Vintage beauties steal hearts

Four-wheeled wonders

Early morning when Delhiites approached the Red Fort to relive the history of this monumental marvel in the Capital, many could spot vintage cars alongside as they halted at the red light.

A perfect blend of technology and elegance, these cars looked stunning as they drove past compelling one to follow their trail. The venue where they finally halted was no less than awe-inspiring for there were more than 135 vintage cars, bikes and scooters that assembled at the Red Fort precincts to participate in the 21 Gun Salute International Vintage Car Rally.  

What began as a neighbourhood event, three years ago, by a passionate Madan Mohan, managing director of 21 Gun Salute and Heritage Motoring Club of India, took a huge leap this year. “I want to make it an international event which is sought-after by vintage car rallyists across the globe,” said Madan standing in front of his 1929 Buick 50 LX, as the loud vrooming of a scooter captured the attention of Metrolife.

Seated atop a red Lambretta, an affable Hardeep Singh recollected the time he was young and in love with the vintage scooters owned by his uncle. “I asked him to sell them off to me but he refused, so I found two for myself in 1987! It took me 10 years to collect all the original parts and restore them,” said Delhiite Hardeep who feels that all the hard work was worth it!

In the long queue of various Rolls Royce, Hudson, Chevrolet, Jaguar and even Bentley, Dhananjay Badamikar’s 1939 Volkswagen Tempo stood out with elan. Capturing the gaze of every passer-by, this car was “used by Germans and the Danish Army as a staff carrier. It was one-of-its-kind and hence attracted me to buy it,” said Dhananjay who hails from Pune and has a collection of around 50 vintage cars. “There are only one or two of this kind in India,” he informs with a sense of pride.

Equally emphatic was Nitin Dossa from Mumbai whose 8-cylinder, 7-seater 1933 Hudson is the last model manufactured by the company. A shiny brown with orange hues, the alluring car was flanked by a 1947 Cadillac, also owned by the spunky man. “I got my first vintage car as a gift from my granduncle when I turned 18. It was an Austin 7 and I still have it. When my grandchild turned 18, I gifted her a 1947 Bentley which are only three-of-its-kind in the country and she loves it,” said the collector and soon the royal chief guest, Samarjit Sinh Gaekwad, Maharaja of Baroda flagged the rally of vintage cars which found their way through busy roads of the
city to reach Gurgaon the next day.  

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