40th Annual Vintage Car Fiesta 2023

Are you a petrolhead or a vintage and classic car lover? If yes, you are definitely going to enjoy this post where I have covered some of the most iconic cars in Mumbai, still alive and roaring with old-worldly charm.

The event was VCCCI Annual Vintage Car Fiesta at World Trade Centre, Mumbai on 12 February 2023 organised in association with the Western India Automobile Association (WIAA) and Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC). The event witnessed the participation of 150 vintage cars and 50 motorcycles. I was fortunate enough to get the Vintage and Classic Car Club of India (VCCCI) invite to cover this event.

  • Concours D’Elegance (Vintage Car): Mr. Rajiv Kher won the Concours d’Elegance in the ‘Vintage’ category for his 1934 Packard Super 8.
  • Concours D’Elegance (Classic Car): Mr. Yohan Poonawala also won the same title in the ‘Classic’ category for his 1949 Rolls Royce Silver Wraith, previously owned and customised by the Maharaja of Mysore. He was also awarded as the “Global Ambassador for India” for his contribution in restoring heritage cars and active participation in several international vintage car contests for India.
  • Best Restored Vintage Car: Mr. Shankar Sundaram’s 1935 Rolls Royce Phantom III won the first prize in the ‘Vintage’ category.
  • Best Restored Classic Car: Mr. Pratap Sinh Gaekwad’s 1991 Ford Mustang won the first prize in the ‘Classic’ category.

Vintage Car: As per PIB Notification dated 18 July 2021, all two and four-wheelers which are 50+ years old and maintained in their original form (i.e., have not undergone any substantial overhaul) are considered as Vintage Motor Vehicles.

Classic Car: Although there is no fixed definition of this term, cars of age 20-40 years are generally considered classic cars.

1948 Packard Henney Hearse 160 HP Custom Eight

Packard Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan was one of the three most prestigious manufacturers in America, with Peerless and Pierce-Arrow comprising the “Three Ps” of upper-crest automobiles. Of the three, only Packard could survive the Great Depression, thanks to its strong line of medium-priced cars introduced in 1935.

TRIVIA: In the movie “The Godfather (1972),” mob boss Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) is taken to the cemetery in this beautiful Packard Henney Hearse.

1948 Packard Funeral Coach in The Godfather, Movie, 1972. Image from IMCDB
1953 Chrysler Windsor DeLuxe

The Windsor DeLuxe was the upgraded version of the base Windsor, featuring only three body styles: the 4-Doors Sedan, Convertible and the Newport Hardtop. “Windsor DeLuxe” appeared on the fenders to denote the model. Know more about this model here and here.

My day started very early in the morning at 6:00 AM. Equipped with my Lumix S1, with the two most versatile lenses, 24-105mm F4.0 lens and 50mm F1.8 lens and Leofoto tripod, I did not stop shooting until 11:00 AM, experimenting with different compositions and exposure strategies. Post-processing also played a crucial role in giving these cars their much-deserved vintage look.

⮜ These two images were shot with similar compositions, ensuring that the imposing towers of the World Trade Centre Mumbai cover a major part of the frame to depict where this event was held. It was the perfect time to photograph the building with the soft light of the morning sun gently kissing its facade.

⮟ A few weeks back on 26th January when I covered vintage cars, I could not get any shots of the steering wheels and the dashboards. The event offered me that opportunity again.

1949 Bristol 400

Bristol 400 is considered a luxury car produced by the Bristol Aeroplane Company of Great Britain. As the name suggests, Bristol was originally an aircraft manufacturer, and their planes played some key role in World War II as well. Post WWII, Bristol created a car division, buying a license from Frazer Nash, and acquired the rights to some pre-WWII BMW models and a special inline-six 2-litre engine. Read more here, here and here.

Image from here
Image from here
Image from here

⮝ The real challenge in processing the pictures of Bristol 400 was colour grading while ensuring that the essence of the original colour is also retained. The colour inconsistencies made me realize, how crucial it is for a photographer to invest in professional monitors with true colour depiction.

Image from here
Image from here

1947 Buick Roadmaster

The Buick Roadmaster was built by Buick from 1936 until 1942, from 1946 until 1958, and then again from 1991 until 1996. In the 1947 Buick Roadmaster, a new stamped grille with a separate upper bar was used. The name, ‘Roadmaster’ appeared in red-filled script on a chrome button within the bumper guard crossbars, front, and rear.

TRIVIA: A slightly different model of this car was also used in the popular Bollywood movie, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara in the song, Khwabon Ke Parindey

1939 Rolls-Royce Wraith

The Rolls-Royce Wraith was built by Rolls-Royce at their Derby factory from 1938 to 1939. The word ‘wraith’ has its origin in Scotland meaning “ghost” or “spirit”. The Wraith series was one of the best-balanced, easiest-driving, and more enjoyable pre-war Rolls-Royce models. Rolls-Royce Wraiths are also featured in the movies like My Favorite Brunette (1947) and in a brief scene of Johnny Dangerously (1984). Know more here

Image from here

W.O. Bentley, when he started this company in the year 1919, wanted a logo that truly depicts his quest to push the boundaries of performance. He reached out to his friend F. Gordon Crosby who was one of the most famous motoring artists of the pre-war times. Crosby created this Winged B logo – with the ‘B’ of Bentley in the middle of the wings representing the exhilaration of motion and probably also to hint W.O. Bentley’s background as a designer of engines for fighter planes in the First World War. In the 1930s, the wings were streamlined, with the downward-pointing feathers straightened out to become horizontal. Each wing was also given 10 feathers, losing the asymmetry of the original. Know more here

Bentley Motors

“In 1933, artist Charles Sykes, the designer of the Rolls-Royce Spirit of Ecstasy, was commissioned to create a new mascot. Sykes designed a single wing with a forward-leaning ‘B’ in the Art Deco style, with facets that allowed the ‘B’ to read correctly when viewed from either side. However, the single wing wasn’t popular, so the design was altered to feature a pair of wings.”


1967 Volkswagen Beetle

1967 model of VW brought some welcome changes in the car’s visuals. As per Autocar India – “Volkswagen replaced the sloped headlights the car had worn since the 1930s with upright units and fitted larger rear lights with integrated reverse lights. The changes also included new bumpers on both ends, four-lug steel wheels and a redesigned dashboard.” Know more here

TRIVIA: A newer model of Beetle was also used in the Bollywood movie Aisha starring Sonam Kapoor and older model of 1960s in the movie The Love Bug (1968).

⮜ While post-processing these images, I realized a mistake we often make as a photographer, i.e., composing the frame too tight. As a result, there was no scope for me to leave some breathing space to the left for the car.

1947 Cadillac Convertible

Cadillac’s 1947 lineup was the end of its saga that began in the pre-war era. In 1947 Cadillac also offered optional fog lights built into the grill and Sombrero wheel covers. Series 62s remained Cadillac’s bread-and-butter lineup with 84% of the make’s total 1947 volume.

I could not find the name of this car through an image search online. While it looks very similar to the 1943 Mercedes Benz 170ss, it is not a Merc as evident from the logo. The emblem on the car hints towards Chrysler though.

1947 Lincoln Continental Coupé 

The 1947 Lincoln Continental club coupe is a rare find, owing to only 831 cars produced in total that year. This was a series of mid-sized and full-sized luxury cars produced by Lincoln, a division of the American automaker Ford Motor Company.

All photographs were shot on Panasonic Lumix S1 with 50mm F1.8 lens and 24-105mm F4.0 lens


Published by Vivek Kumar Verma

Investment Banking Lawyer | Photographer & Blogger | Connoisseur of Food | Poet

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