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Old 13th June 2011, 20:08   #46
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Default Re: Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev

Yes MBZ, I don't believe in over-restoration. Amongst all the ways of destroying a car, perhaps the most common is to chrome plate parts that were not chromed in the original state. Of course, having said that, the hobby is individualistic and one should not impose ones standards on others.

All these thoughts were far from my mind 22 years back, after the Westend Rally in 1987. Just after the rally, I met Mr. K.C. Aswath, who lived on Lalbagh Fort Road. His cavernous workshop was a meeting place for many of the dyed in the wool car lovers of the time. There I met Mr. Ganesh Rao face to face, as also Mr. Balram Khandige. Both were fascinating story tellers. Mr. Ganesh Rao had the distinction of being the only individual who had taken delivery of a brand new TC in Bangalore, from their Agents, Addison and Company. Having had this first hand experience, Mr. Ganesh Rao was able to give an un-embellished view of driving the car. He was not too keen about the TC, and much preferred the TD, as a better handling vehicle. But for me, the TC was by far more stylish!

In Aswath's garage there was a bare chassis of a TC, Yet another TC stood in the open yard, a rough one, still running, painted red. Both belonged to Mr. Khandige. I would circle these cars, soaking in the sight of every detail. I daydreamed for hours of romantic drives in a TC with my wife. My car would be green, not red. It would always be raining. And I would sing to her too.

Alas, both cars were not for sale. I left my hopes with Mr. Ashwath, but really did not believe that I would be able to own a TC - I was convinced that these cars were beyond my reach. However, a few months later, I received a call from Mr. Khandige. There was a TC available, in fact two were for sale. Would I be interested in one? I jumped at the offer and was introduced to Mr. C. Ravikumar, the owner.
Ravikumar and Verena lived in Cambridge layout, alone, if you did not count twelve dogs and seventeen cars. A knock at their door triggered a paroxysm of fearful barking, but the dogs were friendly, when they got to know you. After the initial introductions, I went with Ravi to his garage in Lingarajapuram, and this is what I found!

There were two cars. One was a bare chassis, painted in red-oxide, with its body literally leaning against a wall. It was in bare metal, roughly painted over in red-oxide. However, the engine was still in one piece. The other car had its head off and its body, more complete than that of the first one, lying beside the chassis. It had been painted red. Both cars, I was told, had come from Bombay. Which would I pick? (there was no question that I would not pick one). I picked my car purely on the one criterion that its engine was still in one piece and not dismembered.

But where was the money? There was only one way to raise it, to sell our beloved Vauxhall. An acquaintance of a relative had shown interest and agreed on a price too, though we did not take him seriously. But when touched again, he agreed. So Aditi and I drove the Vauxhall to Hyderabad to deliver it to its new owner. I still remember the lump in my throat when he drove away. It was almost like betraying a lover to follow a new one. Even now I suffer pangs of guilt for having sold my first car. To all my Hyderabad friends, if ever you locate that Vauxhall, please let me know, I would love to have her back.

With money in hand, I went back to Ravi and in late 1987, I became the proud owner of TC 1009, manufactured in August 1946. Correction - I became the proud owner of a rusty pile of dented metal, some crumbling wooden body parts, a ladder like chassis with a silent engine mounted on it and four wobbly wheels with bald ADV tyres on them.

I will not forget the day we brought the car home. We pushed it from Lingarajpuram to Cooke Town, gathering a small crowd along the way. I ran alongside the chassis, kicking the tyres to change direction and jumping between the chassis members to yank the handbrake. My wife pushed too (she claims she had clocked more mileage pushing cars than riding in them). When we reached home, my father, stared mutely. His look said it all; You sold your running car, to buy THIS???
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Old 14th June 2011, 10:57   #47
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Default Re: Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev

Hi Tonrag

Your friend ravikumar , was he the guy who owned the 540K Merc

What were the other cars amongst the 17 he had at that time
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Old 14th June 2011, 16:44   #48
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Hi Tonrag
Your friend ravikumar , was he the guy who owned the 540K Merc
What were the other cars amongst the 17 he had at that time
Yes the one and only Late Mr. Ravi Kumar was the alpha vintage car collector of Bangalore in the 1980's. He is remembered by most for his knowledge, his cars and that he was a simple person by nature only added to his character.

