Thursday, 28 December 2017

Indian Maharajahs, their quirks and Rolls Royce cars - bewildering facts - 04

Indian Maharajahs' quirks and their passion for Rolls Royce cars (contd): 

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
maharajahs' expensive cars including RR are now in the famous museums across the globe; some private collectors also own them for their  resale value.
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/
 Above image:  Maharaja Gaj Singhji of Jodhpur Best of show winner the 1935 Rolls Royce Phantom II with HH Maharaja Gaj Singhji of Jodhpur at the Cartier Travel With Style Concours 2013 Opening at Taj Lands End on February 10, 2013 in Mumbai, India.
RR Phantom II 1935, Maharaja of Rajpiplapinterest.com
 Above image:  Rolls-Royce Phantom II 1935 (chassis no. 171 TA) Windovers saloon with division (body no. 6277)owner: His Highness The Maharaja of Rajpipla. This car passed to the Rt. Hon. Lady Scarsdale in November 1935. Originall image from:
team-bhp.com

Rolls Royce
Present owner: Rajcot family.The 1934 Rolls Royce Phantom
Pinterest
 Above image: 1934 RR -II custom built by Thrupp Maberly for the ruler of Rajkot. nick named  The Star of India; the car is a 7 litre V8, 6 cylinder engine mated to a 4-speed manual, which can output 40 to 50 horse power. It has a total of 14 headlights
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
Above image:  The Maharaja of Rajpipla  bought this Rolls Royce iPhantom III 1937 (chassis no. 3-BU-198), his final Rolls-Royce, fitted with Windovers sedanca coachwork (body no. 56), specified with a radio and ‘Philco Rola’ loud speakers; Marchal headlamps. image originally from
owned by the Baroda royal family.RR Phantom III. team-bhp.com
  Above image: This Phantom III - unusually for a car going to India by being fitted with a French body - was the second PIII to go to the Baroda royal family (Gujarat). It was sent off test from Derby on 18 February 1937, set up for use in Europe and India for town and touring purposes. It was fitted with engine Q88K, and steering at the high C rake.

RR40/50hp Silver Ghost,Mysore Maharajah. pinterest.com
 Above image: RR40/50hp Silver Ghost,Ceremonial Victoria, commissioned by the Maharaja of Mysore for the Delhi Durbar 1912 - the event which ignited the passion for Rolls-Royce in India. image originally 

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
 Above image: Portable Top Limousine on 1907 Silver Ghos;  body by Cockshoo the "Pearl of the East " was purchased by the Maharaja of Gwalior. It is not known if the car still remains in Gwalior. 
Ref:
https://www.gqindia.com/content/cars-maharajas-drive-gq-india/#lagonda-v12


https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Royal-Royce-tales/articleshow/46810553.cms

http://www.narthaki.com/info/bn/bn31.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/4193893/Bejewelled-carriageways.html