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Old 13th December 2008, 23:00   #46
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Originally Posted by harit View Post
Hi Guys

Just a few comments on this subject.
Since I know a lot of enthusiasts, collectors, and folks on the car collector scene, adding more and more contacts, a lot of information comes my way.

There was in fact a very very strong feeling that import of vintage cars was to be allowed in the last budget. The feeling was so strong that some collectors even selected some cars which they would import. There were to be some restrictions. The cars were to be for display only, perhaps come out occasionally but were not to be road registered. Probably (not sure though) this was to have something to do with tourism. And it did not happen. But believe me, there was a very strong representation made in ministries concerned, I am not sure which others but tourism ministry may have been involved. Again there are attempts being made and maybe sometime it will be through.

Though it is very laudable, one MP really cannot get this through alone when really powerful interest groups have failed. One problem is that national heritage is not a priority. During their economic boom, the chinese were buyers of their hertitage when it came up for sale the world over, outbidding all and brought the stuff home. Here we trouble people like Mallya who brougth Tipu Sultan's relics home. In the same way, we are not going to allow import of Indian relics and cars by others. We did not protest when the Farman and the Swan cars went out. These clearly left the country illegally.

Many do not have an idea that it is even difficult to import used spare parts for Vintage cars. New parts are allowed. But where do you get new parts for a 1920's car unless it is a FORD T or A? Many mechanical parts are available for cars of the 1950's but what about trims? So we do not allow you to export your car which is fine, but we also do not allow you to import the parts to keep it running or restore it. These policy guys are sometimes not practical, do not apply their minds to help us simpletons. We are not a vote bank and so not much help will come our way.

But even if you do not hear much on this, be assured that interest groups are actively trying their best. Some motoring associations are also on the act putting our views across.

This is about import of cars and parts. But we also have other issues like the registration papers, pending taxes etc. In Maharashtra we have at least the lifetime tax, I believe that in Tamil Nadu and W. Bengal this is not the case. So one taxes are pending, you pay a ransom to clear them up, but again only possible if records are available.

Mr. Anjan, please keep in contact with the honourable MP, and other groups, please keep up efforts, one day we will be through. Look, we can already get tyres, you cannot imagine how many cars were scrapped because tyres were not available for them.
Harit laudable comment by you. Comment is not the right word - indeed its an overview. I am able to grasp the complexities involved to some extent. Now as the government's term is coming to a close, we may or may not be lucky enough. I'll remain committed and try to get more influential people's support.
Today Mr Darda, M.P. has asked his P.A. to check up if any reply has been received or else issue a reminder for an early redressal. I will get details soon.
Meanwhile every team bhpian friend reading this, may also please act and initiate whatever positive steps possible in this direction.
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Old 19th January 2009, 19:34   #47
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Harit laudable comment by you. Comment is not the right word - indeed its an overview. I am able to grasp the complexities involved to some extent. Now as the government's term is coming to a close, we may or may not be lucky enough. I'll remain committed and try to get more influential people's support.
Today Mr Darda, M.P. has asked his P.A. to check up if any reply has been received or else issue a reminder for an early redressal. I will get details soon.
Meanwhile every team bhpian friend reading this, may also please act and initiate whatever positive steps possible in this direction.
A reminder has been sent by Mr Darda's office during late December 2008 and lets hope some reply is in the offing. I will keep the postings on this thread alive with developments.
TuffRyder thanks for your reminders-the issue is very much alive and since the M.P. is a Rajya Sabha member, his term continues even after the new government comes to power by April-May 2009.

