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Cars from an era when life was simple, traffic thin

Bangalore, Aug 10, 2014, DHNS 1:11 IST
Children cheer at the annual Vintage and Classic Car Rally in Bangalore on Sunday. About 50 vintage cars participated in the event with the theme Respect and Safety for Women. DH PHOTO/ S K DINESH
A shiny grey Herald, a 1965 model, was parked in one corner of the Windsor Manor Bridge on a cloudy Sunday afternoon.

Inside the car, well-known hotelier R Kamath sat quietly observing the crowd enjoying themselves at the Annual Vintage and Classic Car Rally.

When prodded to talk about his automobile, he reminisced about the time when he first purchased the car, and when he used to drive it in a Bangalore where life was simple.

“I bought this in 1979 at a time when a car like this would cost Rs 10,000-11,000. I drove it around till 1985 when new cars from Maruti and other companies were just beginning to get popular. That was a long time ago and these days I take it out only once a month,” said Kamath.

Theme of the rally

The rally this year has been aimed at creating awareness about ‘Respect and Safety for Women’ and in a sense also tries to evoke memories of an old Bangalore where crime rate was low and there was respect for everyone, according to P A Suresh, member of the Karnataka Vintage and Classic Car Club.

“Crimes against women and children are going up with each passing day and through this rally we want to send out a message that the safety of women and children is an important issue that needs to be taken very seriously,” he said. One of the cynosures at the car rally was a bright green four-seater Lotus Elite, 1973. “This car has been restored to a great extent,” said Thomas, owner of the car and an avid car lover. “But these days it is quite tough to ride it in City’s traffic.”

Expressing his opinion on the “utilitarian concept” of cars in the present age, he said, “People today should realise that cars are not only machines with utility, but are pieces of art. This understanding will give people depth and will also be educative,” he said.

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