The countdown has begun for the 52nd edition of The Statesman Vintage and Classic Car Rally 2018 to be held here on 11 February. Like its edition every year, the upcoming event is set to be a spectacular treat for vintage car enthusiasts as a slew of ancient beauties rev up their engines and drive down the streets of the Capital as well as memory lane of an enchanting bygone era.

The rally will be flagged off from Statesman House, Barakhamba Road, at 10 a.m. on Sunday and will culminate at the Dhyanchand National Stadium at noon. It will be flagged off by NDMC chairman Naresh Kumar.

The chief guest at the prize distribution function later in the day will be Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal. The participants will make their way to the finish line on a set route. On the way, the cars will be assessed for on-road performance and will be later put on display for visitors.

The vehicles will roll out in order of age, with the oldest cars to be flagged off first to be followed by their younger counterparts. Altogether 91 vehicles are participating in this rally, comprising 58 from the vintage category, 12 from the classic section, 10 belonging to the post war section and 11 from the special category.

A vintage car has to date back from the period between World War I and II, while classic cars must be aged between 30 and 49 years. Of the 91 vehicles, there are 15 first-time entries in this year’s rally. Seven of the first-time entries are in the vintage section, three in classic, two from post-war and three are placed in the special category. The new entries include a Morris 1949, which belongs to noted artist Jatin Das.

Some of the iconic vintage cars which will take part in the rally include the 1914 John Morris fire engine from the Rail Museum and Rolls Royces among others. The Statesman Vintage and Classic Car Rally is among the oldest running vintage car rallies in India. The Statesman has been organising the rally since 1964 in the national capital.

In the run-up to the rally, all participating vehicles will be evaluated on the basis of their age, originality and maintenance by a team of experts. The pre-judging of the cars will be conducted for two consecutive days beginning 9 February at Modern School on Barakhamba Road.

The panel of judges will be led by veteran expert R N Seth along with Jitender Pandit, Rakesh Jain, Gyan Sharma, Ashwini Kathpalia, Farhan Kidwai and Appa Saheb Alur. Like every year, there will also be a special souvenir and a four-page supplement, throwing light on the participating cars as well as their collectors.