Like I had a message from the clouds above that the journey that began at the Pebble Beach is not destined to end. Maybe that’s why I gave my first post (back in 2013) a title like ‘A journey from Pebble Beach to beyond. Via Udaipur!‘
So what brought me back to Udaipur after meeting Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar (thanks to his award-winning bright blue 1924 Rolls-Royce GLK-21, 20 HP Barker Tourer) and visiting the marvelous royal Vintage & Classic Car Collection?
My recent trip was to explore the classic car scene of India. As a Classic Motoring Consultant I had to find out if the time is ripe for a classic car trade fair in India. My customer, a large international trade fair organiser, wondered if it would be a good idea to start an event which provides a platform to the Indian classic car and motorcycle scene as a starting point and goes a level above with inclusion of trading parts, accessories, literature and maybe even classic vehicles. To find out, I decided to travel to India for meetings with important clubs, collectors, workshops, manufacturers and enthusiasts.
After concluding my meeting in Delhi, Jaipur, Chennai and Bangalore, I was in Udaipur. I had to be! I know Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar from the world famous Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach, California, where he showed his wonderful Rolls Royce 20 hp Barker Tourer GLK21. Not only there in California, but also during several visits to Udaipur, I learned that Shriji is a man with a sea of knowledge about classic cars in India. So here I was.
It was a pleasure to stay at the Fateh Prakash Palace again and I also enjoyed the time I spent at the Vintage & Classic Car Collection at Garden Hotel. In my eyes, the most interesting part of the collection is the fact that all 23 cars have been with the royal family since new.
My conversation with Shriji showed different aspects of the situation for classic car owners in India. Not only is it a challenge to own a classic car in India – maintaining it is the more difficult part. We agreed that a classic car trade fair could become an ideal platform for what I was planning. Against all odds it is mandatory that the classic car scene forms a community of interests to withstand upcoming difficulties due to new pollution restrictions and other problems. It is important to keep the classic cars alive and on the roads as they represent an important part of India’s proud heritage.
I regret that I only had 3 days in Udaipur. But at least I had the chance to drive an hour or two through the narrow streets of the old city. As a frequent visitor of this lovely city, I already have many friends here and I always enjoy the welcoming Rajasthani hospitality. It is almost like coming home and I can’t wait to come back soon!
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