When we think of Goa, we usually associate good cuisine, beaches, live music and fenny. However, if you are a vintage car and bike enthusiast, there is now even more reason to visit this tropical paradise. Goa just hosted its first ever Vintage Bike and Car Festival on October 1, 2016 that attracted vintage car aficionados and enthusiasts from all over the country.
A record number of 83 vintage cars and 40 vintage bikes participated in the parade that was flagged off by Goa’s Minister for Tourism, Dilip Parulekar from Paryatan Bhavan, Panaji. The cars and bikes wafted through the streets of Panaji to Dona Paula and back with cheerful crowds along the route, before the rally culminated at the INOX Courtyard at Panaji that made a stunning venue for the display besides the Mandovi River.
The event saw participation of some of the oldest and best-maintained cars in Goa as well as entries from Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur dating from 1921 to the 1970s. The oldest car at the event was a 1921 Citroën Torpedo Sport owned by the Suraj Caculo, which also won the prize for the best restored vintage car. The car was recently restored by Cyrus Gandhy.
The prize for the best restored classic car went to Mumbai-based Viveck Goenka’s 1961 Fiat 500 D. Plenty of cars from marquees like Morris, Austin and Ford made it to the event. Shahrukh Cassad from Nagpur drove down for the event in his 1960 Standard Herald and bagged the prize for the best Indian heritage car. There were also other participants who drove down for the event like Sandeep Shingade came all the way from Pune in his Fiat 1100.
Many of the cars made their first public appearance after being stored under wraps for years by owners. Car collector Ryan Braganza from Mapusa said he put in hours of work himself and spent many late nights in his workshop to get five of his cars ready for the event which he said was a gratifying experience at the end. There were many such enthusiasts like him and Myral Menezes who were brimming with enthusiasm and excitement already for next year's event.
There were many such enthusiasts like Myral Menezes who were brimming with enthusiasm and excitement alreaday for the next year's event. Milind Angle from Panaji is an authority on vintage cars in Goa, as he spoke about prices of these cars when new and how he orders parts for his 1959 Morris Minor Mini that won a prize for the most original classic car. The best show car went to an immaculate 1968 Volkswagen 1600 L owned by Alethea De L Barbosa which still had its original license plates and best show bike was a 1952 Lambretta. A number of the much sought Mercedes Benz 220 Fintails participated in the event, along with two Plymouth Valiants and even a Dodge Power Wagon. The prize for being the most unique car, though, went to a 1941 Ford field artillery truck, whilst the most unique bike prize was given to a 1962 Escort Runabout.
In true Goa style, the event was followed by meals and a jazz music concert. Organised by the Goa Tourism Development Corporation the event is set to take place annually.
Some of the other prizes given at the event were awards for long distance travelled in vintage cars that went to participants from Nagpur’s Cent Ind Vintage Automotive Association’s Dr Sawarbandhe’s 1946 Ford Jeep, Ashish Limbanna’s 1965 Mercedes-Benz Fintail, a 1965 Jonga owned by Ram Khorgade and Shahrukh Cassad’s 1964 Standard Herald. Remarkably, the award for the long distance travelled on a vintage bike was given to Shreesh Deodhar who rode his 1956 BMW R50 from Nagpur to Goa and back for the event. The best restored vintage bike prize went to Narender S for his 1942 Norton 16H, and best restored classic bike was a 1965 Lambretta 150 series. The best Indian heritage bike prize was awarded to a 1962 Jawa and the most original classic bike prize to a 1958 BSA shooting star.