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Old 21st April 2017, 17:48   #1
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Default Drives & Meetups: Classic Car owners of Calcutta

Greeting everyone!

Calcutta has long needed a regular platform to bring together the classic car owner/enthusiast community. While the events hosted by the Statesman have been the highlight of the classic car calendar for decades now, being an annual affair, a majority of the cars in town are only seldom used during the rest of the year.

What better way to bring out the golden oldies than to schedule regular drives. Taking a cue from the super-enthusiastic and knowledgeable classic car community of Bombay (with whom I had the privilege of hitching a ride on their annual drive to Mahabaleshwar a couple of years back), bhpian
S.G. Chowdhuri, a die-hard car nut and classic car owner, took me and another classic car owner friend by surprise when he created a whatsapp group for like-minded folks. Before we knew it, we were planning our first meet of the 'Classic Drivers of Calcutta'

Six cars, their owners, and enthusiasts turned up for the first drive last Sunday. Although we started at 8:00 am, it was already quite hot but everyone was in good spirits and what followed was exactly what we had envisaged - a simple meet of classic car lovers who appreciated each others cars, followed by a pleasant drive without incident and a breakfast halt at the end where the seniors among us regaled us with hilarious anecdotes!

We dispersed with a commitment to keep the meets going and are happy to share that our 2nd drive has been scheduled for Sunday, 30th April. Our Facebook page, 'Classic Driver's of Calcutta', will feature regular updates regarding routes etc.

From the interest and encouragement that has been shown by the entire classic car community in Calcutta, including the bigger collectors/restorers and support from some out of towners (bhpians mostly), we hope that we'll have more classics turning up for the next drive and will continue to schedule regular meets for the future.

Some pics from our first drive:


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Old 22nd April 2017, 11:39   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbz180 View Post
Greeting everyone!



Calcutta has long needed a regular platform to bring together the classic car owner/enthusiast community...

Great initiative and many happy faces soon on the streets of CALCUTTA

Cheers

Last edited by Zappo : 25th April 2017 at 13:42. Reason: Please avoid quoting an entire post when you can just quote a few relevant lines as needed.
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Old 22nd April 2017, 11:42   #3
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Default re: Drives & Meetups: Classic Car owners of Calcutta

Great initiative MBZ! Looking forward to more of these drives and pictures from Calcutta. The Mumbai drives seem to be a success thanks to all those who participate regularly.
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Old 25th April 2017, 13:10   #4
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Default Re: Drives & Meetups: Classic Car owners of Calcutta

Congrats Prithvi! One of the reasons that Mumbai drives seem to succeed is that we tend to meet up at the same spot at the same time week after week. It helps! It takes the guesswork and the coordination out of the drives. Also in Mumbai the time frame that people arrive varies so its nice to get to a usual spot and wait for the others to come back from the drive even if your late. Also great Coffee, Chai, breakfast place is always a positive around the meeting spot and a heritage location is always a feather on the cap for great snaps. This also ensures that you get eyeballs from budding enthusiasts which always help the movement to grow. Is it not possible to meet outside Flurry's or Au Bon Pain on Park street. I am sure there is no traffic there on Sundays.

Hopefully on my next trip to Kolkata, I will join you guys.
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Old 25th April 2017, 19:00   #5
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Default Re: Drives & Meetups: Classic Car owners of Calcutta

Quote:
Originally Posted by the mole View Post
Is it not possible to meet outside Flurry's or Au Bon Pain on Park street. I am sure there is no traffic there on Sundays.

Hopefully on my next trip to Kolkata, I will join you guys.
Thanks for the encouragement Amol.

Park Street is an idea we've considered. Problem is that unlike the Fort or Colaba area in Bombay where even the average passerby will respect and appreciate the cars, in Calcutta, there's a likelihood that some street urchin or badly behaved kid or ignorant adult will mess around with some of the cars and we want to avoid that. As far as possible, once we stop for breakfast, we'll try to provide safe parking.
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Old 1st May 2017, 16:30   #6
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Default Re: Drives & Meetups: Classic Car owners of Calcutta

Greeting everyone!

Classic Drivers of Calcutta (CDC) had its 2nd meet yesterday (Sunday, 30th April) and as hoped, we had a larger turnout with 16 cars joining in. Our meet and greet point remained the Calcutta High Court area but with temperatures soaring, we met a bit earlier. Most of the cars had arrived by 7:40 am and after brief introductions and a few photos, we were on our way.

The route was planned such that we got to drive on the best stretch of tarmac within town i.e. Red Road and also got to drive on one of the longer flyovers. By 8:30 am (it was already 34 deg C with high humidity), we finished the drive at the private residence of one of our CDC members who had very graciously agreed to host us. The parking area easily took in all 16 cars plus the family cars with tons of space to manoeuvre!

After finishing the drive at the private residence, no one had to worry about the safety of their cars and we were off next door to cool down and get to know each other better over breakfast. Everyone seemed really enthusiastic and happy that there was finally a movement such as the CDC; the primary aim being to get the cars driving regularly on the roads. Aside from a couple of wrong turns here and there and the odd stalls which added to the overall fun, the drive was quite smooth.

After breakfast, we headed back in to click some more snaps with the cars with ensuing discussions on future runs etc. By 10:30 am, the last of the cars had left with everybody looking forward to the next drive!