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Old 20th January 2009, 02:53   #48
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TuffRyder thanks for your reminders-the issue is very much alive and since the M.P. is a Rajya Sabha member, his term continues even after the new government comes to power by April-May 2009.
Just keeping the hopes alive. Probably, all the rules/policies out there are not made by the "policy makers" themselves but influenced by our automobile manufacturing industry. Afterall, the first Indian people's car belongs to the first family of politics. They know if they open up this particular market or for that matter any manufacturing one, there will be no chance for most of them to survive with the quality and the price they are giving us or rather forcing it on us. Im sure for every MP who probably would support our cause, there will be 10 others against it. Even one tiny loophole and they are exposed. Im sure they are not going to risk that; national interest, heritage, or whatever.

Anyways keeping the hopes and our voices alive is the most important.

Cheers Anjan.
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Old 6th February 2009, 14:11   #49
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Again called upon Mr Vijay Darda, M.P.(Rajya Sabha) and Chairman Lokmat Group on 4/02/09 .He patiently listened to me and it was learnt that there has been no reply received in his office to his original letter dated 29/09/08 to the Cabinet Secretary.He is very eager that something concrete is done and told me that since the matter involves action from many Ministries, it would be appropriate to write to the Hon'ble Prime Minister.The letter to the PM has been sent by his office yesterday. He was asking me for more facts about Vintage and Classic Car and Bike export laws.
I have given him a note and would request all fellow members to provide more factual details,including case laws,enacted laws and miscellaneous facts on this matter, that I shall refer to and follow up.

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Old 19th March 2009, 19:16   #50
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A scanned image of the letter dated 2nd Feb 2009 from Mr Vijay Babu Darda, M.P. (Rajya Sabha) to the Hon'ble Prime Minister.
SOPs for Vintage and Classic Cars and Bikes-viyaybabupm.jpg
The problem that has arisen now is that the Election Code of Conduct 2009 has been enforced.So there are less chances, but as I said the Hon'ble M.P. has shown true commitment and his term continues even after the elections.So the process will be continuing with the new government even after June 2nd 2009! Lets hope for the best anyway.

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Old 19th July 2010, 20:59   #51
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I am again reviving the old correspondence. Had a talk with the PA of Mr Vijay Babu Darda and I will be meeting the respected Member of Parliament in a day or two.I am putting up the draft letter and request members to offer (valuable) suggestions:

To
Hon’ble
Shri Vijay Babu Darda,
Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha)
and Chairman Lokmat Group,
Nagpur/ New Delhi dated 19th July 2010

