Odisha Hosts A Spectacular Historic Vehicle Event

Images: Deepanjan Sarkar

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated the inaugural Odisha Concours D'Elegance, a pioneering historic vehicle exhibition held in Bhubaneswar.

With 52 cars on display, the Odisha event was a gathering of some of India's finer automobiles such as the Wolseley and the Lanchester Straight 8 of Dr Ravi Prakash and the recently made Bugatti Type 44 of Diljeet Titus

Taking place over 9th & 10th December 2023, at the Biju Patnaik Playground in Baramunda, the event featured 52 carefully restored cars, of which 47 were from various parts of India, including Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, and Chennai.

The ceremony, graced by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, marked the beginning of a unique showcase that highlighted the history and craftsmanship of bygone automotive eras.

The 1949 Buick Super of Bangalore's Balachandra Yadalam

Notable vehicles on display included a replica of the 1886 Benz Patent Wagen, a 1934 Rolls-Royce 20/25HP, a 1929 Bugatti Type 44, a 1932 Ford V8, a 1920/21 Moon 6-42, a 1947 Cadillac coupe, a 1962 Jaguar Mk 2 saloon, and several other historic automobiles.

Just five of the cars on display were from Bhubaneswar itself.

Organized with the support of Odisha Tourism and in collaboration with several Indian clubs, the event was sponsored by Falcon, DN Group, Khimji, LYFE Hotel, WGH, and MGM Minerals Limited.

The Saab 96 owned by the Mumbai-based Merchant family, a car that we have featured in deRivaz & Ives Magazine

Dharmaditya Patnaik, the curator of the event in Odisha, and an important historic vehicle collector himself (though he had only three of his cars on display), expressed gratitude for the overwhelming response and acknowledged Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for inaugurating the historic event.

The other car featured in deRivaz & Ives Magazine: Diljeet Titus' Stutz Model M

The Biju Patnaik Playground was transformed into a captivating canvas showcasing automotive masterpieces, each narrating a unique tale of refinement and sophistication.

From vintage Rolls-Royces to classic Jaguars, the event provided a rare insight into the evolution of automobile design and engineering.

Beautiful Jaguar Mk VII from Bangalore of S V S Gupta

A special inauguration ceremony highlighted Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's commendation for preserving and showcasing the heritage associated with vintage and classic automobiles.

He expressed delight at the diverse collection on display, emphasizing the significance of such events in fostering a deeper appreciation for automotive legacy.

Asheesh Jain's superb Rolls-Royce PIII came all the way from Delhi

Media coverage played a pivotal role in capturing the essence of the Odisha Concours D'Elegance, with the press invited to document the grandeur of the occasion, ensuring that the stories of these automotive gems reached a wider audience.

Although a recent import, this sublime 1932 Lagonda 2 Litre supercharged T3 - owned by Mumbai-based collector Yash Ruia - has been restored most tastefully, unlike most of the overdone Pebble Beach-type Indian restorations that seem to be in the vogue these days

The success of the 1st Odisha Concours D'Elegance not only signifies a momentous occasion for vintage and classic car enthusiasts in Odisha but also establishes a foundation for future editions of this prestigious event.

Reuniting history, as the Harit Trivedi-owned Dodge Custom Royal meets with the original members of the family, namely Padma Manjari Devi, hailing from the Mayurbhanj princely family (extreme right) and her son Anant Singh Deo, from Kalahandi (second from left); onlookers include Karmanya Pratap Deb (on extreme left) and Tanvi Trivedi (Harit's daughter)

“Given the success of the event this year, I would like to have another in maybe two years’ time,” said Dharmaditya Patnaik. “We may retain the display only concept as most participants were happy saying that they had no tension or pressure regarding the quality and condition of their cars getting judged for a typical concours event.”

The only criticism could be that there was only one ‘made in India’ car on display, despite India’s rich history of assembling and manufacturing automobiles.

Admirers line up to take a look at the flamboyant Dodge Custom Royal

It’s a pity that despite the current government’s ‘make in India’ campaign, Indian organisers seem to give more emphasis to imported cars and not the ones which have been made in India. Another feedback was that the event was restricted to a handful of clubs and the bigger collectors, and therefore too exclusive.

A whole bunch of American backsides: Lincoln, Dodge, Buick, Cadillac and Ford Mustang

Yet organizers, participants, and patrons alike look forward to the continued growth of the Odisha Concours as a significant platform for celebrating the artistry and heritage of automobile craftsmanship. And we are sure that some of these shortcomings will surely get addressed in the future.

Gautam Sen

Serial concours judge, author, founder-editor of several Indian auto mags, as well as co-conspirator with design greats Marcello Gandini, Tom Tjaarda, and Gérard Godfroy on a few vehicle projects


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