Rann of Kutch
(8th – 16th February 2020)
The Federation of Historic Vehicles of India in association with FIVA, official partner
UNESCO , with support from GVCCC (Gujarat Vintage and Classic Car Club) organised their most recent event where a group of 13 Vintage and Classic
cars, drove over 1400 kilometers spread over 7 days through the state of Gujarat and Rajasthan. The participants included children as young as 4 years and grandparents as old as 80. It even included woman drivers who took up the grueling challenge with vigor and valour!
The gritting excursion ventured into the far edges of the country, navigating through exotic landscapes. These included the steep slopes of Mount Abu, the vast open salt pans of the Rann of Kutch, the coastal shores of Mandvi and the meandering back roads through Gujarat’s isolated villages. All this, while soaking in and savouring the flavour of royalty of the Princely States as they visited the Royal Palaces of Idar, Gondal, Wankaner and Bikaner and hosted with the gracious hospitality of the Royal families themselves.
The unanimous love and passion for motoring is the driving factor to enabling the great effort put in by the organisers, participants and the hosts from across the country contributing to the Historic Vehicle Movement of India.
The opening weekend started off with the GVCCC’s annual Heritage Car and Bike Show. The event boasted of a grand display of 80 Historic Cars and 30 Motorcycles belonging to private collectors. The event was a great success with the Honorable Governor of Gujarat himself, Shri Acharya Devvrat, flagged off the drive.
Some of the vehicles that participated in the drive include the 1933 Chevrolet Phaeton, 1940 Lincoln Zephyr, 1947 MG TC, 1948 Oldsmobile, 1956 Chevrolet Belair, 1962 Alfa Romeo Giulia,1956 Triumph TR3, 1967 Humber Hawk, 1970 Peugeot 304 and 1979 Cadillac Fleetwood.
The grand voyage was an immersion of history not only for the onlookers but for the participants as well, getting private tours by the Royal families of the great 11th century Dilwara Temple as shown by HH Maharaja Daiwat Singh Ji of Sirohi, the Dowlat Villas Palace and private vintage car collection of Idar as shown by HH Maharaja Bhagirath Singh Ji , HH Maharaja Narendra Singh Ji , Rajkumar Suryavir and Prince Karin Singh of Idar. The stunning Palace of Wankaner being restored after the earthquake and private Vintage Car Collection as shown by Prince Yuvraj Kesaridevsingh Ji and Princess Yogini of Wankaner and a finale at the gorgeous private collection of Gondal as shown by HH Maharaj Shri Jyotendrasinhji Vikram Singh Ji & Yuvarajkumar Himanshukumarsinji of Gondal. World Heritage Sites like the 11th century Rani Ki Vav and Modhera Sun Temple built after 1026-27 CE with their architectural opulence left onlookers in awe.
Though every moment of the journey was a highlight in itself, acquiring special permission for the very first time to enter into the salt pans, 30 km from the Pakistan border to watch the stunning sunrise over nature’s magnificent creation, the Rann of Kucth, was mesmerizing and awe inspiring. A sight, that was truly a humbling experience.
At the end of the drive, keeping in mind the responsibility towards the environment, FHVI in order to offset the carbon footprint, planted tress on behalf of every participant in the Sundarbans, West Bengal, to help with the conservation of Tigers. Each participant was handed over a certificate, that would help track their trees. A great example to set for events across the globe.
The entire event speaks of brotherhood, camaraderie, fellowship all weaved together by the unconditional love for motoring. A great achievement on the part of the Federation of Historic Vehicles of India, its members and participants for giving the world of Historic Motoring a new leaf in the history books.
There’s no better depiction of the people, the country and the Historic Vehicles of our Incredible India!
This magnificent adventure would not have been possible without our esteemed sponsors Advaith Hyundai, C. Krishnaiah Chetty & Sons, Akshar Travels, GVCCC and Classic Chase.
Written by Sanjay Sukumar
Photo Credits: Milind Kale and House of Creation, Jaipur