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Old 19th January 2014, 13:22   #16
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Default Re: The Statesman Vintage & Classic Car Rally. 19th Jan 2014 @ Kolkata

Showcase on the ramp - Part Two
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Old 19th January 2014, 14:24   #17
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Old 19th January 2014, 15:02   #18
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Default Re: The Statesman Vintage & Classic Car Rally. 19th Jan 2014 @ Kolkata

The Showcase : Part Four

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Old 19th January 2014, 15:16   #19
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Default Re: The Statesman Vintage & Classic Car Rally. 19th Jan 2014 @ Kolkata

The Showcase : Part 5

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Old 19th January 2014, 15:24   #20
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Default Re: The Statesman Vintage & Classic Car Rally. 19th Jan 2014 @ Kolkata

The Showcase : Part Six

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And with that I sign off for now. I hope everyone enjoyed the first glimpses of today's Rally. I'm sure other BHPians will also upload photographs of the rest of the day's events.

Here's to lots of fun and frolic and many great returns of this rev-happy day! Cheers! Peace and God Bless.

Last edited by JKDS : 19th January 2014 at 15:44.
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Old 20th January 2014, 13:11   #21
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Another 1000 words photo.
Prize won for coming from the longest distance to take part in the event.
Bulk of prizes were awarded to the usual entrants.
The possibility of clicking such a photo in Mumbai, my car with a genuinely won prize is virtually non-existant. Same applies to other entries when their prizes are not desrved.
Why not do away with prizes and award every entry a memento? Just a thought, but it will take away a political tool normally misused and much abused

Cheers harit

Last edited by harit : 20th January 2014 at 13:13.
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Old 20th January 2014, 20:33   #22
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Wow, thank you very much JKDS for the very comprehensive coverage of the rally cars with all the great photos. Good stuff.

Since the usual aspects have been covered and Harit's car winning a prize is already known, let me put into words my experiences on the rally over the two days.

A lesson learnt:

The first month of the New Year, 2014. For car lovers in Calcutta, January is a month to look forward to, to witness the Statesman Vintage & Classic Car Rally. I was told that it was being held on the 19th and like in past years, I was without a car of my own to take part in the event.

Two weeks or so prior to the rally, I get a call from our very own Harit Trivedi. A freshly restored car from his trove was headed to my town for some work so how about it taking part in the rally? Taking part was not a problem, that way the judges are very accommodating (unless your car is a total wreck), even if you apply seven days in advance. So with all the formalities completed and participation papers with me, the restorer of the car who had come down from Bombay got in touch to discuss the details and in the course of our conversation, I learnt that he didn't know the roads of Calcutta at all because this was his first time in town! Stupefied, I told him that I wouldn't be with him to direct the way on the day of the judging since I had to go to work till noon. What stumped me more was his simple, as a matter of fact reply “I’ll just ask people for directions from my hotel to the rally site and get there”. Hmm… driving a freshly restored classic from one end of Calcutta to the other and back is challenging enough but to do it with absolutely no knowledge of the roads was a different level altogether. I was genuinely concerned. So the day prior to the judging, the restorer and I met so that I could hand over the rally papers to him. I wanted to check out the car that evening itself and seeing that the restorer had only a sketchy idea of the way back to his hotel (who wouldn't be on their first trip to any city) I offered to drop him back and then saw the car safely tucked away inside the vast parking space of the hotel, being washed, dried and then being readied for polish.

I was impressed with the authenticity and purity of the restoration-the car was left stock. A lot of convertibles from the 20s and 30s have tops which are poorly done and don’t look good with the top up but this car had the top done just right. The imported fabric did a lot to make the top look good but equally impressive was the fit and stitching - this convertible actually looked better with the top up than with the top down! So we chalked out a plan where the restorer would call me the next morning in case he required directions (how would he not, I thought to myself) to the rally site for scrutiny by the judges. As it turned out, he reached the grounds by asking people for directions all along the way and reached with no problem whatsoever.

I reached the grounds just after noon and the car was yet to be judged. The way it works here is that there are 3 pairs of judges who come to your car to take a look. One pair mostly checks out whether the basics are in working order-lights, horns, gauges, that sort of stuff. The other pair checks out the level of authenticity and the third pair looks at the maintenance aspect. If you or your car are lucky enough (just a few get this privilege unfortunately), all three pairs will go through your car for half an hour at the same time, but it wasn't so in our case.

