Vintage and Classical Vehicles Preservation and Restoration
Without multi-point fuel injection systems, CPU controlled acceleration and power assist, some people still prefer to cruise in their vintage Rolls Royce or Jaguars. Ram Vishwanathan, a proud owner of seven such cars, founded the Vintage and Classic Vehicles Foundation of India (VCVF) in 1989 with three others Shankar Dev, Palanivelu and Mani Nagappa. His is the oldest running car in Chennai today. Vintage motorcycles also form a part of VCVF. T.Venkatesh, an active member of VCVF, owns the largest collection of Vintage bikes in Chennai and boasts some rare models, like the 1924 AJS Big Port and the 1934 Triumph.
This organization has as its main objectives the Preservation and Restoration of vintage vehicles, and the increased awareness of their social and technical minutiae. Though an expensive hobby, it is the passion and the interest in Vintage (before 1940) and Classic (1941-1960) vehicles that drives the Foundation today.
The toughest challenge in restoring these vehicles is the hunt for original spare parts. Some members even import the spares through contacts abroad. It takes around 3 months to restore a car, and the cost depends upon various factors. According to Ram, you can own a Morris Minor for approximately Rs. 20,000/-, a Buick for around Rs. 3-4 lakhs, and a Jaguar for about Rs. 14 lakhs.
Today, VCVF has more than 100 members and has organised more than 15 rallies. Life membership is available. Two or three times in a year, the organization holds get togethers and picnics. As they have a lot of old cars, they have their own engineer and mechanics and arrange parts for these old cars from foundations abroad or through other clubs with which the club is associated. The Foundation aims at setting up a library, a technical advisory service, and conducting educational programmes to promote automotive history and development. Still on the lookout for sponsors, VCVF is pressing for Tax Exemptions for their vehicles.
So, don’t be surprised if a 1930 Austin turns more heads than your brand newMercedes!
Address:# 11, Dr. Guruswamy Mudaliar Road, Chetpet, Chennai – 600 031
Phone: 2641 1457
Posted on February 14, 2012, in Attractions, Heritage of Chennai, Hobby, Sports and tagged chennai, classical car, Mani Nagappa, Morris Minor, Restoration, Rolls Royce, Vintage car. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.