The vintage car club scene in India has been growing over the last few years. With a large collection of vehicles spanning decades, there is clearly a heavy amount of enthusiasm among those who want to keep alive (and possibly create) a motoring heritage for our country that could be appreciated in the years to come. Now to build this legacy takes individual effort, which in this case is formation of local clubs and this is where our little May Day vintage sojourn begins.
We were invited to interact with one such local club during their May Day gathering- the Heritage Car Club of Thane. Based out of one of Mumbai’s most prominent and oldest suburbs, this club has been in existence for over 10 years now and caters to a growing bunch of enthusiasts from the region. Here then are some of the glimpses from the gathering. The members here brought both cars and bikes with the oldest being a Victorian bicycle from 1860 while the oldest car on display was a 1928 Ford Model A.
1. The Ford Model A was the successor to the Model T and carried on its legacy of bringing motoring to the masses. Its budget trimmings meant that creature comfort was non-existent. However, the model A has gone into the history books as one of the first Ford badged cars to have a conventional driving layout.
2. The Volkswagen bus is a symbol of the 1960s, a time when the world was changing and there was optimism everywhere. The design is a familiar one and set the standard for what to expect from small vans. You could literally say that it was the precursor to the MPV that we see on our roads today.
3. You can’t have a vintage car show without a Beetle and here it is in a nice sporty avatar. The versatility of the Bug meant that it could be modified in almost any form and still come out looking good. The car in this photo has been fitted with alloys, racing buckets, disc brakes and possibly and uprated engine.
4. We may today be the land of compact motoring, but it was the British that really brought the concept to life. The Mini might be their most famous export but let us not forget cars like the Morris Minor and the Ford Prefect both compact motors that were affordable in terms of space and price.
5. Of course no vintage car show could ever be complete without the presence of a model from Hindustan motors or Premier. The Dukker, as this body style of the Fiat 1100 was affectionately known as, was sold in India during the late 1950s and early 1960s. It was compact and had suicide doors to give that little bit of extra style.
6. A shining example that really caught my eye was this 1957 Hindustan Landmaster. A precursor to the mighty Ambassador, this car practically wrote itself into our history thanks to it being the choice of travel for large Indian families that were taking to the roads for the first time in their lives.
7. We sign off with a few bits of detailing from these old machines. Today car production has become standardised and scientific. The age when these machines were built saw them come to life at the hand of a blue collar worker whose keen eyes ensured that every little bit counted and met the emotions of the buyers.