Much like a gathering of rare and exotic birds of paradise, April 14, 2019 saw vintage and classic automotive beauties from all over the country assemble in the coastal state’s capital city for an event that did not fail in stealing one’s breath away.
The third edition of the 2019 Goa Vintage Bike and Car Festival presented by the Department of Tourism Goa and run by Advertising Associates, saw over 125 participants. The Inox Courtyard – a colonial-era structure that dates back to the 1800s – played host to vintage and classic cars and bikes of various shapes and hues.
The rally was flagged off by the Chief Electoral Officer, Goa, and made its way through Miramar beach circle, alongside the iconic Mandovi river promenade. The group then took a U-turn at Statue of Abbe Faria (Old Secretariat), and looped back to the starting point.
Leading the contingent was Suraj and Manoj Caculo’s immaculately restored 1921 Citroën Torpedo Sport, an equally precious 1923 Fiat 501 and a 1951 Mercury 8. The presence of three Minis in two different body styles, including a 1959 Morris Mini (the very first to be imported into India) and a 1960 Mini Traveller – both belonging to Milind Angle – was a rare sight indeed. So was David Menezes’ 1960 Morris Mini Minor. Mayur Lotlikar displayed three different Chevrolet models, belonging to ’28, ’32 and ‘61.
Viveck Goenka and his wife Zita Goenka showcased nine cars, including the highly prized 1929 Mercedes-Benz Nürburg and a 1962 Mercedes-Benz 220SE convertible. They also entered XXL-sized American extravagances like a 1961 Ford Thunderbird (which once belonged to the Maharaja of Gwalior), a 1949 Cadillac, an extremely rare 1936 Cord, a 1934 Packard 8, a 1951 Chevrolet Truck and a 1973 Mustang convertible.
Shrinivas Dempo brought his 1961 Cadillac Fleetwood to the Festival, while Jatin Pal Singh showcased his unique 1961 Willys Wagon and 1967 Mercedes-Benz W115 220d along with four more motorcycles. The curator of the show, Pradeep Naik (also the owner of Ashvek vintage world) displayed a Mercedes 1983 W123 limousine and a selection of classic Fiats.
Dr Alethea Barbosa was present at the event with her VW 1960 1600L notchback, Fernando Almeida showcased a rare 1960 Simca and Sandesh Sirsat brought in his 1960 Wolseley. Viraj Dhond made an appearance with his 1976 Mercedes-Benz 220d sedan and Deepak Bandekar was also there with his 1961 Mercedes-Benz Fintail 220S. Ryan and Keith Braganza brought their 1973 VW Bay Window Bus and custom pickup truck based on a Hindustan Ambassador. Dilip Shetye got his 1959 Beetle – a car that has been owned by his family in Goa ever since it was new.
The 1959 Cadillac Limousine belonging to the Governor’s house (originally owned by an ex-Governor of Goa) was a prized exhibit too. Rajesh Karwarkar’s ‘44 Ford Willys Jeep and Sancho Fernandes ‘65 Willys Jeep, gave a rugged flair to proceedings.
Vikramaditya Desiappa turned up in his Toyota Celica, while Pravin Prakash, Lenish Namath, Avinash, Manjunath Janakiram, Shailender and Azrif Rashid drove their classic Mercedes-Benz models of various vintages all the way from Bangalore. Even Sanjeev Halapanavar came down from Belgaum in his Mercedes-Benz W123.
Notable among the two-wheelers at the event were Jatin Pal Singh’s 1954 BSA, Fenelon Rodrigues 1956 NSU moped, Baljeet Singh’s 1969 Vespa 150. Jehangir Faroogh drove in from Mumbai on his 1954 Triumph T110 650cc. Father and daughter duo of Sanjeev and Sailee Bhiwandkar rode down all the way from Mumbai on their 1963 and 1967 Vespas and Anil Bhingarde brought down two rare Lambrettas – one of which was a 1958 that once belonging to renowned Yoga expert BKS Iyengar.
In addition to being a vintage auto show, the Goa Vintage Bike and Car Festival has also helped nourish interest for a new generation of enthusiasts – which is made clear seeing how many young-timers or Modern classics participated in the event.
Having been held in India’s tourist capital, the recently concluded Goa Vintage Bike and Car Festival drew in spectators by the droves, both locals and tourists, alike. Looking at the turnout at the event and passion on display it's obvious that the event is marked on every enthusiast’s calendar.