Some snaps from our 2nd meet:


A Mark II and Mark IV Ambassador filling up on their way to the meet both owned by one of the youngest among the CDC

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The first cars to arrive: Race modified Fiat with a retrofitted motorised sunroof(!), Chevy 6 tourer, Austin 7 tourer, Mercedes 230S, 1949 Buick 8

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Line up of all the cars at the starting point

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MG Y saloon, MG Magnette saloon and Morris 1000

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MG Magnette saloon (a daily driver for over 20 years) and MG TC with their respective owners

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Jaguar Mk IV, Triumph Spitfire, 1949 Buick 8 with the new CDC banner!

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Jaguar, Triumph, Buick, Mercedes, Austin, Chevrolet, Fiat

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Some more of the cars

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Classic Drivers of Calcutta!

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Getting ready to leave for the drive

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Glorious Buick passing the Raj Bhawan area

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Classy Chevrolet tourer hits Red Road; one of the nicest roads in town

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The drive

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At the private residence with secure parking and lots of room to spare

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Green and black Austin 10 GQC tourer, a rare car. The 10 tourer was manufactured in 1939 and 1940 only; post WW II, production of the 10 resumed but with the saloon version only.

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Morris 1000, MG Magnette and MG TC

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Happy faces at breakfast

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The host's dog keeping an eye on the cars while we ate

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Crowned for the most sporting effort; the custom made Austin racer and proud owner

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Grand old Studebaker of the host took a break this week; in its place and sharing garage space, the Mercedes 230S was a welcome addition to the drive

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CDC organisers with our new banner; incidentally all 3 of us are bhpians!

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Classic enthusiasts all!

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A last shot before parting

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Till our next drive,

Cheers!

mbz180
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Old 2nd May 2017, 10:48   #7
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Default Re: Drives & Meetups: Classic Car owners of Calcutta

Excellent effort, lovely cars

May your tribe increase
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Old 10th May 2017, 18:20   #8
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Default Re: Drives & Meetups: Classic Car owners of Calcutta

Classic Drivers of Calcutta (CDC) held its 3rd meet this past Sunday, 7th May, 2017. We had initially thought that it would be more of a 'mini' drive since a number of owners were away on holiday because of the long weekend but we had a turnout of 9 classics, much to our delight. Welcome additions this time were an Austin A40 Devon, a 1956 Dodge Kingsway and an LHD Mercedes Benz 220/8.

The chosen meeting point remained the picturesque High Court - Town Hall area and the route was the longest we've had so far, going onto 3 flyovers into Salt Lake and back again into the heart of Calcutta for breakfast at McDonald's on Park Street, parking right alongside the iconic Flurys (Amol, yes we actually did park on the roadside!) where we had organised parking for all 9 cars in advance.

The route took us through some really good stretches of tarmac and the flyovers allowed for comfortable driving but with the sun beating down with full force, we were all relieved once we reached Park Street for breakfast and 'adda'.

Some photos from the meet (with thanks to bhpians Souryadeep, Avishar and S.G. Chaudhuri for the snaps):

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Last edited by mbz180 : 10th May 2017 at 18:42.
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Old 29th May 2017, 12:05   #9
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Default Re: Drives & Meetups: Classic Car owners of Calcutta

With our alternate Sunday morning runs now a fairly regular affair, Classic Drivers decided to have our 4th meet and drive on Sunday 28th May, 2017.

Yes it was terribly hot but the enthusiasm on everyone's faces was evident right from the start! Unlike earlier where we would try to get a secure location behind closed doors for parking, everyone seems to be pretty chilled out in general now and parking at the end of this run was standard public parking outside an eatery we had selected for breakfast where we relished hot kachoris, aloo subzi, jalebis and some much needed lassi

This was our longest run yet and all the cars ran well though we did miss a some of the regulars either because they were out of town to beat the heat or unwell.

Welcome additions this time were an Adler and a 1949 Cadillac.

Some snaps and a video from yesterday's drive (with thanks to Samrat Sen, Jubonashya Dutta and Prasun Hazra for the photos):


All the cars had arrived and assembled outside one of Calcutta's Clubs by 7:30 am

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1949 Americana from the GM stables. I had the pleasure of riding shotgun in the Cadillac. With its 4 speed Hydramatic auto transmission and ultra smooth V8 motor, the car just bowled me over.

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Adler sets off for the drive

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This MG ZB Magnette has been a daily runner since new and belongs to a former school teacher of mine

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Early BMW Coupe is a real hoot!

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A short stop along the route for cars to regroup

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Very low mileage 1968 Mercedes 220/8 resplendent in its factory shade of Midnight Blue. A very original car, down to its blue MB Tex interiors. Had a chance to catch up with owner at his residence after the drive; he has the original MB Service Books with the first service records carried out in Germany, Belgium and Switzerland and then at French Motor Car Company in Calcutta in 1971!

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Our youngest enthusiast and the Adler

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Father and son duo were equally enthusiastic and will join in in our next run with their classic.

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On one of the newer flyovers

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MGA, a former Cartier winner, was chosen to be the lead car and turned heads throughout the drive

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Enjoy the pics and will keep this thread updated!

Last edited by mbz180 : 29th May 2017 at 12:08.
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