With its third edition scheduled to take place in February, Cartier Travel with Style Concours D’Elegance’s exclusive preview celebrated India’s love for vintage cars and bikes.
Unusual exhibits greeted visitors at Mumbai’s Bhau Daji Lad Museum on Monday. While a grey Fiat 1100 Select, a red 1934 Packard Tourer and a black 1947 Rolls Royce Wraith were placed close to the entrance, a 1947 MG TC was parked inside the lawns.
These vintage cars made for an exclusive preview to mark the announcement of Cartier Travel With Style Concours D’Elegance. The international exhibition and competition of automobiles is a tradition dating back to the 17th century when the French aristocracy would put their carriages on display. In its India edition, scheduled to take place on February 10, 2013, at the Taj Lands End in Mumbai, it will showcase rare and beautiful automobiles. This will be the third edition after the 2008 and 2011 editions, in Mumbai and Delhi respectively.
Present on the occasion were Louis Ferla, regional director of Cartier, Middle East, India and Africa; Manvendra Singh of the royal family of Barwani, Madhya Pradesh, curator of the Concours in India; and event director Mark Shand. While Ferla spoke of Cartier’s endeavour to celebrate the design and craftsmanship of India’s automobile heritage, Singh, as India’s most experienced vintage car expert, pointed out that for the first time, motorcycles will feature in the showcase. “For each edition, apart from 65 vintage cars participating in the Councours, there will be 30 motorcycles, including the ones that were part of the preview — Mandar Phadke’s 1944 Indian Chief American motorcycle, Dnyanesh Smant’s 1955 Norton Manx racing bike and Jacob Verghese’s 1926 AJS,” Singh said.
It also saw the owners of the cars express their love for their proud possessions. Viveck Goenka, chairman and managing director, The Express Group, who owns the 1934 Packard Tourer, said that all his vintage cars were in absolute running condition. “Three of my cars — a 1926 Chrysler, a 1933 Studebaker and a 1949 Chevrolet convertible — will be part of the Concours 2013,” he said. Yash Ruia, owner of the 1947 MG TC and 1947 Rolls Royce Wraith, said that a vintage car’s appeal lies in its originality and working condition.
Singh said that the show is ultimately about presenting India to the world.