1909 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost

More than 100 exceptional vintage and classic cars star in world-class event vintage cars and Indian culture go well together. The clear sky, soothing air and deep golden glow of the sun made for inspiring conditions as around 100 vintage and classic rarities gathered in front of Delhi’s majestic Red Fort for a concours, while classical dance performances showcased the cultural diversity of the country – all part of the 21 Gun Salute, now in its sixth year.

On the second day the cars, several of which were more than 100 years old, were flagged off from the Red Fort and headed via India Gate and the Rajpath to Buddh International Circuit, a former Formula 1 track, where spectators could see them in action.

Gaines Cooper’s 1909 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost – known as ‘The Silver Dawn’, and one of the oldest Silver Ghosts in the world – earned the prestigious Best of Show award. A 1938 Cadillac V16 Seven Passenger Sedan won the Pre-War American Classic award; the Preservation Class Award went to a 1934 Cadillac Imperial Sedan; while the Roadster Class (International) was won by the 1952 Jaguar XK120 streamliner. The 1934 Ex-Maharaja of Datia Packard 110 won the Maharaja Class.

The event’s chairman, Madan Mohan, has worked hard to strengthen relationships with entrants, judges and supporters for this show, which also raised money for charity. Sandra Button, chair of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, presided over the judging panel, which included international automotive experts such as Martin Button (Pebble Beach), Marco Makaus (Mille Miglia) and Rolls-Royce specialists Paul and Andrew Wood.

‘Motoring events require deep learning and innumerable efforts and both were evident at the 21 Gun Salute,’ said Sandra Button. ‘It was very comprehensive, engaging and enthralling, and the event featured a more international field of cars, while at the same time it highlighted India’s automotive heritage – the Maharaja cars and culture. It is a sheer pleasure to witness a growing passion for great automobiles in India.’

Madan Mohan concluded: ‘I think we’re going to see a huge movement towards vintage motoring and one-of-a-kind pieces getting restored: things that have always been there and will continue to last for years to come.’ a record number of more than 12,000 people attended last year’s Jaguar Simola Hillclimb in South Africa, and organisers of this year’s event -the hillclimb’s seventh running – plan to build on that success in May.

Sponsored for the third time by Jaguar South Africa and part of the larger Knysna Speed Festival, the event promises a bigger and better line-up of classic and contemporary cars than ever, along with plenty of petrolhead-pleasing entertainment.

The three-day spectacular kicks off with car displays and parades in Knysna town, and will then feature tyre-smoking action in the practice and qualifying rounds on the 1.9km hillclimb course. Classic Car Friday sees historic machines take to the tarmac, while the final day culminates with the King of the Hill Shootout.

Nearly 150 of the country’s most impressive, exclusive and potent road and race cars will take part over the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb weekend, and the event is starting to attract a good number of competitors from abroad as well. Witnessing speeds of up to 160mph and times as low as 41 seconds from a standing start to the finish, this is the most high-paced, adrenaline-fuelled action event in South Africa. Definitely worth a look.