Vintage cars present on display

Some things look better with age and Ashvek Vintage World (AVW) – Goa’s first and only vintage car museum- bears testimony to that.

Setup in July 2004, AVW completes four years of successful operations today. The brainchild of Mr. Pradeep V. Naik, it was started to spread awareness about vintage cars amongst the youth. “AVW will serve as education. There is an urgent need to preserve motoring treasures for posterity”, he says. He burns with the passion of inculcating a love and respect for these old beauties which he feels has withered away due to neglect.

Ashvek Vintage World takes up restoration and preservation of vintage cars, and has restored classics such as a 1931Peugeot, a 1948Chevrolet Fleet Master, a rare two-engine Vandall tempo, a 1961Datsun Fairlady, Morris 8 and 1939Mercedes 170 which are currently on display. Some of the cars restored here are in excellent working condition and can be hired out for weddings, movie shoots or simply for joy rides. The money sourced from this is reinvested in maintaining new and existing cars. AVW is also a pioneer in organizing vintage car rallies in Goa with four already under its belt which include the Volkswagen Rally and the IFFI Rally.

They also undertake restoration of vintage cars belonging to other owners. A 1928 Ford belonging to Mr. Rauraje Deshprabhu of Pernem, as well as an attractive Austin belonging to Jaywant Chowgule are just some of the vehicles that have been restored here.

Usually held with much pomp and grandeur, there has been no celebrations to mark its fourth anniversary as Pradeep is currently in USA with Mr. Emerico Gracias, a vintage car collector from Goa, touring car museums. The Hershey Museum and the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit are some of the stops on the tour.

AVW also serves as a great location for parties and get-togethers with a well equipped hall on the first floor.

Article by Siddharth Manerkar.

Ashvek Vintage World! When you enter this gallery, the first thing that strikes you is that the place conjures up an aura of the grandeur of a bygone era. This place is dedicated to restoring and preserving classics of yore. All these beauties have been reconditioned painstakingly from scrap. Such cars are just dust for us, but they are worth their weight in gold for the owner of the gallery, Pradeep Naik.

At the start of my tour of this galleria par excellence, Pradeep showed me a unique machine. The uniqueness of the vehicle lies in the fact that it has a double engine – one engine in front and one at the back. The Tempo G1200 was born in Hamburg in 1927, designed by Otto Daus, and produced as a private venture by Vidal and Sohn of Hamburg. This beast is an off road vehicle with two engines and a 4-wheel drive and was built especially for the Wehrmacht. In 1934, a tempo broke the speed record for 1000km with an average speed of 34 kmph.

Among the plethora of vehicles, Pradeep’s eyes lit up when we approached that marvelous Mercedes Benz 170. This vehicle, built in 1939, was featured in the movie ‘The Sea Wolves”, and also in an LG ad. The car belonged to the maharaja of Sawantwadi and was pampered and looked after at Vintage World.

Another beauty on display is the 3-cylinder DKW 1959. Pradeep is also the proud owner of a 1931 Peugeot 301. The 4-cylinder Peugeot, with its gangloff body, striking nose, and exquisite one side headlights, makes it a must-have for vintage collectors. This beauty happens to be the vintage vehicle Pradeep acquired, a vehicle which further fuelled his passion for classic cars. It belonged to the maharaja of Sawantwadi, who in turn donated it to Satam Maharaj.

Now for the vehicles belonging to the same company. Pradeep has a 1940 Morris 8 and a Morris Oxford, besides the Morris 1962 Monir. The latter is a 4 door saloon, tower estate car (1098 cc) with more power and stronger 48-bhp engine which boasts of a top speed in high 70’s and has a more robust gear box. He also owns a robust and reliable Chevrolet Fleetmaster and a 6-cylinder Chevrolet Belair.

The 1928 Essex Super Six has a 6-cylinder, 55bhp engine with an awesome 2637 cc. This car was originally equipped with wooden spokes, which were unfortunately burnt, and were therefore replaced with steel spokes, Pradeep explains.

Then, there is the awesome 1961 Opel Kapitan. By 1928, Opel was the largest car producer in Germany and is today, the driving force behind GM’s potent presence in Europe.

Finally, we reach the oh-so well known Volkswagen. He has two VW’s, a 1956 and 1960 model.

In addition to collection cars, Pradeep also restores vehicles (which however are not on display at World Vintage). He informed me about two such vehicles – a Datsun Fair Lady and a Baby Austin 1928. Both these vehicles, which now belong to Jaywant Chowgule, were in written-off condition, but were revived to their present, almost mint condition.

And if you want to see these beauties, you can head for the showroom which is at Nuvem.

(This article has been written by Karsten Miranda for ‘LOOK’, MOTORING, in GT Weekender and first appeared in the newspaper on June 25th, 2006)

A few of the vintage beauties at ASHVEK VINTAGE WORLD

Old is gold and vintage is priceless. Be it your childhood possession or a car. Here is a cruise through the ins and outs of vintage cars and how to keep them sparkling and chugging.

Any car manufactured before 1940 is a vintage car and the cars which are manufactured between the years 1941-1960 are called classics, all this is provided they are imported, important and rare. These motoring beauties are a wonder of their own kind. There are almost 80 vintage cars in Goa, almost 60 of them in good state. Among the major collectors of Goa are Narcinva Damodar Naik, Jaywant Chowgule, Jitendra Deshprabhu, Caculos, Joshis and Ashvek Vintage World.

Owning a vintage car is a matter of pride but what about maintenance? To maintain a car is expensive and to source spares for these cars is a Herculean task. The smallest nutbolt may cost Rs. 10 but to get it done to its original specification may cost Rs. 100. The cost that affects one’s pocket is when you are actually spending money hunting for the spare parts.

Starting in Goa, the hunt may even take you as far as Mumbai or Bangalore to source spares. This whole process of maintaining a car is like that of bringing up a child. The pains you go through gives you the final satisfaction of seeing it grow. In order to maintain a car in running condition one has to see that the car is started every week and taken for a small round to prevent the brake system from getting jammed. This also keeps the battery charged.

With regards to awareness, there has been an increasing passion for vintage cars and a lot of awareness has been created with the help of vintage rallies. People have realized after witnessing the rally that these old cars could be brought back to its original glory. They can also fetch a good price or be used for an enjoyable ride down memory lane.

(This article is written by Pradeep V Naik and first appeared in the ‘Times of India’ in the Times Drive-In section.)