Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge) and Environment, Forest & Climate Change, on February 17 flagged-off the beginning of the 8th edition of the 21 Gun Salute International Vintage Car Rally from India Gate to Gurgaon (officially known as Gurugram), India.
This event is a royal rendezvous with the finer things from the past, such as a 1903 Humber Humberette & 1908 RR Silver Ghost – the two oldest vintage cars in the rally. The greatest collectors from around the globe flocked to the 8th edition of the 21 Gun Salute International Vintage Car Rally & Concours Show 2018. Over 125 exceptional vintage cars & 35 vintage two-wheelers representing the most beautiful creations in the history of the automobile paraded on the roads of the national capitol.
Each year, the 21 Gun Salute Heritage & Cultural Trust is honored to host India’s most premium vintage car event, the 21 Gun Salute International Vintage Car Rally & Concours Show, and this year also, the 8th edition of the rally was flagged off among renowned national and international car aficionados and connoisseurs of culture, art , and history.
Soon after the Saturday sunrise, these rare and beautiful vintages were flagged-off by Dr. Mahesh Sharma from the historic India Gate, weaving their way into the hearts of enthusiasts. When the entourage rolled out on February 17, it marked the beginning of one of the largest vintage car rallies in Asia. The guests who were in attendance at the flag-off ceremony included Mr. K.T.S. Tulsi, President, Heritage Motoring Club of India (HMCI); Mr. Luigi Estero, Charge’d’ Affairs, Embassy of Italy; and Shri Suman Billa (IAS), Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism.
“Every year, as a tribute to the golden era of the automotive industry, we organize this International Vintage Car Rally & Concours Show, and this year we have special entries and esteemed guests from the global motoring brotherhood and have received immense support from the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. The 8th edition also witnessed entries from the USA, UK, Australia, Seychelles, and Italy that created an international array of what is most refined and most elegant in the field of exceptional motor cars,” said Mr. Madan Mohan, Founder & Managing Trustee of the 21 Gun Salute Heritage & Cultural Trust.
This year, the event showcased a wider representation of different makes and marques; the oldest participant being the 1903 Humberette owned by Abbas Jasdanwalla from Mumbai. The event also showcased an array of Rolls Royce cars including the 1908 Silver Ghost, the 1930 Phantom II, the 1938 Phantom III, and the 1965 Silver Cloud III, to name a few.
The event also showcased a few last surviving editions, such as the legendary 1939 Delage D-8 from the USA and the 1965 Silver Cloud from the UK. The 1942 Packard 180 Limo, the sole survivor of the pre-world war Packards, along with the restored 1938 Armstrong Sidley, previously owned by Maharaja of Kapurthala, was also among the head turners.
The 21 Gun Salute Concours Show has a long and very strong relationship with royal families of India, which is evident from the presence of cars at the show field that were once owned by the ex-maharajas of princely India. The 1935 Chrysler Airstream C 6 owned by Yuvraj Sri Yograj Singh ji Chavda, the 1937 Steyr Daimler 220 owned by Yuvraj Shri Harshvardhan Singh, and the 1929 341 B Cadillac and 1931 370 A Cadillac owned by Dhananjai Singh Khimsar, were a part of the event this year. Other vintage cars that participated were from Delhi, Kanpur, Jaipur, Udaipur, Chennai, Ahemdabad, Mumbai, Pune, and Nagpur.
A 192 three-liter Bentley (Le Mans) and the 1937 4 ½ liter Bentley 2 door tourer were also highlights of the event. The first day of the prestigious 21 Gun Salute Concours Show 2018 delivered more than its share of fantastic automobiles and historic moments. The 21 Gun Salute Heritage & Cultural Trust hosted a rally where enthusiasts enjoyed the beauty of great cars amidst a cultural setting. Along with this, the event also took up a social cause of raising funds for children with special needs.
A bit of magic happened when all these automotive greats paraded from the majestic India Gate towards the Ambience Greens Golf Course in Gurgaon, covering a distance of 33 km, the rally passed through many historic points, fleeting through various parts of Lyutens Delhi. The rally started from India gate and moved through the Inner Circle Road. Following the Raj Path Road, Vijay Chowk, moving on to the South Avenue Road, the rally moved ahead from the Nehru Memorial Museum on the Shanti Path Road, following the PanchSheel Marg crossing the US Embassy and Taj Hotel. The magnificent cars finally reached Ambience Greens Golf Course, Gurgaon, forming a unique ephemeral museum, showing off their charms with a single aim – to be awarded the Best of Show, the “crème de la crème” at the 21 Gun Salute Concours.
Thousands of enthusiasts headed to the 21 Gun Salute Concours Show, to see magnificent cars, and they also had the opportunity to see and perhaps even meet their automotive heroes. Along with its world-class marques, gracious Indian hospitality, and the unspoiled beauty of the India gate, the 21 Gun Salute Rally stands alone.
Organized by the 21 Gun Salute Heritage & Cultural trust, the rally also took up a social cause “by distributing gift[s] to the spastic children.”
The brainchild of Mr. Madan Mohan, one of the country’s biggest vintage car collectors, inspired with his words and passion that aims at establishing India as a world-class motoring tourism destination. Since 2011, the 21 Gun Salute Heritage & Cultural Trust has been successfully conducting the 21 Gun Salute International Vintage Car Rally & Concours Show.