New Delhi :
Seeking to explore the country’s untouched rural beauty on bygone era automobiles, organisers of an international vintage car rally plan to expand the event into a multi-city heritage circuit tour spanning over 3,500 kms across the country from 2019.
“We have been trying to pitch to the government for making motor heritage as a tourism circuit and so far its role has been very supportive in holding our event. But, we don’t want to just keep it in urban areas.
“From 2019, our plan is to turn this rally into a heritage journey across various cities starting from Delhi. The idea is to not just showcase our motor heritage but also explore the internal beauty of our country, the rural and the virgin regions otherwise untouched,” said Madan Mohan, Chairman of 21 Gun Salute Heritage & Cultural Trust.
He was addressing a press conference at Tehri Garhwal House in New Delhi, ahead of the 7th edition of the 21 Gun Salute International Vintage Car Rally scheduled to be held from February 17 to 19.
“The circuit from Delhi would then move to Agra followed by Jaipur, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Barmer, Kutch, Bhuj, Mandvi, Bhavnagar and culminate at Udaipur,” he said.
This year about 100 rare cars, 85 from India and 10 from foreign countries, and 25 vintage bikes, would be showcased during the Grand Concours Show on February 17 and 18, while about 125 cars would be participating in the vintage car racing at Buddha International Circuit in Greater Noida on February 19.
“For the first time, we will be hosting the car show at India Gate. Newly restored vintage cars 1922 Moon (only car left in the world), 1927 Lanchester (previously owned by Maharaja of Jamnagar) and 1933 Cadillac v12 seven-passenger limousine (only car available in India) would be the key attractions,” Mohan said.
The foreign participating countries include France, the US, Germany, Italy and the UK. 1949 Buick Roadmaster, previously owned by Maharaja of Bhavnagar, 1936 Alvis Speed 20, 1938 Buick convertible, 1911 Silver Ghost from London, would also be exhibited.
“The Culture Ministry has been supporting us and this year too ‘Incredible India’ brand has been lent to us. The event is about celebrating twin heritage of automobile and culture, and so the cultural programme would showcase dances from across the country,” he said.
About 20-25 ‘Maharaja’ cars, including two of the Tehri Garhwal family, would also be taking part in the event.
“The race at Buddha Circuit would have four categories— pre-war, post-war, Edwardian and classic besides a ceremonial drive. It is scheduled to be flagged off by Chief of Army staff Gen Bipin Rawat,” Mohan said.
“We already have received the nod from the NGT (National Green Tribunal) to hold the three-day event, which would also support the welfare of spastic children,” he said.