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|5th November 2008, 11:44||#32|
Senior - BHPian
One of the main themes of the show was Roadsters. As you walked into the show you were met with the sight of an array of stunning Jaguars and a very extraordinary roadster called the Westland Healey which went onto winning the prize for this class
The stunning Westland Healey. Must say the quality of restoration was very high and the owner worked on the car himself as he mentioned to me. He apparently has worked on magnetos extensively and has overhauled as many as 3000 magnetos (if I heard him right!!). Not many people can overhaul magnetos. He told me an interesting
|5th November 2008, 12:29||#33|
Senior - BHPian
There's a lovely tale of romance associated with this car. When Maharani Gayatri Devi and her husband Sawai Man Singh were holidaying in Europe, once on an outing a sports car flashed past to which the Maharani exclaimed "What was that!!"
Apparently the next morning the doorbell rang, and the Maharani opened the door to be greeted by Jaguar officials who were there to deliver this stunning brand new XK 120 to the lady. It was a gift from her doting husband. She still retains it!
Imagine, one of the world's most beautiful women driving one of the world's most glamourous sports cars! It doesn't get better.
The legendary and rather lovely SS100 owned by Jackie Shroff. He must have been in a great mood that day as he ended up gifting the car to his wife!
|5th November 2008, 13:36||#34|
Senior - BHPian
What a pretty roadster. The silver with maroon uphostery really suits the car
German muscle all the way. They fired it up while I was there and you could tell there's tons and tons of power under that looong bonnet
I've always liked the look of Buicks. Very elegant, very American. This one was a special version of the 1928 Buick and a gorgeous example. I wish they had used green instead of the turquoise, would have looked even better. It still looks fabulous.
The only other car apart from the Continental which had a terrific in-your-face persona was this massive Daimler Royal Limousine. Imagine this coming up behind you as you amble along in a Alto. One hoot and the Alto will get blown off the road
|5th November 2008, 14:19||#35|
Senior - BHPian
Just as a brush, some canvas and paints don't add up to a masterpiece painting, so does a set of tyres, an engine, and a body not add up to an iconic automobile. The single most critical element that defines the masterpiece from the banal is the human spirit that not only manifests in the quality of engineering but in the design of the car.
Getting a car made, any car for that matter, is a colossal task. Getting it to being a masterpiece is a rarity of an order that echoes what structures like the Parthenon or the Taj Mahal do for architecture. In the world of automobiles very few cars in design represent an outstanding representation of an artists' impression and vision.
We as automotive enthusiasts are fortunate that the world heritage of automobiles has splendid examples of such artistry. The Talbot Lagos, the Alfas, Bugattis, Voisin are some names that come to my mind.
One such automobile that vows every crowd it is revealed to is the awesome Delahaye 135 M. Looking at this car one wonders if the sheet metal was ever first wax which then froze back into steel.
Here's why I say that...
The Delahaye wins Best of Show. The proud winner Maharajah Duleep Singhji of Jodhpur.
Very interestingly during my discussion with Duleep Singhji's son about the fact that only three such Delahaye 135's had come to India, one of which was with Prince Azamjah of Hyderabad and another with Maharani Gayatri Devi, he remarked that this car is Prince Azamjah's car.
Apparently after Azamjah the car went to Bombay with some dealers from whom the Maharajah of Jodhpur bought it. The car then went to the Maharajah's younger brother (second of three brothers), whose family in turn exchanged it with a Jeep from the youngest brother's family.
Congratulations to the family for retaining this car in India. A big thank you!!
Last edited by DKG : 5th November 2008 at 14:25.
|5th November 2008, 15:14||#36|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: May 2005
Thanked: 866 Times
A great event and the presence of greater people (meant Bhpians)
Seriously, the event was very well organized and one can see that a lot of hard work and meticulous planning had gone into it. Kudos to Manvendra Singh for having undertaken and executed such a wonderfully perfect job.
The presence of international judges made the event more colourful but the main attraction was and remained the timeless beauties on display...at least for most of us.
There were cars, many of which I had only heard of in existence but never chanced to seeing them in person. That was really a dream come true. Select invitees and some appearances from the glamour world.
