Drive Destinations

101-200 km

The Call of the Puppets: Barbaria and Muragachha

It was not a romantic hill station or an exotic resort but Bengal’s rich puppetry history that enticed us to drive 110 km from Kolkata to two nondescript villages called Barbaria and Muragachha nestled deep inside Nadi

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Party Time – Lost Rhyme

Pradeep Gooptu Where would you go if you wanted a late night partying across town in your car? Well, here are some of the most popular destinations of yesteryears which are the stuff of legend. We have all grown up wi

Do You Know

A Road that Changed a City

Pradeep Gooptu The project Before 1914, the vast area enclosed within the tram lines between Chitpore Road and Dharmatala Street in Esplanade and Galiff Street in the north was a scary zone of long narrow lanes and w

Do You Know

Motoring and the Garages

Pradeep Gooptu The sales success of any car depends mostly on the garage network. As the first cars arrived in Calcutta in the last years of the 19th century, the rich and brave owners found they had to employ trained

Do You Know

The Avenue of Palaces

Pradeep Gooptu Stores crowded out by plastic sheets and bamboo stalls. The cries of hawkers competing with the incessant honking of taxis blocking the road. Pedestrians rushing through traffic at grave risk to both th

Car & Drive Tech

Drinking Driving Norms

Drunken driving is the primary reason for fatal road accidents in India. Let’s see what the law has to say. Drinking Age In India, the legal drinking age varies from state to state and ranges from 18 to 25. In West

101-200 km

Gorbhanga The Soulful Hymns of Baul-Fakiri Land

Distance from Kolkata: 172 km Driving Time: 5 hours Road Trip: 2 days Once a marginalised nondescript village, Gorbhanga in Nadia, has eclipsed its past and blossomed into a hub of artistes whose melodies are redole

Do You Know

Vanishing Road

Pradeep Gooptu Advance planning establishes a city’s reputation for ease of living and a great lifestyle. A city's planners have to look ahead to ensure that infrastructure stays one step ahead of citizens’ nee

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Vanishing Parking

Pradeep Gooptu Our parking spaces are gone! This problem is making self-drive motoring in the city a nightmare. A look at New Market will prove the case in point. A Saturday visit to New Market in the family car wa

Connoisseur's Corner

A Bentley is a Bentley!

Entrepreneur and vintage car connoisseur Gulam Momen shares the tale of his 1938 Bentley 3½ Litre Tourer. How did you develop a passion for vintage and classic cars? (Smiles) The love for cars runs in the family. My

Connoisseur's Corner

Till Death Do Us Apart

Entrepreneur and vintage car connoisseur Prahlad Agarwalla shares the tale of his 1928 Lancia Dilambda How did you acquire this 1928 Lancia Dilambda? This car was purchased by my grandfather and came into our family

Connoisseur's Corner

A Small Wonder

Entrepreneur and connoisseur, Rishi Kumar has always been fascinated by small cars. He owns an impressive collection of 45 small pedal cars and around 200 dinky cars which he had collected since childhood. But his prized

Connoisseur's Corner

Tagore’s Humber: Ravaged By Time

A black 1933 Humber stands forgotten in a glass case at the Uttarayan Complex in Santiniketan, its days of wandering firmly over. It is one of the two Humber sedans that was bought by Rathindranath, the bard's elder son

Connoisseur's Corner

The Car Uttam Kumar Drove…

In a candid chat with Team WHEELS, classic car connoisseur Udayaditya Dutta speaks about his prized possession –the 1959 Rambler Super Six History The Rambler was arguably the most important car built by Americ

101-200 km

7 Stopovers Beyond Kolaghat

With the rapidly improving surface condition of highways, long drives have become a weekend feature among motorists across the city. Kolaghat, lined with renowned dhabas and eateries, is probably the most favoured highwa

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Farewell to Chevrolet & GM

Pradeep Gooptu Indian roads were once ruled by family cars built by General Motors (GM) and Ford. These cars offered comfort, reliability, space and performance at amazing value. So successful were the vehicles that t

