History on wheels: 7 must-see vintage car museums in India
You don’t have to be a car fanatic to come up with the idea of vintage car museums – super cool. At the time, many Indian royal families could boast of having a world-renowned collection. In fact, if reports are to be believed, the Indian Maharajas owned around 900 Rolls Royces between 1908 and 1939, bringing back the model’s biggest customers at the time. It makes sense. After all, the specimens parked proudly in a royal garage were to serve as status symbols for the family; a predilection that has made its way into modern society. The chain’s top collectors then jumped on the bandwagon – so to speak – and used their endless resources to restore these hot wheels to their former glory.
Vintage cars are a luxury today, a nod to an illustrious past and a glorified feast for the eyes. A heritage to protect, while being enhanced. Think Rolls Royces, Bentleys, vintage Mercs and beyond. Several Indian metros even organize rallies and exhibitions to give these beauties a chance to hit the road again. Although some of these vehicles are still privately owned, many have found refuge in the country’s famous vintage car museums.
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7 Vintage Car Museums in India You Should Visit
1. Classic and Vintage Car Collection, Udaipur
When you think of gold-laden royalty, Rajasthan comes to mind. So it’s only fitting that Udaipur, the city of seraphic marble palaces and glassy water lakes, is home to one of India’s most impressive vintage car museums. Dubbed the Museum of Vintage and Classic Cars, it exhibits at least four Rolls Royces, two Cadillacs, an MG-TC convertible, a Ford-A convertible, a Vauxhall-12 and a host of other interesting vehicles like rickshaws solar energy.
2. Vintage world of Ashvek, Nuvem, Goa
The Ashvek Vintage World was established in 2004 by its owner, Pradeep V Naik, with the aim of engaging younger generations in automotive history. Located on the Panjim-Margao highway, the museum exhibits more than a dozen vintage cars from Goa and other neighboring regions like Kolhapur, Belgaum and Sawantwadi. This includes a Tempo G1200 born in Hamburg in 1927, a Peugeot 301 from 1931 and an Opel Kapitan from 1961.
3. Automotive World, Ahmedabad
A pioneer in India’s niche car collector space, the late Pranlal Bhogilal at one point owned over 200 cars, including 36 Rolls Royces, which were parked in his many homes across the country. About 100 vintage cars from his priceless collection were then displayed at Auto World, located at his Dastan estate in Ahmedabad. In 1997, half a century after independence, Bhogilal obtained a 1926 Rolls-Royce Phantom I with Barker bodywork painted in shades of the Indian tricolor. He called this particular model, “Azad”. Also on display at the museum is a 1923 Silver Ghost, a 1927 Phantom I with limousine bodywork by Windovers, a 1936 Phantom III and a 1937 Phantom III.
4. Heritage Transport Museum – Haryana