On the way for scrutiny

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The first pair seemed genuinely interested in having a good look and even went for a short ride to decide for themselves whether the car was indeed restored recently. The second pair was a bit of a mystery to decipher - they were giving the car a good look but when one of them questioned the originality of the accelerator pedal being in the middle of the brake and clutch pedals, I couldn’t quite figure out whether he asked in jest or was actually unaware of this layout found on several early cars. If it was the latter (and I think it was), my belief that taking your car for judging is an exercise in futility, was reaffirmed. Perhaps some of you can understand the frustration of owners/participants at such instances of ignorance. Whether connected or not, many owners this year chose to skip the judging and attended only the main event on the following day.

It was the third and last pair of judges that had me and the restorer completely cheesed of-they came, they signed the judging form and they went. That was it; no questions asked, not a glance at the car and when asked to take a look their refrain was that they had a lot of cars to judge and very little time to do it. Sure, that was why the car after us had all three pairs of judges going through it for half an hour. Angry, the restorer and I made ourselves heard at an organizer who was nearby, who in turn muttered something to the chief judge (the chief judge was independent from the other three pairs of judges). He muttered something on the lines of “these guys are saying that so and so and so and so didn't take a look at their car despite the fact that it’s a new entrant from Bombay”. We decided to approach the chief judge ourselves and told him that the car was from out of town and it deserved a look, if nothing else. So he did give it a look but the car wasn’t on his list of outstation cars - there were others listed but most of these came from out of town months back and were restored in town. Harit would know this better than me. But we insisted that the car be put on the list and the restorer handed over all the toll receipts, bills for diesel filled in the transportation truck, challans, etc. to the chief judge who returned them after a while and added the car to the list of ‘outstation cars’. Judging over.


The next day, Sunday, rally day, was more pleasant. The car was amongst the first to make it to the rally grounds and looked great in the sunny and cool morning. I was to be the navigator since the route map is only handed out on the rally day. A journalist friend of mine was to ride along as well. At 8:30 am the cars lined up for the opening parade in chronological order and Harit’s car being a 1928 was early in the order being car number 18. Just before the parade started, my friend decided to go of in search of tea and shortly after that, the rally was thrown open and the cars started for the parade and then exited the grounds. My friend was nowhere in sight and we weren’t going to wait on the roadside but so eager was he to be in the car that he hitched a ride on a vintage bike, then hitched another ride on a car and finally got a taxi. He happily made it into the car at a traffic signal after 10 minutes of us leaving the grounds!

The car was looking good on the morning of the rally

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The route was about 25 kms., covering some really bad stretches of tarmac but everyone enjoyed the drive with the car performing very well.

En route amidst elite company

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Two Ford As ahead of us

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Here in Calcutta, the prize distribution takes place as late at 2:00 pm so if you think that you have a chance of getting something, you hang around or else you can leave after re-entering the rally grounds. Our restorer (and driver) was confident of one prize at least, but judging from past experience, I wasn’t so sure. He insisted that we approach the judges again to impress upon them that the car was a new entrant, freshly restored and transported from Bombay. This we did but I knew that there was no chance (and correctly so) of any prize in the restoration categories because there weren’t enough photos showing ‘before and after’ pictures. If you want to compete for a restoration trophy in Calcutta, you have to make a case for the car. I’m told that photos are not given this degree of importance in Bombay. Anyway, I still hung around just in case and then just before 2 in the afternoon I spotted a rally marshal going to owners discreetly, informing them to line up to receive their prize (this is the norm here). To avoid prolonging the wait and probable disappointment for the guys from Bombay, I went up to the marshal to check whether car no. 18 was on list and it wasn’t. No surprises there, or so I thought. Just then, another marshal approached the car and asked us to line up. My immediate reaction was more of shock than joy - how on earth did this car get a prize, be it by default or otherwise? Cynicism temporarily forgotten, the car received the prize for being transported the longest distance.

And the winner is...

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1) Proud Restorer and 2) the car's caretaker

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Proud passengers!

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Hmm...a silver salver, not bad

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Let the celebrations begin!

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Bitter Sweet victory

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After congratulating Harit (thank you very much sir!) I bid goodbye to my new friends from Bombay and promptly headed to the club to celebrate till late.

Lesson learnt? You won't always get what is rightfully yours, but if you fight for it, you may just.