The cars in his stable included the Mercedes 540K, Mercedes Nurburg (Doc), Lanchester (Doc), Bentley (Sanghi), Jaguar E Type hard top (inherited by his niece), Jaguar XK 140 (Doc), Auburn (Titus), Chrysler Royal & Windsor (sold to Coimbatore), Chevrolet Eagle, Studebaker Starlight Coupe and Sedan, Lancia, Austin Chummy (Doc), Big Austin Landaulette, Packard Clipper (1948, LHD, I think it is with Doc) Citreon Traction Avante, Few MG's (including Dev!), few bikes including a Scott Squirrel. I am not sure but I think Doc's Delage also came from this stable.

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Old 14th June 2011, 17:01   #49
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Default Re: Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev

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Originally Posted by wasif View Post
Hi Tonrag

Your friend ravikumar , was he the guy who owned the 540K Merc

What were the other cars amongst the 17 he had at that time
Quote:
Originally Posted by KPS View Post
Yes the one and only Late Mr. Ravi Kumar was the alpha vintage car collector of Bangalore in the 1980's. He is remembered by most for his knowledge, his cars and that he was a simple person by nature only added to his character.

The cars in his stable included the Mercedes 540K, Mercedes Nurburg (Doc), Lanchester (Doc), Bentley (Sanghi), Jaguar E Type hard top (inherited by his niece), Jaguar XK 140 (Doc), Auburn (Titus), Chrysler Royal & Windsor (sold to Coimbatore), Chevrolet Eagle, Studebaker Starlight Coupe and Sedan, Lancia, Austin Chummy (Doc), Big Austin Landaulette, Packard Clipper (1948, LHD, I think it is with Doc) Citreon Traction Avante, Few MG's (including Dev!), few bikes including a Scott Squirrel. I am not sure but I think Doc's Delage also came from this stable.

Cheers

KPS
He Also owned a Jaguar Mark II that he had bought from my father. The car was red at the time it was sold to him. I Wonder where that car went.

Regards

Indrojit Sircar
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Old 14th June 2011, 20:12   #50
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Default Re: Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev

Tonrag ....could you please post pictures of the cars with the late Ravi Kumar if possible.
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Old 15th June 2011, 08:03   #51
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Default Re: Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev

I will try, Wasif, I don't have too many though.

KPS, with respect to you list, I don't think Ravi had a Bentley. Another car not specifically mentioned in your list is the first ever car Ravi bought, an early overhead cam 6 cylinder MG - an F2 Magna, probably 1932 model. This car is with Ravi's nephew. That was a lovely car, with cycle wings, narrower and smaller than the TC. It was really shot out, though. Another car not specifically mentioned is another MG, a long and sleek four door saloon, the SA. I remember that once I accompanied both cars (and three more - including the Austin Landaulette) on lorries being transported to Hyderabad. Ravi entered five of his cars in the rally to celebrate the 450th (was that right?) Anniversary of Hyderabad city. We were all part of his team of drivers and I was to drive the MG Magna, because I was the only one who could fit into it! I was to catch a train along with him and Verena, but at the very last moment, jumped into the lorry taking this car, because there was no-one to escort the convoy. At night, we stopped for a check and I discovered to my horror that the ropes binding down the SA had been loosened, because the cleaners and spare drivers decided to crawl into the car to sleep. The car was moving up and down in the rear of the lorry and the Headlights had fallen off. Luckily nothing was broken.
After we reached Hyderabad, the MG Magna refused to start. Finally, the engine was disembowelled on the night before the rally. It was really in bad shape. There was virtually no compression in two cylinders - you could move the pistons around in the cylinders with your finger, when the head was off. Finally, we got the car running at around 3 AM, but then the gears got stuck in first gear - the car was really difficult to drive as it had a crash gearbox, unsynchronised on all gears! So it was parked up. I ended up being part of the costumed team traveling in the Austin Landaulette. A friend and his family decked up as the Maharajah of Mysore, and I joined in as the ADC, complete with galaband coat, turban and the Royal Mysore emblem on my pocket! We won the Costume prize! I have a photo somewhere, I 'll find out and post it.
Thinking of Ravi brings back a flood of memories. Some happy, some very frustrating, as the cars were not well restored. I do remember that Ravi celebrated his 50th birthday during the Hyderabad rally. Some of our Hyderabad friends will remember those good times! That was in 1990, if I am not mistaken.
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Old 15th June 2011, 08:29   #52
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Default Re: Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev

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I will try, Wasif, I don't have too many though.

