This evening it was about honoring those who made it possible for the oldest English daily to host its most prized annual celebration of heritage, the Vintage Car Rally, which enters its 53rd year this year.
Scores of vintage and classic cars are all set to roll out to participate in the 53rd edition of The Statesman Vintage & Classic Car Rally 2019 in the national capital on Sunday.
More than 130 such cars are expected to take part in this annual vintage extravaganza. They would include 57 cars from the vintage category, 10 from the classic section, 20 from the post-War section, and 44 from other categories.
On Saturday, the second and final day of prejudging of these automobiles, enthusiastic participants made a beeline to get their cars examined by the rally judges ~ and get themselves registered for Sunday’s event ~ at Modern School, Barakhamba Road.
The rally’s marshal, Aniruddha Mittra, said, “Yesterday, 17 cars were prejudged on the basis of various parameters and 62 cars have been prejudged till 2 pm today. More cars are expected to turn up at Modern School for prejudging today.”
One of the judges, Pramod Bhasin, said, “There are 10 parameters on the basis of which the cars participating in this rally are prejudged, which include chassis, engine, mechanical, restoration, authenticity, originality, interior, exterior, instruments and tyres.”
Another judge, Rakesh Jain, said that youngsters were getting attracted to the rally.
“I have won 60 trophies in the Statesman rally over the years and it is not an easy job to maintain these vintage cars. But youngsters are now also getting attracted to the rally. This is a new development we have seen,” he said.
A panel of distinguished judges, headed by veteran expert RN Seth, conducted the prejudging of the motoring marvels participating in the rally and gave them points on various parameters. These parameters will be taken into account while judging the prize-winners in various categories at the rally.
The panel of judges also comprised of Jitender Pandit, Gyan Sharma, Ashwini Kathpalia, Appa Saheb Allur, Bernard and Sanjoya Gupta.
A first-time participant, Zubin, who was having his 1968 Volkswagen Beetle evaluated by the judges, said, “It is the passion and love for these cars which have brought us here to participate in the rally. It is like fulfilling of your wish when you buy these automobile beauties.”
Some of the iconic vintage automobiles taking part in the rally would include the 1914 John Morris fire engine from National Rail Museum ~ which is possibly the oldest automobile in the rally ~ Citroen (1920), Willys (1920), and Hillman (1939). Among other remarkable vehicles which woud be part of the rally are Buick (1940) and Jaguar (1955) from the classic section and Sunbeam Taibot (1940) and Fiat (1962) cars from the post-War category.
The rally will be flagged off by New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) chairman Naresh Kumar at Statesman House, Barakhamba Road, at 10 am.
All the cars in the rally will be driving down the route KG Marg-Curzon Road-India Gate-Pragati Maidan-Nizamuddin Ring Road-Noida Link Road-Greater Noida Expressway before turning back at Amity University, Greater Noida Expressway. The rally will enter the Purana Qila road to terminate at the National Stadium near India Gate.
In the afternoon, a prize distribution function will be held at the National Stadium. Prizes in different categories will be given to their winners by Delhi’s Lt Governor Anil Baijal.