NOTE FOR KIND CONSIDERATION

SUBJECT :-VINTAGE AND CLASSIC AUTOMOBILES NEED GOVT SOPS FOR PRESERVATION OF THESE BEAUTIES ON WHEELS


Respected Sir,
Namaskaar!
I am to introduce myself first as an avid lover of vintage and classic automobiles. These beauties on wheels are limited in number in our country and are constantly dwindling. These machines are also a part of our mechanical heritage and are something like endangered species on wheels.
Many old and rare cars owned by the erstwhile Maharajahs of yore were bought for pittances, dismantled and shipped abroad. After a full restoration to their original glory in the West, these fetched astronomical sums, surfacing at vintage car showrooms and at auctions. These cars are now owned by Westerners and command fabulous, astronomical prices. Our treasures have been thus lost forever.
There are many two and four wheelers lying in old garages or just disintegrating and turning into scrap in workshops or other parking places. Many of these have accumulated road tax and insurance arrears that the owner, who may have passed away or become old and/or senile may be unable to pay now. The taxes in some cases range in lakhs of rupees, much more than the present market value of the automobile. These need to be waived off to put back the beauties on the road by some connoisseur.
The other cars in fine or near fine running condition must get good and genuine spares that are available only in the International markets. As most of these automobiles were fully imported from Europe or the U.S., the western markets, especially in the country of their origin are among the most promising places to shop for spares. Sops need to be given to owners to get these through designated and licensed dealers @ at least Rs 25000/- to Rs 75,000 per year depending on the value of the automobile, free of any CUSTOM / IMPORT DUTIES. As has happened in the past, history repeats and so there is a lot of scope for misuse of this proviso. The law must take adequate precautions to check any such loopholes to punish the ones who misuse such provisions.
All current and future road taxes on Vintage and Classic automobiles must be waived off by the State and Union territory Govts. These rarely ply on the roads on a regular basis and waiving off the taxes will encourage owners to preserve and keep these cars for posterity. They also should be exempt from pollution tests of any kind, as their engines are neither Euro I or II but World War I and II compliant. The seat belt laws can also be relaxed for the vintage and classic cars as these move at low speeds and are seldom used.
There is need for a G.R. or Act of the Parliament to preserve Vintage and Classic Cars. As our mobile treasures of yore on wheels- viz. the VINTAGE AND CLASSIC AUTOMOBILES are becoming rarer with the passage of time, there is need for a healing touch to encourage preservation. As per the well accepted, International Classification all cars registered before 1905 are Veterans and those before the World War I are Edwardians. The cars registered after the World War I and till 31.12.1938 are defined as vintage. Classic cars are those registered between 1.1. 1939 and 31.12.1960. there is already a law to ban export of automobiles made prior to 1960. A G.R. or an Act of the Parliament is needed to totally ban their exports and make any offences registered for breaches, cognizable offences. In fact, export of all automobiles older than 10 years must be banned, as the older cars get scrapped and diminish in numbers. The demand all of a sudden increases in the western markets and the fly by night exporters come into the scene.
A very recent happening is that despite a total ban on all exports of automobiles manufactured before 1960, old pre- 1960 Lambretta scooters are being smuggled out. The rare Lambretta LD and D models are fetching Rs 1.5 to 2.50 lakhs in the domestic market or more, hence. The later, post 1960 models are being exported openly as there is no law to forbid such exports. Lambrettas and Vijai scooters have lately become money spinners. Lambrettas /Vijais of all kinds in whatever condition are being bought by fly by night exporters from Delhi and other places at never heard before prices. So agents are collecting these scooters from all nook and corners of the country and the destination is Delhi and other export centres. From there containers are filled and these poor scooters leave the country to start a new life in , where the demand has skyrocketed (3000 to 12000 UK pounds for each scooter in good restored condition depending on the model). The demand is at an all time high in Italy and the U.K.
The company Innocenti (makers of Lambretta, Italy) closed down in 1972 and all marketing rights and tools, jigs, designs etc were bought by Scooters India Ltd, Lucknow,(SIL) a government owned PSU. They even bought rights to the trade name "Lambretta" though it was used only on Vijais that were sold abroad. SIL stopped making scooters altogether in the late 1990's. Already many Vijais have been scrapped and are gone. Automobile Products of India Ltd, Mumbai that made Lambretta scooters from 1954 closed down in 1986.The situation is pretty bad and soon very, very few Lambrettas may be left back in India.

A quote from the Wikipedia website:
QUOTE "The Lambretta scooter is constantly growing in value; their rarity and increased demand means that a standard LI 150 series 3 (known as the standard scooter) in good condition will fetch over 3,000 ($5,950) whereas the rarer models of Lambretta e.g. the TV200 in mint condition has been sold for sums of up to 12,000 ($23,750)." UNQUOTE

