Chasing a childhood passion

Vintage pride

Chasing a childhood passion

Saleem Muddasir recalls that his love for vintage and classic vehicles began when he was in college. He would save his pocket money to buy these old vehicles and would restore them himself.

His passion continued even after marriage and now it’s not only Saleem’s parents who support him but also his wife Javeria who contributes her bit to add to his collection.

It is the history attached to these cars that has inspired Saleem to take up the hobby. He concedes that it is an expensive proposition to maintain them but is keen to add to his fleet.

“I don’t think I could have begun my collection without the support of my family, especially my father Nasir Pasha, who is also a mechanical engineer. He and I have spent a lot of time restoring and putting these grand old machines back on the roads,” explains Saleem who hastens to add that the cars are an integral part of the family. “We’ve travelled a great deal in these vehicles and my sons have eaten their breakfast and dinner while travelling in these cars and they also play in it sometimes. Such is the attachment that each member of the family has with these vehicles,” he says.

Saleem has taken a lot of interest in choosing what kind of vehicle he wanted to buy.

The Fiat Millecento, one of the oldest cars in his collection, is a 1956 model.
“I bought this for Rs 30,000 and spent almost three lakhs to get it back into shape and in perfect running condition. It took me a while to procure the parts and make it strong and sturdy for Bengaluru roads,” adds Saleem.

He says he researched to find places where the original parts were available.
“This particular vehicle is an Italian make and was a common sight on Bengaluru roads,” he says.

Saleem’s collection also has a 1960 Willys which is a military auction jeep.

“I restored this jeep all by myself and drive it almost everyday. It is convenient to drive this vehicle both in traffic and through rough terrains,” he states.

Saleem doesn’t forget to mention his 1963 Vespa which is also one of the oldest vehicles with the family.

“The family has taken turns to travel in this vehicle. I used to travel in it as a child with my father and now I take my children for short rides on the Vespa,” he says. 

Saleem wishes to further add to his collection and says that he has seen a lot of people who own such vehicles but don’t maintain them, let them rust and gather dust.

“Forget buying vintage vehicles, even spotting them now is a difficult task. Maintaining them is tough but a true lover of old vehicles will certainly work towards getting them ready,” he says. 

 The family drives in the cars over the weekend. “It’s quite overwhelming to see the love, respect and admiring looks we get from strangers whenever we drive in these cars. There are people who walk up to us and narrate stories of similar vehicles owned by them,” shares Saleem.

(Saleem can be contacted on saleemmuddasir@gmail.com)

Do you own a vintage automobile and want to be featured in this column? You can write to us at dhmetro@gmail.com or metrolife@deccanherald.co.in 

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