Vintage classics set to hit city roads on Sunday
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"India has the largest collection of vintage cars in the world. There are around 1,800 such cars in India, and around 60-80 of them are in Pune. The fiesta will see the cars travel a total distance of 30 km with each car getting an individual flag-off at the starting point, which is the Radisson Hotel in Kharadi," says VCCCI president Nitin Dossa.
While the number of cars that also includes last-minute entries is likely to cross over 60, Dossa, an avid car collector himself, cites two major reasons behind the fewer cars participating in the fiesta.
"The main reason for a lot of owners not entering their cars is that the Cartier International Vintage Car Show will be happening in Mumbai in February shortly. Besides, the holiday season is starting, due to which people are not entering their cars," he says.
Dossa adds: "More than a rich man's hobby, it is about the enthusiasts who take pride in their cars and restore them. However, the reason why most owners cannot enter all their cars in such rallies is the unavailability of drivers. Being really old, these cars need special care to ensure that they are in a good working condition."
The rally, nevertheless, will be boasting of an impressive collection of cars. Among them are Rolls Royces owned by the Poonawalla family, Chevrolet Impalas, the London Taxi, Mercedes 1977 convertible and Buicks.
In the motorcycle rally, Dossa says, nearly 20 such vehicles are expected to participate. "The Solomon Brothers have already confirmed that eight of their motorcycles will be entering the event. A 1911-12 Triumph Pre-World War motorcycle is slated to be the oldest. In addition, Subhas Sanas' GTS Rajdoot, which was used in the film, Bobby, will also be participating." There will be an inspection of the cars on Saturday, where they will be checked for their engine compatibility and their condition. On Sunday, the drivers will be given a head-up on the traffic conditions, the route and all other important details related to the fiesta.
Among other cars, which have a heritage value, are the Chevy Impala (1963 model) used by the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, and a Ford Model A from the pre-War era. Besides, cars owned by Yash Ruia, Subhash Sanas, Vivek Goenka and Yohan Poonawalla will be taking part in the rally. Dossa says the cars will also receive awards at the end of the 30-km travel — the Concours D'Elegance for cars. "It is the highest award given for such vintage cars," says Dossa.
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