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The Statesman Vintage Car Rally 2018: Pre-judging begins, watch beauties stride on Sunday

Dilip Guha | New Delhi |

It’s great to see mechanical history alive as vehicles from the dawn of the motoring age will once again pass through the roads of central Delhi on Sunday (11 February 2018) as part of the 52nd edition of The Statesman Vintage and Classic Car rally.

Car lovers and onlookers will line up to watch the spectacle as the cars will take the 24-km route from The Statesman House, Connaught Place up to JP Hospital, Greater Noida, and take a U-turn to reach Maj Dhyan Chand National Stadium, India Gate.

A spokesman of the event said: “This year more than 90 vehicles are participating in the rally, led by a 1914 John Morris Fire Engine owned by Rail Museum. There is Chevrolet 1932 owned by Daman Daval Thokore and Fiat Topolino owned by Amarjit Singh Sodhi , with owners travelling from as far as Ahmadabad and Chandigarh, respectively, for the journey. A Morris 1949 (owned by noted international artist Jatin Das), best of the Rolls Royce, Bentley, Buick, Langata and Minerva etc. would be the key attractions. A painting competition will also be held at National Stadium.”

 

The Statesman Vintage and Classic Car Rally
This 1914 John Morris fire engine will be the star attraction at the rally. (Photo: SNS)

Last year the participants of the rally shared a common emotion of fear as well as anguish after The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had banned plying of all diesel or petrol vehicles which were more than 15 years old, which would have not allowed them to showcase their prized possessions. Now, vintage car owners and the organisers are happy over the NGT decision to allow such vehicles to ply on the roads for rallies and exhibitions in Delhi with a few riders that satisfy prescribed norms under the Motor Vehicles Act.

The Statesman Vintage Car Rally Club secretary, Bhupinder Singh, who is also the organiser of the Vintage Car Rally, welcomed the order. “We are very happy that the NGT has finally given its nod so that we can take out these cars for maintenance, rallies and exhibitions. It is our duty to protect this heritage for next gen, which needs to be preserved at any cost, failing which these antique and vintage vehicles will go extinct,” Singh said

Many participants in the rally had bought classic cars in recent years, from resale and auctions. They struggle to find experienced mechanics and original spares. The pain of not getting that one original oil cap or a mirror or the door handle etc are loud and clear at evaluation of cars which is done on the basis of their age, originality and maintenance by a team of experts at the pre-judging of the cars at Modern School on Barakhamba Road.

Some of the vehicles were over 100 years old and require months of trials and service runs before they become suitable to be exhibited. This year, top-of-the-line stylish vintage motorcycles will also be on display at National Stadium. Star attraction will be Swift 1911, owned by Daljit Titus; 1926 A G S E-Twin of Sandeep Kapoor, 1914 Triumph owned by Desh Deepak and Indian chief 1947 of Inderjeet Singh.

The idea behind this rally is that the younger generation should know how the automobile industry transformed over the years, besides giving them an opportunity to witness these beauties.

Amandeep, an onlooker at the pre-judging spoke to us in between admiring the cars. “It’s really nice to see such wonderful cars. It is good to see so many people are proud to own these and maintain these so well. It’s actually a treat to the eyes,” she said.