Picture this: a 1920 Citroën Torpedo Sport in a dark shade of burgundy, ambling its way along a tree-lined boulevard, flanked by the glistening waters of the river Mandovi on one side and the statuesque facade of a 175-year-old heritage structure on the other. Now, isn’t that image postcard-worthy?
This was just one of many picture-perfect moments from April 29, 2018, as a bevy of vintage and classic, cars and bikes took to the streets of Goa’s capital city, Panaji at the 2018 Goa Vintage Bike and Car Festival.
Organised by the Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC), the second edition of the vintage and classic car festival saw a record number of entries with about 85 cars and 90 motorcycles and scooters being part of the event.
The Inox Courtyard in the old Goa Medical College precinct – an iconic heritage structure that dates back to the 1800s – played host to the festival and provided the perfect backdrop with stunning views of the river Mandovi. Flagged off by Nilesh Cabral, Chairman, GTDC, the parade was led by over 30 Harley-Davidson motorcycles from the H.O.G's Chapter of Goa. The rally then made its way through Campal, around the Miramar beach circle, back into Panaji, alongside the world-renowned river promenade along the Mandovi, en route to the Patto cruise boat pier, and finally culminated at the starting point.
The huge entry list comprised British, German, Italian, French, American and Japanese marques of various vintages and hues. Some noteworthy mentions include Suraj and Manoj Caculo’s immaculately restored 1920 Citroën Torpedo Sport and a 1923 Fiat 501, Milind Angle’s 1959 Morris Mini (the first Mini to be imported into India) and 1960 Mini Traveller, a Cadilllac Limousine from the Governor’s house, Nitin Dossa’s 1932 Ford B Tourer and 1947 Cadillac convertible, Raees Khan’s 1941, Chevrolet Super Special Deluxe, Shrinivas Dempo’s 1961 Cadillac, 1965 Mercedes Benz 220d, Jatin Singh with his 1960 Willy’s Wagon and 1969 Mercedes Benz W115, Manjunath Dhukale’s 1948 Power Wagon and Dr Althea de. I. Barbosa’s VW 1960 1600L notchback.
The curator of the event and car collector Pradeep Naik displayed 12 different cars for the event, including a Benz Patent-Motorwagen replica, a 1927 Austin Chummy, a 1931 Peugeot and Mercedes Benz 170V. It was Mercedes-Benz that had the highest number of models. Also, the Volkswagen Beetle and Morris Minor featured prominently with seven and five examples, respectively.
Many enthusiasts took to the road and drove in from neighbouring states to participate in the event. Dhananjay Badamikar, with co-driver Deepak Velankar, drove in from Pune in his very unique 1939 World War II Volkswagen Tempo military vehicle and Fram Dhondy and his son Anosh drove down from Bombay in their 1957 Fiat Millecento. Jatin Patel and Muzammil Kazi came down in their W124s and Nikhil Shirodkar and Harsha Apte drove down in their R129 SLs from Mumbai and Pune, respectively. Vikram Desiappa and friends also drove all the way from Bangalore to the event with two first-gen Mazda MX-S Miatas and a Toyota MR2.
The turn-out was huge in the vintage and classic two-wheeler segment too, with over 90 bikes present. Notable mentions include Yash Naguesh Pai who brought in an incredible sixteen bikes to the event, including some rare models like a 1936 Triumph 3HW, 1941 Norton 16H, 1951 BSA Plunger and 1954 Matchless GL3 motorcycle. Jatin Singh had two BSAs of 1950s vintage on display and Anil Bhingarde came in with his 1957 Triumph Tiger 100. Scooters too had a sizeable representation with Sanjeev Bhiwandkar bringing his Vespa scooter and KRH Hakeem riding down on his two-wheeler too. There were many other Vespas, Lambrettas, Bajaj Chetaks and Vijay Supers on display as well.
Incidentally, until its liberation from the Portuguese in 1961, Goa was one of the few places in India where a person could import vehicles from almost anywhere in the world and many cars and bikes from that period were part of the rally as well. The enormous enthusiasm and gusto with which participants had taken part in the rally showed through, especially as unlike many places in India, the participants worked on the cars and bikes themselves.
The second edition of the Goa Vintage Bike and Car Festival turned out to be a carnival of sorts, attracting throngs of people, including Goans and tourists, who were fascinated with the display and couldn't keep taking pictures. Crowds also lined up along the rally route to cheer the old beauties ambling along with incredible charm. Many participants and visitors appreciated the event saying that it was a great platform to renew interest in vintage and classic automobiles in Goa and the country, owing to its rich automobile culture and its numero uno status as a top tourism destination.
2018 Goa Vintage Bike and Car Festival image gallery
Import paradise: Vintage cars in Goa
2016 Goa Vintage Bike and Car Festival report