Classic beauties grab eyeballs at Autojumble

By Cindrella Thawani, IANS
Sunday, January 30, 2011

NEW DELHI - They were colourful, they were classic and they were the cynosure of all eyes. Around 10 vintage and classic cars of varying shapes and sizes had automobile enthusiasts fawning over them Sunday.

Be it a Nova Chevy or a Mercedes Benz or a Land Rover, these classic beauties - some dating back to 1940 - were lined up at a parking lot in Delhi’s Sultanpur area for the Fourth HMCI National Autojumble.

The car carnival was organised by the Delhi-based Heritage Motoring Club of India (HMCI) and had around 200 enthusiasts eyeing the red, sky blue, yellow and black automobiles, a few of which were also on sale.

Shaurya Singh, 47, showed off his black beauty - a Land Rover Series Two of 1960 version he bought two years ago. “It’s a diesel based car with a mileage of eight to ten - which is similar to a BMW and other branded cars,” he said.

“Parts are not easily available, rarely can you find them in junk shops. So we have to get the parts from Darjeeling because of the availability of Land Rovers there.”

While he was from Delhi, the HMCI had sent invites to people from all over India.

K.T.S. Tulsi, president of HMCI, said: It’s a platform where people show off their antiques and have a vibrant chance to sell them. It might seem like junk, but at some point of time it was a glorious artefact. It looks beautiful when it’s on the table to display because it preserves heritage.

It’s an encouraging platform for manufacturers, vintage car dealers, traders to come together.

We are converting junk into piece of art because of their glorious history. Most of the vintage and classic cars have been owned by royal families and industrialists. Those on display here include the car of an erstwhile Ayodhya royal, Tulsi told IANS.

We have a collection of cars from across the country like Bikaner and Jodhpur in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, he said.

Garry, 48, who loves vintage cars and also restores them, owns a classic sky blue Mercedes Benz dating back to 1961. I bought this car three years ago for Rs.150,000 bucks and in future with any opportunity I would like to sell it for Rs.7 lakh, he told IANS.

He bought it from a car dealer in Shillong after finding it on the internet.

When I bought it, it was complete junk with its white colour, now it’s a classic heritage car. The parts and accessories are mostly unavailable and also today few mechanics want to work on these cars, as it requires a lot of time, labour and patience.

But there were other car owners who said they would not part with their old beauties, no matter what the price.

Parvez Siddiqui, 29, said, I would not sell my Nova Chevy at any cost, no matter that I spent Rs.3.5 lakh on it till date. I bought it a decade ago.

Unlike most cars on Delhi roads today, the red handed 1965 Nova Chevy is left-handed and gives about 6 km per litre.

For me, the engine and driving performance of a car is more important than mileage, if am a true car lover, I can buy it at any cost. And even though my car is left-handed I never face any problem on the road, said Siddiqui.

The vintage car carnival also had those who could given the old cars a little push - with spare parts.

Rajesh Gupta, 35, who deals in the spare parts of vintage cars, told IANS: “We sell all car accessories, we have a unique collection of car parts and accessories from across India. These have been collected from different parts of India like Shillong, Guwahati, Kolkata etc.”

“Parts like lights, speedometers, tool kits, temperature meters, car clocks, monograms, hubcaps and horns, including the dragon horn which can cost Rs.2.5 lakh because of its rarity,” he said.

(Cindrella Thawani can be contacted at

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