FHVI to spearhead the vintage and classic car movement in India
The Indian vintage and classic movement will now be spearheaded by the FHVI [Federation of Historic Vehicles of India], who have been appointed by the FIVA (Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens based in Paris) as their Indian representative (ANF). Dr Ravi Prakash is the president of the Federation that was started in 2017 and he tells editor Sirish Chandran that “FHVI is an all-inclusive organisation who want to bring together registered and unregistered organisations”. Ravi Prakash says they will work with the government to bring in legislation and tax benefits for classic cars on par with what happens in Europe, curate national and international standard events and, “to top it all, have good facilities for mechanics and restoration; it is a holistic approach.” He talks of admitting owners of the Ambassador and Premier Padmini (Fiat’s) into the fold and is also open to the FIVA’s suggestion of merging of the VCCFI and FHVI.
Chairman of the VCCFI, the earlier ANF for India, Nitin Dossa has come out strongly against this development calling the FIVA "biased" and accusing FIVA office bearers of "conflict of interest". You can read Nitin Dossa's full reaction here, and also FIVA's responses to the allegations here.
Here’s the full interview with Dr Ravi Prakash.
Background of the FHVI
“The Federation was started in 2017. We have now 15 registered organisers. There is a total of 18 registered clubs in India, 4 registered museums in India out of which 12 registered clubs and 3 museums are with the Federation. So literally have about 80 percent of the historic vehicles as members in India that are part of the Federation. We applied for FIVA membership in 2017 and got our membership approved in Feb 2018. The cooling period is two years and this February we finally got our membership.”
For VCCFI chairman Nitin Dossa's perspective on this development, click here
Plans for the vintage and classic movement in India
“We have already approached the government on issues like legislation, import of historic vehicles, custom duty exemption on historic vehicles and tax benefits. We are going to move various departments of the government to ensure the historic vehicle collectors in India have all the benefits like what is there overseas.
“Number two, we also want to have quality events in India to provoke preservation, protection, and the restoration of historic vehicles in India.
“Number three, we are also looking at working with the GeeDee institute in Coimbatore, to organize a six-month session for young engineers to become experts in restoring and preserving historic vehicles. We are tying up with a lot of historic vehicles restorers in Europe and US, who would be coming as visiting faculty to India. We also have good expertise in Coimbatore in India but the finesse would come from getting people from Europe who are excellent in restoration. We would probably develop about 25 to 30 students every year so that they would be across India to look after, manage, maintain, and restore vehicles.
For FIVA general secretary's perspective on appointing FHVI as its India AFN, click here
On what was lacking
“I think there was no holistic approach. All the clubs in India were regional. Nobody really took it to the national level, nor the events were happening at the national level. FHVI will create and curate national events where not only national members come and take part, but we also have international members.”
Future events planned
“We were planning to have another international motorcycle event in Bombay this June on 1st and 2nd. But unfortunately, with the COVID thing, everything has been postponed. But we are working hard with the ministry of tourism, the government of India and ministry of tourism of individual states and also the ministry of transport. We would like to tie up with all of them and create world-class events not only for Indian historic vehicle owners but also visiting friends from overseas and show them what India is all about."
On working with the government
“FHVI is a nodal body and we need to see now how the government of India takes it and what kind of legislation comes in. It's all in the initial process. The economy has taken so much of a hit, so FHVI would like to play a pivotal role and get a lot of automotive industries on board as sponsors so that we could also initiate events across India. It could be road safety or it could be a social cause for having a rally for the blind or having a rally for the deaf and dumb. But nevertheless, we would also like to have a meaningful event. So I would like to work with various government agencies, NGOs so that we create and curate some fine events across India for the people.”
On the Ambassador and Premier Padmini
“Even Ambassadors and Fiats [Premier Padmini], which are all Indian and is becoming a rarity on the road can become members of the organising clubs. These clubs can become members of FHVI, and FHVI respects all members. We have also asked Royal Enfield clubs to be part of it and the Jawa club to be a part of it. So all the enthusiasts who respect historic vehicles can become part of the movement.
“At the end of the day Ambassadors Fiats are all members of the Indian automobile history. So we can't forget they're all part and parcel of the growth in the automotive industry.”
On the 21 Guns Salute Rally cancelling the 2022 event
“I'm not aware of 21 Gun Salute decision because I have not heard about that. You know I'm not able to comment on it, if there's some decision that has been taken without me knowing.”
On merger of FHVI and VCCFI
“FIVA is looking at one all-inclusive Federation and I also wrote a letter to Mr Doosa [of VCCFI] two days back that we respect him and whatever contribution that he's done in the in the world of historic motoring in India, and we request him to guide us and take us forward. I have already written a letter to him requesting him to be a mentor and be part of the Federation. So it all depends on how they would take it. But at the end of the day the Federation is one which has no ego. We are open to taking everybody together. We are open to taking everybody's guidance, everybody's feedback because we want this Federation to be each and every historic collector’s federation. This is a common man's Federation. This is a Federation of no ego. It is a federation which would be part and parcel of each and every collector in India.”