Mercedes-Benz Classic Car Rally Celebrates 10-Year Journey

   Dec 04,2023

For a decade, Mumbai's streets have been adorned one Sunday morning each year with the finest classic and vintage Mercedes-Benz cars in India. The tenth installment of the Mercedes-Benz Classic Car Rally, presented by Autocar India in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz, showcased immaculate cars spanning various eras. With purring engines and flashes of chrome, these timeless vehicles gracefully traversed the city's streets, creating a spectacle of automotive elegance.


This morning, a collection of rare and iconic Mercedes-Benz vehicles commenced their journey from the lush lawns of Taj Lands End in Bandra, cruising to Worli Sea Face and back as a captivating part of the rally. The spectacle attracted a fervent gathering of classic car enthusiasts, who eagerly lined the route.

The event featured the participation of 81 cars in 77 distinct variants, proudly showcasing every generation of the iconic SL. Notably, nearly half of the participating cars marked their debut in this edition, adding a fresh and exciting element to the rally.

Mumbai BJP president and MLA, Ashish Shelar, along with Santosh Iyer, MD and CEO of Mercedes-Benz India, officially flagged off the rally. The event featured an impressive lineup of 81 Mercedes-Benz cars, showcasing 77 distinct model variants, with nearly half of the participating vehicles making their debut in this edition. Since its inception in 2014, the Mercedes-Benz Classic Car Rally (MBCCR) has evolved into a global automotive spectacle, not only establishing itself as a premier event in India but also igniting a passion for vintage and classic Mercedes-Benz cars on an international scale.

The impressive lineup featured a diverse array of cars, ranging from Pratapsinh Gaekwad's 230 SL Pagoda to the iconic R129 SL. Notable entries included Yohan Poonawalla's 190SL, originally owned by Maharani Gayatri Devi, and the rare 300Sc Roadster, one of only 50 ever produced, from the renowned Bhogilal collection.

Among the standout vehicles were Hani Mustafa's debutante, the powerful and authentic G Wagen, along with the F124 Krankenwagen, a W124 Ambulance that once belonged to the President of India and former PM Narasimha Rao. The show also featured a Benz Patent-Motorwagen replica. Classic generations of the C-Class, E-Class, S-Class, and SL-Class were on display, alongside some rare estates like the Ponton W120, W115, W123, and W124.

Esteemed vintage and classic car collectors from various corners of the country took part in the rally. Among the notable participants were publisher Viveck Goenka, industrialist Yohan Poonawalla, Himanshu Sinh of Gondal, Pratapsinh Gaekwad, and Rajiv Kehr.

Let's take a closer look at some of the standout Mercedes-Benzes that unquestionably stole the spotlight at the show.

600 Grosser: Making its debut at MBCCR and commemorating its 60th anniversary this year, the Grosser was the preferred choice for world leaders and celebrities. Renowned as the epitome of luxury with a no-expense-spared approach, the Grosser solidified Mercedes' position as the leading car manufacturer in the 1960s.

300Sc: Back after a recent restoration, the 300Sc, one of only 50 ever produced, had previously graced the first MBCCR in 2014.

500K: Owned by the esteemed publisher Hormusji Cama, the iconic 500K boasts a supercharged inline 8-cylinder engine and set the gold standard for grand tourers in the 1930s. Having been a star in previous MBCCR editions, it returned for the 10th Anniversary after a hiatus of a few years.

300SL: This singular 300SL, the only one in the country and among a scarce few worldwide, remains in the possession of its original owner since its inception. Renowned for its remarkable track record of victories in every race it entered, this awe-inspiring automobile was once actively raced by the Maharaja of Gondal and is currently owned by his son, Himanshu.

Nurburg: The W08, featuring Mercedes's inaugural straight 8-cylinder engine in a passenger car, was designed by Ferdinand Porsche. Owned by Yashwardhan Ruia from Mumbai, this 1929 example with a tourer body stands as one of the rarest and finest Nurburg models globally.

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