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Old 6th July 2011, 16:56   #1
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Post Introduction from USA


I am a 53-year-old airline pilot based in the USA. I heard about Team-BHP as a result of an internet search for information about the automobile collection of HEH Nizam VII. I found the excellent thread created by user "DKG" with all the wonderful pictures of the Nizam's vehicles being rescued from storage (The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages) for preservation and I wondered if there is more information or records of this collection of cars, trucks, and motorcyles.

A November 31, 1931 TIME Magazine article stated the Nizam had over 400 automobiles in his collection. I am curious if there exists any form of inventory of, or records from, this collection as it existed then and (if I am that lucky, what happened to all the vehicles).

I am a member of the Antique Motorcycle Club (The Antique Motorcycle Club of America - Home) and am currently most interested in this hobby, but I also have extensive background with internet services development and design.

Mark Hunnibell
Redding, Connecticut, USA
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Old 6th July 2011, 19:02   #2
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hi Mark,

Welcome ! Good to see around our part of the woods. Yes, @DKG is some one we look to for such information. Will give him a shout about your post here.

What do you ? Would love to hear about your hobby.

Hope you enjoy your journey here with us.
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Old 7th July 2011, 12:08   #3
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Hi Mark,

I gather that you got interested in the Nizam's collection because of his bikes? Anyhow, please share what you know, the thread is slowly moving on after your post.
As it looks like, you are into bikes and in India we have quite a number too. There are Indians and Harleys, our army did use them extensively. Today they are highly prized with collectors. But in India we had mostly British bikes, then some Germans, and fewer Italian.
So you may explore the forum and contribute to bikes too.
Looking forward to your posts.

Cheers harit
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Old 7th July 2011, 12:51   #4
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Originally Posted by MarkHunnibell View Post
I am curious if there exists any form of inventory of, or records from, this collection as it existed then and (if I am that lucky, what happened to all the vehicles).
Welcome to the forum Mark. I am glad you enjoyed the thread on the Nizam's collection.

The Nizam's family retained a vast collection of records from the ruler's private office activity. These records are presently being digitised and should serve as a very interesting repository of information about Hyderabad and the Nizams. I am hoping these records reveal information on cars imported for the family's use and possibly also cars imported for government official use.

While its possible the Napiers may not be the first cars bought by the family, there is a beautiful photographic record of the order placed by the Nizam in 1906 where more than half a dozen Napiers were delivered to him. Its a rare series of photographs and while I had the pleasure of seeing them I am not at liberty to share them on a public forum. You could write to the Napier registrar for more details. Apart from this order atleast two long chassis Napiers (series 90 I think) were ordered by the Nizam and adorned with a body built in India. These cars were like MPV's with multiple rows of seats for a large number of people to travel in each car. Pictures of one or both cars exist.

Sadly there are very few pictures in the photographic collection of the family of the cars used by them, but enough to give us all a hint that it was several marques the family treated themselves to. Apart from several pictures of individual cars there's one picture of a large fleet of Crossley cars at the Falaknuma Palace.

I am inclined to believe the family did buy cars in lots of 5-6 or more. Apart from the Napiers and the Crossleys the last lot of such cars bought for use by the family were the 51-52 Dodge sedans bought and given to different members of the extended family. Atleast two of these remain, one in a car collector's collection (used personally by the last Nizam) and the other with the descendents of the family.

Although the seventh Nizam was also fond of cars it was his sons, primarily the older one Prince Azamjah, who had a passion for cars and indulged themselves. Late 20's and early 30's some of the finest automobiles of the world were ordered. Some pictures survive, namely of the Packard, the Duesenbergs, the Mercedes SS, the PIII and some Bentleys. There may have been many more RR's but I have seen no pictures to substantiate that claim.

Some cars belonging to the Nizam were bought by a collector and they remain here in Hyderabad. The cars from the 30's may have been re-exported as a few survive abroad. Sadly many more would have ended up with the breakers too.
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