A vintage drive

BANGALORE: The scenes were straight out of a black and white movie — people wearing hats and leisurely driving around in their Chevrolet Impala, Buick and Morris. They did not honk, didn’t loo

Published: 29th April 2012 10:29 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 10:33 PM   |  A+A-


Young and old enjoy the spin on Race Course Road | Suresh Nampoothiri

BANGALORE: The scenes were straight out of a black and white movie — people wearing hats and leisurely driving around in their Chevrolet Impala, Buick and Morris. They did not honk, didn’t look impatient and their speeds touched a whopping 10kmph. But, this scene was being played out on a sunny Sunday morning in April 2012 on M G Road. And the impatient road users stared at the traffic stoppers.

Classic Beauties, preserved and cherished, started their rally, inaugurated by Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, from Taj Westend on Race Course Road to mark the hotel’s 125th year celebrations.

Around 60 classic cars and 20 vintage bikes’ owners participated in the rally organised by the Taj West End and the Karnataka Vintage Classic Car Club. They drove down to Chinnaswamy Stadium, U B City, Minsk Square and other select places before returning to the hotel.

Featuring stunners like the Austin Healey,  which was driven by a group of spirited young women, and a Sunbeam from the 40’s, the rally grabbed eyeballs and drew huge crowds wherever it went. “I have had the car with me for twenty years now and have preserved the army markings,” said Farhad Cariappa, proud owner of a 1942 Willys MB US Army Jeep, which dates back to times of the Second World War. The jeep was a product of a collaboration between Willys and Ford Motor Company. It is powered by a 1400 CC engine and has been completely restored. Meanwhile, Farhad’s son Kartik Cariappa, was exhibiting his BSA bike built in early 1940s.

Other stunners included a 1960 Chevrolet Impala and cars from famous car makers like Triumph, Jaguar, Buick, Morris, MG, Mercedes, Dodge and the much loved Volkswagen Beetle. “This is just heaven. Every car present here today is a legacy in itself. It is heartening to see these beauties well-preserved,” said Venkatesh, a car buff who visited the hotel with his teenage sons on Sunday to catch a glimpse of all the classic and vintage cars.

Bike lovers too were not disappointed as Java, Lambretta, BSA and BMW bikes were on display. “This is a 1968 Czech manufactured Java which was used in the war. I have even managed to keep the paint original and also procured a sidecar,” said Abhishek, who was showing off his 250 CC maroon bike with a silver finish on its tank. Abhishek also owns a Lambretta and bikes around in a RD 350 and an Enfield. “It is tough to maintain a bike, you have to love bikes in order to be able to preserve one,” Abhishek added.

Upon being asked if he gets to take out his bike regularly in the city however, the bike buff rued that it was not feasible. “People just don’t have the patience to wait for the bike if it happens to stop, they keep honking incessantly, I take it out for a spin every now and then,” he said.

The owners looked like they enjoyed the attention their cars and bikes received.

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