KPS, with respect to you list, I don't think Ravi had a Bentley.
Hi Tonrag, we seem to be hijacking your wonderful thread and my apologies. Mr. Ravi Kumar did own a 1923 Bentley at one point. Here is the link on that car and I have reconfirmed with Dad and Mr. Sripathy

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/pre-wa...ml#post2258845 (W.O. Bentleys in India (Produced from 1919 until 1931))

Let us get back to your wonderful posts. please keep it coming.

Cheers

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Old 15th June 2011, 08:54   #53
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Default Re: Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev

Hey Tonrag, what a beautiful start, for me this is - a mixture of love stories bound together by a thriller! My hair was standing on ends reading through this thread. Wailting for the next chapters to unfold.
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Old 15th June 2011, 20:48   #54
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No hijacking at all, KPS! This was meant to be a freewheeling ramble, like one of my MG drives and I'm glad we are going all over the place! I am not sure at all whether Ravi did have a Bentley. Certainly, it was not with him when I met him in 1987. I saw CPF 7964 in 1993 when I went to Indore. I am almost certain that this car was not Ravi's because if it were, I would certainly have remembered hearing about that. The best person to ask is Shirazi, who used to be Ravi's partner in crime those days. Many of the cars were co-owned. Could the car that your father and Sripathy remember not be a Bentley, but the Lagonda that both Ravi and Shirazi used to own? That car looked a lot like a Bentley, considering that Lagondas were designed by W.O., after Rolls Royce bought over the Bentley brand. I have attached photos of a similar Lagonda that I saw in my travels with David, you can notice the strong similarity with the 3 1/2 litre Bentley.
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Old 15th June 2011, 21:00   #55
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Rmonie, I am insanely in love with old cars. Indeed with old things. I completely live in the past. Its a disease. The only time I have felt close to a spirit of a higher order (I am pretty much an agnostic) is when I have been in an old car, or under it. Sometimes, everything comes together and you are utterly at peace with yourself when you are with something that has lived for so long. It is difficult to express in words what I mean. But I hope this photograph can explain what a spiritual experience can be like, in an old car. It was shot on one of David's drives, with me in the passenger seat. A winding country road, hegderows whizzing by, silence except for the thrumming of a 3 1/2 litre engine and a sharp drizzle in ones face. In other words, heaven.
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Old 16th June 2011, 08:11   #56
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Default Re: Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev

Wow. Poet. Photographer. Historian. Curator. You do wear many hat!
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Old 16th June 2011, 15:44   #57
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Default Re: Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev

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Rmonie, I am insanely in love with old cars. Indeed with old things. I completely live in the past. Its a disease. The only time I have felt close to a spirit of a higher order (I am pretty much an agnostic) is when I have been in an old car, or under it. Sometimes, everything comes together and you are utterly at peace with yourself when you are with something that has lived for so long. It is difficult to express in words what I mean. But I hope this photograph can explain what a spiritual experience can be like, in an old car. It was shot on one of David's drives, with me in the passenger seat. A winding country road, hegderows whizzing by, silence except for the thrumming of a 3 1/2 litre engine and a sharp drizzle in ones face. In other words, heaven.

I totally agree with you sir.. I think you have put the emotions of many of the people here in very nice words, especially being close to the spirit of higher order...
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Old 26th June 2017, 13:41   #58
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Default Re: Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev

Bringing this thread to the fore again - please continue the story Tonrag Sir!
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Old 19th August 2017, 13:22   #59
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Default Re: Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev

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Rmonie, I am insanely in love with old cars. Indeed with old things. I completely live in the past. Its a disease. The only time I have felt close to a spirit of a higher order (I am pretty much an agnostic) is when I have been in an old car, or under it. Sometimes, everything comes together and you are utterly at peace with yourself when you are with something that has lived for so long. It is difficult to express in words what I mean. But I hope this photograph can explain what a spiritual experience can be like, in an old car. It was shot on one of David's drives, with me in the passenger seat. A winding country road, hegderows whizzing by, silence except for the thrumming of a 3 1/2 litre engine and a sharp drizzle in ones face. In other words, heaven.
You never spoke a truer word! - probably the most evocative piece in this whole thread - an old car, one's missus, the country-side (preferably hilly) and my canines to add to the glorious mess! As near heaven as one could get.
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Old 20th August 2017, 07:51   #60
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Default Re: Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev

In the mean time Dev is doing well. Last weekend on the Bangalore Classic Drives to Mulbagal, Dev as in action!

Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev-dev1.jpg

Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev-dev2.jpg

Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev-dev3.jpg

Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev-dev6.jpg

Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev-dev4.jpg

Jeevan ke Safar mein Rahi. Travels and travails with Dev-dev5.jpg

Cheers

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