To prevent such blatant exports there must be a law to curb exports of any automobile that is either older than 10 years or even a newer automobile, if the model has been discontinued for whatever reason. This is because very soon there may be an appetite for Premier and Ambassador cars and Bajaj or LML scooters (Italian Vespa) which are originally classic models from Italy and the U.K. Similarly, many other two and four wheeler models may find a sudden spurt in demand in western markets and become a prey for such kind of exporters who make quick money plundering the nation’s automobile wealth abroad.
We can also think at the same time of opening our markets for import of classic and vintage automobiles made prior to 1960 from outside the country on an experimental basis through designated and licensed dealers. This will open the floodgates and add to our existing repertoire and collection of old automobiles. That will at least open up a two way traffic as presently our limited collection is being progressively plundered by the developed markets.
It is the general belief that Vintage and Classic car owners are a privileged lot, with wealth flowing in their bank accounts. This needs to be totally rethought, as even if some are privileged, ownership of an old beauty has numerous hassles to be tackled, to keep the machine roadworthy and in pristine condition. The nightmares that the owners pass through, to procure rarely available spares needs to be recognized by one and all. It’s a daunting task to keep the beauties in fit condition. One has to battle against all odds to achieve his or her goals to keep the beauty alive and well. The mechanics and workshops who were specialized to undertake such jobs are becoming rarer as the old generation of mechanics who were adept at handling these beauties are either going out of business or even passing away. Money can't buy anything that is simply not available. Again, there are many owners who are not so privileged as the others think they are!
I hope you will kindly initiate steps for vintage and classic automobile owners and advocate the need for a G.R. or an Act of Parliament to save and preserve these vanishing beauties of yore.
I shall be ever grateful to you for taking such a step, Sir.
With kind regards,

Yours Respectfully,

Dr Anjan C.

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 19th July 2010 at 21:05.
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Old 19th July 2010, 22:41   #52
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Believe that I should add a para on scrapping old vintage and classic automobiles in the country. There should be an enacted law that almost makes it impossible to scrap a vintage or classic automobile.
"The permission for scrapping such an automobile registered anytime on or before 31.12.1960 should be primarily accorded by a collegium comprising the district Collector, the RTO,the Head (Traffic Branch) of the respective town/city/ metro who shall look into the condition of the automobile and certify and recommend that it cannot be restored into a running condition under any circumstances.The recommendation will be finally ratified by the State Transport Commissioner.Any act, abetment or commission of scrapping should be liable for registration of a non-bailable offence against the perpetrators of such criminal act/s."
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Old 8th June 2011, 20:25   #53
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SOPs for Vintage and Classic Cars and Bikes-scan0003.jpg

This is the grand finale and the final outcome of all the efforts put in. It appears that at present, there is no such kind of inclination of any kind whatsoever to take any step for the long term preservation of old cars and bikes by the government.
Feel too sorry!
The letter had reached me quite long back. I am very sorry for not being able to upload it on time for our information and debate.
I think we all are doing everything at our individual levels to preserve these beauties.We must all carry on the good work!

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Old 9th June 2011, 10:12   #54
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What a pity so the government doesn't care about the vintage and classic car fraternity....its all about the money to them.
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Old 9th June 2011, 11:45   #55
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Originally Posted by anjan_c2007 View Post
This is the grand finale and the final outcome of all the efforts put in. It appears that at present, there is no such kind of inclination of any kind whatsoever to take any step for the long term preservation of old cars and bikes by the government.
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What a pity so the government doesn't care about the vintage and classic car fraternity....its all about the money to them.
I'm surprised to know that they had even considered the matter "in detail", which sounds highly dubious! LOL! Yes, true they wont care two hoots about something that doesnt help them make money!

If only we had bodies like the FIVA behind us here!
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Old 24th March 2013, 18:30   #56
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Its time we revive the issue. We have constituted numerous Vintage and Classic car and bike clubs all over the country. We can debate this issue and arrive at logical conclusions.

The export and import policies for the old cars and bikes needs a fresh re look.

(1) Imports (pre- 1960 cars and bikes) can be allowed, that will go a long way to increase the V & C car and bike population. The floodgates need not be fully opened liberally at the first instance, but initially, there can be norms like foreign exchange earned by the individual or firm/ company that can be used to buy V&C cars and bikes.

(2) Imports of spares of a certain value (subject to the market valuation of the car/ bike) annually, for each car and bike can be allowed for the owners to maintain the car/bike.

(3) The export policy needs a re look in the present day as presently on paper, exports of all old automobiles registered on or before 31 st Dec 1960 is banned.
There are several escape routes. Containers with dismantled parts in many cases go past all check posts and reach foreign destinations.
This export ban law was enacted in the early 1970's, when Shri Mohan Dharia was the Commerce Minister.

