Jamshedpur: Austin 7 catches eyeballs at vintage car rally and wins top honor

Jamshedpur’s first event showcases 40 vehicles

Jamshedpur, February 27: The first ever Tata Steel Classic and Vintage Car & Bike Rally of Jamshedpur was organized today with beautiful automobiles lined up at Gopal Maidan.

The rally was organized as part of the 183rd Founder’s Day celebration honoring the vision and memory of the founder of the company and the Tata Group, Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata.

Over 40 vintage and classic cars and motorbikes dating from the 1920s to the 1980s participated in the rally with Ranchi, Chaibasa and Jamshedpur taking part. It was a unique opportunity for owners to exhibit their vehicles in this rally and experience the city on wheels.

The rally also featured a special entrant, Jamshedpur’s own ‘Hitodi’, a 50cc moped manufactured by India Automotives Ltd. in Adityapur in the 1970s.

This unique and one of a kind event in Jamshedpur was initiated by TV Narendran, CEO and Managing Director of Tata Steel at Gopal Maidan.

The event witnessed an enthusiastic turnout from the citizens of Jamshedpur who gathered in large numbers to view the vintage vehicles.

Addressing the rally at Gopal Maidan, TV Narendran said, “Vintage vehicles represent history, passion and above all, they are a source of invaluable memories and joy. These vehicles participating in this rally are also cultural icons in their own right. It is also an opportunity for Tata Steel to honor the owners of these vintage vehicles whose passion for preserving our culture is unique. Sport, arts and culture have always been a way of life at Tata Steel, and we will strive to use every opportunity to promote these to our stakeholders.

Chanakya Chaudhary, Vice President, Corporate Services, Tata Steel set the context for the event and said, “We are pleased to have conceptualized this event and invited the proud owners of vintage vehicles from the Eastern Region to the first edition of this rally. We hope it will become a memorable experience for everyone and give us a boost to continue to organize this event every year on a larger scale”.

The rally ended at the United Club with the distribution of prizes by Dr JJ Irani, former Managing Director of Tata Steel and Ms Daisy Irani. Atrayee Sanyal, Vice President, Human Resource Management, Tata Steel also presented some awards. Ruchi Narendran was also present as a member of the jury for the event.

Prizes were awarded in 18 categories, including the overall champion award which was won by Gurmukh S Khokhar of Chaibasa, owner of the 1933 Austin 7.

The Austin of Khokhar also won in the long-distance trip category.

The British-made Austin car made in 1933 was the center of attraction.

“This car first belonged to Nimai Chandra Bhanjdev, the Maharaja of Baripada. He sold it to a businessman based in Baripada and later in the year 1991 I bought it for Rs 50,000 said Gurmukh S Khokhar.

He informed that an additional Rs 1.5 lakh has been spent on maintenance. Khokhar further stated that Austin 7 has participated in the Statesman Rally held in Kolkata since 1992 and also won the Indian Oil Trophy 28 times in a row and entered the Limca Book of Records five times. He last received the award in 2015 for winning the 24th rally. Even today, this vehicle can do 16 km/L

The 1928 Mercedes-Benz Nurburg (model RJJ1) owned by Tata Motors was declared the best car between 1920 and 1929.

The 1932 Chevrolet Confederate owned by Colonel Arup Basu was the best car between 1930 and 1939 and also won in the best period costume category.

Austin Princess (Princess A-135 model), owned by Tata Steel, was the top car between 1940 and 1949.

Re Fantabulous from 1962 owned by Anand Sharma was the best bike/scooter between 1940-1975.

Sanjay Sabherwal owned a 1964 Mercedes 190 was the best road a car had traveled.

The 1964 Ambassador MK2 owned by Gajendra Singh was awarded in the longest distance transported category.

Jamshedpur is not only the home of connoisseurs of prized vintage cars and bikes but also has a rich cultural history and heritage. The rally aims to promote the rich culture and history of Jamshedpur.

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