Vintage cars fuel nostalgic memories

The static display of vintage cars at Orion Mall over the weekend attracted many car lovers in the city

1967 Morris Mini Cooper owned by Subramanya Gupta. DH Photos B H Shivakumar

From Mercedes 220S 1965 to Morris Mini-Cooper, vintage beauties grabbed eyeballs at the exhibition that happened at Orion Mall over the weekend. The event brought back many memories of the days when these machines ruled the roads.

Beautiful but high maintenance

Sulaiman Jamal, one of the oldest collectors of vintage cars in Bengaluru, has a fleet that is everybody’s envy. His cars were among the head-turners at the weekend event. 

Among the models from Sulaiman’s fleet on display were MG Y 1947, Mercedes 220S 1965, Baby Hindustan- Morris 1000, 1959 and Fiat Topolino 1937.

All these cars require high maintenance and it isn’t easy to find the spare parts, concedes Sulaiman. 

“All these cars need a lot of attention. Most importantly, they need to be driven regularly so that they don’t develop problems. While some of the parts can be made locally, some have to be imported,” Sulaiman tells Metrolife. The oldest car is his fleet is a 1925 Citroen Type B, which is currently being restored. 

The cars cannot be used on a daily basis. They are taken out only for certain occasions, says Sulaiman.

“We bring out cars but not as often as we would like, thanks to the traffic. If there’s a rally, then we take out the cars very early in the morning and bring them back late at night. Sometimes, we use a flatbed to transport the cars,” he explains.  

Bengaluru has a sizeable number of vintage car collectors and rallies play a huge part in making others aware of this.

“Today, the awareness has increased and more youngsters are getting on board,” Sulaiman says.  

People sometimes make way for us on roads

Among the vintage car owners

whose vehicles were the cynosure of all eyes was SVS Subramanya Gupta. He began his business career in the automobile sector by promoting Advaith Automation Pvt Ltd, one of the authorised dealers for Kinetic two-wheelers (presently Suzuki two-wheelers) in the year 1991. 

Some of the cars that Subramanya showcased at the event were 1967 Morris Mini-Cooper, Adler 1938, 1172cc Ford Straight 4 side Valve (Petrol) and 1954 Citroen Traction Avant 11 B.  Subramanya says getting spare parts for the cars is a big challenge. “We have to source it from different places across the country; sometimes we even have to import them. It’s an expensive affair,” Subramanya told Metrolife.

 Bengaluru roads are not friendly enough to accommodate these cars and the traffic is unbearable, rues Subramanya, who brings out his beauties only for rallies.

“There’s a lot of curiosity surrounding these vehicles. In Bengaluru, people are quite supportive. Sometimes, they make way for us and let us pass,” he says.

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