Like a blast from the past, the vintage cars and bikes, which were brought to life owing to the passion of motorheads, made a fitting celebration on the 75th anniversary of the Indian Independence.
Enthusiasts swarmed the 4th Vintage Car and Bike Show at the Fortune Pandiyan Hotel in Madurai on Monday.
Thirty one vintage cars, including the oldest car on display – Austin 10, a 1933 model – had the attendees’ spirits up while the line up of 20 motorbikes were shown equal love.
The footfall at the event rose up to 900 by evening, said S. Rajan, general manager of the hotel.
The ‘Austin 7’ of the 1934 model caught the eye of the attendees which was driven by Brian Jenkins, all the way from Kodaikanal. Sparkling and majestic looking vintage cars like the Dodge Suburban (Custom Made) of 1956 in royal blue and the Citreon of 1948 in bright red were a treat to the eyes.
Attendees, from children to adults, eagerly sparked conversation with the owner of the vintage pieces and were immersed in its history of restoration.
Many mechanics who restored cars and bikes like Morris 8 of 1940 and Yezdi Roadking of 1983 were also present.
“The tools used by my father helped me restore Morris from scratch. We imported original tyres from Germany and the restoration took me more than two years,” said N.C.Mohandass, a mechanic since the 1990s, who owns Gandhi Automobiles in Dindigul near Kamaraj Bus Stand.
He was dressed up as Mahatma Gandhi to mark the 76th Independence Day.
Afsar Baig, another mechanic from Bangalore said that it cost more than ₹2 lakh to restore the AJS of 1952 from England. Judging the pulse of the enthusiasts gathered, Mr Baig got the motorbikes’ throttle up occasionally that left the people ‘oohing and aahing’ as it emitted the majestic ‘vroom vroom’ sound.
Venkatesh Durai, a vintage car collector since 1996 from Tiruchi had displayed his “two stroke motorbike collection” of 18 bikes from several brands like Ideal Jawa (India) limited, Yamaha, Rajdoot Mopeds India limited, etc.
M. Muhil Yadunan, a Class VIII student, knew where to go after participating in the Independence Day celebrations at his school, who said, “I am amazed that the bike used in ‘Hey Ram’ and Royal Enfield’s Mofa in ‘Velaiyilla Pattathari’ are on display!”
Hundreds of photographs were snapped in front of each vintage piece on display as it was hard to resist the cuteness of Volkswagen Beetle from 1974, the petite Fiat Elegant from 1958, the sleekness of Plymouth Savoy of 1956, the maestoso of Willys Jeep from 1965 and many more.
Fifteen Harley Davidson bikes from Chennai were rode by motorcycle enthusiasts exclusively for the event.
While V. Durai Mohan who drove the VW campervan from Chennai said that the journey was punctuated with people giving him a thumbs up, chasing him to click a picture with the van.