GUWAHATI, Feb 23 � Stealing the show from sleekest of new-age vehicles on the streets, the fleet of vintage cars and two-wheelers gave Guwahati some nostalgic moments, as the vintage wheels rolled out on its streets this morning.
Organised by the Heritage Automobile Association of Assam (HAAA) and the Assam Tourism Development Forum (ATDF) in association with the Assam Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC) and the State Tourism Department, the rally was flagged off by PG Baruah, Editor of The Assam Tribune from the Ambari Rotary.
Much to the amazement of the classic car buffs here, more than 40 vintage cars and jeeps including the models of Austin, Beetle, Plymouth, Willy�s, Dodge Kingsway and Ford, and two-wheelers including Lambretta scooter and Jawa among others took part in the rally.
Being a part of history, every vehicle, painstakingly maintained by the owners, had a story to tell.
A Baby Austin of 1924 made in England was the oldest car in the fleet, which led the rally today. Owned by BP Saraf, the car featured in Dr Bhupen Hazarika�s film Lotighoti.
Manohar Choudhury, a businessman and a member of the HAAA, told The Assam Tribune that apart from maintaining the database of the vintage cars of Assam, the forum would provide all sorts of assistance to the vintage car owners including technical advice, information about the spares, and mechanical assistance.
Choudhury brought his five vintage automobiles to the rally, including a Ford Mercury of 1958, a Ford Popular of 1935 and a Mercedes of the 1970s, which was once owned by Maharani Gayatri Devi of Jaipur.
�Earlier, there was no organised forum for such vintage car enthusiasts and many such automobiles were sold off as scrap or went out of the State due to lack of awareness. Through this rally, we also appeal to the antique car owners to preserve the vehicles instead of selling them off,� Association president Jadav Doloi said.
The cars passed through Ulubari, GS Road, Ganeshguri and came back to Ambari via RG Baruah Road and GNB Road.
Inaugurating the rally, PG Baruah lauded the efforts of the organisers and hoped that more and more vintage car owners would join the forum in coming days.
�There is a new awareness among such car owners. The vintage cars are the valuable assets for the posterity,� he said.
�Maintaining the vintage cars and keeping them in running condition is a challenge worth taking. Recovering such cars and getting them repaired is my hobby and these vehicles are a part of my family,� said Raja Das, a vintage car enthusiast.