Monday, 1 July 2019

Mysore Maharajah's custom made cartoon-like Rolls Royce car1911 - Silver Phantom


once owned by Mysore Maharajah, 1911 RR Silver Phantom Wacky race car cartoon hotink.com
The English auction houses, often  put some interesting items - pretty old artifacts, rare jewelry of valuable diamonds, etc for auction and invariably such auctions are meant for  aristocrats or the  rich who are wallowing in money and do not know how to spend it. The items from India always attract a large gathering of  affluent community whose obsession is buying rare antique items or something exotic to boost their status in the society. In August 2011, a valuable item went under hammer. It was neither the dazzling diamond from the Golconda mines  nor stone-crusted beautiful box of an Indian prince. It was something unique - a100-year-old Rolls-Royce built for an Indian prince  and was  set to fetch £400,000.
A customised 1911 Silver Ghost owned by the Maharajah of Mysore dailymail.co.uk
What is so special about this old RR model?  The Silver Phantom is  a custom made  English car. It included  a colourful umbrella, reminiscent of flashy Penelope Pitstop from classic cartoon Wacky Races. It was ordered by none other than  Krishna Raja Wodeyar IV, Maharajah of Mysore who was worth 35 billion pounds in 1940!! I believe, he was the second richest man in the world then.  What was the purpose of this special addition? The Maharajah, being humane and considerate,  wanted his travelling  servants  to be shielded from the  scorching tropical sun. Can you imagine whether the English Royal family members or any aristocratic  English family  would  be generous enough  to care for their servants' health and come up with something to make them feel at home?  Maharajah's  Silver Ghost 40/50hp Six Cylinder car, in possession of a private collector,  was auctioned by Bonhams at the Goodwood Revival meeting on September 16. 2011. It was tagged as  the "best car in the world".
Maharajah Krishna Raja Wodeyar IV dailymail.co.uk
'Rolls-Royce company, England started  building their 40/50hp Six Cylinder model in 1907, and it quickly came to be called  as the "Silver Ghost". This was a reference to the company's own silver-painted trials car, which earned the name for its pace and silence in operation. Vintage car collectors know the value of RR cars  and even to day there has been a keen  desire among them to acquire what they consider to be a "full set" of pre-war Silver Ghosts, one from each production year.'  A second Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, dating from 1908, was on sale  as  it was  one of only four surviving examples from that year and was restored in the 1990s.
Wacky race car cartoon hotink.com
Maharajah Krishna Raja Wodeyar would always  order RR cars multiples of seven in one go and would pay  ready cash across the cash counter. In the company, 'doing a Mysore' became by-word for placing bulk orders. This 1911 Rolls-Royce Silver Phantom owned by the Maharajah of Mysore was in his large garage of foreign cars for a particular period. Krishna Raja Wodeyar IV was the 24th ruler from the Wodeyar dynasty, which ruled Mysore in south-west India from 1399 to the country's unification in 1947. He was called 'Rajarshi' - 'Saintly King' - by Mahatma Gandhi. For some time the Mysore kingdom came under the control of Hyder Ali and Tipu. After the defeat of Tipu in 1799, the kingdom was restoted to the Wodeyar family.

In the colonial period prior tp 1947, it was because of the filthy rich Indian rulers who patronized luxury Rolls-Royces, the English car company became popular across the globe. At one point of time before freedom in 1947, the Indian rulers had more than 900 RRs to take care of their needs. Included were the specially designed RR cars that were built sturdily to meet Maharajahs needs on hunting missions with the British Bobs. Some were designed to carry cricketing gear.Their sturdy construction helped the drivers negotiate the tricky terrains in the subcontinent. The Indian rulers  alone  accounted for 20% of RR company's production. The 1911 model was called 'Victoria'.by the Maharajah who had very close rapport with the British govt.  Critics say  the decor on RR is more suitable for  for Penelope Pitstop from TV's Wacky Races.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2031237/The-Penelope-Pitstop-maharajas-Indian-royals-400-000-cartoon-like-Rolls-Royce