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I am from Thrissur, a city in Kerala, India. I am also the owner of a vintage Vauxhall Velox, which I inherited from my father in 1968 when I got my driver’s license. My car has many stories to tell about her long her life. She has an 18 horsepower, 58 break horsepower six cylinder engine with a body made of strong steel sheets like what was used to make Wilson Churchill’s tanks during WWII. The knee action front suspension and worn steering pinion makes driving it an adventure, but pleasurable, for me.
One story from 1975 with my Vauxhall Velox stands out among others. We left from my city of Thrissur to Kodiakanal, a city in the mountains famous among tourists. She climbed the hills with ease to our first stop. While there, I talked with some taxi drivers about our plan to continue up to Kodaikanal on a short cut route I’d found on the map, which would be off-road. They looked over the car and believed it had high enough clearance and a powerful enough engine to make the journey. Then we set off!
This route took us about 60 miles through the deep forest full of wildlife. We saw elephants, bison, deer, peacocks, and monkeys as we drove along a mud road full of potholes and overgrown with grass. As the Velox continued to climb and navigate extremely sharp curves, I suddenly saw a Jonga Jeep ahead and applied the brakes quickly. On the narrow path the Jonga slowly made its way passed us as we wished them well on their own journey. That was the only vehicle we saw on this off road route.
My Velox eventually reached the tallest mountain in South India, Anamudi, which stands about 9,000 ft high. We reached our final destination the following day, and then returned the “normal” route home. This was absolutely the most exciting adventure taken in my classic car, if not ever!
Another interesting fact about my Vauxhall Velox is that in 1993 she won the Apollo Tires trophy at the South India Vintage Car Rally. Around 25 cars participated, and mine got a total of 97 points.
–Jacob A., Kerala, India