrepreneur Diljeet Titus is among India’s most prominent vintage car collectors. The passion for cars, he says, is a childhood acquisition. “It was in the year 1999 that I started collecting cars. The first classic car I owned was a 1947 Austin A40. At the moment, I have 82 classics and vintage cars,” he says. Titus explains that his cars are specially restored at his farm in Jaunpur with the help of a team of 10 professional restorer. Keen to share his passion for these cars with the public, in 2003 Titus set up a museum in Jaunpur, which displays not only cars but several horse carriages as well. “Some of my favourite cars are Minerva Type AL (1933) and a Stutz (1930),” he says.
The museum is open to the public by appointment.
Phone: 011- 26280100

Gajpat Grewal, 38, South Extension
1955 Studebaker Commander, acquired from a Parsi collector in Pune
Entrepreneur Gajpat Grewal, who had 30 vintage cars today, grew up with these classy machines around. “My mother belonged to a royal family and they always had cars. My father had American cars. Over a period of time, these cars got labelled as junk and some got sold off, while others luckily stayed back and came to me,” recalls Grewal. His favourite cars are the Dodge La Femme (1957), c(1962), Chevy Impala Continental (1966). Carefully maintained, Grewal says he usually takes these cars out in the winter, but adds that driving around in Delhi is a little difficult. “It becomes a big hassle as people try to touch the mirrors or even fiddle with the logo without realising that these cars are something that will not come back again!”