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Old 7th June 2010, 12:01   #1
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Default Austin Champ 'Jeep' - Nawab of Bhopal

A friend was recently staying in Bhopal at the Noor Us Sabah palace hotel, where on display was this 1950s Austin Champ - Austin's version of the civilian Jeep. According to the hotel staff the vehicle belonged to Nawab Hamidullah Khan who apparently used it for shikar. A little Googling tells me the original military issue cars should be powered by a 4 cyl petrol motor originally designed by Rolls Royce. Later civilian cars sported the A90 engine. This Champ seems well preserved, and two more cars like this are known to survive - both in Hyderabad. Limited numbers were sold worldwide, and this should be pretty desirable by now.

Austin Champ 'Jeep' - Nawab of Bhopal-01.jpg

Austin Champ 'Jeep' - Nawab of Bhopal-02.jpg

Austin Champ 'Jeep' - Nawab of Bhopal-03.jpg

Austin Champ 'Jeep' - Nawab of Bhopal-04.jpg

Austin Champ 'Jeep' - Nawab of Bhopal-05.jpg

Austin Champ 'Jeep' - Nawab of Bhopal-06.jpg

Austin Champ 'Jeep' - Nawab of Bhopal-10.jpg

Austin Champ 'Jeep' - Nawab of Bhopal-12.jpg

Last edited by karlosdeville : 7th June 2010 at 12:02.
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Old 7th June 2010, 12:41   #2
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hi the temp and fuel meter &the ign switch and almost the whole jeep is similar to the landrover
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Old 7th June 2010, 15:18   #3
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Good one Karl, I my many visits to hotel, i never really spotted it there. Probably its on display in recent years.
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Old 7th June 2010, 15:54   #4
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Karl.

This is the third Champ in India. There are no more.

The dash has been played around with and sports soem non original stuff on it but otherwise it looks quiet clean.

It would be nice to see a snap of the engine as it was what made this car unique.

Its a RR designed and built 2.8 litre 4 cylinder engine that is completely sealed to enable use in water if required. 24 Vot elect system with built in fire prevention system ia one of its other interesting points.

It has all independant suspension which is adjustable with twin wishbones and torshion bars.

The gearbox is unique too as the reverse gear is built into the rear axle instead of the gearbox and is selected with a seperate lever. This then gives you five forward and five reverse speeds.

Turned out to be a bit too complicated for the British Army and the production contract was cut short

All in all a remarkable and complex machine that is fun to own even today.
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Old 7th June 2010, 23:46   #5
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Good find by your friend indeed . However being a rare piece in india it would be great to see it with the original parts on it.
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Old 7th June 2010, 23:58   #6
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I remember I have seen one Champ here in Haig rally which was held in 2009. I guess she is a regular participant in vintage and classic rallies. I see this poor thing is getting dull (looking at the colour) because being under the sky. I was shocked to know this Jeeps capabilities (Under water, 5 riverse and front speed advantage, seperate riverse lever Rolls Royce designed engine etc thanks Wasif bhai for the knowledge you shared with us. I am just impressed the Jeep lived its name. I salute this CHAMP.
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Old 8th June 2010, 10:35   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chanu View Post
I remember I have seen one Champ here in Haig rally which was held in 2009. I guess she is a regular participant in vintage and classic rallies. I see this poor thing is getting dull (looking at the colour) because being under the sky. I was shocked to know this Jeeps capabilities (Under water, 5 riverse and front speed advantage, seperate riverse lever Rolls Royce designed engine etc thanks Wasif bhai for the knowledge you shared with us. I am just impressed the Jeep lived its name. I salute this CHAMP.
The Champ you see out and about sometimes in Hyderabad with the APY reg used to be Pricne Mukarram Jah's personal Hunting car later went onto some guy in Red Hills area

This was indeed the undisputed CHAMP of all Jeeps and of all offroading vehicles until it was displaced by the Lamborghini LM02 and then teh Hummer H1

If I was looking for the most iconic 4x4 ever made the list would be willys/ ford MB/GPW then the Austin Champ then the Lamborghini and would cap it all with the Hummer H1.