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Stars on Wheels

Pradeep Gooptu There are film personalities and there are stars. People adore them, stare at them even when they are passing by and tried to emulate them. Kolkata had more than its fair share of glamorous stars and th

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Tale of American Cars

Pradeep Gooptu American cars, manufactured primarily by three global giants Ford, General Motors and Chrysler as well as those of some smaller makes, helped to establish motoring because of their reliability, styling,

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Freedom blues

Pradeep Gooptu The entire nature of motoring changed in the city between 1941 and 1942 because the armed forces (first the British and then the American) requisitioned all modern cars on the road to supply the army fr

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Rolls-Royce & Calcutta

Pradeep Gooptu A silently purring engine, unbelievable build quality promising decades of trouble free motoring and magnificent bodywork - by all standards this was the unbeatable combination that Rolls-Royce cars pro

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Maharani at the Wheel

Pradeep Gooptu Motoring in the first half of the 1900s was popularised in equal measure by the British and the rich-and-famous of Indian society, particularly the princes of the native states. The ruling family of Coo

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Travelling in luxury

Pradeep Gooptu The 20th century witnessed the amalgamation of engineering and art in all forms of transportation. Trains had leather seats and dining cars and the best ones had opulent interiors that we see today only

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Uniqueness & Luxury

Pradeep Gooptu Robert 'Scotty' Mathewson, a wealthy British engineer of Calcutta loved swans and resided in a house called Swan Park. When he wanted a unique car he bought a large chassis from Brooke of England in 190

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Car Tales From Darjeeling Hills

Pradeep Gooptu Around 200 years ago, the English East India Company concluded its war with Nepal (1814-16) and acquired Darjeeling. Initial visitors like General Lloyd and J W Grant (Commissioner of Malda) recommended

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From Studebaker to Amby

Pradeep Gooptu The manufacturing industry was the pride of Bengal and its foundation had been laid long before the country gained Independence. In 1948, a major development  had put West Bengal in the headlines- the

Do You Know

Custom-built Cars

Pradeep Gooptu Once upon a time elegant bodywork made cars a thing of beauty. You can catch a glimpse of this vanished art form at some of the greatest art museums which have a section dedicated to beautiful cars as c

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Legacy Grand Trunk Road

Pradeep Gooptu Rudyard Kipling described the Grand Trunk Road as "such a river of life as nowhere else exists in the world”. In his finest work, Kim, Kipling wrote" Brahmins and bankers and tinkers, barbers and bunn

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Car & Bridge

Pradeep Gooptu From the very beginning, car owners were up against many challenges, including crossing rivers or waterbodies. While carts and horses could cross or be ferried, it was not an easy thing for motor vehicl

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Local Ads for Global Brands

Pradeep Gooptu Can you imagine a newspaper in New York carrying an advertisement dominated by an Indian image? Or one that refers to Calcutta as a global destination? Here are some of the advertisements that go a long

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Cute cars Mighty Deeds

Pradeep Gooptu The rich and powerful rode huge motor cars and roared around in style. But for every supercar on the road, hundreds of small cars were sold to affluent Bengali families and professionals, managers worki

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Calcutta’s Once Thriving Car Market

Pradeep Gooptu A city is known by the cars on its roads – if we care to tweak the popular saying to some extent. And it is true for Calcutta. Since the early days when motor cars were introduced in India, the city o

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Tales from tea gardens

Pradeep Gooptu Tea and coffee estates conjure up images of beautifully tended, lush green landscapes with picture-perfect cottages tucked away in an undulating terrain. Despite all the scenic beauty it was quite tough

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The R-R Love affair

Pradeep Gooptu When Charles Stewart Rolls, met Frederick Henry Royce at new Midland Hotel in Manchester in May 1904, they formed a company called Rolls-Royce Ltd. and created one of the great marques of global motorin

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Cars & Their owners

Pradeep Gooptu Which car do you think  a doctor or a lawyer would prefer, and for that matter which set of wheels would suit a businessman? In the past each car brand had  a distinctive image. This was at a time whe

