Visits to India Gate are always special. But one particular visit stood out this year, as it was the starting point for the 21 Gun Salute International Vintage Car Rally & Concours Show, which saw some of the country’s finest vintage cars and motorcycles come together; and it wasn’t just a handful of them – over 125 vintage and classic cars and motorcycles were flaggedoff from India Gate in New Delhi, making their way to the Ambience Greens Golf Course in Gurgaon, which was a stunning venue for the concours.
The world class international jury was headed by chief judge Christian Kramer – a FIVA Scrutineer and Collection Advisor – along with eminent others, including Patrick Rollet, FIVA President; Rolls-Royce authority Paul Wood; Richard Adatto, world-renowned expert on French aerodynamic cars; Siegfried Linke, Master Judge at Classic Car Club of America and many other automotive luminaries. The judging was done as per the ICJAG judging guidelines and concours’ standards.
The judges appreciated cars that were sympathetically restored and also paid close attention to detail, like period-accurate screws on the doors and engine bay, as well as paint shades.
What was clear was the quality of restoration. The work done on the cars by the country’s leading restorers and collectors was absolutely world class.
The event saw a number of international entries which included Robert Gaines-Cooper’s historic Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, an extremely rare Delage D-8 120 from California and the legendary Bentley 3-Litre Chassis No. 141 that started the Bentley Boys legend at Le Mans.
In addition to the regular classes, this year’s concours also had an exclusive Italian Piccolo class and a MG Classic Class.
Here are some of the fascinating cars from the event.
Rolls-Royce 25/30 HP (1937)
Den Gidwaney’s ultra-rare and highly desirable Rolls-Royce convertible with Gurney Nutting coachwork won the coveted Best of Show award. The car is said to be one of three ever produced in its style by the legendary coachbuilder.
Pontiac Parisienne (1960)
Owned by Jimmy Tata, the Parisienne was Pontiac’s top-of-the-line model in the 1960s, and the Canadian equivalent of the Bonneville manufactured in the USA.
Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost (1908)
Robert Gaines-Cooper’s Silver Ghost was originally ordered by Charles Howard Angas of Australia. It was successfully restored at the P&A Woods workshop in Great Easton and took part in the 2013 Centenary Alpine Trials. A previous year winner at the concours, the car was only exhibited at the show this year.
Rolls-Royce Phantom II (1930)
Viveck Goenka’s Phantom II limousine with Windovers coachwork was originally owned by the Maharaja of Patiala. The car was immaculately restored, recently.
Bentley 3-Litre (1922)
Chassis No. 141, owned by Peter and Robin Briggs and restored to its original specification. This was the first Bentley to participate in Le Mans and start the Bentley Boys legend. The car set a lap record of 107kph at its first attempt at the race, way back in 1923.
MGB GT (1965)
Dr Usha Kothari’s MGB GT won the MG Classic Class prize. In the 1970s, she drove it from London to India.
Singer Model A Roadster (1947)
Nazneen Gamadia’s Singer is one of twelve rolling chassis shipped to Kolkata’s Dewar’s Garage & Engineering Works who coach-built it back in the day.
Chrysler Windsor (1946)
Winner of the Preservation Class – FIVA Award, Nitin Dossa’s Windsor 2-door coupé impressed judges with its originality. This model was the most expensive Chrysler until 1960.
Delage D-8 120 (1939)
Peter Mullin’s Delage was an international entry from California and won the Pre-War Classic European Class. This chassis 51760 was elegantly styled by Chapron with a three-position top. The car with its graceful and conservative styling played a role in the 1952 movie, An American in Paris.
Buick Road Master (1947)
Jerxis Vandrewala’s fastback with its swooping roof is the only known car of its kind in India. The car has a straight-eight engine.
Cadillac V12 (1933)
Madan Mohan’s beautifully restored Cadillac 7-passenger limousine was an instant crowd puller.
Lagonda V12 Rapide (1939)
A Preservation Class entry, Awini Ambuj Shanker’s Lagonda was originally built for Alan Good, the company’s chairman, then.
Cadillac Series 62 (1952)
Aniruddh Kasliwal’s Series 62, winner in its class, was originally ordered by the Maharaja of Gwalior in 1951. The car was ordered with stock 1951 mechanical specs, but with trims from the 1952 Golden Anniversary edition. It came with many features (advanced for its time), including power windows and seats, a V8 engine and a Hydramatic transmission.
MG MOTOR INDIA
China’s Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, which owns MG Motor, is set to bring the British marque to India in 2019. In the build-up to its arrival, MG Motor India organised an MG Owners Meet & Drive as part of the 21 Gun Salute rally. It was flagged off by Rajeev Chaba, President & MD, MG Motor India, to shore up memories of the brand’s motoring heritage.
Owners of classic MGs from across the country who came for the 21 Gun Salute rally participated in this event, as well. Various MG models including the 1935 MG P sports roader, 1946 MG TC, 1965 MG Midget and MGB GT were displayed at the event.
Madan Mohan - Chairman & Managing Trustee
Madan Mohan, one of India’s largest and most well-known car collectors, and chairman and managing trustee of the event, said that the purpose of this rally is to promote India as a top-notch motoring tourism destination.“The 21 Gun Salute International Car Rally & Concours Show aims at bringing forward the golden history of India’s motoring heritage. We plan to expand the concept to several other regions in the future editions of the event. I think we’re going to see a huge movement towards vintage motoring – and this spectacular show promises to build on its global success.”
|Pre-War Classic: European||1939 Delage D-8-120 ||Peter Mullin|
|Pre-War Classic: American||1929 Graham Paige Tourer ||Yashvardhan Ruia|
|Post-War Classic: European||1966 Volvo 122 Amazon ||Ranjit Pratap|
|Post-War Classic: American||1960 Pontiac Parisienne||Jimmy Tata|
|Convertible & Roadster: American ||1952 Cadillac Serie 62 Convertible||Anirudh Kasliwal|
|Convertible & Roadster: European||1963 Sunbeam Alpine SIII||Ishtiyaq Nagree|
|Rolls-Royce Classic||1937 Rolls-Royce 25/30 Gurney Nutting ||Den Gidwaney|
|Bentley Classic ||1922 Bentley LeMans 3 Litre ||Peter Briggs|
|Limousine ||1940 Buick 90 Ltd ||KTS Tulsi|
|Preservation Class: Fiva Award||1946 Chrysler Windsor ||Nitin Dossa|
|Pre-War Italian Class||1926 Fiat 503||H W Bhatnagar|
|Post-War Italian Class||1967 Alfa Romeo GT 1300 Junior ||Behram Ardeshir|
|Italian Piccolo ||1955 Fiat 1100 (Colour Black)||S B Jatti|
|MG Classic ||1965 MBG GT ||Usha Kothari|
|Best of Show - International||1939 Delage D-8-120 ||Peter Mullin|
|Best of Show ||1937 Rolls-Royce 25/30 Gurney Nutting ||Den Gidwaney|