From a preservation-class 1934 Cadillac imperial sedan to a vintage Fiat ‘Topolino’, 20 old automobiles are set to go under the hammer in December as part of a “first-of-its-kind auction” in India, organisers said on Tuesday.
As the country is celebrating Swarnim Vijay Varsh this year to commemorate 50 years of India’s victory in the 1971 war, the auction will also mark the occasion, and an old Mahindra Jeep CJ-3B, earlier owned by the Indian Army, will also be auctioned, in an unrestored condition, they said.
The proceeds from this sale will be donated to an Army veteran welfare group, the organisers said.
On Tuesday, a preview of nine of these collectable cars was held by Mumbai-based auction house, Historic Auctions, at the Museo Camera, a museum dedicated to vintage cameras in Gurgaon.
It will hold auctions of cars in December, and it will be held online, the organisers said.
Renowned filmmaker and artist Muzzafar Ali’s 16 paintings, inspired from his “childhood experiences of vintage cars”, were also put on display at the museum during the preview. These would also be part of the auction in December, they said.
“It is great to see people in India showing such a wonderful taste when it comes to cars. My paintings in the last couple of years draw from my experiences of childhood when I used to play in old cars. And, these paintings have this surrealistic, dream-like elements. Owning such cars is like a dream for people,” Ali told PTI on the sidelines of the preview event.
The chief guest at the preview was Gaj Singh, the titular maharaja of Marwar-Jodhpur.
Actress Gul Panag, ambassadors of a couple of foreign countries, and various vintage automobiles collectors and enthusiasts also attended the event.
Singh and Panag were conferred “honorary lifetime membership” of the prestigious Heritage Motoring Club of India (HMCI) by its president KTS Tulsi at the venue, organisers said.
According to its website, the HMCI’s mission is to protect, preserve and develop the rich heritage of vintage and classic automobiles and to encourage sharing of goodwill and fellowship derived from owning or being interested in preserving the heritage.
Both Singh and Panag emphasised the importance of preserving automobile heritage which is a delight to the senses.
The nine vintage cars, which were put on display for preview, included a preservation-class 1934 Cadillac 355D 7 Passenger Imperial Sedan and a 1924 Austin 7, famously known as the “Baby Austin” which for its time was one of the smallest and most economical cars available, making it extremely popular, the organisers said.
Other vintage beauties included a 1959 Cadillac Sedan de Ville in ‘Cadillac Pink’, made famous by Hollywood, and a 1958 MG A-1500 sportscar from the era when aerodynamics started playing an important role and it had the first production streamlined body from the MG stables, they said.
A rare 1958 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser, a Fiat 500C ‘Topolino’; a single owner, original 1982 Mercedes-Benz 200 were also on display. These will be auctioned in the aid of a charity foundation.
An extremely original, 1958 Mercedes Benz 180 Ponton in an unrestored, ‘Barn Find’ condition waiting to come back to life for the new owner, was also put on display at the museum premises.
A 1947 Chrysler Windsor, a luxury sedan from the Chrysler Corporation, one of the “Big Three” automobile manufacturers from the United States, also dazzled car lovers.
The preview will be open to the public from November 24- 26, organisers said.
Historic Auctions, in a statement, said, “It is India’s first specialist automobile and automotive fine arts auction house founded by renowned collectors, connoisseurs and automotive historians of international repute.”
“The collector car hobby is growing in India. There has been a steady increase of young professionals and entrepreneurs purchasing collector cars.
“First-time enthusiasts don’t have trustworthy and transparent access to sales and after-sales services, guidance and mentors. The classic car hobby needs to move into an organized sector. With Historic Auctions, we hope to take the first steps towards that goal,” said Amal Tanna, CEO, Historic Auctions.
“We will leverage the experience of our team to provide the best possible advice to buyers and sellers alike,” said vintage car collector, Madan Mohan, Vice Chairman, Historic Auctions.
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