Vintage cars and bikes pay tribute to golden era of automotive industry
New Delhi: On a pleasant Saturday morning, a corner of the India Gate went decades back in time all thanks to around 125 vintage cars and 35 vintage two wheelers, which gathered here as part of the 21 Gun Salute International Vintage Car Rally & Concours Show 2018.
Starting at 10am from India Gate, the vintage automobiles took a 33-km journey as part of the rally and reached Ambience Greens, Golf Course, Gurgaon, around noon, where these will be showcased till Sunday.
“Every year, as a tribute to the golden era of the automotive industry, we organise this rally. This year we have special entries and esteemed guests from the global motoring brotherhood. We have entries from the US, the UK, Australia, Seychelles and Italy,” said Madan Mohan, founder and managing trustee of 21 Gun Salute Heritage & Cultural Trust.
Robert Gaines-Cooper, an 80-year-old collector from Seychelles, showed off his Silver Cloud 3 Mulliner Park Ward MPW.
“I bought this 1965 model in 1966. This is fastest Rolls Royce I ever had... Even have the chocolate version of this back home. This is my third year here for this rally but it’s the first time this car has come,” Gaines-Cooper, who is originally from England, said.
In previous editions, he had come to Delhi with his 1908 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost.
The oldest participant of the rally, however, was a 1903 Humber Humberette owned by Abbas Jasdanwalla from Mumbai. Some examples of few last surviving editions included 1939 Delage D8-120 from the USA and the 1965 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud. The 1942 Packard 180 Limo, which is the only car in the country at present which was made during World War II, along with the restored 1938 Armstrong Sidley, previously owned by Maharaja of Kapurthala, was also among the head turners.
“Very few cars were made during World War II. This 1942 Packard 180 Limo is significant for that very reason and is the only WWII car in the country,” Mohan said.
Union minister of state for culture Mahesh Sharma, who flagged off the rally said such events showcase the rich cultural heritage of the country.
“These events add colours to the vibrant tourism sector of the country. The current generation will also get to appreciate the culture of preservation that these car lovers espouse,” Sharma said, who also sat in the open-top Humber, that has old-styled lamps on its sides.
Apart from the garages of collectors in Delhi, cars came from Kanpur, Jaipur, Udaipur, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur.
And visitors came from different corners of the city. Bharat Kumar Rai, a Janak Puri resident, arrived at 8.30 with his son and grandson. The trio got busy taking pictures with each and every car that caught their fancy.
“I saw it in the newspaper that this rally will be held. So we decided to come. These things are difficult to own but you can admire for free. And also take photos with it,” the 66-year-old businessman said.