Last edited by mbz180 : 20th January 2014 at 20:45.
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Old 20th January 2014, 21:21   #23
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Default Re: The Statesman Vintage & Classic Car Rally. 19th Jan 2014 @ Kolkata

Its great to see an honest to God Ford Model A done just right as it should be and not blinged up with additional light, badges, radiator mascots, wind deflectors, chrome rims and what not.

I feel it would have looked even better with blackwall tires but that just my opinion. Would love to see pics of the engine bay from both sides.

As Karl was asking what are the visual differences between the 28/29 and 30 /31 Model A's here is what to look for

The early cars had 21 inch rims with small cup style chrome hubcaps whereas the later cars were running 19 inch rims with larger round hubcaps.

The other major visual difference is in the radiator and grille. Early cars had the all chrome squarish grille whereas the latr cars had taller rectangular grilles with the 30 cars having a black insert on the top and 31 cars with black inserts on top and bottom.

These are the main things to look for other than minor details like windscreen frame / pillars and body side mouldings.
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Old 20th January 2014, 22:13   #24
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Default Re: The Statesman Vintage & Classic Car Rally. 19th Jan 2014 @ Kolkata

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbz180 View Post
Wow,

Lesson learnt? You won't always get what is rightfully yours, but if you fight for it, you may just.
Wow Prithvi, thanks for sharing this wonderful story and the message in the end is very true.

Congrats Harit for winning silverware. The car deserves a prize as it has been tastefully done. We look forward to seeing your car in Bangalore for a KVCCC event. But hope you understand that we do not have Judging in our events, but we do offer momentos

Cheers

KPS
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Old 21st January 2014, 11:23   #25
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Default Re: The Statesman Vintage & Classic Car Rally. 19th Jan 2014 @ Kolkata

Hi Prithvi,

I was sad to read your post, seems Calcutta too is riddled with politics in the movement.

The judges did not judge the ford, and then go on to give a prize which is meaningless. I could understand if the car was driven down, but plonked on a transporter and brought, what is so great that you give a prize?? It seems more as if this was done to placate the owner. I personally would not have accepted it.

The ford, neatly done, deserved recognition for restoration.

KPS,

you guys got it right. No prizes, only mementos. That is the way forward.

Last edited by Bulldogji : 21st January 2014 at 11:25.
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Old 21st January 2014, 13:06   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogji View Post
Hi Prithvi,The judges did not judge the ford, and then go on to give a prize which is meaningless. I could understand if the car was driven down, but plonked on a transporter and brought, what is so great that you give a prize?? It seems more as if this was done to placate the owner. I personally would not have accepted it.
Hi Bulldogji,

Actually, there genuinely are two prizes listed every year in the Calcutta Statesman reserved for the car transported the longest distance and also for the car driven the longest distance. That is why we kept pestering the judges because we knew that the Ford was transported the longest distance so it should at least get that prize. Like I said, the Ford wasn't listed in the first place as being an outstation car whereas there were more than 10 other cars listed, most of which had come into Calcutta months back.

The Calcutta classic car scene is small and fragmented compared to Bombay and Bangalore and other cities in the south and because of this, I feel that there isn't much at stake here and therefore politics is not a dominant factor in these events. It's more a case of personal preference towards certain cars year after year but this year, the prizes were spread out between more cars than earlier which was good to see. Plus, when you have little competition against the regular winners, the regular winners will pick up bulk of the awards. My only grouse is that paucity of time is the organizer's problem. I'll stop complaining and be happy when every car is given a good look and then the awards will be incidental.

I took a few photos this time since I was quite busy with Harit's car. I covered only those cars which interested me so thank you JKDS for covering nearly every car present.

The Ford Galaxy for its great looks, proportions and pleasing two tone paint

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1968 Mercedes Benz 220/8, a first time entrant

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Neat looking Adler

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Ford Anglia for its sheer quirkiness

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1949 Cadillac's clean engine bay

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This Austin 10 or 12, despite it's outward appearance, has been a daily driver since ages and it was great to see that it won a prize for the road section

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Land Rover Defender was a first time entry

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I liked the sporty front of the MG PA

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The period paint scheme on this Fiat was nice

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Another new entrant

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Triumph Spitfire looked great

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1956 Studebaker President. My dad had a Commander when he was in college so I took a liking to Studebakers early on

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Quite the pair

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Mercedes Benz 230S. I love Pontons and Fintails and it was good to see a 6 cyl Fintail in Calcutta after a long time. Plus it was painted in two tone which is unusual but absolutely authentic as far as factory paint options go

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The Alvis enters the grounds

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Some more pics to follow.

