Indian Maharajahs craze for Rolls Royce cars was quite well-known for it gave them a status, publicity and recognition of their wealth. These rulers even during the Mogul period and prior to them were very wealthy and had a vast collection of rare gemstones and jewelry. In the 20th century, they were the popular buyers of Rolls in the East. An interesting fact is in the years following the Great Depression in the west during 1929 to 1930, it was the Indian rulers who got the RR company in England going by placing orders for customized RR. When most of the people in the west went either broke or reduced to a lower class group, Indian rulers were wallowing in money and led an envious and luxurious lives.
Time and tide does not wait and keeps changing. Many of the rulers sold their expensive cars after independence as they faced difficulty in maintaining them either due to expensive spares or non availability of them on the market. Further, they were bogged down by their loss of kingdom and lavish income from the estates. Countless
In the early days, the car company would supply only the chassis and the buyer would shop around and chose a suitable and reputed coach builder. in Europe. He would build the coach matching the taste of the ruler.You seldom see such vintage cars ever standing in the traffic for green light any where in the world. Sir Michael Kadoorie, owner of Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong who is an avid collector of vintage cars, in particular Rolls Royce, quipped about vintage RR car, "The boat tail body style draws admiring comments by enthusiasts and when the car stops at traffic lights.” Imagine the kind of impression it may make in day's crowded cities. Sighting of such a luxurious, stunning RR car in full glory on Indian roads would have been as rare as sighting a Bengal tiger of today in the thick Indian ungle.
The following are some of interesting rare vintage cars:
|RR Hunting Car,owned by J&K maharajah. www.maharaja.life/|
|front end.RR Hunting Car,owned by J&K maharajah. www.maharaja.life/|
Above image: This RR 1933 20/25HP Phantom was owned by Maharah Hari Singh of Jammu and Kashmir for hunting in the wilderness. it ia fitted with hunting rifles to hunt tigers and Chital deer. It is was a one-of-a-kind Rolls Royce with a wagon body shape. No other Rolls Royce in the world was ever built with a bespoke wagon body as additional space for storing hunting gear. The car was with him for 13 years before it was sold and sent England. The interior of the car included dials that were handcrafted from genuine ivory and the seats 've genuine leather. The back of the front seats included flaps that could be folded down to reveal various original maintenance tools. It also had its own picnic table that could be folded out of its extended boot.
|-RR 1945 Phantom II. Owned by HH Maharaja Gaj Singhji of Jodhpur.pinterest.co.uk/|
|RR Phantom II 1935, Maharaja of Rajpiplapinterest.com|
|Present owner: Rajcot family.The 1934 Rolls Royce Phantom |
The story of Indian Maharajahs and rulers is the story of excess and extravaganza, one may say it was a sort of publicity bonanza for them. Eccentricity galore, each ruler has his own quirks when customizing RR cars. A few rulers had the car designed to carry their cricketing gear, others their hunting gear, etc.
|RR Phantom III 1937 |
the Maharaja of Rajpipla pinterest.com
|owned by the Baroda royal family.RR Phantom III. team-bhp.com|
|RR40/50hp Silver Ghost,Mysore Maharajah. pinterest.com|
|Rolls-Royce Phantom II 1935 team-bhp.com|
|1928 RR-Phantom Torpedo Tourerowned by the Maharaja of Pithapuram,AP.|
|Portable Top Limousine on 1907 Silver Ghost coachbuild.com|