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Luxury Cabs of Calcutta

Pradeep Gooptu Ritwick Ghatak’s Ajantrik revolved around the lonely life of a man who loved his set of wheels more than anything else in the world and was determined to keep it against all odds. Satyajit Ray’s Abh

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Car-Battalion of Calcutta Police

Pradeep Gooptu The last article ‘Chariots of War’ had mentioned about the Calcutta Presidency Battalion Auxiliary Force and since then many of our readers have come forward with details of the valuable work done b

Do You Know

Kolkata’s Chariots of War

Pradeep Gooptu It was around 1910, that cars came to be used by security forces around the world. The USA took the lead, followed closely by France, with Great Britain lagging far behind. We are talking about the use

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Great Indian wedding car

Pradeep Gooptu In India, wedding is not only a grand celebration lasting over several days, for ages it has been also associated with romantic images of a groom on horseback (preferably a white one), whisking the brid

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A Bugatti in Calcutta

Pradeep Gooptu A Bugatti in Calcutta! When a friend from the USA conveyed this information, it was like a bolt from the blue. Here’s why. What is a Bugatti? Ettore Bugatti was a fine engineer and designer wh

101-200 km

Nanoor – The Land of Kantha Stitch

Distance from Kolkata: 158 km Driving Time: 4 hours Road Trip: 1 day Weaving the tales most commonly heard in regular Bengali households, Nanoor, a Community Development Block in Bolpur subdivision of Birbhum, portr

Do You Know

Forgotten Legends

Pradeep Gooptu A man is known by the car he uses, goes a famous slogan. The legends of the cars used in the past which are forgotten today will take us on a trip down memory lane. The high and mighty in Indian soci

101-200 km

Historic Ruins at Ballal Dhipi

Distance from Kolkata: 124 km Driving Time: 3 hours Road Trip: 1 day Scattered with hidden anecdotes of a majestic past, Ballal Dhipi is an explorer’s treasure. An Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) excavation s

Do You Know

The Tagores

Pradeep Gooptu The Tagore family, leaders of Bengal’s intelligentsia and high society, was one of the pioneers of new age technology, which included motoring in the early 20th century. Their role in popularising the

101-200 km

Digha Makeover

Distance from Kolkata: 178 km Driving Time: 4 hours Road Trip: 2-3 days Digha – the name that brings to mind, images of clogged roads, littered beaches, blaring honks, glaring lights, makeshift shacks selling gaud

Above 300 km

Tea Tourism In Bengal – The Glenburn experience

Distance from Kolkata: 660 km Driving Time: 15.5 hours  Road Trip: 6.7 days Tea tourism is India's answer to what is known as wine tourism in Europe. The lush green, rolling tea plantations, the tranquil ambience a

Connoisseur's Corner

A Royal Car: Studebaker President 8 State Limousine (Fa)

The 1928 belonging to the royal Family of cossimbazar, is not just a vintage car but only one of its kind in world. A fine example of the American expertise in automobile Engineering, the car also  boasts of an American

201-300 km

Motijheel: Drive to Paradise

Distance from Kolkata: 203 km Driving time: 5 hours Road Trip: 2 days In a wonderful initiative the State Government has come up with a brand new property in an exotically beautiful location in Murshidabad, giving t

Above 300 km

Buxa: Tiger Reserve

Distance from Kolkata: 835 km Driving time: 20 hours Road Trip: 5-6 days On the last day of our drive tour to north Bengal, it was turn to visit Buxa Tiger Reserve. In north Bengal, beside Gorumara and Jaldapara, Bu

Above 300 km

Jayanti: Queen of Dooars

Distance from Kolkata: 835 km Driving time: 20 hours Road Trip: 5-6 days Dooars lifted its misty veil to reveal its mind blowing virgin beauty to Team WHEELS during its third round of drive tour to North Bengal. Aft

Above 300 km

Rasik Bil

Distance from Kolkata: 821 km Driving time: 20 hours Road Trip: 5-6 days After exploring Cooch Behar town for two days - ‘Team WHEELS’ drove to Rasik Bil in North Bengal. Rasik Bil is 42 km from Cooch Behar town