Last edited by mbz180 : 21st January 2014 at 13:16.
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Old 21st January 2014, 15:53   #27
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Default Re: The Statesman Vintage & Classic Car Rally. 19th Jan 2014 @ Kolkata

Austin Six restored last year

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I learnt driving in an Austin 8 tourer just like this one which is complete with side curtains

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The regularly used Citroen 15-6 is a good looker

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This MG Magnette belongs to a former school teacher of mine and it has been used as a daily driver since new, no exaggeration

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Imposing Daimler

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Freshly restored Dodge Brothers tourer

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I've seen Royce Motometers as temp gauges on cars but this Wilmot Breeden unit on the Dodge was a new to me

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Fiat 128

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1936 Ford V-8

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Freshly restored Jaguar Mk 10

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For the Fiat fans

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Classic case of advertising-This W-115 completed the rally route after which a "FOR SALE" sign was seen on the car!

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Two W-115's

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The Police Commissioner's 56 Dodge Kingsway

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Neat looking Singer Nine was a new entrant

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The rare SS-90

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The 1968 Mercedes 220/8 or Stricht Acht

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Simply done up Wolseley looked good

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A BSA

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Vespa 150

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Old 22nd January 2014, 00:14   #28
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Default Re: The Statesman Vintage & Classic Car Rally. 19th Jan 2014 @ Kolkata

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbz180 View Post
Wow, thank you very much JKDS for the very comprehensive coverage of the rally cars with all the great photos. Good stuff. Since the usual aspects have been covered and Harit's car winning a prize is already known, let me put into words my experiences on the rally over the two days. ........Two weeks or so prior to the rally, I get a call from our very own Harit Trivedi. A freshly restored car ......I was impressed with the authenticity and purity of the restoration-the car was left stock. ..... in case he required directions (how would he not, I thought to myself) ...As it turned out, he reached the grounds by asking people for directions all along the way and reached with no problem whatsoever. .........one of them questioned the originality of the accelerator pedal being in the middle of the brake and clutch pedals, .........................my belief that taking your car for judging is an exercise in futility, was reaffirmed..........................no questions asked, not a glance at the car .......the car wasn’t on his list of outstation cars .................. bills for diesel filled in the transportation truck, challans, etc. to the chief judge who returned them after a while and added the car to the list of ‘outstation cars’. Judging over..................there weren’t enough photos showing ‘before and after’ pictures. ......... After congratulating Harit (thank you very much sir!) ..........You won't always get what is rightfully yours, but if you fight for it, you may just.[/b]
Quote:
Originally Posted by wasif View Post
Its great to see an honest to God Ford Model A done just right as it should be and not blinged up with additional light, badges, radiator mascots, wind deflectors, chrome rims and what not.

