In what could be called as a nostalgic Sunday, the national capital saw over a 100 vintage cars ply the roads of Delhi on the eve of the Statesman Vintage Car Rally 2016. The annual rally, which was flagged off from The Statesman House in Connaught Place, is being held for half a century now and continues to enthral the residents of Delhi even in its 50th year. Over 500 enthusiastic car lovers, including one who flew down from Kolkata, turned up to watch the event.
The 50th edition of ‘The Statesman Vintage and Classic Car Rally’ was flagged off by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha. Apart from vintage car owners and aficionados, the rally even saw some enthusiastic participation from members of the armed forces who drove in their vintage Willys. Other vintage machines that made many head turn included a 1919 Citroen, which was the oldest beauty in the rally, and was owned by one Vir Srivastav, the car was one of the top winners.
But that wasn’t all, as people of Delhi got a chance to see an array of vintage and classic cars plying the streets of Delhi on this momentous occasion like1938 Buick Limousine, Rolls-Royces, Jaguars, Chevrolet Impalas, a 1918 Baby Austin, and VolksWagen Beetle. Other exquisite cars on view were a 1947 Buick, 1949 MG, 1930 Stutz, 1936 Plymouth, 1942 Packard, 1936 Cadillac, 1939 Bentley along with along with a 1920 Willy Overland and several Buicks, Austins, and Dodges. There were even some old Fiats, Fords and Mercedes-Benzs at the rally.
The 50th Statesman Vintage Car Rally concluded in the evening at the National Stadium where organisers held a special prize distribution ceremony for the car lovers who participated in the rally. There were nearly 50 trophies, including in categories such as Most Elegant Car, and Best Overall Performance. The aficionados were also treated to melodious tunes dished out by a BSF band.
What was truly surprising was the amount of passion these vintage and classic car owners displayed not with words but with their machines, which were as close as in mint conditions. With gleaming bodies, sparkling paint works and all the chrome and gold embellishments, it was hard to believe that many of these machines were older than the people who drove them.
Sadly though, many of these vintage cars will go back in deep slumber after this, especially in Delhi due to the NGT ban on 15 years and older cars from plying on the streets of Delhi. That being said, we do appreciate them for allowing such events to happen as these iconic machines are meant to be forgotten.