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IN CONVERSATION WITH RAGINI SANGHI

— Jasmeen Dugal

Cartier Travel With Style Concours D'elegance draws the most illustrious vintage cars from around the world. Yet, it's the stories behind these automobiles that are most insightful and interesting. In conversation with vintage car collector Ragini Sanghi.

 

Let's rewind. When and how did you get interested in vintage cars? Are there special memories behind your interest?

 

My father has been a collector of vintage cars for almost four decades. My love for vintage cars began when I was nine years old. I clearly remember papa bringing home a blue Mercedes 30 SL Pagoda one day and parking her in our garden. In a way, I believe that that was the drive when my awe and interest for these beautiful cars was piqued.

 

What cars do you possess in your collection?

 

My father bought and restored over a hundred cars! A lot of them are Rolls-Royces, Bentleys, Lagondas and Minervas to name a few among others. All of the models in our stables are dear to me as they are all unique and special in their own right. But if I had to choose, it would definitely be the Rolls-Royce Boat Tail. It holds a special place in my heart as it was one of the earlier cars restored in front of me… so it's special. Another car that is also very special is the three-litre1823 Bentley

 

Vintage cars take years of restoration and maintenance, a lot of time, effort and love. What are the challenges you face while maintaining these cars?

 

Oh, there are several. However, a few of the most pressing ones are availability of genuine parts — right from tyres to engine parts — it's difficult to source locally. It isn't always possible to go overseas to auto jumbles and one has to then depend a lot on various vintage car clubs and their influence to search for the correct parts. The red tape that one faces whilst importing the required components is another challenge. A marked lack of skilled labour with a focus on vintage car restoration…. is a huge challenge. And, my pet peeve is the lack of comprehensive insurance for these vehicles! Relying on third party insurance isn't always wise!.

 

Which vintage cars are on your shopping list today and why?

I would love to get my hands on a Bugatti Touring model and a classic first generation Ford Mustang because I think they're simply a marvellous combination of engineering and grace.

 

Do you receive requests from potential buyers who want to purchase cars from your collection? Would you consider these requests?

 

Oh yes, all the time! However, I've grown up with these cars and I don't think I could ever consider parting with them.

 

How significant it is to showcase your cars at Cartier Drive with Style? Do share some thoughts about the event and your association with it.

 

It's very significant for us to showcase our cars at such events. It feels good to be rewarded for your efforts in restoring these beauties to their former glory, in the form appreciation by judges who are the true connoisseurs in this field. I especially enjoy showcasing  at the Cartier Drive with Style, Concours d 'Elegance event as it is such a carefully planned event. Every attention to detail is immaculate right from the venue to the curation of participants… everything reflects a royal touch and class. A special mention to Mr. Bharwaniand his son, Sid, with who we've enjoyed a family-like relationship spanning decades. Their understanding of this space and the personal interest taken by them in the execution of the event, the care and attention to every detail in he logistics inspires a certain level of trust and confidence among the participants that is crucial to the success of such an endeavour.

 

Looking at the bigger picture in this millennial age — do you feel collecting vintage cars is becoming a lost art?

 

Absolutely not. In fact, I do believe that the younger generation is taking quite an active interest nowadays and displaying a great level of enthusiasm that is essential to undertaking the task of restoring any vintage vehicle. It fills me with hope that the future of these cars is ensured due to this. Having said that, finding a good rare vintage vehicle is an uphill task that anyone undertaking this responsibility faces!

 

— JASMEEN DUGAL AND VERONIQUE POLES
 

Cartier Travel With Style Concours D'elegance
Ragini Sanghi at Cartier Travel With Style Concours D'elegance
 
24-MARCH-2019
 
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