Drive down vintage lane

Feb 08, 2013, 01:12 IST | Hassan M Kamal

After two successful editions, the Cartier Travel With Style, vintage car show is back with 74 of the rarest vintage automobiles from India, and a total of 34 classic motorcycles. Hassan M Kamal picks four outstanding models to be showcased at the event at the Taj Land's End, this Sunday

Shikar Class: 1947 Bikaner State Imperial Grouse Hunting Buick

Originally, a simple 1947 Buick Super Sedan, this four-door convertible was customised on the orders of the Maharaja of Bikaner. A creation of the Bikaner State Railway workshop, this 1947 Buick, now called, Bikaner State Imperial Grouse Hunting Buick, was used extensively for outdoor hunts by the Royal patrons of Bikaner. The car is owned by car collector Diljeet Titus.

What is the Shikar Class?
Tailor-made for hunting, these cars were very popular among the Indian maharajas and royals, each built to meet the needs of their respective owners.

Vintage Class: 1921 Fiat 501S Corsa

The car has been restored after it was found in the 1970s in a very bad condition. In fact, there was a tree growing through it. This 501S Corsa was ordered by The Maharaja of Patiala, one of the wealthiest men with a large fleet of cars, with racing bodywork. Its original wire spoke wheels were changed as the wires were too fragile for the rough roads of India. The car is now owned by Herbertsons Limited.

The Fiat 501
A successor to the Fiat Zero, the 501 was Fiat’s first model after World War I. The company is supposed to have produced around 47,500 501s between 1919 and 1926, including two sports variants — 501S and 501SS. The 501 featured a 1460cc straight-4 sidevalve engine with a single carburetor fuel system.

Vintage Pride: 1936 Triumph Werke STM Nurnberg 500

One of the oldest preserved vintage motorcycles in India, the 1936 Triumph Werke STM Nurnberg 500 (German Triumph), owned by Lt Colonel Bopanna Shashidhar, is in stunning condition. The fact that only 291 motorcycles of this specific model were manufactured worldwide, and only a handful remain in mint condition, makes this motorcycle extremely rare not only in India but also, the world over.

What’s German Triumph?
Triumph-Werke Nürnberg AG or TWN in Nürnberg, Germany, was the second Triumph factory after Coventry in England. The German plant separated from the parent company in 1929 and continued to manufacture bikes with the same 499 cc and 545 cc four-stroke engines as its sister plant in Coventry as TWN till 1957. The British arm went bankrupt in 1983 making way for the current Triumph Motorcycle Company.

British Style: 1926 AJS

Cartier Travel With Style will see two 1926 AJS, one (shown below) owned by Jacob Verghese, and another by Jahangir Faroogh, perhaps the best preserved AJS in India.

All about AJS
One of the most prestigious of all British marques, AJS began to produce motorcycles in 1909, using their own engines of various sizes and are renowned for a sleek, streamlined design distinctive to the company and held 117 motorcycle racing records. After the company went defunct in 1931, the name continued to be used by Matchless, Associated Motorcycles and Norton-Villiers on four-stroke motorcycles till 1969, and since the name’s resale in 1974, on lightweight, two-stroke scramblers and today, on small-capacity roadsters and cruisers. 

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