The 50th edition of the annual The Statesman Vintage and Classic Car Rally will be held on Sunday, 28 February. The organisers have received a record number of 143 entries from all over the country for the golden jubilee of the Rally.

The Statesman Rally, which has been providing a genuine platform to vintage car lovers since 1966, will be flagged off by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, from Statesman House, Barakhamba Road, at 10 a m. As always a ‘Follow Me’ vehicle of the Indian Oil Corporation will lead the old beauties. The rally which will proceed to Greater Noida will end at the National Stadium, where car lovers will be treated to the melodic tunes of the BSF band. With just a day to go for the Rally, Modern School, Barakhamba road, played host to the prejudging ceremony where around 18 Vintage and Classic cars went through a through prejudging inspection in order to finally take part in the Statesman Rally this Sunday.

According to the judges, there are a total of ten parameters on the basis of which the cars are judged. They are: Engine, Mechanical maintenance, Restoration, Originality, Interiors, Exteriors, Instruments, Chassis, Tyres and Performance. The pre-judging event started at 2 p m when a sky blue Dodge came gliding in through the school gates. The car was immediately inspected by a dedicated team of judges who inspected the car from every angle. Eventually the premises saw a flurry of colours as the Dodges, the Fords and vintage cars from World War 2 made an appearance.

"The main area of inspection is the mechanical maintenance which has the highest marks of 10, the rest of the parameters are equally divided. We concentrate on how faithfully the car has been restored and how close is the restoration to the time period to which the car belongs," said Indermeet Singh, one of the judges. He added, "There are times when there may be certain issues, a car may belong to 1963 period but the owner may claim that it is from 1960, it is up to the competence of the judges to find out subtle differences and make a fair judgment call."

The pre-judging ceremony was headed by R N Seth and assisted by Jitender Pandit, Rakesh Jain, Appasheb Alur, Gyan Sharma, Pramod Bhasin, Ashwani Kathpalia, Farhan Kidwai, Bernard Bahout, Field Marshall Indermeet Singh and two judges from EME. The 50th Statesman Vintage and Classic Car Rally is being sponsored by Bird Group, Titus and Co, Indian Oil, ONGC, NBCC, LIC, Punjab National Bank and Bank of India.