It was the first-ever catwalk for forty-three supercars in the city on a ramp which extended from Kala Ghoda to Prabhadevi and back on Sunday morning. A treat for Mumbaikars who were left wide-eyed asking for more as they lapped-in the svelte bodies of the Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Maseratis, Porsches, Bentleys, Rolls-Royces, BMWs, Audis, the Lotus Elise and the higher-end range of the Mercedes on parade.
Clad in a blue A1 Team India shirt, India’s first Formula 1 driver Narayan Karthikeyan flagged off the inaugural car after which he zipped around the city in a dark grey, British-built, two-seater sports car called the Ariel Atom 3. The Coimbatore-based racer who isn’t used to traffic congestion on big city roads thinks small cars are ideal for Mumbai roads.
Driving close behind Karthikeyan was Jerxis Vandrevala in his shiny, black and customised Rolls-Royce Phantom. Six bodyguards donned in black stood close to the Royce making sure no one touched her. “I usually drive with escort cars to ensure she doesn’t get damaged,” says the Altamount Road resident. Describing the car’s customized interiors, Vandrevala states, “The car’s crest logo has been replaced by my family’s crest which has the Asho Farohar (a Zoroastrian good-luck symbol) and reads, ‘Good thoughts, good deeds and good words.’”
Organiser and chairman Raymond Ltd Gautam Singhania whose brainchild it was is looking forward to annually organize the event and coordinate with Maharashtra Tourism to promote it. Enthused with turn up of people who came to feast their eyes, Autocar India editor Hormazd Sorabjee felt the celebration was only next to an event like the annual marathon. “These cars are an aspiration for all the kids who have come here.”
Equipped with a camera, Kandivali-resident Arpan Divanjee was going click crazy at the temporary enclosure that was built for the cars at Kala Ghoda. “Watching these cars up-close is a different experience because we only read about them in magazines, seen them on TV. Supercars are superstars for automobile buffs like me.” Making sure they have a take-away from the event, some enthusiasts used their cellphones to record the sounds of the V8 and V10 engines zip past. “It gives us an adrenaline rush,” says Divanjee.
Billionaire Pune-resident Yohan Poonawalla who drove down the expressway in his yellow Lamborghini Gallardo on early Sunday morning just to participate in the parade didn’t want to leave the air-conditioned confines of the car because of the soaring temperatures outside.
The city also witnessed the sixth annual vintage car rally which kicked off from Nariman Point. Organiser and chairman of the Western Automobile Association Nitin Dossa said that there were 169 vintage cars and 60 vintage bikes that rallied till Dadar’s Five Gardens and back to Nariman Point.