It was a cold winter morning that saw a host of vintage and classic car owners line up for the Statesman Vintage and Classic Car Rally on January 11, 2015 while scores of car aficionados stood in the side lines to catch a glimpse of these exclusive models. Statesman Vintage and Classic Car Rally is one of the oldest vintage car rallies in the country and it was flagged off by Lieutenant General Raman Dhawan, General Officer Commanding, Bengal.
67 vintage cars, 10 vintage motorcycles, 82 classic cars and 26 classic motorcycles were part of the rally which saw Exide Batteries and Birla Tyres as the main sponsors. Travelling through the main streets of Kolkata, there were elite vintage cars such as Morris, Austin, Mercedes, Bentley, Chevrolet, Ford, Volkswagen, Fiat and Renault present, while owners and family members were seen in period costume and fancy dress.
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The Statesman Vintage and Classic Car Rally commenced at 7.30 am. It began with assembly of cars, judging of costumes and flag hoisting while the cars were flagged off at 9.00 am. The cars found its way through the city streets cheered on by enthusiastic viewers to return to the stadium at 12.15 after which prize distribution was held.
Among the lineup of vintage cars was a 1906 Renault Freres at the head of the rally and was the oldest car in attendance. It was this Renault Freres that took the maximum number of awards bagging the Statesman Trophy in the vintage category. It was a 1948 Buick Super 8 that took the prize for best overall performance in the classic car category while a 1957 Fiat Elegant received the C R Irani Trophy for attention to detail and excellence in restoration work. Things did not look up for a 1940 Austin 125A which stopped twice on the way due to radiator problems.
Hat tip to Sourish Meryson for sharing photos.