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In the past lane: Classic cars, bikes put on vintage show in Thane

mumbai Updated: Jan 28, 2019 08:07 IST
Malavika Neurekar
Malavika Neurekar
Hindustan Times

Around 65 vehicles were displayed at the exhibition in Shelke’s Vintage Inn in Kolshet Road on Sunday.(HT/PRAFUL GANGURDE)

Last year, film make-up artist Sailee Bhiwandkar was awarded by the Western India Automobile Association (WIAA) for setting a record on her Vespa. She was recognised for covering the longest distance by a woman on a vintage vehicle, with a 300km ride from Mumbai to Pune and back.

The wheels for Sailee’s achievement were set in motion in 1967 when her family had bought that Vespa. The Bhiwandkars’ sense for the classics is further evidenced by the regular presence of three generations – Sailee, her father Sanjeev and grandfather Praful – at multiple vehicle rallies in the city over the years.

On Sunday, the family’s three Vespas and a Honda VF500F were four of 65 vehicles on display at a vintage vehicles exhibition at Shelke’s Vintage Inn in Kolshet Road, organised by the Heritage Vehicle Owners’ Club of Thane. Sunday’s was the 11th edition of the popular exhibition.

Vintage bikes and scooters at the exhibition. ( Praful Gangurde/ HT Photo )

The exhibition saw participants from Mumbai, Thane, Nashik and Pune. “I come to Thane every year, especially for this show,” says Dr Ajit Kanbur, a gynaecologist who moved to Dubai around eight years ago.

Kanbur displayed a four-doored Standard Herald, which he said is rare today. “The car is a British make and was introduced in the Indian market in the 1960s. It originally had two doors, which was inconvenient for Indians. As sales dropped, the company started producing four-doored models. However, production stopped soon after. Therefore, it is very rare to find a four-doored Standard Herald,” he explained.

The Indian Maharajas’ fascination with the Rolls Royce since the early 1900s is well documented. However, there are few vehicles that have been erased from public memory, claimed Vinnay Gurav, one of the founders of the club.

On the list of such “forgotten” vehicles that were part of the exhibition are Rajdoot Runabout, Rajdoot GTS 175, Enfield Fantabulous, Innocenti and Honda 250N Super Dream. The oldest vehicle on display was the Austin 12, dating back to 1929.

A four-doored 1972 Standard Herald (left) at the exhibition. ( Praful Gangurde/ HT Photo )

The first event held by the club began as an informal gathering near Masunda Lake, Thane, in December 2006. The founders of the club – Gurav, Digamber Yadav, Edward Rodrigues and Prakash Shelke – met at 7am with three vehicles. In a matter of hours, morning joggers and residents had thronged the area to look at the cars, according to Gurav.

“The traffic was out of control and had to be diverted by the police. It was this response that got us thinking about organising a formal event. We worked round the clock for the next few months and our first event was held in May 2007,” he added.

First Published: Jan 28, 2019 00:40 IST