Above 300 km

Cooch Behar

Distance from Kolkata: 779 km Driving time: 18 hours Road Trip: 5-6 days In a recent route survey, Team WHEELS drove to six tourist destinations from Kolkata including Cooch Behar in North Bengal. In this issue, Tea

201-300 km

Maithon: The Cascading Waters

Distance from Kolkata: 210 km Driving time: 4 hours approx Road Trip – 2-3 days Located some 210 km away from Kolkata, Maithon is one of the most picturesque driving destinations in West Bengal. Its beauty is both

1-100 km

Amadpur: A Sanctum of Bengal’s Rich Heritage

Distance from Kolkata: 96 km Driving Time: 2 hrs Road Trip: 1-2 days The word ‘heritage’ has a deep connotation intercalating history, culture and everything in between. There’s a sense of grandiloquence; a rh

Car & Drive Tech

Fuel saving tips

Driving without keeping tabs on your fuel consumption is like letting your hard earned money get siphoned off without a murmur. In our last issue we discussed about keeping the tyres properly inflated, avoiding rapid ac

Car & Drive Tech

How to free your car stuck in sand

Driving in sand is quite risky. Your car tyres might get stuck in sand at any moment. If you encounter any sandy terrain, slow down or stop to assess whether moving ahead would put you in deeper trouble. If there are no

Car & Drive Tech

How to drive through a Water logged stretch

Before entering the water logged stretch Never try to drive through a flooded area unless you can gauge the depth of the water and you are confident about your car passing through it. If you are not sure, do not get

Car & Drive Tech

Car Etiquette

There are several rules of etiquette which every car user should be aware of, however, whether they would follow them or not, is absolutely a matter of personal choice. Read on to know more about car etiquette 1 Coupl

Car & Drive Tech

Fuel saving tips

Fuel prices are soaring everyday. Imagine, a litre of petrol can buy two litres of milk. Driving, without keeping a check on your fuel consumption is like allowing  your hard earned money to slip out of your pocket unkn

101-200 km

Serenity beckons at Joypur Forest

Distance from Kolkata: 136 km Driving Time: 5 hours  Road Trip: 2 day Team WHEELS forays into another serene getaway in West Bengal – the Joypur Forest in Bankura. Route description: From Vidya Sagar Setu get

1-100 km

Itachuna Rajbari: A taste of royalty

Distance from Kolkata: 84.4 km approx Driving Time: 2 hours  Road Trip: 1 day Khoka ghumolo para jurolo Bargi elo deshe Bulbulite dhan kheyeche Khajna debo kishe? Route: Set your trip meter to ‘0’ at

101-200 km

Bethuadahari & Palashi

Distance from Kolkata: 135 km Driving Time: 3.5 hours Road Trip: 1 day This time Team WHEELS combined a historical tour with a natural trail for an exciting day-long drive to Nadia. The team first visited Bethudahar

Car & Drive Tech

Driving basics for Highway

Driving on highway is enjoyable but can be dangerous if you do not know the rules or fail to take precautions. Since the impact and consequent damage to man and machine can be very high, it calls for observance of some b

1-100 km

Joynagar: The Land of Moa

Distance from Kolkata: 47 km approx Driving Time: 2 hours  Road Trip: 1 day Every winter brings with itself a heightened sense of sugar rush for the people of Bengal. The air is filled with the sweet fragrance of

Car & Drive Tech

USED CAR: Accelerate your dreams

The Indian consumer, of late, has woken up to the positive value equation of pre-owned cars, commonly termed as ‘Used Car’. Pre-owned cars offer higher flexibility and reach out to prospective car owners, both first-

101-200 km

Shantiniketan: The abode of peace

Distance from Kolkata: 189 km Driving Time: 4 hours approximatly Road Trip: 2-3 days If you have not gone for a drive to Santiniketan, which is just 189 km away from Kolkata, you are really missing the fun of drivin

101-200 km

Mayapur to the land of “Hare Krishna”

Distance: Kolkata to Mayapur 127 kilometres Driving time: 4 hours (approx). Pilgrim towns, often turn out to be unpleasant experiences due to unplanned growth but Mayapur, the birth place of Sri Chaitnya Mahaprabhu i