Last edited by wasif : 8th June 2010 at 10:38.
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Old 8th June 2010, 11:17   #8
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I also saw Mukaram Jah's jeep for sale near Vijaynagar Colony along with Hillman. Mukaram Jah's jeep was bigger than this above mentioned Jeep, it looks like it was specially designed to keep the guns beside passenger seats and lot of additional features.
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Old 8th June 2010, 17:11   #9
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Is this Jeep still at "Noor-us-sabah" hotel? Would definitely make it a point to check this beauty next time I am in Bhopal.

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Old 8th June 2010, 17:48   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintagepoint5 View Post
I also saw Mukaram Jah's jeep for sale near Vijaynagar Colony along with Hillman. Mukaram Jah's jeep was bigger than this above mentioned Jeep, it looks like it was specially designed to keep the guns beside passenger seats and lot of additional features.

All the Champs were of the same dimensions.

They do tend to look kind of small in pictures but up close they are actually quiet big. Bigger than the Willys / Ford Jeeps.

The Mukarram Jah Car is completely original with a lot of military accessories on it.

The other one in Hyderabad is with Rashid Bhai. It came from Karnataka originally alos quiet original but not a runner due to an electrical fire.
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Old 9th June 2010, 00:09   #11
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Absolutely its APY regd (My fav) I didn't knew its Prince Mukkaram Jhah's personal hunting car. Why would someone sell it and by the by Wasif how did a nawab's car got into a private or common man's hand is it not govt property as it belongs to Nawabs (out of curiosity). I admire our last Nawab Prince Mukkaram jhah, he was a legend his automotive collection was tremendous & the best (unfortunately our govt unable to upkeep them) he also used to farm and clean the feilds with a huge earthmover and it was told that was imported in those days. I pray god that the champ should remain in HYD.
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Old 9th June 2010, 11:16   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chanu View Post
Absolutely its APY regd (My fav) I didn't knew its Prince Mukkaram Jhah's personal hunting car. Why would someone sell it and by the by Wasif how did a nawab's car got into a private or common man's hand is it not govt property as it belongs to Nawabs (out of curiosity). I admire our last Nawab Prince Mukkaram jhah, he was a legend his automotive collection was tremendous & the best (unfortunately our govt unable to upkeep them) he also used to farm and clean the feilds with a huge earthmover and it was told that was imported in those days. I pray god that the champ should remain in HYD.

The cars along withthis Champ were the private property ofthe Prnce.

The Champ was taken by a guy, who used to install and maintain the air conditioning in teh Chiraan Palace, in lieu of payments due to him.

He got an amazing deal by any stretch of the imagination. I too hope this car stays in Hyderbad.
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Old 9th June 2010, 11:53   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imperial.s.a View Post
hi the temp and fuel meter &the ign switch and almost the whole jeep is similar to the landrover
All i can tell you is a BIG NO.

They do not resemble Land rovers. I have seen many Land Rovers and even had the privilege to see a Austin Champ 'Jeep' in Hyderabad This is indeed a beauty, a treat for your eyes.

Last edited by SILVERWOOD : 9th June 2010 at 12:00. Reason: Comments
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Old 9th June 2010, 13:26   #14
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Originally Posted by SILVERWOOD View Post
All i can tell you is a BIG NO.

They do not resemble Land rovers. I have seen many Land Rovers and even had the privilege to see a Austin Champ 'Jeep' in Hyderabad This is indeed a beauty, a treat for your eyes.

The dash on this car is totally changed from original.

Here are a few picture of some nice Champs and there is also a picture of the Ex Mukarram Jah APY regestered Champ.
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Austin Champ 'Jeep' - Nawab of Bhopal-90111.jpg  

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Old 9th June 2010, 13:56   #15
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Thanks wasif Bhai.

All i can say is AWESOME MACHINE.

Betw: who owns the second jeep in Hyderabad, the one i saw is with Shadaan group.

Last edited by SILVERWOOD : 9th June 2010 at 13:56. Reason: Comments
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