It was a perverted pleasure to see, that in this case the point of attraction were the cars, much to the insecurity of some the special invitees from the Glam world.
I for one was ecstatic to see so many wonderful cars on display from the famous collection houses of India.
The abundant presence of Royalty from all over was a pleasure to see.
The Maharajas and Yuvrajs in their finery, accompanied by the Maharanis and Princesses wrapped in flower printed fine chiffons, sporting rather large designer shades under typical bouffants, clutching their Louis Vuittons and Channels between ring saturated fingers.
The cars, still stole the show, though Royalty added its class.
I have refrained from giving the absolute details of the origin of the cars as that job is so well orchestrated by our DKG-ji and Karl-ji.
I hope you enjoy.
Pick of the litter - The Jodhpur Delahaye 1939 Figoni Falaschi
The Impressive Jaguar convertible line up
A unique 1928 Lanchester 30HP straight eight. Missing the radiator cowl mounted temperature guage
Harit's fabulous and very very rare 1932 Racing Lancia Astura
A 1941 Buick Super Convertible
And this 1941 Packard 110 with an original air conditioner fitted. Wow, in 1941 that must have been quite an expensive accessory.
The Gondal 1936 (or is it a 1935 as DKG says) Packard 120 convertible
The Fantastic 1935 Buick 90 Limousine. This is my absolute favourite and reminds one of the Al Capone era. A very Mafia looking car indeed.
Those large white walls, the black tints and the running board...man this car works for me.
........ more to follow.
Last edited by V-16 : 5th November 2008 at 15:26.
|5th November 2008, 16:50||#37|
Senior - BHPian
I've always felt that its people who make life special. And without a doubt the Cartier Travel with Style Concours was made extra special on account of the gathering of enthusiasts from around the globe! And what a gathering of enthusiasts it was.
Professor Gordon Murray and Professor Peter Stevens who designed the McLaren Fi road car were there as judges and it was indeed a delight to meet them. I asked Prof Murray if he had outdid himself with the Caparo road car to which he replied people on his team had worked on the car and that it did come out well.
Peter Stevens mentioned he has been working closely with M&M and understandably couldn't divulge details of products that would bear his mark. That was interesting news!! I guess some interesting stuff is headed our way from Mahindra
It was a special delight to meet Nick Mason, lead drummer of the legendary band Pink Floyd. I had to thank him for the music and said to him while we stood admiring a Cadillac, "Mr. Mason I'd like to thank you for the phenomenal body of music you and your fellow band members have produced. Its our world's heritage now and thank you for that." You should have seen the smile on his face as he graciously accepted the compliment and shook hands.
In royalty I had the pleasure of meeting His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent and the Maharajah of Udaipur Shri Arvind Singhji. I thanked the Maharajah for preserving the magnificent heritage of Udaipur and displaying it for all to see through museums. I missed meeting Maharajah Gaj Singhji of Jodhpur as I really would have wanted to thank him for a splendid job of turning Mehrangarh Fort into a museum, with a lovely mp3 guide.
I was introduced to Jackie Shroff and complimented him on his fabulous SS100. When he discovered I was from Hyderabad he wanted to try out traditional cuisine on his next visit. So I guess we have a Bagare Baigan and Kaddu ka Dalcha fan in the making as he's apparently a veggie!
It was a pleasure to meet Mark Shand and thank him for conceptualising the brilliant event. I also thanked him for the lovely documentaries he did for TV on India.
Then there were so many of the car owners, some whom I was meeting after a long time, many I met for the first time and with whom I can chat for a lifetime. Everyone has interesting tales to tell and ideally one should hang out for a couple of days together to really do justice to exchanging notes.
It was indeed a pleasure to meet Harit, Karl and Gogi.
On the whole I had a blast. From 9:30 am to 6 pm when I left, I was on my feet enjoying the cars, chatting with interesting people and taking pictures to share with all of you
I would like to thank Manvendra bhai who did a stellar job of organising the most exotic of events India has ever seen. He did a remarkable job of assembling such a vast collection of exotic cars.