Do You Know

Cars & Hunting

Pradeep Gooptu One of the most memorable movies of all time was ‘Hatari’, a film on how animals were caught or handled in Africa in the past with vehicles like jeeps and mini trucks. Sadly, no such movie was made

Do You Know

Car Humour in Print

Pradeep Gooptu Ever since the first association of automobiles in the country was set up in Calcutta in 1904 to popularize motor cars and motor sports, motorists found themselves at the receiving end of wit and humour

Do You Know

Kolkata’s Tyrst with Motor Racing

Pradeep Gooptu The first automobile association in India which started in Calcutta in 1904, had multiple objectives including popularising the use of motor cars, exploration and motorsports. Racing before the Second W

Do You Know

Growing Popularity of Cars

Pradeep Gooptu By the turn of 20th Century a few cars had been imported to India but it was the tour of Prince (later King George V) and Princess of Wales in 1905-06 that popularised cars among the rich, leading to a

201-300 km Drive Destinations from Kolkata

Panchmura terracotta tales

Distance from Kolkata: 205 km Driving Time: 5 Hours Road Trip: 2 days The elegant terracotta horse has been an icon of Bengal’s traditional handicraft industry. But very few people are aware that this terracotta h

Do You Know

City’s First Bus Service

Pradeep Gooptu The winter of 1905-06 saw a revolution on Indian roads; Calcutta witnessed the introduction of the first bus service in the world outside Western Europe and USA, a development that led to public accepta

101-200 km Drive Destinations from Kolkata

Naya Pingla Village of Scroll Painters

Distance from Kolkata: 112 km Driving Time: 3 hours Road Trip: 1 day Have you heard of a village that has survived solely on the folk art of scroll painting instead of farming - the traditional way of life in our vi

Do You Know

THE FIRST CAR

Pradeep Gooptu When did the first car arrive in India or for that matter come to Calcutta? There are varying accounts but if newspaper reports and similar sources are to be believed, the first car on Indian roads was

101-200 km Drive Destinations from Kolkata

Pathra Temple village unveiled

Distance from Kolkata: 128 km Driving Time: 4 hours Road Trip: 1 day Traversing through narrow, dusty trails along the mighty Kangsabati River and crossing dilapidated bridges, we were at the very edge of losing pat

Do You Know

Motoring in the 1900s: A car-lover’s tale

Pradeep Gooptu This is about a man who resigned from a secure and plush job and invested all his life savings (no less than Rs 5,500 in 1906!) to set up a garage for cars - his first love and became the friend, philo

101-200 km Drive Destinations from Kolkata

Narajole History in oblivion

Distance from Kolkata: 111 km Driving Time: 3 hours Road Trip: 1 day This is a tale of a royal dynasty in Paschim Medinipur, tucked away in oblivion ever since the abolition of the zaminadari system. Despite being s

Do You Know

India’s First Motor Garage

Pradeep Gooptu The saga of motor cars in India started more than a century ago. As a tribute to this age-old legacy, we present a series on the cradle days of motoring. We begin with the very first car service station

101-200 km Drive Destinations from Kolkata

KURUMBERA FORT: Tucked away in oblivion

Distance from Kolkata: 163km Driving Time: 4 hours Road Trip: 1 day Just as the car took the final turn on the dusty trail, a brown stone wall suddenly emerged on the horizon, indicating our journey has come to an e

Car Trivia Connoisseur's Corner

Bentley Continental GT Convertible Classy British Craftmanship

Name: Bentley Continental GT V8 Variant: Convertible Engine Type: Petrol No. of Cylinders: 8 Max Power: 500 BHP Max Torque: 660NM Nearest Dealer: Exclusive Motors Bentley in Delhi Tell us about your car The

Car Trivia Connoisseur's Corner

Lamborghini Gallardo India Serie Speciale LP550-2 A Limited Edition Raging Bull

Name: Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 Variant: India Serie Speciale Price: `3.50 crore Engine Type: Petrol No. of Cylinders: 10 Max. Power: 550 BHP Max. Torque: 540 NM   Elite Car Club of Kolkata (ECCK)

