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Old 12th September 2016, 11:33   #1
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Default Wanderer used by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose being restored

A car, which was used by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, is being restored. The car is a 4-doors sedan, built by Wanderer - a German manufacturer. Audi has been given the job of carrying out the restoration by the Indian freedom fighter's family. The work on the car is expected to be completed by December.

Wanderer used by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose being restored-netaji-1.jpg

The Wanderer, bearing registration number, BLA 7169 was used by Netaji to travel from his ancestral home in Kolkata (West Bengal) to Gomoh (Jharkhand) in January 1941, with Sisir Kumar Bose - son of Netaji’s elder brother Sarat Chandra Bose at the wheel. The leader had then been placed under house arrest by the British government.

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Sisir Bose drove the car again in 1971, while shooting for a documentary of Films Division. This was the last time the car was driven. At present, the Wanderer is parked at Netaji's ancestral home - Netaji Bhavan.

Wanderer used by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose being restored-netaji-2.jpg

According to Kartik Chakraborty, secretary of the Netaji Research Bureau (NRB), Audi has started painting the car and changing old parts. The car has great national significance and the bureau wants to increase its longevity. The car was displayed to the public, but never driven on the roads. Mr. Naga Sundaram, a staff member of the bureau who used to drive it, passed away. The bureau wants to to be able to drive the car over short distances of 100 or 200 metres.

Wanderer used by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose being restored-netaji-3.jpg

Wanderer, the company that had built the car, was established in 1896 and started building cars in 1903. In the early 1930s, the company became a part of Auto Union. Its Siegmar plant was destroyed in 1945 during World War II. Efforts to restart production after the war failed.

Source: The Hindu

Image credits: anjan_c2007 / Team-BHP (Vintage and Classic Cars on Display in India), Netaji.org,

Last edited by Aditya : 12th September 2016 at 17:36.
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Old 13th September 2016, 20:28   #2
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Default Re: Wanderer used by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose being restored

The news is soothing for all who know about it and all who have seen this car sometime or the other. It had been crudely painted and though it looked presentable, it lacked the original 1930's restoration and finesse. We are sure it will look much better with a classy job done.

These pictures clicked by me, were featured by me on this thread post # 2. Karl follows with post # 3 naming the car properly. And follow-up by predatoronwheelz at post # 23:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/vintag...-india-10.html (Vintage and Classic Cars on Display in India)

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 13th September 2016 at 20:55.
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Old 18th January 2017, 14:07   #3
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Default Re: Wanderer used by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose being restored

Continuing the thread, Honorable President is about to unveil the restored car:

https://in.finance.yahoo.com/news/pr...145528654.html
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Old 19th January 2017, 10:32   #4
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Default Re: Wanderer used by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose being restored

Looks great after restoration..honourable President also took a ride:

http://www.rediff.com/news/report/pi...e/20170118.htm
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Old 19th January 2017, 11:06   #5
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Default Re: Wanderer used by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose being restored

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/auto/st.../1/860515.html
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Old 19th January 2017, 12:02   #6
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Default Re: Wanderer used by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose being restored

Here are the pictures for easy viewing
Picture credit : http://presidentofindia.nic.in/
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Old 19th January 2017, 15:05   #7
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Default Re: Wanderer used by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose being restored

And a couple of more pictures. Is the car in working condition or a static display? I do hope it is displayed at the upcoming Statesman rally in Calcutta.

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Old 25th November 2017, 13:53   #8
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Default Re: Wanderer used by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose being restored

The erstwhile residence of the Bose family, had been converted into a museum, 'Netaji Bhawan', a few decades back. It's looked after by a body called the 'Netaji Research Bureau' (NRB).

The Wanderer W24 four door saloon housed within has been on permanent display in an enclosure just beyond the porch of the large and elegant former home and I've seen the car while driving past for as long as I can remember.

The car is of tremendous historical value as it was used in the 'Great Escape', a reference to Netaji's journey from Calcutta to Gomoh in the Wanderer, which was owned by his nephew Sisir Bose. His nephew drove the car that night, Netaji sitting behind him, slipping out under the cover of darkness, evading house arrest imposed by the British.

