City travels back in time with luxury wheels of yore

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Vintage car enthusiasts in the city were in for a luxurious treat on Sunday with the third edition of the Cartier 'Travel With Style' Concours D'Elegance showcasing 70 cars and 32 motorcycles for the first time in India. The event was organised at Taj Lands End in Bandra.

A one-of-a-kind vintage car exhibition and competition held every two years in India, it is considered to be among the world's best four Concours D'Elegance -- a celebration of luxury automobiles that dates back to a 17th century tradition. Indian automotive expert Manvendra Singh of Barwani curated the exhibition and the event was orchestrated by British conservationist Mark Shand.

Manvendra Singh said that for each edition — the first two were held in Mumbai and Delhi in 2008 and 2011, respectively — the aim has been to raise the bar with the introduction of new categories. "Apart from showcasing rare and vintage motorcycles for the first time, we added a category called Edwardian class, which includes cars from the turn of the 20th century to 1919, and the Shikar class that has automobiles used for royal hunting trips," he said.

The judges' panel drew experts from automotive, design, finance, racing and sporting worlds from across the globe. Prominent names included HRH Prince Michael of Kent, who was the chief judge; Grand Prix motorcycle road racers Giacomo Agostini and Phil Read; racing driver Sir Stirling Moss, and Sandra Button, chairman of Pebble Beach car show in California.

As the evening drew to a close, winners in the numerous categories - Pre-War Class, Post-War, Indian Heritage, Preservation and Roadster to name a few - were announced. A 1935 Rolls Royce Phantom II, owned by Maharaja Gaj Singh of Jodhpur, was unanimously chosen as the Best Car of the Show, while the best motorcycle was an Indian 1915 model owned by Subodh Nath.

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