Bengaluru: Forty-two vintage cars — from a 1909 Wolseley formerly owned by the Maharaja of Cooch Behar to a 1929 Mercedes that belonged to the Maharaja of Rajkot to a rare 1886 station wagon, the first gasoline powered vehicle ever built in the world — are currently on display at the porch of UB City.
The two-day display of vintage cars — all owned by residents of Bengaluru — has been organised by the Federation of Historic Vehicles of India (FHVI) on the sidelines of the first-ever general council meeting of the global organisation, Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens (FIVA), in the country.
The display will continue on Saturday. And on Sunday, the vehicles will take part in a heritage drive between UB City and Nandi Hills, said the organisers. “We have organised the display on the sidelines of the meeting and it is open and free for all,” said FHVI president Ravi Prakash.
Balachandra Yadalam, secretary of the Karnataka Vintage and Classic Car Club (KVCCC), said once a vintage car is acquired, a few years of mechanical and engineering work go into making it ‘road-ready’ again. Yadalam has displayed two of his vintage cars — a 1949 Buick Super Eight and a 1966 Volkswagen Beetle, at the vintage car display at UB City.
“On my Buick, I had to do a minimum of two years of work to get it ready as it had been idle for nearly 30 years. The whole car had to be stripped down and the body had to be rebuilt entirely and the engine required thorough cleaning. A major concern when it comes to restoring vintage cars is the non-availability of the original parts since most of them are not manufactured anymore,” said Yadalam.
Tilak Thomas, a city-based architect who purchased his red 1967 MGB Roadster car more than 10 years ago from a collector in Pune, pointed out how he has retained even the original leather seats in the car.
“It’s rare to find a sports car from those days in such good condition and I was fascinated the minute, I set eyes on the car. Since it had not been used for several years, we had to spend some time to spruce it up. However, I have made it a point to retain all the original parts of the car including its engine and the leather seats,” said Thomas.
“Earlier I used to take the cars out for a short drive inside the city, but it has become extremely concerning to take the car out within city limits today. It is now only used for early morning drives to Nandi Hills and other locations on the outskirts of the city now. My children really enjoy the drive in this car although it does not have a music player or air-conditioning,” he added.