(4) Pollution under Control, Green Tax (wherever applicable), past arrears of Road Taxes (many cars are grounded for the huge road tax amount they owe to the govt ) need to be all waived off. These old jalopies are seldom used and sparingly come out of their garages and in many cases only on special occasions.


These will go a long way in preserving the old beauties and at least encourage the owners, who have to battle all odds to keep the beauties fit and well.

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Old 30th March 2013, 12:52   #57
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Its time we revive the issue. We have constituted numerous Vintage and Classic car and bike clubs all over the country. We can debate this issue and arrive at logical conclusions.......
Well, good thoughts, but we are really not moving forward.
Yes, there are clubs, but for many of them, the sole purpose of their existance is self, self promotion of self and cronies, award prizes to self, if any concession is wrangled from the government, mis-use the fascilities by selective process to keep all in control. All means the club, its property, its intellectual property, its members. As long as the situation continues to be like this, nothing good will happen for the community.

The vintage and classic cars is a very tiny subject for any ministry, commerce, transport or even culture and heritage. So why bother.
What we need in the first place is a sort of body, maybe consisting of all the clubs in India, to make representations. VCCCI was like a national body, unfortunately played politics to the hilt and lost out when reginal clubs were formed. There will be politics even in a national body, but we become a bit stronger in numbers which is needed.

The aim could be to get hitched to a ministry like hertitage and culture. The help of such a ministry will be useful to get policies framed for relief for import of parts, vehicles, road tax, green tax and what not. For instance, I heard that a policy is likely to be announced that imports may be allowed by paying a certain amount customs duty, only restored cars, no junk, and no mention about parts. This is what I cannot understand. An enthusiast wanting to import a car may not be rich and would like to get work done locally. And why deny local workforce work. And restored cars are expensive, so it becomes elitist. I feel that more freedom and choices should be given.
And then, such an import is not allowed to be registered, not to be driven on roads. Ridiculous!!!. Imagine if the Swan car was not allowed to be driven in Holland because it is an import!

The ministry can also take some responsibility to help cars in India go abroad for shows and events. Today it is so expensive, the carnet, guarantee for return, insurance, here a ministry can definitely help.

The ministry can also help to sort out issues like import of tyres, we are not seeking to import chinese tyres which are under specified to be cheap and cause trouble for Volvo busses. The ISI marking requirement came up because of a good reason, that would not apply to vintage car tyres.

The export policy is quite clear, there exists a ban. If someone smuggles out a vehicle, the policy is not at fault. I heard that sometime ago a container was stopped at customs, it had 2 wheelers and a chassis, don't know what happened to that. But I feel that it is the import policy which needs to be looked at. Why do we need to link import of vehicles or parts to earning of foreign exchange? Every one is allowed to invest a certain amount abroad, property and what not, so why not automotive stuff? We need to be allowed to import used parts too, one reason the ban on import of used parts came about because of the import of those chewed out 3 cylinder diesel engines used in Premier cabs.

Many countries, communities, etc. give sops for Vintage and Classic cars
Australia, which is a RHD country, now allows import of LHD classic cars.
Germany has a separate "H" registration available, "H" = historic vehicle. They give some benefits for tax, fitness, polution level etc.
In USA, UK, Europe, you can buy used parts and rusted wrecks anywhere and take it to any location for display, restoration without restriction. Why do we restrict in India for this? We have opened our imports, you can import cheese, new cars, chocolates, clothes, music, movies, anything you wish, but we are kept restricted.

Paperwork for registration, taxation etc requires a uniform policy for the entire country. In Maharashtra a car pre 1940 need only to pay Rs 500/- lifetime tax. If there are arrears, they take another 500/-. Unfortunately one needs a VCCCI certificate which is issued by VCCCI. Lately they have been very selective, not issuing even after receiving payment. And where does the provision say that they can charge for this certificate, have any approved rates been notified? My problem with VCCCI about issuing new registration for cars having no papers is well known.