The earliest that I recall, maybe 25 years back, the Wanderer was in a shade of a light pale green. Although under cover, she seemed neglected. Then a few years back I saw that she had been given a poor coat of a dull grey paint, applied liberally over the remaining bright work but well protected from the elements in a glass enclosure. Even from the streets, the car looked forlorn and barely merited a second look.

The other day, Pallab Roy, a good friend and the gentleman who was entrusted by the NRB and Audi to restore the historic car, invited me to see the car at close quarters as he was carrying out routine maintenance with his team on the Wanderer. This was the first time I actually stepped inside Netaji Bhawan, inspite of having lived in Calcutta for most of my life!

As I walked around the premises, I was struck by how large and elegant the Bose family residence was. To me, it is more of a shrine rather than a museum, having housed such a remarkable family. Ten Rupees is all you need to actually step inside the house itself!

I have to say that I was extremely glad that Pallab Roy had called me that evening and very pleased to see the Wanderer finally looking like it should; bright work restored, all missing bits fabricated, installed, and operational. She now wears a lovely period two tone shade and the new interiors are understated and elegant. The car just looks very German, and with the 4 rings on the grille, unmistakably a product of Auto Union.

Pallab Roy explained to me that when he embarked on the project, virtually all the bright work was either missing or weathered beyond repair. The engine had been taken apart in the past in an attempt to rebuild it but it wasn't a success. A ton of research and many dies and moulds later, all the missing bits and pieces were fabricated. The engine and all other mechanical components were rebuilt. Audi's very generous restoration budget and resources were of great help to Pallab and his team.

As I poured over the car, Pallab Roy pointed out the very unconventional springing for the suspension, transversely mounted leaf springs at both front and rear! What took me by surprise was the inclusion of a one shot chassis lubrication system, whose plumbing has been faithfully replicated and is now fully operational.

Although virtually every component of the Wanderer motor car has been rebuilt, Pallab Roy and his team were never allowed by the NRB to take the car out on the streets for trials. In fact, they do not allow the car to leave the premises at all and to the best of my knowledge, the most that the car has travelled since it became part of the museum display was when former President Shri Pranab Mukherjee came to mark the 75th year of Netaji's 'Great Escape'. On that occasion too, the car was driven back and forth within the premises. It is a very historic car and perhaps the NRB is right in not allowing it on the streets, I don't know.

I consider myself very lucky to have been able to see the engine area and stepped inside the cabin. In my opinion, the car looks best when viewed from the front, aided by its sculpted front fenders and handsome grille.

It's easy to get overwhelmed when you disregard the Wanderer as simply a car and instead view it as the vehicle used by one of India's greatest revolutionaries. Especially when you are told exactly where Netaji sat, on that faithful night.

Pallab Roy tells me that during the 75th year felicitation ceremony when the Wanderer was the focus, President Mukherjee asked him as to whether they knew the spot in which Netaji was seated on the night of the 'Great Escape'. When he was told that he sat behind his nephew, the driver, Pranab babu declined to sit in that spot and quietly went over and sat in front, as a mark of respect to one of the giants of India's freedom movement.

Here's a link to a recently published article with reference to Pallab Roy, who restored the Wanderer:

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...w/56741833.cms

Also a couple of photos and a video taken by a friend and me:

Wanderer used by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose being restored-front.jpg

Wanderer used by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose being restored-side.jpg

Wanderer used by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose being restored-interior.jpg

Wanderer used by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose being restored-rear.jpg

The 'Willy Vogel' hydraulic fluid reservoir for the one shot chassis lubrication system

Wanderer used by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose being restored-willyvogel.jpg


A short video

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1W0R...ew?usp=sharing

Last edited by mbz180 : 25th November 2017 at 14:15. Reason: Grammatical corrections
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Old 27th November 2017, 05:57   #9
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Default Re: Wanderer used by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose being restored

What a wonderful story. The respect and devotion to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose shines though as one reads this thread. I salute all the persons involved in this restoration.
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Old 29th November 2017, 06:44   #10
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Default Re: Wanderer used by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose being restored

What a wonderful job has been done to bring her up, tough I would have personally wanted the car to be as is. But this is good as well.

