Get All Access for $5/mo

Old Is Gold: Amid New-Age Models, Vintage Cars Too Are Head-Turners At AutoExpo 2023 Vintage cars are valued for their rarity, design and historical importance. AutoExpo 2023 has Mercedes-Benz 200D, BMW M3 E30, Morris Minor Lowlight Tourer, among other cars gracing the motor show

By Shrabona Ghosh

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Entrepreneur India

A Mercedes-Benz 200D screaming through tight spaces, rough terrains, underground tunnels attempts an escapade:Hands fixed on the steering wheel, eyes on the rear view, the chauffeur's bid to kill a secret agent fails. What follows is a velocity getaway between the agent and a nefarious character. Reminiscing a James Bond movie? Well, AutoExpo 2023, can give you spectacular visuals of vintage cars that might have had a tryst with Bond movies– for instance– you might not find the exact deep red Mercedes-Benz 200D facelift model used in For Your Eyes Only, but you would surely get to please your eyes with an electric blue Mercedes-Benz 200D gracing the event.

AutoExpo 2023, is probably heart-pounding for most people who have not yet seen a vintage car, much less driven one. The head turners wear their swag in flamboyant colors: a site capacitated enough to give an electric boost to visitors.

Vintage cars are valued for their rarity, design and historical importance. Known for craftsmanship, attention to detail and use of state-of-the-art materials, these cars still hold a special place amid new age models– concept cars and electric vehicles–making their debut at the motor show.

Mercedes-Benz 200D

The Mercedes-Benz 200D was the diesel powered variant of the W110 Second Series. Introduced in the 1966 model year, the 200D was offered in a four door sedan and was powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine. According to available information, a total of 161,618 examples of the W110 Mercedes-Benz 200D were built before production ended in 1968 and the W110 generation was replaced by the Mercedes-Benz E W114/W115.

Parked next to the Mercedes-Benz was a BMW M3 E30. The BMW M3 of 1986 was the first of its kind, its best features include low weight, high torque and durability. At its nascent stage,nobody foresaw the M3's roaring success on everyday roads as well as on world's greatest race tracks. "The idea behind the first BMW M3 was to make a racing sedan available as a street version. As a touring car racing homologation model, the BMW M3 finally rolled to the starting line in 1986," quoted BMW website.

The group A regulations required at least 5,000 road-legal copies of a racing car to be sold within twelve months in order to become homologated for racing.

BMW M3 E30

"These vintage cars bear testimony of the owner's loyalty. The way these priced assets have been maintained throws light on the fact how the owners took the sole responsibility of maintenance. Instead of banking on servicing centers, an owner has to know the car inside out, in order to maintain it through decades," said Dhiraj Navani, member Heritage Motoring Club of India(HMCI).

HMCI is a registered society in India dedicated to the passion for vintage and classic automobiles. This is a platform committed to savor the glamor and finesse of these timeless treasures.

Italy's iconic Fiat Topolino was the first Fiat car to wear the 500 badge. Topolino, meaning 'Little Mouse' in Italian, was a series of small two door wonder cars. An Oxblood 500 Topolino greeted the visitors at the expo. First introduced in 1936, it was powered by a 569cc inline four engine and was in production until 1955. The iconic car was Fiat's first economical car to be launched before World War II and represented a revolution: The car found consonance with expressions of unprecedented freedom.

Fiat Topolino

Among other vintage cars was a navy blue Armstrong Siddeley Typhoon. The Typhoon was introduced in 1946 with a six-cylinder 2-liter engine, it was the fixed head coupe sister to the Hurricane drop heard coupe. Towards the end of its production run in 1949, some cars were fitted with the 2.3-litre engine. Armstrong Siddeley Motors was formed in 1919, they were the first postwar all new British cars, having independent front suspension, preselector gearbox and advanced body design.

The Classic and Sports Car Centre defines Morris Minor Lowlight Tourer– a neon yellow model displayed at the motor show – as an exceptional, outstanding rebuild and upgrade ideal for regular summer use and long-distance touring.

Morris Minor Lowlight Tourer

Would these cars ever lose their charm amid the test of time? "Even though the market is open to new ideas such as EVs and concept models, these vintage cars would always stand out. They are the building blocks and the epicenter of automotive ideas," added Navani.

Today, these cars are being sold at exorbitant prices and have a lot of takers. If the common people want to experience these treasures it would depend on the automotive giants and their discretion to resurrect old models: Italian automaker Fiat pulled out of the US in 1983 and didn't return until 2011. Later it brought Fiat 500 Abarth: An old car made not just new, but better. It was a homage to the original diminutive runabout produced from 1957 to 1978. Another classic example is the revival of Ford Bronco. The first Bronco rolled off assembly lines in 1965 and for the next 30 years, the Bronco was a reliable steed in Ford's stable. But by 1996, Ford announced Bronco's retirement only to bring it back for 2021. These are just a few examples of old wine in a new glass.

India has automotive enthusiasts ready to pinch their pockets to experience these timeless treasures. According to online platform Droom, a technology and data science company that facilitates automobile buying and selling, as many as 42 vintage cars are now available online for sale in India at starting price of INR 1,00,000.

Shrabona Ghosh


A journalist with a cosmopolitan mindset. I lead a project called 'Corporate Innovations' wherein I cover corporates across verticals and try to tell stories on innovations. Apart from this, I write industry pieces on FMCGs, auto, aviation, 5G and defense. 
News and Trends

Indigrid Technology and Hour4u Raise Early-Stage Funding

Here are the Indian startups that announced early-stage funding rounds.

Health & Wellness

Get a Year of Unlimited Yoga Class Downloads for Only $23 Through June 17

Regular exercise has been proven to increase energy and focus, both of which are valuable to entrepreneurs and well-known benefits of yoga.

Growing a Business

He Immigrated to the U.S. and Got a Job at McDonald's — Then His Aversion to Being 'Too Comfortable' Led to a Fast-Growing Company That's Hard to Miss

Voyo Popovic launched his moving and storage company in 2018 — and he's been innovating in the industry ever since.

News and Trends

Will Nirmala Sitharaman Go Soft on Crypto in Her 2nd Term as FM?

This harsh treatment coupled with India's decision to not yet ban the currency has left many in a fix. So, what does the coming times mean for crypto players in India?

Growth Strategies

Learn business by doing business across the Globe: The next revolution in Entrepreneurship

As the startup ecosystem sees an influx of new entrepreneurs, the question arises: Is our current business education sufficiently equipping students for the entrepreneurial challenges they will face?

Business Culture

Why Remote Work Policies Are Good For the Environment

Remote work policies are crucial for ESG guidelines. Embracing remote work can positively impact your business and employees.