Looks of excitement mixed with a feeling of nostalgia for the yesteryears was common among the onlookers as several vintage cars and motorbikes made their way through the city roads on Sunday. The event was part of the 8 edition of the My TVS Rally organised by the Madras Heritage Motoring Club in the Don Bosco School. Showcasing their collections, owners of the vintage cars and motorbikes went for a drive to the Spencer Plaza and back to the venue.
While a few of those present had acquired an interest from a family member, others had picked it up as a hobby later in life. Ranjit Pratap, the owner of 30 such vintage cars had participated in the rally with 18 cars from his collection. “Though I loved cars as a kid, I never had the time while I was working. But now is the time to indulge.” His 1970 model of a Mercedes Benz ad 1951 model of Chevrolet Style Line bagged two awards at the event.
Steve Borgia, the owner of the oldest car- a 1929 model of the Chrysler, said, “It’s a thrill, but also an expensive hobby.”
Bikes, though only few in number, made quite an impressive show. There were the likes of MV Augusta from 1967, Lambretta LD from 1958 and Ideal Jawa from 1969. Cyrus Varun Kontath, the owner of a 1955 model of Royal Enfield and a 1960 model of Jawa along with three other bikes, keeps a close eye on them and takes them for a ride at least once a week.
Based on the parameters of aesthetics, originality, mechanical and coach work, several awards were given to the owners of the best maintained vintage car or bike and the oldest car, among others.
Though the designs are by Italians and Germans, it is the Indian mechanics who have maintained these cars for decades, said V.S. Kylas, the founder secretary of the Madras Heritage Motoring Club. “It was because of the colonial rule that we never got a chance to design cars. But now it is very heartening and gratifying to see that the cars are still in great condition.”
When asked about the turnout at the rally, he said, “Every year the size of the display keeps on increasing. These cars from the 1920s and the 1930s give us an insight into how cars were designed back then even without the use of computers.” Emphasizing on the cars being a form of heritage, he added that they would be passed on to future generations.