There are some absolutely fantastic and high-end mean machines owned by the who’s who in the city, but the charm of Indian-made antique cars is a totally different experience, share those who have followed the change in tastes over the years.
Finding the unique heritage cars might be a task as there are barely a handful of collectors left and few museums that keep them. But one can easily find an old-school ambassador or a premier Padmini, a Rajdoot or even a Royal Enfield or Bullet with a right-side gearbox.
These vehicles have that vintage charm and can be driven around on roads with reliable engines and valid permissions. According to Anuradha Reddy, who happens to be the convenor of the Indian National Trust of Art and Cultural Heritage’s (INTACH) Hyderabad chapter shares that the most vintage looking motorcycles happen to be Heritage Roll Royce and Beatles, models. She says that both of them are Europe-made and the filthy rich of the city own them. In fact, some of the families used to among the richest families in the world, she reveals.
One such collector happens to be Kerman Pestonji, who owns the retail store Chermas. He has a huge collection of Rolls Royce, and then there are a few Nawabi families who own a few cars. But none of them can take the cars out for a ride, even for their upkeep, as they don’t have the required permission from the Road Traffic Authorities.
Then there are others who hold on to their old ambassadors and premier Padmini. They ensure they are well-maintained and take them out once in a while to keep them in running condition. A collection of Indian cars can also be seen on Abids road. One such collector is Muhammed Rehman, who once owned 40 convertible sedans, Fords, Dodges and Austins. However, he sold most of them as the new-age grooms prefer Jaguars and Fortuners.
However, there is that emotional attachment to old cars asserts a manager of a pre-owned car store. He says there is a demand for ambassadors, premier Padminis for their saloon-style bodies. Jeeps are also in demand, he shares.
While one can get an ambassador between Rs 70,000 to Rs 5 lakh, a premier Padmini can be got between Rs 70,000 to Rs 1.8 lakh. And if it’s in good condition, then it can go up to Rs 10 lakh.