Sandhya Soman

Vintage vehicles participate in rally

CHENNAI: When it comes to style, the vintage vehicle sure steals the show.

At St. George's School here on Sunday, the `oohs' and `aahs' were more pronounced around cherry red Morris Minors and stately Plymouths. Spectators, proud owners and curious onlookers crowded around the cars and motorcycles from 50s and 60s. The Optras and Civics were also there, keeping up with the spirit of Vintage & Classic Vehicles Foundation of India's this year's theme `Evolution of Vehicles'.

Most of the Austins, Jaguars and Standards are still in good shape primarily because of their family heirloom status meeting the enthusiasm levels of the current crop of owners. Especially when the owners can show off the polish at rallies and gain brownie points for keeping up the good work. Sunday was no exception. The vintage car rally was flagged off from the school premises in the morning. The cars covered Poonamallee High Road, went past Central Railway Station and entered Anna Salai via the Muthuswamy Bridge.

A host of `super bikers', including actor Abbas, spiced up the show with their high-powered birds.

The cars came back and the owners were saluted for their classics.

The handful of motorcycles - from Matchless, Norton, BSA to AJS - had a different story. Most of them were procured from auctions conducted by the Avadi military establishment. "All of them were manufactured by U.K. companies that are no longer in existence. The military used them widely during the world war, particularly by despatch couriers and the likes," recounted bike enthusiast and Foundation member Joga Rao.

That brings us to the foldable cycle used by paratroopers. A detailed account of how they used the cycle accompanied the exhibit.

The love for all that's good and old prevailed through the day.