Cars from the royal-era: 1922 Daimler, 2-door Bentley make heads turn at Vadodara vintage car show

Cars from the royal-era: 1922 Daimler, 2-door Bentley make heads turn at Vadodara vintage car show
Post-war Rolls Royce Silver Wraith
A 1922 Daimler car fitted with wooden cabinets, and a 1935 two-door Bentley in a jet black finish, both originally made for royal families in India and a 1923-era fire truck manufactured in the US were among the head-turners at a grand vintage car show in Vadodara that ended on Sunday. While a 1934 Packard 1107 Coupe Roadster won the 'Best of Show' award, a graceful 1949 Rolls Royce Silver Wraith Drophead Coupe, bearing 'Mysore' plates, finished second, while the third position was bagged by the 1936 Nash Ambassador Series 1290 Sedan, the organisers said.

The post-war Rolls Royce Silver Wraith, bearing its royal insignia, drew a lot of eyeballs during the event.

The tenth edition of the '21 Gun Salute Concours d'Elegance', hosted at the celebrated Lukshmi Vilas Palace, commenced on January 6 in Vadodara and concluded on January 8.

Visitors thronged the 19th-century Lukshmi Vilas Palace on the last day of the grand event organised by the trust in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and supported by Gujarat Tourism.

The 1934 Packard 1107 Coupe Roadster that won the 'Best of Show' award car is owned by industrialist and car collector Gautam Singhania, they said.


Singhania, the chairman and managing director of Raymond group, also owns the 1923-era fire truck that was put on display.

The 1949 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith is owned by Yohan Poonawalla while the Nash Ambassador Series 1290 Sedan belongs to Delhi-based Diljeet Titus.

On Saturday and Sunday, a large number of visitors drawn from Vadodara and other parts of Gujarat and foreign tourists witnessed the automobile extravaganza.

The restored 1922 Daimler, originally made for the then Maharaja of Mysore, left visitors surprised with a sense of awe and wonder, as did the 1948 Bentley Mark VI Drophead Coupe (labelled 'Baroda 2') that was originally made for a Maharani of Baroda.

Madhya Pradesh-based Yash Pathak, the current owner of the 1922 beauty, says he bought the car a couple of years ago from a person in Delhi.

"It was built for the Mysore Maharaja and one can see the royal insignia mounted on the engine front. It also has a wooden bar cabinet, a metallic peacock sitting atop the bonnet, and it has a wooden body over which metal was added," he told PTI.

Another car that attracted a lot of visitors over the three days is a black beauty of the 1930-era, owned by UK-based Dhanraj Gidwaney, a passionate vintage car collector.

The black two-door Bentley Vanden Plas originally belonged to the Indore State as displayed on the number plate, and then sold to an owner of an Indian luxury hotel chain, from whom "I acquired it in 2018 and got it restored," Gidwaney told PTI on Saturday

The car has been "restored to original glory", he said, as he waited for the jury members to assess his machine.

Vintage car collector Poonawala, besides displaying the 1949 Rolls Royce Silver Wraith, also showcased a 1933 sports saloon -- Rolls Royce Phantom II Continental, bearing the number 'AGO 1', as photographers sought to capture this beauty also in their cameras.

But, it wasn't just regular vintage cars that drew crowds, the 1923 red vintage fire truck, displayed by Singhania also was a show stealer in Vadodara.

Singhania also took to social media on Saturday to share his feelings about the show, and wrote on Twitter that "it was amazing to experience India's rich automotive cultural heritage".

The fire truck was made by the firm American LaFrance Fire Engine Co. Ltd, and Singhania's staff also revved up its engine, as the sight and sound of this rare beauty delighted people.

Sebestian Buchel, a jury member at the event, when asked what factors are considered while judging an entry, said, originality, matching numbers and history are important factors.

"Engine, body, chassis, and paint job, among other factors, are also important. But, most importantly it has to be as original as possible," Buchel told PTI.

More than 200 dazzling vintage beauties and classic Indian marquees, 120 vintage bikes and Maharaja cars were part of the display.

Other cars which were on display included a 1911 Napier, a 1930 Cadillac, a 1930 Chevrolet Depot Hack, a 1935 Ford Special, a 1938 Armstrong Siddeley, a 1947 Buick Roadmaster Convertible, a 1947 Daimler DB18, a 1948 Humber, a 1948 Buick Super, a 1936 Dodge D2 a Convertible Sedan, a 1942 jeep ford GPW, a 1936 Bentley 3.5 and a 1937 Bentley 4.24, the organisers said.

"The oldest automobile on display was the 1886 Benz Patent Motorwagen -- the first car invented by Karl Benz -- pioneering founder of Mercedes-Benz," a spokesperson of the organisers said.

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