I think its about time the Indian automotive fraternity realises that in being divided India ended up being ruled for a 1000 years. In being united the allure and dazzling radiance that is India and its people shines through brilliantly. The Cartier Travel with Style Concours was one such occasion when everyone came together in the right spirit and made the event a grand success.
And last but not the least I would like to thank Cartier for giving us enthusiasts an unbelievably gorgeous opportunity to gather and witness in one event the most extravagant collection of automobiles.
Like I kept saying to friends I met at the event, if I were to travel to the homes of each one of the collectors (and mind you there's no guarantee you'll get through to most of them) the sheer quantum of time and cost would render the exercise possible only over an entire lifetime. Now are we not lucky to see it all in one day in one place!!!
Nick Mason and DKG
Nick Mason and Prof Peter Stevens
Gordon murray and Yasmin Le Bon
|5th November 2008, 17:03||#38|
Join Date: Feb 2004
Thanked: 25,480 Times
Wow. The cars look spectacular!
Thanks a ton for the great pictures and coverage guys!
Gordon Murray was there too!
Why do a few of the cars have some sort of white cloth / net under the rear?
|5th November 2008, 17:50||#39|
Senior - BHPian
The owner related an interesting tale of when he wrote to the Club that documents Healeys that he had a Westland Healey they apparently cheekily wrote back that no such car can exist as they have records/whereabouts of the other one (or two) cars known to exist. When he finally sent them pictures they were apparently shocked and quickly acknowledged and thanked him for the update!!
|5th November 2008, 17:51||#40|
Join Date: Apr 2005
Thanked: 30 Times
Holy Christ ! my heartbeats skipped a zillion times watching those beauties !
I am in love with the SS100, Delahaye and all the white jag convertibles.
Seriously, DKG - thanks a tonne for that extensive coverage ! You deserve a lot more than cheers: for this.
|5th November 2008, 18:10||#41|
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: London & Pune
Thanked: 141 Times
DKG - I really regret not being able to make it down for this event, but thanks for the coverage. The photographs are excellent.
Off topic - Gordon Murray didnt have much to do with the Caparo T-1. His was only an advisory role, whilst Caparo helped him set up Gordon Murray Design. The car was mainly designed by Graham Halstead and Ben-Scott Geddes. I know alot about the car because i worked with Caparo for 2 yrs and designed more or less the whole engine frame. I've spoken to him alot whist at Caparo and he is genuenly a nice guy.
|The following BHPian Thanks Samir Taheer for this useful post:|
|5th November 2008, 18:13||#42|
Distinguished - BHPian
Join Date: Jul 2006
Thanked: 9,509 Times
|6th November 2008, 03:06||#43|
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: London UK
Thanked: 136 Times
Wonderful show, wonderful choice of cars, wonderful photos and nice to see a new Rolls-Royce and a new Derby Bentley on show not often seen before.
The Lancia appears to still have reversed 1940s Dodge/Chevy/Ford five hole truck wheels, (who supplied them? was it the Mutual Wheel Co.?) The rebodied Kanpur Silver Ghost #102AE and the Modi PII/armoured car in the Gandhi film all had them as well. They were a common practical solution regarding tyre availability in the days of no other economical alternatives . These days most of the world's wire wheels are made in Madras or with a bit of hunting the correct wheels could be obtained somewhere so there is no reason to keep truck wheels. It is a shame that this lovely car is totally spoilt by these incorrect wheels, let alone entered in this show with them while dozens of other uncorrupted beauties were not entered. My two cents worth..
Last edited by Julian UK : 6th November 2008 at 03:22.
|6th November 2008, 03:15||#44|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: May 2005
Thanked: 866 Times
Thanks for the great coverage and all the lovely pics DKG and Karlosdeville"ji"
I remember a passage from the biography of Gayatri Devi, "A Princess Remembers". She describes her first meeting with her later to be husband at a polo match. She distinctly remembers him arriving in a gleaming Jaguar (an XK if I remember right) I wonder if this is the same car or one of many he owned.
