In the time of the Raj, the ruling families of India bought the finest cars in the world in astounding numbers. They also tasked the world’s coachbuilders and designers to create lavish (and often highly eccentric) special commissions – and yet India has never hosted an international Concours d’Elegance. Until now.
On the weekend of 31st October to 2nd November, the Royal Western India Turf Club in Mumbai will host the Cartier ‘Travel With Style’ Concours. The magnificent automobiles on display, owned by Indian royalty and private collectors, have never been exhibited on an international stage before – and many have never even been shown in India.
Just 64 cars have been selected to participate – each personally chosen by Manvendra Singh Barwani, India’s most respected and experienced classic car expert. There are four categories in the Concours: Vintage Classics, Post-War Classics, Exotic Cars and Roadsters.
Among the exhibits will be such glorious automobiles as… 1937 Delahaye (Figoni et Falaschi) Geo Ham Roadster; 1937 Daimler DB18 Dual Cowl Sports Tourer (made for H.E. The Aga Khan); three 1931 Pierce Arrow Tourers; 1949 Bentley Mark VI Sports Tourer (specially built for H.H. The Maharaja of Mysore, one of six Bentleys ordered in a single commission); 1935 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Arrow Coupe (specially built for H.H. the Maharaja of Jodhpur); 1928 McLaughlin-Buick (H.R.H. The Prince of Wales Canadian Tour car); 1948 Jaguar XK120 (aluminium-bodied, and the first XK120 to arrive in India)… and the list goes on.
The judging panel is equally illustrious, with names from the creative, sporting and automotive worlds such as H.R.H. Prince Michael of Kent, Lord March, Sir Anthony Bamford, Nick Mason, Imran Khan, Monica Bellucci and Sophie Marceau. Orchestrating this exciting addition to the motoring calendar is H.R.H. The Duchess of Cornwall’s brother, travel writer and conservationist Mark Shand.
The Cartier ‘Travel With Style’ Concours seems well on the way to joining the world’s top concours events, alongside the Concorso d’Eleganza at Villa d’Este, the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance in California, and the Goodwood Festival of Speed Cartier ‘Style et Luxe’.
Text: Charis Whitcombe
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