21 Gun Salute Vintage Car Rally celebrates India’s motoring heritage

    The event saw participation from over 150 vintage and classic cars that included the best of European and American marques, with the most exquisite and painstakingly restored models on display.

    Published On Feb 18, 2020 01:08:00 PM


    Celebrating the vintage and classic car scene in India, the ninth edition of the 21 Gun Salute International Vintage Car Rally and Concours d’Elegance, held in Delhi-NCR, wowed enthusiasts and aficionados by displaying some of the best vintage and classic cars in the country. First held in 2011, the event is today recognised as the largest Concours in the country as well as one of the most significant ones in this part of the globe.

    Organised over the weekend of February 15-16, and curated by Madan Mohan, in association with the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, the rally was flagged off at the iconic India Gate and traversed through Delhi-NCR to culminate at the Karma Lakelands Golf Course in Gurugram. It saw a caravan of more than 150 international and national vintage vehicles move through the heart of the city, drawing large audiences for a glimpse at the rarest and most exquisite pieces of automotive history.

    Competing for the top honours, the vehicles were categorised into the Edwardian, Pre-War American, Post War American Sports, Post War American (Convertible), Post War American (Coupe), Pre-War European, Volkswagen, Jaguar-Daimler, MG, Indian Heritage and the Preservation classes. With some striking contenders, the Post War European class was perhaps one of the most exciting and fiercely fought. Other segments of special interest were the Rolls-Royce, Bentley and the highly revered Pebble Beach class – this class displayed cars that took part in the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours. 

    The procession was marked by numerous international models like the 1930 Cadillac V-16 Roadster from the US, 1959 Alfa 2000 from Belgium, 1966 Ford Mustang and the Maserati 3500 GT Spyder Vignale from Belgium, amongst others.

    Automakers like MG chose to participate as well, to flaunt their rich automotive roots. The British brand (now owned by Chinese automaker SAIC), which was known for its two-door coupes and roadsters, marked its second participation in the 21 Gun Salute Rally with a 1924 MGA. Leveraging the opportunity to connect with classic MG owners in India, the event was also supported by the MG Car Club from the UK.

    The prestigious Concours saw participation from almost every prominent car collector in India like Viveck Goenka, Diljeet Titus, Amal Tanna, Jimmy Tata, Gautam Hari Singhania, Yohan Poonawalla, Den Gidwani, Arjun Oberoi as well as Ranjit Pratap from Chennai.  

    Participant vehicles from royal families of ex-princely states, including Yuvraj Harshvardhan Singh of Dungarpur, Yuvraj Dhananjai Singh of Khimsar and Yuvraj Mandhata Singhji Jadeja of Rajkot, were also in attendance. Further corroborating the event’s calibre was the highest participation ever seen by foreign entries in an Indian Concours.

    Akin to every other international Concours, the sprawling and luscious golf course grounds became the home to some of the rarest and most exquisite beauties for the course of the weekend.

    The contest saw attendance from 34 eminent judges from the world over who closely evaluated the vehicles, with a focus on design, elegance and craftsmanship. The jury panel was led by Christian Kramer as the chief judge and Nigel Matthews as the assistant chief judge. It also included esteemed figures such as FIVA president, Tiddo Bresters, Peter Larsen, Siegfried Linke, Quirina Louwman and Peter Stevens, amongst many more.

    Some of the show favourite cars were the painstakingly restored 1962 Mercedes-Benz 220SE from the Viveck Goenka collection , Amol Nayak’s 1940 LaSalle coupe, the 1935 Bentley 31/2 Litre Drophead Coupe by Antem owned by Jagdish Thackersey of Mumbai and the ex-Maharaja of Gwalior’s 1961 Ford Thunderbird.  A few of the other gems included the likes of Jyotsna Sanghi’s 1934 Lagonda M45 Rapide, Amal Tanna’s 1921 Fiat Corsa, Diljeet Titus’ 1930 Stutz Series M, Madan Mohan’s 1923 Lanchester 40HP Tourer and Amir Ali Jetha’s 1935 Rolls Royce P-II Continental Sports from the Pebble Beach category.

    The top honour of the day was bagged by Yohan Poonawalla’s 1949 Bentley MK-VI, which sported bodywork by Hooper and Company. The ex-Maharaja of Mysore’s car, and winner of the ‘Best of Show’ award, had been recently restored to its full glory, especially for the Concours.

    The complete list of winners of the 21 Gun Salute Concours d’Elegance is mentioned below:

    21 Gun Salute International Vintage Car Rally and Concours d’Elegance 2020 winners
    Best of Show1949 Bentley Mark VI Saloon by Hooper & Co.Yohan Poonawalla
    Edwardian1919 Packard Twin SixAmal Tanna
    Pre-War American1939 Buick Roadmaster ConvertibleJohn Miliken
    Post War American Sports1961 Ford ThunderbirdViveck and Zita Goenka
    Post War American1947 Packard Clipper LimousineH H Yuwarag Mandhata Singh
    Ford Mustang1964 Ford MustangS B Jatti
    Pre-War European1936 Adler Trumpf JuniorSameer Kudam
    Post War European1962 Mercedes 220S CabrioletViveck and Zita Goenka
    Volkswagen1952 Volkswagen Beetle Split WindowViveck and Zita Goenka
    Rolls-Royce1939 Rolls Royce Silver Wraith by James YoungGautam Singhania
    Bentley1949 Bentley Mark VI Saloon by Hooper & Co.Yohan Poonawalla
    Preservation1947 Packard DeluxeKamal Shahuani
    Jaguar-Daimler1965 Jaguar E-Type Series 1Aditya Malik
    Indian Heritage1957 Studebaker President
    Pebble Beach Participants1930 Stutz Series M SpeedsterDiljeet Titus
    MG1950 MG YT

    Speaking about the success of the event, curator Madan Mohan said, "It’s always a great experience that every year the 21 Gun Salute Concours grows bigger and better, with a major emphasis on ICJAG judging and accurate restoration.”

    In addition to showcasing India’s rich automotive heritage, the 2020 rally was also chosen as a platform for raising funds for children with special needs. The latest iteration of the event is slated to be followed by the maiden Incredible India Rally from February 17, which will see 10 vintage automobiles depart from Gurugram for a 4,000km journey across Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan.

    Also see:

    21 Gun Salute International Vintage Car Rally and Concours Show 2020 image gallery

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