It was a trip down memory lane for 70-year-old K. Subramanian, as he strolled past gleaming vintage cars and bikes, ranging from the 1920s to the 1970s, that were on display at the annual Chennai Heritage Auto Show, organised by the Madras Heritage Motoring Club at the Ramachandra Convention Centre on Sunday morning.
A total of 140 vintage cars, including the Mercedes Benz, Ford USA GPW, Rolls Royce, Dodge Brothers, Austin and Jaguar, and 40 bikes, including Triumph, Famous James, Paratrooper, Rajdoot and Matchless, got the visitors hooked.
Elders and youngsters alike took pictures alongside their favourite automobile. “I have grown up seeing these cars and seeing them took me back to my younger days. The owners have maintained the vehicles well,” said Mr. Subramanian.
V.S. Kylas, vice-president and the founder secretary of the club, said there were 22 cars when the event was held for the first time in 2002, and now it had increased to 140.
“People from Kolkata, Bangalore and Kerala have brought their vintage cars here,” he said.
S. Srivaradhan, who had brought a few of his cars and bikes for the show said he has been restoring and collecting vintage automobiles since 1990s. “It has been a passion for me. All the vehicles are in running condition despite the difficulty in getting the spare parts,” he said.
Many keen visitors clicked pictures alongside the 1957 model Dodge Kingsway owned by late chief minister M.G. Ramachandran and a Suzuki RV 90 bike used by actor Rajinikanth in the movie Payum Puli.
Santosh A.K and Rajesh Ambal from Kerala, who own vintage cars, have been regular visitors at the event. “Every year we see new cars. Earlier, the show used to be held in a school ground, now it has grown so much that it is being held at a convention centre,” said Mr. Rajesh.
Lawrence and Uttaman, who work for a vintage car owner, said they drove the cars from Coimbatore. “It does not travel as fast as the new cars, but it is a pleasant experience to drive them,” said Mr. Uttaman.
The event, that was inaugurated by actor Revathi, ended around 1 p.m. The vehicles were judged for authenticity, restoration, mechanicals and prizes were distributed in different categories to the owners.