GUWAHATI, Feb 6 – The vintage cars and motorbikes owned by the classic car enthusiasts of the Northeastern region gave a rare treat to the people of the city this morning as a caravan of these vehicles moved in various parts of Guwahati carrying the proud owners. The 1st Assam Vintage Car Pageant, as the event has been named, was organised by the Assam Tourism Development Forum (ATDF) and the Antique Wheels of the Northeast, a forum of the vintage car owners.
The car rally was flagged-off from Nehru Stadium by the State DGP Sankar Baruah.
Sharing about his passion for the vintage vehicles, Ashoke Lyngdoh of Shillong said that the vehicles have become the members of his family and taking care of these vehicles is a part of his daily routine. Lyngdoh, presently have five vintage vehicles of which, four participated in today’s car rally. His 75-year old Morris 8 remained a cynosure of the rally, which was also the car to start the event.
“It gives me a certain kind of thrill when I repair these cars, give them a new life and bring them on the roads,” he said.
Raja Das, another car enthusiast, who has three such cars appealed to the other vintage car owners to realise the value of these classics and preserve them for the younger generations.
“If someone is finding any difficulty in keeping these cars with them, they can contact the Antique Wheels. We can either provide the needed support or purchase the vehicles for the sake of preservation,” he mentioned.
Car lovers of the city, particularly the children turned out in large numbers to see these cars in Nehru Stadium. Around 36 vintage and classic vehicles participated in the rally.
“I have read much about the classic car and bike models and was very eager to see them. More interesting is the history associated with each of the vehicles like the jeeps used in 2nd world war or the vehicles owned by some of the renowned personalities of India and Assam,” Anubhab Jyoti, a 15-year old said.
Popular as people’s car, VW Beetle (1200 CC) of 1956 created at the behest of Adolph Hitler had a unique charm of its own as the highest selling car of all time. “These models were also developed as amphibians for the war purpose,” Jadav Daloi, the owner said.
Dodge Kingsway of 1957 rode by the Singhapurush RG Baruah, Plymouth Savoy of 1957, Studebaker Champion of 1955, Ford Model A of 1928 owned by R Barua were also among the cars participating in the rally.
A Mercedes 240, previously owned by the legendary Maharani Gayatri Devi, bearing a registration number of Rajasthan and recently purchased by a classic car enthusiast Manohar Choudhuri also attracted a lot of attention during the event. A mini carnival was organised at the stadium complex on the occasion.