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VolksWeekend 2018: India’s largest VW classic rally

Autocar India logo Autocar India 06-11-2018 Mark Narakaden
a car parked in a parking lot: VolksWeekend 2018: India’s largest VW classic rally © Mark Narakaden VolksWeekend 2018: India’s largest VW classic rally

In a first-of-its-kind event, the inaugural VolksWeekend 2018 - held on November 3 and 4, in Goa – witnessed the biggest gathering of classic Volkswagens in the country. VolksWeekend is intended to be a platform for classic Volkswagen owners in India to come together and share their passion for their prized possessions, and that passion was on display as participants drove in their cars from all parts of the country for the event.

a car parked on the side of a road: VolksWeekend 2018: India’s largest VW classic rally © Mark Narakaden VolksWeekend 2018: India’s largest VW classic rally a red car parked on the side of a road: VolksWeekend 2018: India’s largest VW classic rally © Mark Narakaden VolksWeekend 2018: India’s largest VW classic rally

The first day of VolksWeekend 2018 saw these classic Volkswagens line up at the sprawling Emerald Lawns & Castle in the village of Parra, North Goa. The day’s highlight was classic car connoisseur Viveck Goenka and his wife Zita Goenka unveiling their immaculate 1952 Volkswagen Beetle. Having undergone concours-quality restoration, the Beetle with a split rear windscreen featured a Philips under-dash radio, a dash-mounted coffee-maker and period correct upholstery.

a passenger bus that is driving down the road: VolksWeekend 2018: India’s largest VW classic rally © Mark Narakaden VolksWeekend 2018: India’s largest VW classic rally

Other VWs from Goenka’s collection included a cream-coloured 1945 Kubelwagen, a 1969 Type 181/Kurierwagen also known as the ‘Thing’ in the USA along with two more examples of the Beetle. Goan classic car collector Pradeep Naik also displayed a one-of-its-kind Beetle limousine that features artwork created by famous cartoonist Mario Miranda.

Understandably, the Beetles formed the largest contingent, with many fine examples of various editions and vintages, each of them immaculately maintained. A very rare sight indeed were the two Karmann Ghia models – one, a yellow, 1968 Type 14 coupe owned by Navin Patil while the other an even more unique, red, 1967 Type 34 coupe which belongs to Shrinivas Thakur.

The unmistakable VW Type 2 or Microbus filled with ranks nice with a number of fine examples. Ryan Oberoi’s 1967 Microbus was a favourite, featuring a unique split front windscreen and Porsche-spec Fuchs wheels. Decked with a surfboard and a hula dancer figurine on the dash, it pulled off the seventies Hawaiian beach wagon look effortlessly. Sangram Shirke, who drove in from Mumbai in his green 1978 Microbus, had a complete camper-spec model, replete with a bay window by camping specialists Westfalia.

The cars were then flagged off for a rally that saw these classic cars traverse a picturesque stretch of road amidst rice paddy fields, with the Monte de Guirim hill in the distance forming the perfect back drop. All along the way, locals and tourists alike honked at the convoy to convey their joy at the sight of the classics.

The following day saw these beauties head to Panaji, Goa’s capital city, where they were on display at the Panjim Gymkhana. Here the event was open to the public who came in large numbers to witness these German beauties. Goa has a rich history of Volkswagen cars with many being sold here in its pre-liberation era and this left many among the crowd feeling nostalgic seeing this line-up of classic Volkswagens.

VolksWeekend 2018 culminated with a novel and unique ‘Jumble sale’ in which Folks India groupowners exchanged/sold rare parts and accessories with each other, thus further cementing a sense of fraternity.

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