For the first time since FIVA’s founding in 1966 that the General Council (GC) had its meeting in Bangalore, India’s fast growing tech city. Seven members of the GC – Patrick Rollet, Mario Theissen, Peter Edqvist, Tiddo Brester, Tony Davies, Gautam Sen and Natasa Jerina Grom – along with Gian Mario Mollar, FIVA’s Secretary General, discussed the many issues and concerns regarding the historic vehicle movement across the Globe.
With a full day that lasted until 6pm of Friday and a half day session to complete the rest of the discussion and deliberations on Saturday the 16th of March, FIVA’s GC had a very fruitful one-and-a-half day session at the Oakwood Residency, a charming apartment hotel complex in Bangalore’s exclusive UB City mall. To celebrate the occasion, the hosting organisation Federation of Historical Vehicles of India (FHVI) went to elaborate lengths to put up an excellent exhibition of 42 exquisite historic vehicles – ranging from a tiny, but enthusiastic Austin Seven to a giant of a Mercedes-Benz Nurburg – on the forecourt of the mall, whereby thousands of enthusiasts and spectators enjoyed looking at and photographing these rare beauties.
In the afternoon of the 16th of February, the Delhi-based Osianama Learning Experience, in association with FHVI and FIVA and Osian’s Connoisseurs of Art, organized India’s first symposium to understand and encourage the increased participation of youth and women in the historic vehicle movement. Participants included leading Indian experts and actors in the movement, all with an excellent understanding of the subject, the issues and the problems.
With Dr Ravi Prakash, the President of FHVI, introducing the topic and the various institutions involved for symposium, FIVA President Patrick Rollet went on explain to the Indian audience the role of FIVA and its usefulness to the historic vehicle movement. This was followed by a short presentation on the history of the Indian automobile industry as well as its heritage, by FIVA’s Vice President for Communication, Gautam Sen.
To get one of the two main topics of the day – women and the Historic Vehicle movement in India – moderated by collector Sulaiman Jamal, rally star Farah Vakil presented her story of rallying with modern cars and then transiting to an enduring fascination for historic vehicles. Vakil’s personal history was followed by Shana Parmeshwar, Akila Shanmugam, Sabena Prakash and Christine Jamal’s personal journeys and experience in the historic vehicle movement in India.
Osianama’s Neville Tuli spoke about the concept of Osianama and its role in India’s Historic Vehicle movement, followed by the session on youth and its potential for the Indian Historic Vehicle movement. Enthusiasts from across the country such as Calcutta-based Shouvik Ghose Chowdhury, Christopher Rodericks and Rupali Prakash presented, and then a panel discussion followed, with Zeyn Jamal, Jayant Gauri, Pranav Yadalam and Srinand Piedpet arguing over the many possibilities and ways to encourage greater participation of the youth.
Right at the end, FIVA Vice President Natasa Jerina Grom spoke on the FIVA’s take on youth and women. Close to a hundred enthusiasts participated, and the symposium was deemed a resounding success, setting the base for future symposiums and actions that could contribute to increasing the involvement of youth and women in the Indian historic vehicle movement.
On Sunday the 17th of March, FHVI organised a delightful early morning drive of historic vehicles to the historic site of Bhoga Nandeeshwara temple, some 60km north of Bangalore. Constructed sometime around 806/810CE, the temple was a fascinating visit, with an enjoyable drive from Bangalore to the site and then the return after a brunch. Patrick Rollet dove a Jaguar XK140, Senior Vice President Mario Theissen a very early Series I Jaguar E-Type, Vice President Tony Davies a Jaguar Mk V drophead coupe, and Vice President Tiddo Brester a VW Beetle, with the rest of the FIVA delegates travelling as passengers in several other historic cars.
Led by Dr Ravi Prakash, and backed ably by the very efficient team of the federation (as well as his immediate family), FHVI put up a brilliant show of how to enjoy, appreciate and ruminate about the historic vehicle movement, a movement that needs the participation and the energy of different cultures, different approaches and different points of view.