I also see that the engine bay is fairly original and also has those fabric sleeved wiring harness. That is an absolute rare thing to see now.
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Old 30th November 2017, 17:47   #11
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Default Re: Wanderer used by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose being restored

Quote:
Originally Posted by manishalive View Post
What a wonderful job has been done to bring her up, tough I would have personally wanted the car to be as is. But this is good as well.

I also see that the engine bay is fairly original and also has those fabric sleeved wiring harness. That is an absolute rare thing to see now.
Hi Manish,

I understand what you are saying but the car was used by Netaji in the 1940s. It was subsequently gifted by his nephew, the owner, I think in the 1970s to the NRB. The 3 decades since have been hard on the poor car, if she hadn't been restored, she may have gone down further. There was zero attention given to the car prior to this.

The fabric braiding on the wiring was done during the restoration Yes, in Calcutta fabric braiding is still available in a few places and if you want a period look, restorers offer it.

There is a factual error in my post and I'm taking this chance to put out correct information:

- Audi did not fund the project. It was the Netaji Research Bureau (NRB) that allocated a very generous amount for the car's restoration. They approached Audi and wanted Audi to have the car shipped to their facilities in Germany for restoration. Due to potential bureaucratic nightmares and only 6 to 7 months time allotted for completion, Audi approached Mr. Pallab Roy instead and had the car restored by him in Kolkata.

When I asked Pallab a few days back whether all the work on the car was done inside the Bose premises, he showed me some photos; NRB constructed a mini workshop facility on the premises for the restoration which was dismantled on completion. The car didn't leave Netaji Bhawan even once!

Btw, the rear bumpers are missing in the photo. They were taken off to replace some bolts that attach it to the brackets and are very much present otherwise

Regards,

Prithvi
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Old 10th December 2017, 22:22   #12
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Default Re: Wanderer used by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose being restored

Hello friends thank you for appreciating the restoration work. My son Saurav and I were very lucky to have been able to complete the entire project in six months. Audi Kolkata requested me to do the job on their behalf. Normally such projects take more than an Year because of the trial and error that always happen when parts are created referring to pictures. Audi had agreed to do only visual restoration but we took up the challenge to the best of our abilities to get the car running again on the roads and we succeeded. Please enjoy some of the beautiful photographs of the WANDERER.
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Old 11th December 2017, 12:05   #13
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Default Re: Wanderer used by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose being restored

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pallab Roy View Post
Hello friends thank you for appreciating the restoration work. My son Saurav and I were very lucky to have been able to complete the entire project in six months. A...........
Many congratulations Mr. Pallab Roy and your son Saurav. The pictures do reflects your outstanding commitment to this car. Such a historical important car has been saved for many a generations to appreciate.

Thank you for sharing your pictures too.

I was fortunate to visit your wonderful home and meet Saurav. He was kind enough to show me your cars and the restoration projects. I feel very privileged.

regards

KPS
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Old 19th December 2017, 14:10   #14
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Default Re: Wanderer used by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose being restored

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pallab Roy View Post
Hello friends thank you for appreciating the restoration work.
Pallab,

Hats off for a wonderful job done. you have done good justice to the car. A piece of history is preserved for ever. I hope you are contracted as well for the future upkeep of the car. As standing as a display she may end up catching up with some bugs .

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbz180 View Post
Hi Manish,

There was zero attention given to the car prior to this.

The fabric braiding on the wiring was done during the restoration Yes, in Calcutta fabric braiding is still available in a few places and if you want a period look, restorers offer it.

Prithvi
Prithvi,

Oh OK I now understand that the beneath the patina, there was rusting body necessitating a rework. All fair then.

On my next visit to Kolkata I will give you a shout for more information on cloth braided electrical wiring.

Must say Pallab and his son have done a wonderful job. At the end it's a piece of history preserved.
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Old 20th December 2017, 10:18   #15
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Default Re: Wanderer used by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose being restored

Very neat restoration and an eye opener at least for me.

Full marks to Mr Roy for his dedication which is apparent from the result.

I hope the owners maintain and run the car so that the effort put in does not go to waste.

Congratulations not only to the whole restoration team , but also to the trust for having the vision to preserve this piece of history
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