There will always be politics, but should not be at the cost of developing and easing rules for our cause. And hopefully arrive at logical results, not conclusions.

My 2 bits which became a bit more.

Cheers harit
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Old 30th March 2013, 17:42   #58
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Well, good thoughts, but we are really not moving forward. Yes, there are clubs, but for many of them, the sole purpose of their existance is self, self promotion of self and cronies, award prizes to self, if any concession is wrangled from the government, mis-use the fascilities by selective process to keep all in control. All means the club, its property, its intellectual property, its members. As long as the situation continues to be like this, nothing good will happen for the community....

My 2 bits which became a bit more.
True that! IMHO, some, if not all our vintage and classic car clubs are somewhat like the BCCI, and life today in general. The man at the top and some of the other office bearers know nothing about the game first-hand. Forget that, some of them would even be booed off the spectator stands. But hey, can they pull strings! Especially for the kingmakers! It's just not cricket!
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Old 30th March 2013, 20:45   #59
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Thanks for the inputs friends. I have also got some feedback from a very prominent lawyer (national level), who is also deep into the vintage movement and has taken an active interest in our views about the archaic laws and policies and to provide contemporary, much-needed, modern day, need- based touches to the extant policies for Vintage and Classic automobiles in India.

According to him:

Export Policy
" Under the Export Policy, Chapter 87 the Export of “Vintage motor cars, parts and components thereof manufactured prior to 1-1-1950” is restricted.

Nature of Restriction - “Export permitted under licence”.

Also, under the Export Policy, Chapter 87 the Export of “Vintage Motorcycles, parts and components thereof manufactured prior to 1-1-1940” is restricted.

Nature of Restriction- “Export permitted under licence”.

License or Specific Exemptions has to be sought from the Ministry of Commerce & Industry and other departments of the Government of India for export of Classic Cars (upto 1949) and Motorcycles (upto 1939)."

So the "magic" years are 1949 and 1939 for four and two wheelers respectively. He has also said that he will look into the merits of our plaint and go ahead for suitable amendments with the policy makers.

It would be worthwhile if all "like minded, right thinking" clubs pass General Body resolutions to request the appropriate authorities to take all necessary steps to preserve and facilitate the flourishing of old beauties.

The multiple resolutions thereafter, can be acted upon through a common platform. If need be, I will again approach Shri Vijay Darda and other leaders, who can initiate correspondence and necessary action in this matter.

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Old 1st April 2013, 13:08   #60
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Thanks for the inputs friends. I have also got some feedback ........
Dear Anjanji,

I am a bit confused here. What do you want to pass a resolution on?

There are too many issues, but you only talk about the export policy which in itself is quite clear.
Relatively few cars have gone out legally, export licence was given to a SS Jag to go to Australia, two Bentleys which went to UK, a Lanchester, maybe a few more. About bikes I have not kept track. Export was permitted in case of a person living abroad and taking a family heirloom with him, and the process was not easy. And perhaps only one car was allowed per family. The car whose whereabouts I wonder about is the Holkar Bentley, this was sold in India, was lying in an embassy in Delhi as I was told, and now there is no trace. If this car has gone abroad then there is some added mystery, it was no longer a family heirloom and it had been re-registered as many MP cars have been.

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What we want is some help for registration, relief for tax dues, green tax, import of spares and also why not cars in any condition. Since these subjects concern different authorities, maybe your friend can draft a few resolutions which can be presented to the concerned ministries. And then it is for clubs and associations to act.

It looks like we are to deal with the commerce and transport ministries, if we can get under the heritage and cultural ministry (I don't know the exact names of these ministries), maybe they will understand our issues and help push with the concerned ministries.

I am glad that you are making this effort, I am trying to be constructive with suggestions to help OUR cause.

Cheers harit
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