Britain can learn a great deal from what’s happening in India right now, when it comes to attracting young people into the historic vehicle movement, says FIVA President Patrick Rollet.
In March, FIVA (the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens or international federation of historic vehicles) held its General Council meeting in Bangalore, India’s fast growing tech city.
Explaining why Bangalore was the perfect venue, Rollet comments, “India is a country where the ‘love affair with the automobile’ is a more recent phenomenon than in the West, and it’s truly heartening to see the groundswell of enthusiasm for historic vehicles among younger Indians – at a time when European enthusiasts are worried that classics will increasingly be seen as something for the older generation.
“India has a rich automotive heritage,” concludes Gautam Sen, FIVA’s Vice President, Communications. “In the early 20th Century, carmakers thronged to India but it wasn’t until after independence that India really developed its own manufacturing industry. If America could have its Big Three, India had its Little Three – Hindustan Motors, Premier Automobiles and Standard Motors, the latter narrowed down to making the Standard Herald.
“It was also in the 1960s that the collecting bug started, although it was generally limited to a small number of enthusiasts acquiring extraordinary cars discarded by the erstwhile rajas and maharajas of India. Today, however, much as in Europe, the majority of enthusiasts are keen to collect more attainable vehicles – of the sort that were used everyday, and hence reflect the wider culture of the country.
“Clearly the Indian historic vehicle movement is enjoying great success at involving younger people, and FIVA members across the world might find their stories helpful when it comes to ensuring that our shared passion for classics lives on in future generations.”