The rally was flagged off by Indian Oil Corporation Chairman cum Managing Director Shrikant Madhav Vaidya, NDMC Chairman Amit Yadav, Delhi Police Commissioner Sanjay Arora, and Israeli Ambassador to India Naor Gilon.
Exotic cars in different shapes and makes, reminiscent of the bygone era, assembled at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi, their final destination where a prize distribution ceremony was organised to felicitate them.
The atmosphere during the rally was filled unparalleled joy and enthusiasm with people from all walks of life and all age groups coming together at the stadium. The owners of the cars, along with their families, were seen decked up for the occasion with the costumes that complemented the mood of the event.
The 57th Statesman Vintage and Classic Car Rally was flagged off by Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas and Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri at The Statesman House at 10 am amid a enchanting symphony played by a band.
The vintage and the classic automobiles were rolled out in a chronological order with the oldest vehicles being flagged off first followed by their younger fellow travellers. On their way to Noida and back, these vintage beauties won many a heart with their aura and majestic gait. All of the models exhibited a classic grandeur and rekindled memories.
While the participants were waiting for the prize distribution ceremony, a bevy of automobile beauties blended with foot-tapping music mesmerised the admirers of the vintage cars who turned up in good numbers to enjoy the festive atmosphere at the stadium on the bright sunny day. Many took the selfies with them with a view to cherish the memories all their lives.
The Statesman Vintage & Classic Car Rally is the oldest and the most prestigious car rally in India that features some of the most stunning automobiles ever manufactured.
Among the cars, the vintage vehicle that was seen garnering a lot of attention was the 1914 John Morris fire engine model, which originally belonged to the Nizam of Hyderabad, and is now owned by the Rail Museum, as in the past, and was the centre of attraction at the event while leading the rally.
Aside from that, many beautiful cars restored to their pristine glory that represent a legacy, history, an entire generation and their class, were unleashed on the Delhi-NCR roads. Onlookers were awestruck by their sheer craftsmanship and legacy.
After the lively event, the cars arrived at their final sojourn to be showcased in an aesthetically arranged lineup at the National Stadium. During the entire rally, there was a deep sense of nostalgia for these vintage automobiles among the participants and other motor heads.
63-year-old Gurpreet Singh took part in the rally with his three cars, a 1928 Rolls Royce and a 1951 Mercedes 151. Sharing his experience of multiple rallies with The Statesman, he said, “I have been participating in the vintage car rallies for the last 21 years, you can say for almost a millennium. Well, I can see these cars carry a legacy for a generation.”
As regards his association with the cars, he said, “I think it’s something you grow up with. As you see it in your family, all that happens within your family, your elders indulging in it, you are bound to inherit it. So, that’s where you are bitten by this bug. And when the bug bites you and you earn your first money, this is where you start investing in it enthusiastically. And then that goes on, and on, and on, and on… There’s no end to it.”
Talking about the 57th Edition of the Statesman rally, 20-year-old Swati, a college-going student, who was there to appreciate these beauties, said, “It’s good to see The Statesman carrying forward the tradition by organising the rally. As the old cars are becoming a rage these days many others may follow suit as it’s a great way to celebrate nostalgia and share appreciation for timeless treasures.”
The enthusiastic participants are competing for 56 trophies that are further classified into four categories, the vintage section has cars manufactured as far back as December 31, 1939, while the Classic section has beauties from 1940–56.
The post-war section will see cars above 1500 cc and manufactured between 1945 and 1962, while another section, others, and 50 Plus, will showcase cars manufactured between 1940 and 1962.