“My father and I share a love for vintage cars,” says Aditya Malik, whose dad, Ranjit, loves them so much he’s been collecting and restoring them for the last thirty-five years. Mr Malik’s automated family now includes Rolls Royces, Bentleys and Jaguars, some of which are between 80 and a 100 years old.
His much (much) younger son, Aditya, grew up with these parked around his house, and decided it was time for him, and them, to go to work. Honk if you like this idea: ShaadiGaadi, his new enterprise, will rent you one of Mr Malik’s cars so you can go to your own wedding in style.
Aditya started ShaadiGaadi with four friends (Suyash, Shubhankar, Siddharth and Yash - a baaraat-friendly crew if we’ve ever heard of one). In a time where every Delhi wedding tries to outdo the other, they think a stylish metallic blue Cadillac Convertible or a 1949 silver and black Bentley will add an edge to a celebration without entering the bling race-to-the-bottom bling. (The collection will change frequently, depending on what has been recently restored in their workshop.)
Suyash says that watching the cars being restored at the Malik house was really what got him interested in the business. “These cars are part of automobile history and it’s really satisfying to know that we’ll play a part in people getting to experience that.”
The “star of the show” is a rare open-top 1925 Rolls Royce Phantom with a wooden body that complements the look of a traditional Indian wedding.
The ShaadiGaadi crew rolled out a few cars over last year’s shaadi season, largely by word of mouth. They figured out their modus operandi pretty quickly. Because of the fragile nature of vintage cars, the chosen vehicle is transported on a flatbed from the workshops in Gurgaon and Chhatarpur. Once the groom steps in, the car is driven in the baaraat to the wedding by a driver who knows the ins and outs of that particular baby. The “star of the show,” as Aditya describes it, is a rare open-top 1925 Rolls Royce Phantom with a wooden body that complements the look of a traditional Indian wedding.
“We don’t send them on bad roads or for long distances,” Aditya says. Last year, most of their requests were from wedding parties held in hotels and large wedding halls. “Most high-end hotels don’t allow traditional baaraats with horses. This is a perfect substitute.”
The boys are currently working on building a website and expanding their collection, but you can get in touch to describe your wedding dreams to them, Just don’t ask them to stick marigolds and ‘Just Married’ thermocol hearts on their babies, and you might just rate vroom - er, groom - of the year.
This story was contributed by Urvashi Bahuguna, a journalist in New Delhi.
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