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Hot wheels from yesteryear in top gear at Buddh International Circuit

The vintage car race on the Formula-1 track was part of the three-day motoring show that kicked off at India Gate on February 17. The race was flagged off by army chief General Bipin Rawat.

noida Updated: Feb 20, 2017 11:26 IST
Sohil Sehran
Sohil Sehran
Hindustan Times
Noida,vintage cars,Noida vintage cars
Vintage cars race for glory at the Buddh International Circuit on Sunday.(Sunil Ghosh/HT PHOTO)

Loud cheers rang out and the excitement and enthusiasm in the stands were palpable as over a hundred vintage cars hit the F-1 track at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) on Sunday to promote motoring tourism in the country.

Hundreds of auto enthusiasts from different states and even overseas massed in the stands to witness the vintage car race. The event, organised by 21 Gun Salute with an aim to making India a world class motoring tourism destination, held the spectators in thrall. The sizeable crowd cheered lustily as some lost gems from globally renowned automakers zoomed off. The spectators were on the edge of their seats as the cars raced for the finish line .

The vintage car race on the Formula-1 track was part of the three-day motoring show that kicked off at India Gate on February 17. The long line of vintage cars and bikes evoked curious glances as they headed for the Greater Noida racing circuit. The race was flagged off by army chief General Bipin Rawat.

On the way to the Buddh circuit, the long assembly of vintage cars passed through Purana Qila Road, Mahatma Gandhi Marg and the DND Flyway (Delhi Noida Direct Flyway).

Of the vintage cars that participated in the seventh edition of the race, the ones that grabbed most eyeballs were the 1912 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, 1976 RR Phantom 5, 1922 Moon, 1927 Lanchester and 1933 Cadillac V12 7 Passenger Limousine. A military vehicle, once owned by Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, who was the Chief of the Army Staff during the India-Pakistan war of 1971, was also on display.

The vintage cars, which once commanded global appeal, vied for attention on Noida roads on a warm Sunday afternoon. The spectators had free access to the racing events that were held under various categories.

Into its seventh edition this year, the 21 Gun Salute Vintage Car Rally and Concours Show offered an unique blend of the old and new as the event was hosted at the country’s most hi-tech racing circuit in Greater Noida. Cultural events were held between the races and Kathak, Kathakali, Bharatnatyam, Ghoomar and folk dances from Nagaland were performed. These events drew a lot of applause from spectators.

The event, this time, featured vehicles that have a proud history and legacy. The organisers said that this year’s selection of vintage cars was the most diverse and saw cars ranging from he 1912 Rolls Royce to the 1971 Ford Mustang.

The majority of cars sourced from the across the country for the racing events this year had never been showcased before. The ones which vied for attention this year were the 967 Rolls-Royce Phantom V and the 1912 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, U.K.

While Cadillac, Ford and Rolls-Royce still rule the global auto industry, this was the first time at a vintage car race that the 1939 Delahaye (Figoniet Falaschi) was presented on the show field.

The show gave viewers a sense of the evolution of the auto industry down the ages and the vehicles symbolised the pride, luxury and excellence in auto engineering of their times.

Madan Mohan, chairman, 21 Gun Salute Heritage and Cultural Trust and a proud owner of 350 vintage cars, said, “We wish to turn this rally into a heritage journey across various cities starting from Delhi. The idea is to not just showcase our motor heritage but also explore the rural parts of our country and bring out the rich cultural heritage.”

First Published: Feb 19, 2017 23:28 IST