The doyen of vintage motoring in northern India, RN Seth, died here on Tuesday, he was 92. A large number of vintage car enthusiasts attended the funeral on Wednesday, and floral tributes were offered on behalf of several organisations associated with the movement to preserve old cars.
For over 50 years, Mr Seth and his 1934 Lagonda had been a regular feature
at The Statesman Vintage & Classic Car Rally in the Capital. From an active participant, he moved on to become a prime mover of the event, and for the last few years headed the team of judges at the Rally. He strove hard to ensure there was no dilution of the standards set by Lt Gen MML Chhabra (retd) and Mr V Sagar.
Raj Seth moved from Lahore to Delhi soon after Independence, and acquired his prize-winning car in the early 1960s. He participated in virtually every rally in Delhi and Jaipur for over half a century, and almost always took home some of the “silver”. He and the Lagonda won over 100 prizes at such events.
There was more to Seth than a prize-winning car. He treated the Lagonda like a child, and devoted much time and effort to maintaining it in mint condition. Unlike some other owners, he personally undertook the maintenance of the car, and in the process acquired considerable expertise in the specialised field. And the gentleman that Raj Seth ever was, he even helped friends with restoring and preserving vintage cars.
The Statesman Rallies in Delhi and Kolkata will long remember his humility and dedication to one of the earliest campaigns to preserve the unique heritage of India.