21 Gun Salute Concours Show – spotlight on the future of heritage motoring in India!

21 Gun Salute Concours Show – spotlight on the future of heritage motoring in India!

Two days that proves to be something of a car person’s paradise with the rare and exotic cars on display seemingly everywhere! Yes, undoubtedly we are talking about The 21 Gun Salute International Vintage Car Rally & Concours Show a premium heritage motoring gathering that holds significant appeal for car & bike aficionados wrapped its eighth edition on 17th& 18th February, 2018 at the prestigious venue of Ambience Greens, Golf Course, Gurgaon. This motoring & cultural extravaganza; from its very beginning has been bringing motoring enthusiasts from the global motoring community together, as the event continues to grow, more and more attendees and cars converge. And this year was no exception as it offered just as much automotive history and heritage.

The event, which now ranks among the leading international automotive events of Asia, invited car fanatics to admire India’s heritage & Culture. Leading India towards Heritage Motoring Tourism, this show started with an aim of preserving the royal legacy of vintage cars. Building on its success, since the historic day in 2011, the event has only grown in prestige & stature. With car enthusiasts flowing in from around the world to be a part of this motoring event, magnificent-handpicked vintage & classic cars, majestic ambiance, an eminent global jury panel, the incredible support from Ministry of Tourism – Government of India, ancient Indian classical dance performances, presence of automotive connoisseurs from the Indian royal families & the who’s who all of which happened over a span of two glorious days of heritage motoring indulgence.

The Rally was flagged off from India Gate by Chief Guest Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of Culture, (Independent Charge), Govt of India, on the 17th of February, 2018; in the presence of many other esteemed authorities that included Ajay Chowdhury, Joint Commissioner, Delhi Police, Guest of Honour Shri Vinay Pratap Singh (IAS), Deputy Commissioner, Gurugram, Luigi Estro, Charge de affairs, Embassy of Italy, KTS Tulsi, President of HMCI, Subhash Goyal, HE V.P.Singh, Governor and Administrator of Punjab. When the entourage rolled out on February 17th, it marked the beginning of one of the largest vintage car rallies in Asia. All these automotive greats paraded from the majestic India Gate towards the Ambience Greens, Golf Course Gurgaon, covering a distance of 33 km, the rally passed through many historic points, fleeting through various parts of Lutyens’ Delhi; forming a unique ephemeral museum, showing off their charms.

HE V.P. Singh Badnore, Governor of Punjab, inaugurated the Concours Show at Ambience Greens, Golf Course. 21 Gun Salute Concours Show has a long and very strong relationship with Royal Families of India, which is evident from the presence of cars at the show field that was once owned by the ex-maharajas of princely India. The 1935 Chrysler Airstream C 6, owned by Yuvraj Sri Yograj Singhji Chavda, the 1937 Steyr Daimler 220 owned by Yuvraj Shri Harshvardhan Singh, 1929 341 B Cadillac and 1931 370 A Cadillac, owned by Dhananjai Singh Khimsar were a part of the event this year. The 8th edition also witnessed entries from the USA, UK, Australia, Singapore, and Italy that created an international array of what is most refined and most elegant in the field of exceptional motor cars. This year the event showcased a wider representation of different makes & marques; the oldest participant being the 1903 Humberette, among the hundreds of cars populating the facility were an array of Rolls Royce cars including the 1908 Silver Ghost, the 1930 Phantom II, the 1938 Phantom III and the 1965 Siver Cloud III, to name a few! 1922, three liter Bentley (Le Mans) and the 1937 4 ½ ltr Bentley 2 door tourer were also the highlights of the event. Organized by The 21 Gun Salute Heritage & Cultural Trust, the Concours brought together around 125 cars divided into sixteen classes. A wide-ranging period of the history of the motor car was covered. The class illustrating the beginnings of pre-wartran sported the public into the 20th century, the era when the motor car reached its apogee.

Visitors were able to get a close-up look at the best of vintage and classic cars, all day long at the Ambience Greens, Golf Course, Gurgaon on the 18th February 2018. But it was during the award ceremony that the public was able to appreciate the finest of the best to its full extent as it bursted into movement and paraded on the ramp to receive the accolade she deserves; winning over a knowledgeable and demanding jury. In each of the 16 classes; rareness, history, state of conservation and upkeep are the main criteria taken into account by the exclusive jury panel when examining them to select the class winner.

