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Mumbai: Three generations embark on road trip across 16 countries

Updated on: 15 August,2023 08:01 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Hemal Ashar |

The Thakore family from Gujarat flagged off from Mumbai to the United Kingdom in their vintage car Lal Pari

Mumbai: Three generations embark on road trip across 16 countries

The Thakores with Lal Pari

Vintage wheels got rollin’ on Tuesday on an adventure of a lifetime for an Ahmedabad family. Three generations of the Thakore family are in a bid to travel 12,000 km in their trusty steed: a vintage car called ‘Lal Pari’ or ‘Red Angel’ in English. The Lal Pari is a 1950 MG vintage car and is set for a road trip traversing 16 countries from India to London. The aim is to cover 200-250 km per day. The expedition began from Ahmedabad, starting with a visit to the Statue of Unity, the world’s tallest statue. The Thakores drove into Mumbai, after that. There is a symbolic flag off in the city, and the car is then shipped to Dubai, and the adventure begins from Dubai after the team flies there. The journey will encompass road travel in several countries, including the UAE, Iran, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Italy, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Germany, Belgium, and France, and culminate in the United Kingdom.

The flag-off will take place from Mumbai today (Tuesday) evening by Mangal Prabhat Lodha, Minister of Tourism, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, at the Western India Automobile Association (WIAA) in the Indian Merchants Chamber (IMC) building, Churchgate.

Lal Pari and her saheli the camper van in the backgroundLal Pari and her saheli the camper van in the background

WIAA supports mobility and motorsport boosting growth in national and international tourism. The WIAA officials said, “The Thakores will travel globally with an international document issued by WIAA that is AIT / FIA Carnet de passage.” The Vintage and Classic Car Club of India (VCCCI) has insured the vintage car.

An angel

The preparation for the expedition took two years, which included restoration and sourcing of some rare spare parts from across the world. This 73-year-old vintage beauty needed a spring in her step and a whiz in her wheels to be ready for the adventure.

“Lal Pari gets its name from the bedtime stories shared by my mother when I was young. This remarkable journey aims to recreate those adventurous tales while transcending borders and appealing to people of all ages. This journey is not just about the car, but about spreading smiles, building connections, and promoting unity. We look forward to sharing our joy and experiences with the world,” said Daman Thakore, 50, team leader.

Team Lal Pari comprises Daman at the helm, his father Deval Thakore, and his daughter, Devanshi Thakore. In a visual world, what is a Pari without pictures? So architectural photographer and filmmaker Vinay Panjwani and vintage car expert Mukesh Bararia are also a part of the team. Lal Pari will certainly not be lonesome on her ownsome on this journey. She will be supported by a camper van, which has been named Lal Pari Ki Saheli (Red Angel’s friend).  

Joyous journey

Daman from Mumbai said, “‘Lal Pari’ has the unique ability to bring a smile to people’s faces wherever she goes. In this age of stress, we wish to bring joy to the people of the countries we visit and interact with locals. Even driving from Gujarat to Mumbai, we had so many people smiling and waving at us, there was happiness and a palpable connect, and that is the real aim of this mission. This is not a race, this is a personal journey. I want to spend time with my father and daughter. Say thank you to the former for all he has done for us, and give time to my daughter, as she has finished her studies and will shortly start her work life. I want to leave her a legacy. We will be living in homes and at farms during our travel for a deeper understanding and experience of local culture. In a hotel, you tend to be cut off. The camper van, Lal Pari ki Saheli besides support, will be used as a vehicle to film a documentary on our adventure.” Daman analysed, “This is not about changing the world or anything lofty, this is about giving time to something you love to do. In the hurly-burly of life, we forget to focus on ourselves, that is the message of Lal Pari,” signed off Thakore, sounding vintage-wise as the voyage began with angels guiding them on their path.

Distance Thakore family will travel

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