125 vintage beauties rule the streets By Rao Jaswant Singh, TNN | Dec 10, 2012,




GURGAON: Gleaming beauties from yesteryears added to the charm of a bright and sunny morning as they caught attention of Gurgaoites at the '21 Gun Salute' Vintage and Classic Car Rally on Sunday. ` ,A fleet of 125 vintage cars, which were later joined by 45 vintage motorcycles and scooters, reached the Leisure Valley Park in Gurgaon after being flagged off by the Chief of Army Staff General Bikram Singh at the Panchsheel Club in Delhi.

,The collection at the rally, which has attracted many heritage car motorists and enthusiasts, showcased classic beauties like the majestic Rolls Royce, sturdy Ford, Austin, Buick, Jaguar, Chevrolet and Plymouth Limousine PJ 6.

,However, the crowd puller was the 1913 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost Double Limousine, which was the second oldest car participating in the rally. Kanpur-based Tariq Ibrahim, owner of the car, said, "The Rolls Royce Silver Ghost Double Limousine is the only one of its kind remaining in the world. Only nine such limousines were made of which eight were destroyed in World War I."

,Speaking about the car, he said "Our family has owned this car for 90 years now. Our great grandfather bought it in London in 1922 and brought it to India in 1928." On its maintenance, he said it is very difficult to get parts of this car now. He also said the parts have to be imported from London, as they are not available anywhere in India. ,The oldest car in the rally was the Willys-Overland (1909), owned by Tutu Dhawan. Dhawan also owns a Buick Super 8, a Ford Prefect, an Oldsmobile, a Jaguar 420 G, a Super Beetle, a MG TC and an MGB. All these vehicles participated in the rally.

,HW Bhatnagar, former chairman of the Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd and owner of a Buick 1940 and a dozen more vintage cars, said his Buick 1940 is one of the few cars of its kind in India. "It is my dream car. There are a lot of memories attached to it," he said.

,Madan Mohan, managing director, 21 Gun Salute, the brain behind the rally, said the rally, organized in association with the Heritage Motoring Club of India, entered Gurgaon through NH 8, passing through Crown Plaza Hotel, Huda Metro Station, MG Road, Golf Course Road to reach its destination.

,He said the rally is a matter of prestige for all the vintage car owners and the participants. "The best part about the collection is that they are still in good working condition, and driving these machines is always enthralling," he said. "The idea behind this drive is that the passion for vintage cars should not be limited only to aficionados but also should extend to the general public."