E-sellers drive in vintage cars, bikes

CHENNAI: Want to buy a 1920s Austin? Or a 1940s Impala of the sort that you long admired in black & white Bollywood hits?
You now have a chance to get your choice of such vintage cars or bikes from online platforms that are diversifying into this niche — but growing — category. The move is a way of offering more choices to collectors and enthusiasts, and opens up a sector which was hitherto a closed community.

Online pre-owned vehicle platforms are offering vintage cars and motorcycles (dating from the 1920s to 1970s). Although a small market, it is a growing one helped by online platforms stocking and selling parts for these rare vehicles.
OLX said its vintage car listings have doubled in 2019 compared to 2017. Vintage bikes, too, have emerged to be a popular category with over 4,000 of them being listed in 2019. Overall, ad listings of vintage bikes attracted over 1 million views, while such cars witnessed over 800,000 views per month in 2019.
OLX data also showed that the same cities were showing interest in vintage cars and bikes — Chennai, Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Thiruvananthapuram, Coimbatore and Kochi. For old bikes, there is high demand from Hyderabad, while Ooty and Jaipur are markets for vintage cars.
Mahindra First Choice Wheels CEO Ashutosh Pandey said, “People come asking for older Harley, Jawa bikes and vintage Porsche and Mercedes models, even though the actual sales are still small.” Droom CEO Sandeep Aggarwal said, “There are only under 5,000 units of vintage vehicles in India (between 1920 and 1970). The rest are all collectibles.”
According to OLX VP (auto) Sunny Kataria, the interest in vintage models on online platforms is mostly as an investible category. “Traditionally, collecting vintage cars was a niche hobby. But the rise of online marketplaces has breathed a new lease of life for these marvels,” he added. According to automotive writer and vintage car enthusiast Ranojoy Mukerji, online purchase of vintage vehicles will face road blocks like incomplete papers.

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