With the successful conclusion of the 6th 21 Gun Salute International Vintage Car Rally & Concours Show on February 7, India has ensured its place in the world of vintage rallies, with the added advantage of being set in a unique environment of New Delhi’s historic Red Fort and the state-of-the-art Buddha international circuit in greater noida.
Madan Mohan, founder of the event and himself a great vintage car collector and promotor, told this correspondent that he was happy that the world map of vintage rallies now has a place for India.
This view was shared by many of the participants and visitors to the rally, who pointed out that a unique point of the Indian show was that most of the cars had an Indian touch about them, as they had been in the country for decades, imported by the Maharajas during the early days of the Raj.
A salient feature of the rally this year was that it helped promote the idea of the theme, save and educate girl children, which is a national priority these days. One suggestion made by Haryana Chief Minister, Manohar Lal Khattar, who was the chief guest at Red Fort, was that the rally cars should pass through more rural areas so that rural India also gets a chance to see these old beauties.
The rally attracted much interest and participation from India and abroad, and much effort was made to get the vehicles to the rally from far and near, much to the delight of enthusiasts of cars, including Ratan Tata, who headed the Tata empire until recently and was the man behind the Nano car.
The rally ground was a virtual colorful fair, with music and dance, bands and flags.
Travel agents said that the event can be promoted to get more tourists to the country during the dates of the event each year.
Clubs, associations, and individuals the world over are today interested in old cars, as much as they are in new cars.
Interestingly, the 6th vintage rally almost coincided with the Auto Expo, where many new models were launched.
This best exhibits the diverse and interesting trends in India in the automobile sector, as in much else.