I feel it would have looked even better with blackwall tires but that just my opinion. Would love to see pics of the engine bay from both sides.........the visual differences between the 28/29 and 30 /31 Model A's here is what to look for.....................
Quote:
Originally Posted by KPS View Post
Wow Prithvi, thanks for sharing this wonderful story and the message in the end is very true. ....... but we do offer momentos
Cheers KPS
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogji View Post
Hi Prithvi, ...........and then go on to give a prize which is meaningless. I could understand if the car was driven down, but plonked on a transporter and brought, ..... KPS, you guys got it right. No prizes, only mementos. ......
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbz180 View Post
Hi Bulldogji, Actually, there genuinely are two prizes listed every year in the Calcutta Statesman reserved for the car transported the longest distance and also for the car driven the longest distance. .......
Hi guys
Prithvi, thanks for all your help. The guys with the car had fun, the car was appreciated, and it raised eye-brows. I will have a problem to keep it that way
we still don't know who won prizes, we only know about my prize because it has been mentioned. I do not say that the Ford was the best restored car. But to say that there are no photos of the car "as unrestored" and therefore cannot be judged for restoration is simply ridiculous. Any fool could see that this car was restored, and the category does not say that it should have been scrap, tired, or just refurbished. If at the end the car came out well restored, that is enough for any sensible judge.
For me the best part was that those who were associated with the car had fun. The fun element is being lost, so many people have remarked that one never sees certain senior Vintage car movement stalwarts smile, they scowl at best. And here Prithvi and the restorer had fun, no wonder they did not win a "genuine" prize. I try to have fun with everything I do, with the cars, work, even on t-bhp. At someones cost, obviously.
As Wasif noted, this car had a minimum of bells and whistles (meaning 1) attractive additional features or trimmings. 2) Nonessential features or enhancements intended especially to add commercial appeal) No side screens, no radiator mascot, extra lights on cowl, chrome stepney covers, so much possible more. The car got whitewall tyres becaue black were not available. And it does give the car some slight get up, like a lady using make-up very subtly and tastefully. Just today I was told of a Ford A where the owner spent X lacs on parts. Many of the parts were locally made. Apart from what Wasif mentions, early 1928 Ford A's have internal handles, nothing outside. This car is late 1928, so handles are present. The bumper may appear to protrude, but what many failed to notice or comment on is that this car has twin stepneys, quite rare, and maybe that is why the bumper is also a bit different. Anyway, when my MG gets done, it will follow the same philosophy, and I will do my utmost not to use white walls on that as they would give the car a tarted up appearance(Check the meaning yourself, its amusing).
Bulldogji, about the prize, I am well aware that it is a bit hollow or shallow. The car may have made it to Kolkata by road, or again maybe not, but that is not the point. The car was transported, and there was a category for that, so how could they ever think of robbing us of the prize? This is not an issue of a bias or partiality, it is actually robbing a deserving winner of his rightful prize. There are many ways of doing this, in Cartier events they don't even invite competition worthy cars so that the clients car wins. In VCCCI they would at best give a second prize when they know that they are doing wrong. Like my Humber came freshly painted from Barwani's garage and got a second prize to a Ford Model T with motorcycle wheels. That "T" got wooden wheels only in 2013! Yet VCCCI gave it the first prize. So I am used to all these going ons.
Prithvi wonders how Bhavesh found his way in Kolkata, its very simple. He is used to navigating Mumbai's roads with Tulip charts full of errors in VCCCI events, so he has had practice.
I have been advocating to the owner of VCCCI that prizes should be abolished and mementos be given instead. This was even discussed during the informal meeting held at WIAA after the Pranlal condolence meeting. Of course this was summarily rejected.
Kolkata had some nice cars too, I liked that Dodge Brothers and some more. For all involved with this adventure, I think all had fun as the photo shows. I was not there but enjoyed the tale on this forum. And one hopefully could see that bling is not required. In fact, bling costs a lot of money which could be used elsewher, maybe on another project.

Cheers harit
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Old 22nd January 2014, 01:16   #29
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Default Re: The Statesman Vintage & Classic Car Rally. 19th Jan 2014 @ Kolkata

The pleasure is all at my end to be able to be present at the rally grounds and behold the evergreen ladies in action and share the photos with everyone!

As has been stated, I heard a few people stating on the same lines as Prithvi Ji. The knowledge about not only cars, but anything and everything else, comes from the love of the job, and not by compulsion or imposition of duties. Unfortunate that politics is being chosen at the cost of quality and love of and for such timeless classics. :(

I second Harit Ji's suggestion about only mementos, but Sir, would that not take out the zeal in some people who respect and love originality and take great pains to maintain that, all for some appreciation of the job whole-heartedly tried or well-done? Just a thought, though.

--
Peace and God Bless.
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Old 22nd January 2014, 22:27   #30
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Default Re: The Statesman Vintage & Classic Car Rally. 19th Jan 2014 @ Kolkata

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Originally Posted by JKDS View Post
The pleasure is all at my end to be able to be present at the rally grounds and behold the evergreen ladies in action and share the photos with everyone!

As has been stated, I heard a few people stating on the same lines as Prithvi Ji. The knowledge about not only cars, but anything and everything else, comes from the love of the job, and not by compulsion or imposition of duties. Unfortunate that politics is being chosen at the cost of quality and love of and for such timeless classics. :(

I second Harit Ji's suggestion about only mementos, but Sir, would that not take out the zeal in some people who respect and love originality and take great pains to maintain that, all for some appreciation of the job whole-heartedly tried or well-done? Just a thought, though.

--
Peace and God Bless.
JKDS,

Enthusiasts who zealously retain originality get appreciated within their peer group. They really are not bothered about being judged, many a time by people who would in no other country dare call themselves judges!

I do not know who judged this time and so my comments are not directed at them, or anyone in particular.

Just that the genuine guys out here don't give two hoots for the prizes.

They do what they do out of passion, not with the intention of receiving a prize. And of course there are the others, who demand prizes in the hope of getting someone to buy their wares at extortionate prices.

But then, These are thoughts of an old man, maybe Iam just not connected with the reality of the day.
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