Eight nationalities took part in Bangladesh’s first international rally of classic cars. It was a memorable experience. Nick Powell writes that most of the participants were new to Bangladesh and were astonished by its beauty and friendliness.
Organisers rated the East Himalaya rally as an adventure. It took more than three weeks to travel through Bangladesh, Bhutan, and north-east India. The 16 cars and two motorbikes that were involved in the trip, which spanned from the 1950s and one case back to 1934, were accompanied by two motorcycles and two bikes. The drivers didn’t know what to expect after a difficult and technical journey from Kolkata and before reaching Bangladesh.
They were greeted with flowers, coconut juice and a marching band. The local press and dignitaries also attended the event. The Bangladesh Embassy helped the organizers from Brussels to obtain special permission to bring their vehicles into Bangladesh.
“Always honest, Bangladesh was quite a surprise. People were not prepared for the country, its people, or the roads. It was an incredible journey through the country. It was a highlight for many,” said Bruno Leunen, Destination Rally’s founder.
Participants discovered Bangladesh for the very first time. They were astonished by the beauty and friendliness of the people who lined the roads to wave at passing cars. It was an unforgettable five-day trip that culminated in crossing into India to return home to Kolkata.
The Destination Rally team plans to make a return trip to Bangladesh in 2025. Bruno Leunen is the rally director and it’s a Belgian collective. It is open to exotic and scenic areas for classic cars. The mechanics will help get them back on the road following any breakdown.
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