The Chennai Heritage Auto Show 2018 had a little something for car lovers and cinephiles alike
A few minutes into AVM’s first production in Eastman Color, a car veers into a sprawling estate on the hills. It’s Shimla, we are told. Out of the car – a green Studebaker President – steps Saroja Devi as Geetha, in vintage cat-eye glasses and over-sized woolens. Thus begins Anbe Vaa, a 1966 romantic comedy starring MGR and Saroja Devi that delivered quite a few hit songs including Raajavin Paarvai. Of course, the song – with rhyme, rhythm and MS Viswanathan’s music – featured a chariot. One with its own unique specs.
Especially… high horsepower.
The Studebaker President, the vehicle of choice in Anbe Vaa, was recently showcased at the Chennai Heritage Auto Show 2018 – an exhibition of spectacular vintage cars and bikes. It was one among the many with an interesting past.
The event, inaugurated by actor Sathyaraj, and Ravi Prakash, president, Federation of Historic Vehicle of India (FHVI) on Sunday, also showcased cars owned by MG Ramachandran, A V Meiyappan, the founder of AVM Productions, and SS Vasan of Gemini Studios.
Kylas, founding secretary of the Madras Heritage Motoring Club which hosted the event, told Silverscreen that the club has 125 members with close to 300 cars. There’s participation from Bengaluru and Mumbai as well. He also claimed that the cars were used by celebrities in the US.
“Many youngsters visit the show to look at the cars. These cars are painstakingly maintained by many of us. The oldest car in the circuit here is the Austin Chummy 1926 model and a Ford model T. We have our own set of mechanics to maintain and restore the cars,” he said. Kylas further added, “We have the Dodge Kingsway MSX3157 and MSX3495 which were used by MGR. We also have a car used by the late AV Meiyappan and a car that was featured in the film Sivaji.”
Scenes from the rally:
Actor Sathyaraj with Ravi Prakash, president of FHVI, at the event.
This car (MG TB – 1939) had a cameo in Rajinikanth’s Sivaji. It made an appearance in the song ‘Athiradi’ featuring Shriya Saran and Rajini.
MGR’s Dodge Kingsway (1957), maintained by AVM Productions.
A V Meiyappan’s first car – Vauxhall 14 – a 1938 make.
The bike Suzuki RV 90 (1976) used by Rajinikanth in the 1983 film, Paayum Puli. The bike belonged to AVM Studios.
Here’s the Vauxhall Velox 1951 owned by the founder of Gemini Studios – SS Vasan.
Kylas, founding secretary of the Madras Heritage Motoring Club.
This is how cars are examined, by their date of manufacture, performance and maintenance.
Madhav, an assistant lead engineer, had come to the rally in search of artistic pursuits. “Whenever time permits, a bunch of us meet and explore Chennai and sketch whatever inspires us. This is the first time I have come to cover the car event,” he said.
Other visitors at the rally.
More pictures: Vintage Car Rally In Chennai