Today, the increased knowledge of restoration and the value of vintage/classics has stepped up the game of participation in Concours and car collection hobby.Combining the authenticity of expert craftsmanship and the creativity unlocked by the motoring enthusiasts’ of the pasts, the Concours Show acts as the prism through which the future of heritage motoring in India comes alive – a future marked by a dual celebration of heritage & motoring. The main attraction of the event was that the visitors could meet the owners with their vintage beauties, right there; affording a chance to talk with them, compliment them, or in many cases know more about the unique history of the car and moreover click selfies with the celebrated automobiles of the past.

Similar to the previous editions, the Concours Show was judged by an esteemed, international jury panel, headed by Christian H. (Chris) Kramer – a classic car historian, value appraiser, F.I.V.A. Scrutineer & collection advisor, as the chief judge along with many esteemed jury panel from around the world including Patrick Rollet – FIVA President; Quirina Louwman, who has been a judge at Chantilly, since its inception; Rolls-Royce expert par excellence Paul Wood; Peter Larsen, a chronic gearhead; Shin IchiEkko, founder of Maserati Club of Japan; Richard Adatto, one of the world’s experts on French aerodynamic cars; Siegfried Linke, Master Judge at Classic Car Club of America, David Cooper; Adolfo Orsi, known for owning the Maserati automobile maker; Matt Stone; Nigel Matthews; Ben Erickson; Dominik Fischlin; Christoph Grohe; Dr. Mark Moskowitz; Sam Movizio; J. Philip Rathgen; James Wood; Christian Philippsen; H Otto Ferdinand Wachs; Patrick Peter; Claus Mueller; Filip Bourgoo; Mathias Doutreleau; Francois Melcion; Ken Gross; Hugo Modderman; Gianfranco G. M. Gentile; Jochen Mass and many other automotive luminaries, who deliberated, long and strong to judge the cars to zero-in on the one that must get the ‘Best’ recognition.

“Crème de la crème” at the 21 Gun Salute Concours was Den Gidwani’s 1937 Rolls Royce 25/30 Gurney Nuttingthat bagged the Rolls Royce Classic and the Best of Show Trophy. Pre War Classic – European and the Best of Show – International was awarded to the Peter Mullin’s 1939 Delage D-8-120. The award ceremony witnessed the presence of Suman Billa, Joint Secretary.

The cars were judges on the quality of their presentation, the diversity and the originality of the models presented. The weekend also included classical & folk dances of India throughout the event along with exceptional original cars, categories with unique coachwork (wood, cloth, wickerwork), imposing saloons and limousines in their original state, as well as chef’s d’oeuvre of European, Italian and American cars. Amongst several cars at the show field, RanjitPratap’s 1966 Volvo 122 Amazon bagged the Post War Classic – European trophy.The Pre War Classic – American category was won by the 1929 Graham Paige Tourer owned by YashvardhanRuia and the Post War Classic – American was taken by the deserving 1960 Pontiac Parisienne, owned by Jimmy Tata.

The Bentley Classic and Limousine category was won by Peter Briggs, 1922 Bentley LeMans 3 Liter and KTS Tulsi’s, 1940 Buick 90 Ltd KTS Tulsi, respectively. Nitin Dossa’s, 1946 Chrysler Windsor won the prestigious FIVA Award (Preservation Class) Pre War Italian Class was bagged by H W Bhatnagar’s 1926 Fiat 503, the MG Classic was won by 1965 MBG – GT, owned by Usha Kothari

Vintage cars & Indian culture are a perfect match, creating an era of supremacy. Significantly, both topped the list of priorities, when Mr. Madan Mohan envisioned this event. “Bringing the past of automotive world to the present, though this year’s event was grandiose & splendid than all other editions, it was “just the tip of the iceberg,” and we plan to expand the concept to several other regions in the future editions of the event. I think we’re going to see a huge movement towards vintage motoring, this spectacular show promises to build on its global success, and a bright future of many rallies, races, and titles to follow.” exclaimed Madan Mohan.

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