Rana Manavendra Singh of Barwani is the torchbearer of classic cars in India, says Adil
and putting together the Cartier ‘Travel with Style’ Concours d’Elegance from its inception in 2008, that alone wasn’t enough for me to put him right up there with many of his global peers. In fact his restoration work (commencing from around 1978) as well as the documentation process he brought to chronicling the provenance of a classic or vintage car alone ranked him high in my esteem.
The fact that he was earlier involved in putting together the class for Cars of the Maharajas at Pebble Beach in 2012 was but one instance of his prowess and this year at Pebble he was largely instrumental in going one step further with the two classes for Motor Cars of the Raj in which no less than eleven great cars made the journey from our shores to California (read about this elsewhere in this very issue). The fact that Sandra Button, Chairman of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance worked with Manvendra to put all this together also found resonance in Manvendra’s expertise being tapped by other events across the globe.
As such when he was asked to get into the passenger seat of Diljeet Titus’ exquisite 1930 Stutz M LeBaron speedster to drive up with the former to receive his third place trophy, there was a surprise awaiting him as he was presented with the prestigious Lorin Tyron Award for meritorious service to the classic car cause. I was watching the live streaming of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance courtesy Motor Trend magazine with my good friend Angus Mackenzie doing the honours and I was bowled over by this fantastic recognition for Manvendra because I felt that not just was he deserving of this accolade but also that he had singlehandedly put India and its classic car movement on the global map in a most distinguished manner.
So while I bask in the aura of the successes of our fellow countrymen in this rarified field, let me also take this opportunity to remind you, in case you needed being told, it is the fifth anniversary issue of this exciting automotive magazine. It marries many of the ideas that we aspired to when I set up Car & Bike International in June 1987 and then Overdrive in 1998. To say that the automotive enthusiast cause has come of age and excellence in India, you just have to take to evo India to know, see, read and be a part of this enthusiasm every month. ⌧