Beetle in the backyard

Beetle in the backyard

Old passions die hard. They just grow stronger by the day and proving this is an enthusiastic couple — PR Mohan and Nalini Mohan. Passionate about driving, they hold a special interest for antique beauties. Their passion is all there to see as they are the proud owners of four vintage queens and a classic beauty. If 1966 Volkswagen Beetle, 1950 Morris Minor, 1947 Wolseley, 1974 Volkswagen Variant are the beauties of yesteryears, the ‘Mercedes Benz’ is the e-class classic car of 1996. Given a royal treatment, these cars are the apple of their eyes.

Nalini and Mohan loved cars as individuals. This love grew and turned into passion with their coming together. They say that they complemented each other’s interest and this has been one of the reasons for the success of their relationship as a couple.

Their first vintage car — ‘1932 Austin 7’ poured out their passion for age-old cars. “I bought this car when I was 30. I bought it for Rs 3,000 after selling my Lambreta scooter for the same amount,” says Mohan. Their next vintage car was the 1936 Plymouth, which was a roadster. But they had to let go of these beauties due to space constraint. “Letting go of these two cars, we moved into another house where there is ample space for more cars to come,” he says.

Nalini complements her husband’s passion as she is twice interested in these royal machines. She, who is 67-years-old now, still enjoys sitting behind the wheels. “I have loved cars since childhood and started to drive at the age of 14. My passion for cars will never go. If God permits, I will still be driving till my end,” says the energetic Nalini. She adds that her interest in vintage cars got into her only after marriage, “I was interested in cars and he was very interested in vintage cars. That is how we clicked very well as a couple.”

A good driver, she is also the perfect mechanic. She can strip the car open and put it back in place without much ado. “My husband is a retired mechanic and I learnt the basics from him,” she informs. Their first car ‘Austin 7’, that was in pieces, was put together by the couple without the help of a mechanic. ‘Wolseley’ that was bought 25 years back and Morris Minor whose parts came in a box, were all reborn in their hands.

They say that the attention they get while driving these cars is unequalled. “We took all our five cars in a line to the recent ‘Bangalore Club Vintage & Exotic car display’. The stares we got were numerous. The event too, which was very well organised, gave all the vintage car owners a platform to showcase their passion,” he says.

While Beetle and Wolseley remain close to Mohan for their looks, it is the Morris that holds a special place in Nalini’s heart.

“Beetle was my childhood passion. But my father did not agree to get me one as a teenager. It was my husband who fulfilled my wish when he gifted the Beetle on my birthday last year. However, I am very attached to Morris as I drove it all around the town. Every time I drove this car, the other motorists on the road gave me that fascinated look that said — ‘Old lady driving!’” she says smilingly. A young couple at heart, they say that the vintage cars have their own charm and they never fail to take out these beauties out for a drive on holidays when the roads are free from traffic.

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