Do You Know

Driving across continents

Pradeep Gooptu In the early 19th century, bitten by the adventure bug, quite a few British men and women tried achieving the impossible - climbing Mount Everest and perishing in the attempt or driving across continent

Above 300 km

Jaldapara National Park

Distance from Kolkata: 715 km Driving Time: 16 hours Road Trip: 5 day Team WHEELS has just returned after traversing 2000 km by road in a Renault Duster after exploring Jaldapara National Park, Cooch Behar, Rasik Bi

Do You Know

The first Car Club

Pradeep Gooptu In November 1904, the Maidan was witness to a unique sight - an assembly of ten cars and four motorcycles leading to the formation of the first association of car owners in India, if not in Asia.

101-200 km Drive Destinations from Kolkata

Gangani Grand Canyon of Bengal

Distance from Kolkata: 182 km Driving time: 4 hours approximately Route: Gangani is located in West Midnapore near Garbeta. Though it is yet to acquire popularity as a tourist hangout, it is easily accessible.

Car Trivia Connoisseur's Corner

Giving Shape to Dreams

City based vintage and classic car restorer Sanjay Ghosh shares the experience of his most challenging restoration job – Hemant Kumar Ruia's 1919 Minerva Type NN History In 1883, a young Dutchman, Sylvain de Jo

1-100 km Drive Destinations from Kolkata

Kalna: Around the Terracotta Town

Distance from Kolkata: 93.7km Driving Time: 2 hours 30 minutes Road Trip: 1 day Kalna or Ambika Kalna – as it is more popularly called - is a historic town in the Bardhaman district of West Bengal. Although its ri

Car Trivia Connoisseur's Corner

“My mother christened her Q’marri”

Cars have always held him under their spell. Growing up while witnessing his father, the late Suresh Kumar, build customised cars and Kinny Lall racing them at the Barrackpore and Alipore Mint Tracks, he was struck by sp

1-100 km

Mahishadal Rajbari: A touch of Royalty

The princely states and the zamindari system may have been abolished long back and the past glory too has faded by this time. Yet, gorgeous palaces still stand tall, silent witnesses to past tales of grandeur. Team WHEEL

Car Trivia Connoisseur's Corner

The Grand Old Four-Wheeler

Vintage and classic car connoisseur Shrivardhan Kanoria shares the tale of his most prized possession – 1906 Renault Freres in a free wheeling chat How did you develop an interest in vintage and classic cars?

Car Trivia Connoisseur's Corner

This car has never bluffed me on the road

Mr. G. C. Dey has more sides to him than what meets the eye. A retired police officer, devoted follower of Lord Jagannath and a lover of exotic birds and dogs. In a candid conversation with Joydip Sur, he shares the stor

Car Trivia Connoisseur's Corner

“I hold this car close to my heart and never want to part with it”

An avid rallyist during his younger days, Subrata Sen learnt to drive at the tender at of 11. The 1934 Mercedes Benz 130 H is one of his most prized possessions. How did you develop an interest in vintage cars? M

Car Trivia Connoisseur's Corner

‘As a young boy, the Stoewer was my favourite hiding place’

Ever since his childhood, vintage-car collector and restorer, Pratap Chowdhury had dreamt of restoring his grandfather's custom-built Stoewer. The dream came true in 1998. Read on to know how... Did the Stoewer or

Car Trivia Connoisseur's Corner

‘Lady Bird is my most prized possession’

That is how city-based vintage car collector and restorer, Sanjay Ghosh, describes his 1932 Ford V-8 De-Luxe Phaeton that till date has won 58 trophies at the Calcutta Rally Was Lady Bird, as you lovingly call her

Car Trivia Connoisseur's Corner

“The Auburn was ours just for a pot of Raabri”

The gates of this mansion open to a majestic marquee. Antique is too less a word to describe Bose Nilay, its artefacts and its priceless anthology of legendary cars. The nine vintage and classic cars are the Bose family'

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