Vadodara: Asia’s one of the largest royal motoring event, 21 Gun Salute Concours d’Elegance 2023 was ostentatiously flagged off with vintage cars singing choir of patriotism at the iconic Lukshmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara. 75 vintage one-off car models cruised to the Statue of Unity commemorating the 75 glorious years of India’s Independence. This Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav historic drive is the most luxurious royal drive paying magnificent tribute to the tricolour. Living up to the hype and expectations the opulent event had built so far, spectators roared with joy cheering as they feasted their eyes on the stellar cars leaving for their destination.
The 75 vintage beauties wheeled from Lukshmi Vilas Palace in the morning of 5th January which was flagged off by Dr. Shamsher Singh. Commissioner of Police, Vadodara in presence of HH Maharaja Samarjitsinh Gaekwad, Maharaja of Baroda & the man behind the drive & show Mr. Madan Mohan, Chairman & Trustee of the 21 Gun Salute Heritage & Cultural Trust.
The drive has followed the around 90 Kms route to reach the Statue of Unity- the tallest and most magnificent statue in the world! This historic drive uplifts the Incredible India campaign to promote the extraordinary gems of India on a global level. The rich heritage, history and culture of India are proudly flaunted as the 21 Gun Salute attracts audiences and participants from around the world.
Lakshmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara, the host destination of the prestigious Concours is four times the size of Buckingham Palace. Inarguably making it the most impressive Raj-era palace and the largest private home built to date, covering over 500 acres of land. All the participants of this historic drive united at lunch under the glory of the tallest statue in the world– the Statue of Unity standing with a height of over 182 meters.
The historic drive showcased a parade of 75 vintage cars which are the most unique, rare and exceptional motoring recherché from all over in India. 1922 Daimler, 1938 Rolls-Royce 25/30, 1911 Napier, 1933 Packard v12, Rolls Royce Phantom II, 1947 Lincoln Cosmopolitan, 1960 Mercedes Benz 190SL Benz motorwagon, 1948 Buick Super, 1936 Dodge D2 Convertible Sedan, 1948 Humber, 1936 Austin 10/4 Tourer and 1931 Ford A Roadster are a few of the show stealers of the drive.
Dr. Shamsher Singh. Commissioner of Police, Vadodara said “The vintage car drive and the three-day vintage car concours show is a major opportunity for Vadodara city to promote its tourism sector and also know about these vintage cars and the legacy they carry. Further, it is also an opportunity of the world and people from other parts of the country to know Vadodara, its rich cultural heritage and let the rest of the world know about this beautiful city.”
HH Maharaja Samarjitsinh Gaekwad, Maharaja of Baroda said, “This event is another opportunity for the world to know the heritage and tourist attractions of Gujarat. The state is blessed with beautiful ghats, beaches, unique flora and fauna along with historical and heritage sites. Further, Vadodara has its own unique standing in the world for its history and heritage. We are working towards further boosting tourism in the city exhibiting the beautiful traditions, culture and monuments. The tenth edition of globally recognized 21 Gun Salute of the Concours in Lukshmi Vilas Palace would be another major step in making Vadodara shine brighter on the global tourism map. Lukshmi Vilas Palace, the very venue for the event has a heritage and legacy of its own and is like the crown of the city.”
Mr Madan Mohan, Chairman & Trustee of the 21 Gun Salute Heritage & Cultural Trust, “The tenth edition of this world renowned annual event comes at a crucial time when India is entering the ‘Amrit Kaal’. The car drive towards the Statue of Unity is being held as part of the 21 Gun Salute Concours d’Elegance 2023. It was planned to hold this edition of the annual event in Vadodara as the country celebrates, ‘Azaadi the Amrit Mahotsav’, completion of 75 years of independence. As the automobile industry is going through a transition with shift towards electric mobility and new technologies, this event is the opportunity to know about the glory of vintage cars and our country’s rich heritage motoring background.”
The cars cruised back to Lakshmi Vilas Palace in the evening to rest their engines for the grand celebration of 21 Gun Salute Concours d’ Elegance.
The three-day royal motor extravaganza starts from the 6th January to the 8th January at Lukshmi Vilas Palace and is also open to the public as their goal is to flaunt the extraordinary motoring heritage. The restored beauties will have a chance to garner praise and draw attention thanks to the creative quality and authenticity of the event. Along with highlighting the world’s rich automotive legacy, the rally will focus on a charitable endeavour by raising money for kids with special needs. The three-day event would include a vibrant cultural festival that will symbolise the pride, glory, and cultural refinement of India.
Since its first historic show in 2011, 21 Gun Salute International Concours d’Elegance has since been a prominent and recognized award and Concours automobile event helping to preserve and display the authentic history of cars. The show has grown rapidly and has the potential to propel the image of the host country, India, to new heights as a heritage motoring fraternity, but it has also gained international significance. The show has won awards at not one, but two prestigious events, including The Historic Motoring Awards 2018, London, and the Concours were named the ‘Most Innovative & Unique Tourism Product’ at the National Tourism Award (2016-2017), which was presented by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India & The 2018 Historic Motoring Awards.