Coming back to the show, the venue very well depicted the days of the Raj. It captured and transported one to those glorious days with typical tents and period furniture. Even the fans were period, brass. Excellent but lets get on to the cars now.
The Jodhpur RR P-II Continental SC
The Jaipur Bentley 4.5 Ltr MX
A Bentley 3.5 Ltr DHC
A 1936 RR 25/30HP Tourer
1934 Bentley 3.5Ltr DHC
1934 Lagonda M45
The list was endless. So many cars, that i will refrain from further adding descriptions to the ones already described earlier. Will make special mentions of my favourites.
This immaculate and unique Daimler particularly caught my fancy....
....As did these
.....more, lots more from where this came from...... watch on...
|6th November 2008, 10:14||#45|
Senior - BHPian
Cartier sure knows a thing or two about doing things in style! The setting for the event was enchanting. While the same event in Chowmahalla Palace in Hyderabad would be truly mindblowing the Turf Club lawns at Mumbai did offer a relaxed and charming setting. It is but natural that the event take place in cities where Cartier finds most of its clientele
With lots of trees and lush green lawns, white tents with flowing drapes and sofa seating strewn all over to afford a relaxed viewing of cars it was almost like one was transported back into the thirties to a garden party.
As they say the road to a man's heart is through his tummy, and did Cartier ensure people's hearts were won over! Throughout the day snacks, cocktails, exotic mocktails, followed by a most sumptous lunch and later high tea ensured people had more than a eyeful. They definitely left a satiated lot.
That's smoke from some delicious kabab's being grilled. There was some very interesting Indian food, possibly some exotic Maharashtrian fare? (never had some of the dishes before) and Italian food. I was too excited to really do justice to the food that day
People getting ready for the prize distribution ceremony
The organisers did speak about the criteria applied during judging.
Aesthetics, authenticity and history were key parameters applied. The judges acknowledged that sourcing parts for cars was an extremely difficult exercise in India and concessions were made on that score.
My personal opinion is, they were bang on in terms of the values to be applied at a concours judging.
The first prize in the classics section went to the Maharajah of Udaipur as the car not only a pretty 20HP RR, but an original car still in the family for 84 years!!!
I was not at all surprised that the gorgeous Phantom II Continental won second prize.
The third prize went to the Lancia Dilambda. I remember when I visited the Bhogilal collection in Ahmedabad of all the cars on display, RR and Bentleys included, the one car that struck me most as being exceptionally handsome was a similar (possibly identical Lancia Dilambda tourer) The low slung stance and design of this car truly is very striking. I do agree with the wheels detracting but quite possibly there must be a story behind it. We can find out.
To conclude this report, I would say that in my 45 years, of which I am attending vintage car events for four decades nothing like the Cartier Travel with Style Concours ever took place in Hyderabad. Friends tell me that neither has Delhi or Bombay or Calcutta seen something of a scale quite like this and of this quality.
I personally have no issues with the selection of cars, the venue and ambience created, the food and drinks, the quality of the crowd invited, the judges, and the results
Everything in life can be improved upon. There's always a possiblity that future events will set newer and higher standards. I am certain that a lot of serious enthusiasts will completely rethink their approach to cars and their restoration and scale newer heights. I was delighted to hear a fellow enthusiast actually contemplating sending an Italian exotic to Italy to have it restored with no compromises. Now we are talking!
I also know that if the Indian government opens up the import of vintage cars, some of the world's finest machinery will find its way back into India. After all so much of the world's vintage car industry depended on Indian royalty and nobility for a market. The world of vintage cars is only richer for the exotic automobiles commisioned by Indian Maharajahs and Nawabs.
Interestingly the organisers acknowledged this fact in the address before the prize giving ceremony and actually stated they would like to see these cars remain here in India where they rightfully belong, as India was one of the most influential markets ordering these cars.
Its only fitting that the Cartier Travel with Style Concours places India right among the best of shows one can look forward to in a calendar.
I am already looking forward to the next and wondering what new treasures I will get to see then!!!
Signing off until the next show
Deepak Kant Gir
Last edited by DKG : 6th November 2008 at 10:28.
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