Mercedes Classic Car Rally 2016 held in Mumbai
28th Nov 2016 10:57 am
100 classic Mercedes-Benz cars participate in the third installment of the 2016 annual Classic Car Rally.
Marine Drive is usually buzzing with activity at dawn. It sees hordes of people starting off their day with a walk or a run. On Sunday morning, the 27th of November 2016, they were joined by 100 classic Mercedes-Benz cars. It was the third instalment of the Classic Car Rally organised by Mercedes-Benz India and Autocar India.
An eclectic collection of Mercedes-Benz classics built between the 1930s and 1990s made their way from the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) along Marine Drive to Kalanagar, Bandra via the Bandra-Worli Sea Link and back. The rally was flagged off by Roland Folger, MD and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India, who then joined the rally as a passenger in the only Mercedes-Benz 170V Roadster at the rally owned by Freddy Turel. He then shifted to Viveck Goenka’s Nurburg for the parade.
The love for classic cars was quite apparent at the venue. Crowds began to gather even before all the participants had arrived. Attracting a lot of attention was the Nurburg that led the rally. An equal amount of appreciation was also given to Hormusji Cama’s 500K and the 170Vs parked alongside it. These cars are amongst the most sought-after collectible classics in the world today. As the motorcade wound its way across the city, people of all ages gathered outside their homes to click photos and cheer the drivers.
Shamoon Karachiwala, a 170V owner shared his experiences about his beloved classic. He mentioned that this was the first classic car he ever purchased. It was in an appalling state when he bought it and it was unrecognisable at the time. As he worked on it, he discovered what he had got his hands on, and it’s been with him for about thirty years now. When asked what it’s like to live with, he said, “Nothing happens to it. The paint is 20 years old and even the seats are original. They don’t build cars like this now.” “It’s just an absolute pleasure. Cars today don’t have character like these cars do,” shared Vivek Himatsinka, another 170V owner.
The rally came to an end about an hour after the flag-off with the participants gathering for an appreciation ceremony where they all received certificates and special mementos.
The rally saw cars from the 1930s to the 1990s. A couple of Pagodas and a number of Pontons and Fintails were easy to spot in this line-up. The sole 300S Adenauer brought in by Behram Dubash stood out in the crowd. The monstrous Unimog, also owned by Viveck Goenka, attracted a lot of attention. But given its equal-to-a-small-building proportions, that’s not surprising. Incidentally, Viveck Goenka brought nine cars to the event, the largest number of cars by one participant.
Heartening to see was the enthusiasm shared by the crowds, the participants and the event organisers. Owners like Yohan Poonawalla, Deepak Velankar, Shrinivas Thakur, Darius Rafaat, Hitesh Pagaria, Harshawardhan Apte, Alok Patil, Dhananjay Badamikar, Aditya Borawaki, Uday Ghorpade and Vikram Bokey came in from Pune. Pradeep Naik came from Goa, Abhijit Patil from Kolhapur, Vipul Lathia from Rajkot, and Nandish Palrecha came all the way from Bengaluru to be part of this rally. Their passion made this the largest collection of classic Mercedes-Benz cars ever to be seen in India. It also ensures that the love for these timeless pieces of automotive beauty will endure.
Take a look at some of the cars present at the Mercedes Classic Car Rally 2016 in our photo gallery.