Walking amidst the old beauties at Goa’s first Vintage Car & Bike rally, Ambica Gulati spoke with three men, for whom their mean machines are a labour of love
The moment we landed in Goa, we were rushed into the home of Milind Angle in Panjim market. Angle’s one love is preserving all that he has inherited from his parents, be it a grandfather clock or the rotating musical couple. But this time the focus was on his old Mini from 1959. This car was gifted to his mother and the little red thing has been kept running by the son. It has travelled over a lakh kilometers and even now can do up to 10 km at a stretch. Angle takes it for a spin every day or two; even though it was has been tough maintaining it. He has spent hours over the net finding the spare parts and types. It is an expensive passion, but then nothing beats the desire to see his heartthrob in good shape. For him, the moment of glory comes when his little beauty is praised, victorious in rallies and is photographed by one and all.
Dressed in a traditional dhoti, kurta, headgear and bright red stole, Sanjeev Bhiwandkar stands smiling before his shining red limited edition 4-Speed 1963 Vespa. His pride and glory is in keeping this gift from his uncle intact and drive it around like the good old days. He also has four other Vespas and a bike, which he plans to gift to his two daughters. He came for the rally on this scooter with his friend Rahul in record time of 12.5 hours.
Through the winding green roads in Goa, we reached the famous palace of Pernem which is home to Jitendra Deshprabhu. Long entrance led to the majestic gates and inside we discovered a treasure trove of artefacts, vintage artwork, tiles with Portuguese work and more. There is a story in each of the 400 rooms but our journey began with obeisance to the Dattatreya temple which houses the god’s feet. And then a trip down memory lane at a guest house which is reserved for European visitors, which is a lavish home. And then we posed besides his two Austins and a Mercedes. And we walked to the workshop where the restoration work happens. “I have begun too late. I should have begun restoring the cars much earlier and now the bug has bitten me hard,” says Deshprabhu.