New Delhi, Mar 2: Old beauties with their hearts still throbbing with power this morning hit the road in the 42nd Statesman Vintage and Classic Car Rally. The motoring glories of yesteryear compete for honours for various facets of vintage motoring. The event, first launched in 1964, has over the years blossomed into a festival of old cars.
Over 120 vintage and classic cars started their journey on a sunny morning between New Delhi and the picturesque Westin Sohna resort, before returning to the National Capital for prize distribution. A new trophy has been instituted this year to commemorate the tireless service rendered to the event by Gurmeet Singh, who co-ordinated all the technical matters as well as educated the gatherings with his lively commentaries. Associated with the event for the last 41 years, Singh died in January, 2008. He was associated with the team of the British High Commission that marshalled the 'Hill Climb' at Sohna -- a feature of the rally which was abandoned following the heavy truck traffic in the vicinity.
The annual event is considered as the Mecca of all vintage rallies in the Indian sub-continent. This year, the participation is the largest ever, claimed the organisers.
Passionate motorists from across the country had converged here with their Fords, Little Austins, Rolls Royce, Chevrolets and Jaguars.
The rally will end at Modern School Barakhamba Road in the evening with Kirti Kapoor, the wife of the Chief of Army Staff General Deepak Kapoor giving away the trophies.
After flagging off the rally, General Kapoor said the event proved that motoring enthusiasts still took a lot of pain and effort to maintain the old beauties.
A total of 68 vintage cars, 20 classic cars, 24 post war cars and 10 special category cars are participating in the day-long event.
Several of the participants had brought their vehicles from as far as Allahabad, Lakimpur Kheri and Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh.
The cars included 1914 make John Morris, a 1940 make Buick and 1942 make Willy Jeep. While some of the owners of the yesteryear beauties were driving on their own, some others had their friends, kin or expert drivers to participate in the event.