AS PART of its annual event, the Western India Automobile Association (WIAA) is set to celebrate its 100th year with a vintage and classic car rally in Mumbai on Sunday.
As many as 140 vintage cars and 72 vintage bikes will be flagged off from one of the city’s skyscrapers — Omkar 1973 in Worli — and travel into the heart of south Mumbai till the WIAA office in Churchgate. From there, the vehicles will travel to the Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC).
The rally will boast rare cars, which are not often seen on the city’s traffic clogged streets. The show stealers will include a 1914 Wolseley, a 1915 Ford, Rolls Royces, Bentleys and British motorcycles such as a 1911 Triumph and an AJS, 1927.
Speaking to mediapersons, WIAA Chairman Nitin Dossa said, “We have been the first association in the country to hold these rallies and are very excited to hold our annual event on a larger scale this year. Owners of these cars go to great lengths to keep their beauties in shipshape and vintage car collection is a hobby we would like youngsters to take up as well.”
An expensive hobby nevertheless, vintage car owners spend close to 220 per cent of a car’s value to import a specimen to India.
“The process of restoring and maintaining these cars is as satisfying as driving them,” said Viveck Goenka, president of WIAA and Chairman of The Indian Express Group.
“Almost all vintage car owners suffer from OCD and leave no stone unturned when it comes to nurturing their prized possessions. I myself get my hands dirty in the garage when I find the time,” he added.
The rally will also sends out a strong message of road safety with many of the vehicles set to spread awareness through placards. “We cannot stress enough on the importance of road safety, especially with the kind of rash driving we see today,” said Dossa.
“We have been in constant dialogue with Amitesh Kumar, Joint Commissioner of Mumbai Traffic Police, to have more talks on road safety. We are also looking to work with companies such as Uber, Swiggy and Scootsy, who have a huge vehicular presence on the streets, and wish to bring about road safety awareness among their drivers and riders too,” he added.