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    A platoon of vintage automobiles will hit Pantheon Road tomorrow—to commemorate 100 years of WCC’s history department and give us a chance to sit back in style

    THE Madras Heritage Motoring Club does not believe in treating their vintage automobile collections as fragile museum pieces. In previous years, they drove their old wheels all the way to Pondicherry and even invited children from the Don Bosco Anbu Illam to ride with them. Tomorrow, with Indulge as the media partner, the club will display their vehicles at the Women’s Christian College (WCC) campus and later allow the general public to ride with them on Pantheon Road. “Over 35 cars from the 1920s to the 60s—like the Chevrolet Impala, Vauxhall Victor, Chevrolet Phaeton and Studebaker President, to name a few—will be displayed at the event,” says Kylas VS, the founder secretary of the club. They are organising the rally to commemorate 100 years of WCC’s history department.

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    Hand shifts

    Kylas will be bringing nine of his cars, including a 1946 Morris 8, which was owned by Dr Vijayalakshmi Ramanan, the first commissioned woman officer of the Indian Air Force. He recalls how he had asked Ramanan for close to two decades to sell him the car, before she finally agreed in 1991 due to failing health. Avid car collector and industrialist, Ranjit Pratap, who has 10,000 square feet of garage space housing 40 classic cars, will be bringing his rarest and most prized, a 1967 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II, to the event. “Only five Silver Clouds exist in India, with mine being the only one in South India. I will also bring a restored 1949 Buick, which was the personal car of Jim Corbett in his last days,” says Pratap, who is also one of the committee members of the club.

    pg23-3Reliving history
    The opportunity is truly once-in-a-lifetime as visitors will be able to ride in the cars (for Rs 100) that made history, on a street that holds an even richer history (read the 150-plus-year-old Government Museum of Madras). It is not just cars, but motorcycles and scooters that will be among the vintage wheels. “Apart from my 1935 Chevrolet half-ton and 1953 Triumph Herald, visitors can also see my 1963 Lambretta and 1972 Rajdoot Bobby, the motorcycle model Rishi Kapoor rode in the movie, Bobby,” says Sri Kumar, another member of the club, explaining how Rajdoot had rechristened the motorcycle—from Rajdoot GTS (Grand Touring Sports) to Bobby—after the success of the movie.

    Entry at Rs 200. From 10 am to 3pm at the WCC campus. Details: 9830008255

    —P Peter

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