The 1959 Pink Cadillac Sedan deVille that we saw when we first entered Museo Camera Centre for the Photographic Arts, Gurugram, on Tuesday evening, could have well been a part of a classic Hollywood film. This car, a 1958 MG A-1500 sports car, a Fiat 500C Topolino, and seven other vintage collectible cars were on display at the preview of ‘Collectible Cars & Automotive Art’. This was the inaugural auction by Mumbai-based Historic Auctions Private Limited, a specialist automobile fine arts auction house.
The preview saw a slew of car collectors, members of the erstwhile royal families of India, Maharaja Gaj Singh II of Marwar, and Indian actress Gul Panag, among other guests. Speaking about his passion for car restoration, Madan Mohan, Vice Chairman of Historic Auctions, said, “There is a humbling feeling when you restore a car to its original state. It is also a way of portraying the evolution of automotives.”
Unearthing the history
In his zeal to unearth the history of Indian automobiles, Rana Manvendra Singh of Barwani, the Chairman of Historic Auctions, visited a number of royal families around the country to compile stories of historic automobiles in India. Witnessing the dearth of a proper platform to indulge in a passion for vintage automobiles, Singh, an avid car connoisseur since a young age, wanted to share his knowledge of retro wheels with others. Thus, he founded Historic Auctions in 2020 along with a group of vintage car collectors.
Apart from vintage cars that added to the old-world charm here, there were 16 ready-to-be-auctioned automotive paintings by Indian filmmaker and artist Muzaffar Ali (Raja of Kotwara). The artworks were painted in Ali’s signature abstract style. Celebrating classics such as the Delage, the Bentley, and the Rolls-Royce, these paintings are a testament to the design and details of vintage automobiles. “Every time I see a car, a playfulness awakens in me. I’ve translated that playfulness in my artworks,” said Ali. A curation that will captivate car connoisseurs, this preview is open for the public till Friday.