Preserve city's vintage car heritage

It was a Sunday morning with a difference for the city. The Vintage and Classics Car Club of India (VCCI) held its vintage car rally which took participants in their vintage and classic cars including motorbikes, from Horniman Circle in south Mumbai to Five Acres Club in Chembur and back to the start point. Drivers and pedestrians were pleasantly surprised to see classic cars rubbing shoulders with them at traffic lights. Some pedestrians clapped and waved in excitement as they saw the beautiful vehicles go past them.

The State Government must take a greater interest in the preservation of what can be called the mobile heritage of the city and the state. India, which of course includes Mumbai has some of the best vintage and classic cars in the world. Some of these go right back to Indian royalty days. Current owners may have bought these from royalty and they are now being driven by third and fourth generations. Many of these cars are history lessons on four wheels.

Need of the hour
Car owners have been asking the government to give them space for a museum for a while now. Some years ago there was some buzz that a place in the Western suburbs has been earmarked for a museum, but apparently, nothing has come of that.

A museum is necessary so that owners can showcase these cars and the public has greater access to them. Schools can then take their students on this educational tour. Many cities in the world have vintage car museums and if we want Mumbai to be an international tourist city, this is certainly as important part of that.

With the paucity of parking space and garages, one can hardly expect car owners to be able to park these beautiful vehicles in the city. In this way, cars are being transported out of the city.

A vintage car museum will be a showcase for these priceless treasures. Robust number of entrants in this year’s rally is proof that interest in vintage cars is high. A museum may be the logical step forward in preservation.

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