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The Statesman Car Rally 2018: Vintage extravaganza in the Capital

Syed Hashim Najmi | New Delhi | Updated :


Fascinating vignettes of history came to light again as scores of four-wheeler beauties started lining up, one after another, at Statesman House, Barakhamba Road, here on Sunday morning.

They mesmerised car enthusiasts and charmed passersby as they began moving gracefully to participate in the 52nd edition of The Statesman Vintage and Classic Car Rally 2018.

Car aficionados who had assembled in large numbers at Statesman House could not have asked for more. A number of them were seen taking selfies with these vintage beauties providing a peep into their enchanting times from a long-bygone era.

The rally was flagged off by New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) Chairman Naresh Kumar, who was recieved by the Editor of The Statesman, Ravindra Kumar. The annual event lived up to its billing yet again.

As the vintage and classic marvels revved up their engines and started motoring, many onlookers at the venue clapped and waved enthusiastically. As the audience cheered for the old beauties, a BSF band continued to play melodious tunes.

Deepak Nagar, a resident of Delhi, who had come to watch the vintage cars taking part in the rally, said, “I have been coming to see this rally for the last four-five years. These vehicles simply mesmerise you and make you speechless.”

As part of their journey cutting across Delhi and through a belt of Noida, the gleaming automobiles traversed down K G Marg, India Gate, Mathura Road, Bhairon Road, Ring Road, Nizamuddin Bridge, Akshardham Setu, Mayur Vihar, Noida Entrance, Film City, Mahamaya Setu, and Jaypee Hospital, to then return and reach their final destination at National Stadium near India Gate in the heart of New Delhi around noon.

At least 68 vehicles participated in the rally, which included cars from the Vintage category, the Classic section, the Special category and the Post-War section.

Some of the most remarkable participating vehicles included Packard (1938), Rolls Royce (1933), Minerva (1933), Ford (1934), Mercedes Benz (1938), Fiat
(1936), Morris (1936).

The 1914 John Morris fire engine, owned by the Rail Museum, remained the centre of attraction. It was the first vehicle to be flagged off as usual. The vehicles rolled out in order of age, with the oldest cars flagged off first to be followed by their younger counterparts.

About 16 first-time entries took part in the rally with 9 being in the Vintage section, three in the Classic section, two in the Special category and two in the Post-War section.

The prize distribution ceremony was held in the evening at National Stadium with Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal gracing the occasion as the chief guest. The L-G presented the trophies to the winners under various categories. Nearly 54 trophies were awarded and among the prestigious trophies presented were The Statesman Challenge Trophy and the JMAI Trophy.

The pre-judging of the participating vehicles to check their road-worthiness and originality among other parameters had taken place at Modern School, Barakhamba Road during 9-10 February.