Rocky Bhai’s Rocking Collection

With August Moto garage, the 30-year-old has built a haven for motorbikes, inviting all on a ride to a bygone era
Rocky Jacob
Rocky Jacob

KOCHI: Stepping into the August Moto garage in Tripunithura is like stepping into a time machine. Surrounded by rows of vintage scooters, the space instantly transports visitors to a sepia-tinted era. These relics of bygone days are part of Rocky Jacob’s collection. The 30-year-old has 25 scooters, six bikes and three cars to his name.

Some notable motorcycles in Rocky’s collection include the Enfield Fury, one of just 20 still in operation in the country; the Enfield Mofa, which possesses the world’s smallest engine; the Enfield Mini Bullet 200, which holds the distinction of being the motorcycle company’s first, designed and manufactured in India.

Haven for motor relics

In addition to servicing and restoring vintage scooters, August Moto also offer storage space for classic vehicles. This is especially handy for those who plan to travel abroad for extended periods and don’t want their cherished scooters to collect dust. Here, these vehicles are routinely taken out for a spin by equally-passionate staff.

Rocky tells us why, “Obtaining parts for such vintage models can be difficult, and your ordinary mechanics may take advantage of this to inflate the prices.” With August Moto, Rocky and his cousin Jomin K Johney, who also runs the garage, are keen to demonstrate that restoring these vintage treasures is neither a costly nor a monumental task.

This is precisely why August Moto’s customers span across India. Within just two years, the garage has successfully brought back around 50 motorcycles to life. They also offer classic scooters for sale and have sold about 30 of them. August Moto’s ultimate goal is to foster a community among classic scooter owners. The emphasis is on ensuring these scooters are operational, not just decorative items. “Our community gathers together on occasion to go on long rides to destinations such as Munnar and beyond,” says Jomin.

The passion’s origin

Rocky’s fascination for classic scooters took root in 2018. While pursuing his Masters in the UK, he encountered a scooter that entirely captivated him. “Back in the day, my father owned a Bajaj Classic, but I wasn’t very enthralled by it then. But as I learned more about scooters, my interest blossomed,” Rocky recounts.

Rocky specifically targets models from Vespa, Bajaj, Enfield, and Kinetic Honda. His ultimate aspiration is to gather every model from these brands. “My favourite picks are the 118 NE and Vespa T5. While some models in my collection may not boast exceptional performance, their appearance, sound, and the emotions they evoke are what truly captivates my heart,” Rocky says.

Pull of nostalgia

Whenever he takes his scooters for a spin, they invariably draw attention. Many onlookers inquire if he’s interested in selling them, while others reminisce about a relative who once owned a similar model, making it a nostalgic experience for them. “People often visit my collection with their children and grandchildren, sharing stories linked to these vehicles. To them, the sight of the scooters is like reliving old memories,” Rocky says. This connection to the community adds a deeper layer of meaning to Rocky’s collection.

The younger generation displays a strong interest in these vintage scooters. “The aesthetic appeal of the vehicle is crucial for this generation’s preference. They are charmed by its retro vibe. The rarity of these scooters also serves as a major attraction for them,” says Jomin. Numerous scooters and cars from Rocky’s assortment have even graced movie sets and advertising shoots.

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The New Indian Express