The Weekend That Was!

Images: Deepanjan Sarkar

Those who know, know that in the recent past, the City of Joy—as Calcutta is called—has seen a bit of a revival in the historic vehicles movement. A few years ago, proud owners would yank off the covers of their grand old ladies, get them done up till they were in tip-top shape for the once-a-year event that was The Statesman Vintage and Classic Car Rally.

Concours D'Elegance_EIMG_01
Calcutta's first ever Concours D'Elegance event was organised by the Eastern India Motoring Group

Nowadays, the wheeled beauties from the grand old years of motoring need not wait for a full 364 days for the planet to go around the Sun before they see the light of day. There are several club events or drive-outs that pepper the driving season that lasts from around mid-November to early March. Perhaps the only thing that was missing from the calendar was a Concours D’Elegance in the same style and grandeur as the Cartier Concours or the 21 Gun Salute events. Well, not anymore. On March 13 this year the beautiful grounds of Calcutta’s Lake Club played host to the city’s first ever The Lake Club – EIMG Concours D’Elegance in association with Ace Commercial 2022.

Organised by the Eastern India Motoring Group or EIMG and led very ably from the front by the group’s founder and president, renowned restorer Shrivardhan Kanoria, the event saw a lovely gathering of nearly 80 motorcars and motorcycles from different decades, spanning nearly three quarters of the world’s automotive history, beginning with the 1913 Stoewer.

Concours D'Elegance_EIMG_02
Late 1920s Panther Sloper of Afzal Hossain

At over 108 years old, the spic and span Stoewer was judged the Oldest Car of the Show at this ‘By invite only’ event. The collection also included five magnificent Rolls-Royces, a very original 1928 Ford Model A, an immaculate 1932 Ford V8, a pretty rare and very pretty 1926 FIAT and a beautifully restored 1938 Mercedes-Benz which had been brought all the way from Ranchi. The post WWII genre also saw some interesting cars, including a 1964 Ford Anglia, a 1948 Plymouth and a brought-back-from-the-dead 1947 MG TC.

Concours D'Elegance_EIMG_03
1938 Mercedes-Benz of Abhishek Jaiswal

Exotics, however, weren’t the only things on display. Sharing lawn space with the exotics were the more humble Austin Sevens—there were no less than three, at least one Morris Minor, a Standard, a handful of Jeeps and even Indian classics like the Hindustan Ambassador. There was a fine display of motorcycles too, which included a 1940 Triumph, a 1923 Panther Sloper and a 1947 Ariel, among others. Given the sheer variety of automobiles on display and how spruced up they all were, judging was no mean feat.

Concours D'Elegance_EIMG_04
Although not required for competition, many did their best to don their ethnic best and add glamour to an already glamorous event

“Judging the vehicles personally was a very important responsibility, which I undertook, and awarded the deserving vehicles,” said Kanoria, who was also a member of the jury. The Best of the Show was given to the 1938 Rolls-Royce of Gulam Momen while, in a fabulous step towards acknowledging those who have contributed to the cause of historic vehicles in Eastern India, 80 mementos were handed out. The total tally of awards handed out at the end of the event was 29.

Concours D'Elegance_EIMG_05
Azam Monem's 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III has remained with the family since it was sold

What helped immensely though was the sheer enthusiasm and energy that participants brought to the event. Even though the event format was static, with no road section or driving involved, the spirit of healthy competition ensured that each participant did his or her best to make sure his or her vehicle was in a condition worthy of presentation at a show.

Concours D'Elegance_EIMG_06
Gulam Momen, his Best of Show winning 1938 Rolls-Royce, and Shrivardhan Kanoria share a moment of glory

As for the event itself, Kanoria himself would like to dedicate it to the memory of his father—the late Shashi Kumar Kanoria, who was also a renowned collector and restorer of historic vehicles. “This event, curated by me, is my contribution to the vintage and classic car fraternity of Eastern India and is definitely dedicated to my father.”

Concours D'Elegance_EIMG_07
Rupak Ghosh's 1947 MG TC was awarded The Restoration Cup for bringing it back to life

He also thanked The Lake Club for sharing in the enthusiasm of the owners and participants in coming forward with a wonderful venue for such a classy event, which was followed by a gala dinner hosted by Delhi’s renowned collector Diljeet Titus.

Concours D'Elegance_EIMG_08
Shrivardhan Kanoria goes through the rigours of judging, this time with a 1928 Ford Model A

With the curtains closing on the Concours D’Elegance 2022, the season for enjoying the company of these grand old ladies of Calcutta comes to a close, as we head into the heat of summer to be followed by the inevitable humidity of the monsoons. None of which, however, will dampen our spirits as we prepare already for the Concours D’Elegance 2023. Until then!

Concours D'Elegance_EIMG_09
The 1937 Rolls-Royce of the Karnani family that won the Judges' Choice Award

Winners’ List




Vintage Cars upto 1930

1926 FIAT

Sanjay Agarwal

Vintage Cars from 1931 to 1940

1938 Rolls-Royce

Gulam Momen

Classic Cars from 1940 to 1950

1947 Chevrolet

Sanjay Ghosh

Classic Cars from 1951 to 1970

1963 Triumph

Saikat Datta

Two Wheelers - Best in Class

1923 Panther


Indian Heritage Cars – Best in Class

1955 FIAT

Vinay Agarwal

Off-Roaders – Best in Class

1942 Ford

Ravi Khedwal




The Oldest Car

1913 Stoewer

Ananda Chowdhury

The Preservation Cup

1947 Wolseley

Siddharth Swarup

The Restoration Cup

1947 MG TC

Rupak Ghosh

The Resurrection Cup

1938 Mercedes-Benz

Abhishek Jaiswal

The Admirable Cup

1937 Rolls-Royce

Azam Monem

Judges’ Choice Award

1937 Rolls-Royce

S.K. Karnani  & Others (HUF)

Special Car Award

1948 Buick

Late Captain Naha

Best of Show

1938 Rolls-Royce

Gulam Momen

Concours D'Elegance_EIMG_10
This 1959 Ford Zephyr is a recent addition to the group, having been bought by Sarojesh Mukherjee from Diljeet Titus; seen here being marshalled in by Shrivardhan Kanoria

Aninda Sardar

Aninda Sardar

Sentimental about cars and bikes, judgemental about most things and mental too, says the missus. Where nutty professor meets mad hatter. Got this figured? Then you’ve got me.


Sign in or become a deRivaz & Ives member to join the conversation.
Just enter your email below to get a log in link.