Come to Mumbai's Mahalaxmi race course on a weekend morning and you'll likely see jockeys preparing their horses for a race or club members enjoying a run around the track. There's a sense of tranquillity about the setting. A sense that was broken on a Sunday in late January as hordes of Mumbaikars descended onto this quiet patch of green.
They all came for the Parx Super Car Show. Now into its fourth edition, the show was bigger and better than before. The big change was the venue. In earlier years, Kala Ghoda provided an unrestricted view of the cars, but was simply too small for the added numbers participating this year. More than 80 cars took part in the drive through town; a hugely successful turnout for the Super Car Club (SCC).
The course began at the race track and wound down Marine Drive to Nariman Point. Then the cars turned around to head up past Teen Batti, Warden Road, Breach Candy and Haji Ali. From there, they zoomed across Worli Sea Face before making their way to the Bandra-Worli sea link.
Here, hundreds of spectators grabbed an otherwise rare chance to stop their cars on the bridge for a glimpse of these beauties. Once off the sea link, the participants made their way past the airport at Kalina before heading all the way back to Mahalaxmi for a relaxing afternoon.
"The enthusiastic crowds make the effort worth it," said Gautam Singhania, CMD of Raymond. "It has taken six months and a 30-member team to pull it off. Since its inception, this has been the most successful and well-managed show we have put together". Singhania, who drove his signature orange Lamborghini, slowed down often to acknowledge the crowd.
Sitting beside him was one of the legends of supercars. Valentino Balboni is best known for his former day job- test driving Lamborghinis for the Italian supercar marque. When government rules forced him to retire after working 40 years, the company paid him the best tribute possible. They called their new Gallardo the LP550-2 Valentino Balboni. And since age hasn't really slowed him down, Lamborghini still has the mechanic-turned-driving-legend on a renewable consulting contract.
Balboni's presence at the Parx Super Car Show was thus quite a coup for what is one of the world's youngest supercar clubs. Not only did he flag off the drive, but also spent the morning in Singhania's Lamborghini.
Lambos weren't the only supercars out that Sunday. They were joined by a handful of Jaguars, Ferraris, Bentleys, Porsches, an Ariel Atom, Aston Martins, BMWs and a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. Singhania, as founding chairman of the Super Car Club, closed the event by announcing the winners of the most desirable car awards. This year, the honours were taken by a Jaguar XVRJ, an Aston Martin V8 and a Bentley Continental Super Sports.