Last weekend, New Delhi witnessed one of the largest vintage car rallies in the country. Spread over three days (17th,18th and 19th of February), the 7th edition of the 21 Gun Salute Vintage Car Rally & Concours Show was flagged off at the August Kranti Park, India Gate by the chief guest General Bipin Singh Rawat, Chief of Army Staff. In its 7th edition, the rally featured 75 handpicked vintage cars from India and abroad along with 25 bikes from all over the world. Visitors also got a chance to take a look at some of the most exclusive coach-built cars used by the erstwhile Maharajas from different parts of the country. The 7th edition of the vintage car rally was split across three days titled “The Friday Buzz”, “The Saturday Fever” and “The Sunday Special”. On Friday, most of the owners and collectors assembled at the India Gate and were seen prepping up their cars for the judges. I, on the other hand, had decided to go for the Saturday’s event and take some pictures of these rare and beautiful machines. Other than the cars on display, this year’s edition had other surprises in store for visitors which included classical and folk performances. I reached the venue by 10.30am and was happy to find out that the place wasn't as crowded as I expected it to be. This meant I had a lot of space and time to take a close look at the cars and take some shots of the intricate details and coach work on some of these rare machines. Here are a couple of my favourite shots from the event. Without a shred of doubt, I can say that it was probably the newest cars of the lot that truly stole my attention - the Alfa Romeo GTV 1750. The first time I laid my eyes on the car was in an auto magazine many moons ago of a similar event that was held in Mumbai. I think there are only two of these in the country - a red one and one pictured below - both from Mumbai. Alfa Romeo GTV 1750 The GTV was designed by one of my favourite car designers of all time, Giorgetto Giugiaro while working for Bertone. Incidentally, he also designed the Fiat Punto and the Linea - probably two of the most beautiful cars sold in India.
The GT Veloce 1750 was built between 1967 and 1971 and featured a 1,779cc engine that developed 120hp - plenty fast for its time. Also, note the Quadrofoglio badges on the C-pillar.
This is definitely one of my favourite images from the day. Vintage cars and people in period costumes. The day couldn't get any better than this.
I would sell my kidneys to have an Alfa in the garage!
Alvis Speed 20 The Alvis Speed 20 was manufactured by Alvis Car And Engineering Company from Coventry, UK. The Speed 20 was a British touring car that was buitl between 1931 and 1936. This particular example below was made in 1936. However, there were no details about the engine under the hood. After doing a little research, I found out that the earlier engines were phased out in 1936 as the car was getting heavier over the years thanks to the addition of more luxury elements in the cabin. As a result, in 1936, the British car maker started building these cars with a bigger 3.5-litre engine that produced 26hp.
Cadillac V-12 The Cadillac V-12 built between 1931 and 1937 was one of the most expensive cars you could buy in the US. This particular model is from the year 1933 and features a 6.0-litre V12 with a custom coach. Only 10,903 of them were made in seven years making them quite rare. This car is also Cadillac’s first and, till date, only standard production V12 powered car.
Ford Model A Luxury Coach The Ford Model A was the American car manufacturer's second major success after the pioneering Model T. The Model A was built between 1927 and 1931 and was sold in various body styles. This luxury coach was custom built in Kashmir, India and features a rather opulent cabin which, sadly, the owners didn;t let me photograph.
Mercury Cougar The Cougar was now defunct Mercury’s first “pony car”. Based on the Ford Mustang, the Cougar sat right between the former and the Ford Thunderbird. This Cougar built in 1969 is the first generation model and was sold with two engine options: a 200hp V8 and a more powerful 335hp V8.
If you look closely, you’ll notice that the first-gen Cougar doesn’t have a B-pillar. The hidden headlamps and the vertical bars are definitely the highlight of the Cougar.
Stutz Series M The Stutz Motor Company was an Indianapolis-based luxury car maker that started producing cars in 1911 and went bust in 1935 only to reappear again in 1968 under the aegis of Stutz Motor Car Of America Inc. The Series M featured here was built in 1930 and featured an in-line 8-cylinder single-cam 5.3-litre engine that developed 113hp. This particular car is a 4 passenger speedster and features a dual cowl body (a body style that separates the front and rear passengers by a cowl or bulkhead with its own folding windshield).