sulabh swatchh bharat

Monday, 23-April-2018


The classic Delhi vintage car rally this year was bigger and better, with the barn find and Maharaja Cars categories enthralling aficionados

India Gate experienced an unexpectedly large crowd of tourists and spectators to spend their time last weekend. But other than them, there was also a separate group which had come to watch the vintage car rally presented by 21 Gun Salute, celebrating its seventh edition,showcasing more than 59 vintage cars, bikes, station wagons, Maharaja cars and jeeps.

Among these categories there was a new addition of barn find vehicles. The event was programmed in a way that it entertained the visitor and judges for complete three days starting from February 17. The seventh edition of the 21 Gun Salute International Vintage Car Rally &ConcoursShow, was inaugurated at the India Gate Grounds (August Kranti Park), New Delhi on February 17. The show was attended by car aficionados and connoisseurs of art and culture. The Chief Guest for the first day of this 3-day mega event was VinodZutshi, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Governmentof India, who inaugurated the display of Vintage & Classic cars.

The event itself was like a fest starting from the display ground, sponsors stalls and including dance and cultural programmes. The event was sponsored by Incredible India, which is the tourism ministry’s brand, Toyota, Amazing Thailand, Himachal and Tamil Nadu tourism departments, and so on. They even organised an art event where the owners with artists made portrays of their vintage vehicles. On entering the ground there was the display of a number of old models in cars, with different body styles, parked in a lineup.

Barn Find

The Barn Find category also attracted crowd attention.Barn find is a term for derelict old cars with all their defects, dents, cracks and rust. Usually, such cars are found in barns, hence the name. People were amazed to see the way the cars were restored and maintained, in good running conditions. There was a Royal Fire Engine which broke all stereotypes and made the visitors think how a fire truck like that could move on its own. One could feel the 1930s and 1940s in the air! Exquisite cars and the owners were standing next to their vehicles and showing off all the special features of their vehicles. Some of the owners started the old engines of the estate cars which had the smell of engine oil spreading in the atmosphere.

We heard a child asking someone “What are vintage cars?” people turned and saw a ten-year-old asking his grandfather this simple question. It was touching moment. The old man replied that “The distinction between antique, vintage, and classic cars varies in countries and car clubs, but a vintage car is generally viewed as a classic. The Vintage era of cars runs between 1919 to 1930. In 1929 the stock market in the West crashed, resulting in a serious lay-off period for auto workers. The automobile production, therefore, slackened between 1930 to 1950 and the old cars became a rarity and of great value.”

He added “Antique cars, consequently, are at the centre of the car collector hobby and vintage rally shows, but later models too find attention for their unique designs and features. High insurance amounts are possible for old cars based on ‘condition rating’ and ‘point system’. Many categories-the date of production, restoration, show quality, and so on, determine its value.”

Vintage History

It had found a beginning in post-independence period. One such beginning was when RoniKhurshedcher Khan initiated it in 1963 from his residence in Malabar Hills, Mumbai. He was then just 16 years old! His collection of cars still finds a place of pride with their present owners. The interesting fact is that at one point in time, history, heritage and culture, along with the rare collection of machines of yesteryears, attracted many visitors from the city who enjoyed the grand festivity that showcased the rich Indian legacy and narrated a vintage car-fable at India’s most celebratedhistoric site, the India Gate, Delhi.

Vintage and classic cars from Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, UP, Tamil Naidu, Gujarat, MP, Maharashtra and various other parts of the country were present. Beside these, more than 100 masterpieces of bygone era - the Maharaja Cars and international cars, restored and in good condition, were showcased. International beauties like the 1912 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, 1967 Rolls-Royce Phantom V and many more saloons and convertibles, from the imperial houses of Rolls Royce, Stutz, Buick, Ford, Chevrolet, Austin Martin and Bentley, like the 1922 Moon, 1927 Lanchester and 1933 Cadillac V12 7 Passenger Limousine, were the centre of attraction at the show field.

Nitin     Dossa, President, Vintage & Classic Car Club of India was present at the show. A collector at heart, the man has a pronounced taste for vintage and classic cars. He, along with other VCCCI club members, participated with 30 cars at the Concours Show. The event is a brainchild of Madan Mohan - one of the country’s biggest vintage car collectors.