Since I normally spend every single God-given moment on my blog, being without its presence in my life courtesy the Great Blog Crash of 2013, had me doing a detour to re-explore an old, old passion. And I mean “old, old” in every way – it’s a passion that’s had me hooked since the past 2 decades and it deals with old things. Vintage cars, to be specific.
I have been hanging around these beautiful beasts since eons and did my first serious international vintage car rally in the year 2000. Called Rally of the Raj, it was a 2,000-kilometre run all the way from Delhi to Mumbai, via the royal Indian cities of Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Ahmedabad, Silvassa and Rajpipla. Since then, I have been part of numerous rallies around the world – sometimes as a participant, often as an organiser. And it’s been a blast!
These old cars have a soul, a beauty, a tenacity that today’s automobiles simply can’t match. Built to last, they are a combination of art and engineering… rolling histories that enthrall with their grandeur and humble with their magnificence. Seriously, today’s cars are not a patch upon these legends from the past – as was more than evident at the Cartier Concours d’Elegance 2013 this weekend, where the grand old dames came out to play.
I spent a happy Sunday strolling through green lawns that looked more California than India, sipping chilled flutes of Dom Pérignon and exchanging stories with other vintage car lovers like HRH Prince Michael of Kent, Sir Stirling Moss, Marc Newson and Mark Shand (of the Camilla Parker-Bowles family tree). I broke 2 fingernails while tinkering with an engine, my hair got burnt to a crisp in the blazing sun, my face is tanned 8 shades deeper and there is a terribly sun-burnt patch on my shoulder… but, for once, I don’t care!