A few extra weeks of rain had left this otherwise “Dry” State a lot happier than it would usually be found. Indeed, even I, the grumpiest of them all found reasons to be elated. The streets I used to tread in a manner of disciplined schedule, seemed aching to draw new paths for me. The trees that were unattractively dry, gleamed like flashing neon lights. This little town had finally been endowed with the colour that my eyes had longed to envisage.
A weekend eventually lugged itself around the end of an extremely unsavoury week. An attempt was made so to speak, to beat the boredom and after a general google search, the Baas found themselves on the road to “Oldsville”. Of all that is old and vintage, an exhibition of the raddest wheels in the empire could dwarf the fascination associated with any other antiquity of the era that ushered this one in.
A Gujarati family renowned for their collection of Vintage Cars, house an impressive number of these auto mobiles at their estate in the outskirts of Ahmedabad, and for purposes of enlightenment they have created a museum within the boundaries of their property. Boasting of more than a hundred and fifty cars, this little museum is home to a number of spectacles from movies of forgotten age. Bentleys, Jaguars, Cadillacs, Hotchkisses. You name it they got it. The who’s who of the auto mobile world find a comfortable corner in this extensive library of Cars.
Nurtured to perfection, these cars remain to this day a head turner on the slick Gujarat Roads. Every one of them is capable of inching its way into traffic and every one of them is taken out for a spin every month. The men who work here, speak of an even larger collection at the family’s estate in Bombay and seeing that I was a victim of awe decided to give me a little more information about these little “buggies”. Vintage cars being a very realistic obsession in today’s and well yesterday’s world, there were quite a few Maharajas and Indian Elites who had the luxury of owning these desirable set of wheels in Yesterday’s world. Now, as the technology started to unceasingly change to equip newer cars with higher possibilities, higher speeds, higher fuel efficiency, these old cars with their limited speeds and high fuel consumption became machines that would resemble the cars of today maybe only in design. This new bred of forgotten heroes needed to be acknowledged and so by Indian norms a careful classification was devised. An automobile born prior to AD 1940 was deemed VINTAGE, while those born between AD 1940 – AD 1970 were referred to as CLASSIC. The British though, had to change it a little bit. Cars born before AD 1919 were EDWARDIAN, those born between AD 1930 and AD 1940 POST VINTAGE and only a few after AD 1940 were accepted as CLASSIC. Tis true.
Clearly entranced by this “Humble” display, I wondered what the streets looked like when these beasts prowled about in lordly arrogance. The rich weren’t too many then and traffic then would probably have only been cattle and sheep. The princes and the Maharajas may have driven their prized possessions for the world to see, but I wonder if they felt the overwhelming number of cows a threat. In days when the poor man in India knew so little, it is only fair to assume that the animals knew even lesser. Well, its probably just me talking because if I were royalty and I owned one of these babies I wouldn’t even think of riding them out with the cows. A waste of metal it would be if a cow got his hoofs on it. Sheesh.
Anyway, I hope the following pictures engrave a certain curiosity in the old and I hope you catch the local Vintage Car show if not this one.
Its Green and its a very French Mors, built way back in 1906.
They call her a Minerva, she was born in Belgium in 1906.
A Hotchkiss from France, 1938. A very official looking vehicle. It ferried very official looking people.
A mobile chest clinic from 1963. Its just really cool.
A Jaguar Mark V, built in England in the year 1950. So pretty.
Rolls Royce Phantom, 1937. English people did this.
A ford engine and Chassis. Built in America in 1920.
As a consequence of the photographs that have brought you to the end, I believe I must leave you with words of a highly celebrated nature. Well then, I leave you this,
“Old is GOLD, my dear friend.”