Road trips have found a special place in the hearts of Indians, offering both adventure and a chance to explore. But a recent journey has taken this sentiment to an entirely new level. Picture this: a family spanning three generations, embarking on an extraordinary road trip covering a staggering 12,000 kilometers, spanning 16 countries. What’s even more astonishing? They’re undertaking this journey in a 73-year-old vintage car, infusing history with the present.
Setting out from Ahmedabad, this intrepid family is rewriting the rules of road travel. Their chosen chariot? A 1950 MG vintage car that has stood the test of time. This unique expedition, which has already garnered significant attention, is an endeavor that marries adventure with nostalgia.
Meet the Thakores, an Ahmedabad-based family, the trailblazers of this exceptional journey to London. Their journey, quite literally, is a drive down memory lane. Their beloved vehicle, affectionately nicknamed “Lal Pari” or the “Red Angel,” is a testament to their bold spirit and love for classic automobiles.
The Thakore family’s epic journey is slated to span approximately 60 days, encompassing diverse terrains and cultures. They will traverse the landscapes of 16 countries, starting from their hometown and culminating in London, United Kingdom. Their route winds through the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, and other captivating destinations.
One might wonder about the logistics of such a venture. Well, the Thakore family has meticulously planned every aspect. They have lovingly christened their support team “Lal Pari ki Saheli” or “Lal Pari’s Companion.” This caravan, which accompanies them on this incredible journey, houses a photographer, a filmmaker, a vintage car expert, and an expedition planner. This ensemble ensures their voyage is not just an adventure, but also an opportunity to capture the moments that define this remarkable undertaking.
Covering approximately 200 to 250 kilometers daily, the Thakore family aims to maintain an average speed of 35 km/hour aboard their vintage gem. This means six to eight hours of travel daily, each filled with the excitement of discovery. And they’re not alone – “Lal Pari ki Saheli” is right there, weaving through each day’s expedition, supporting, documenting, and celebrating their journey.
One might wonder, how does a vintage car navigate international borders? Just as travelers require visas, these cars need a “Carnet De Passages,” a UN-approved customs document that grants passage across borders for a designated time. The process is similar to passport control for humans, with stamps marking the entry and exit points.
Their route from Dubai to London is a tapestry of diverse landscapes and cultures. From Dubai, they’ll ferry their beloved “Lal Pari” to Bandar Abbas in Iran, a gateway to their cross-continental journey. Their route encompasses several cities in Iran, traversing through Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey before venturing into Europe. Greece, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Monte Nigro, Croatia, Italy, Germany, France, Belgium – each country becomes a chapter in their extraordinary story.
The journey is more than just a feat of endurance; it’s a labor of love. The Thakores acquired “Lal Pari” in 1979, marking the beginning of a lifelong relationship. Daman Thakore, part of the driving trio, has vivid memories intertwined with this vintage beauty. He lovingly restored the car, sourcing rare parts from across the globe, preparing it for this momentous journey. Rigorous tests ensured its readiness for challenging terrains, be it mountains, waterlogged paths, or extreme weather.
As they traverse borders, cultures, and landscapes, the Thakore family has initiated a series of YouTube episodes, a window into their journey for those who share their passion. Beyond the thrill of adventure, their journey carries a message – Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, “The World Is One Family.” With each kilometer, they’re sharing smiles, forging connections, and proving that the spirit of exploration knows no bounds.