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Old 2nd March 2009, 14:02   #271
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Originally Posted by karlosdeville View Post
Hmm, you must be right, they do appear identical.
MRJ 3371 was a Mysore car, that is why it was at the Cartier event. There was an attempt to get 4 to 5 Bentleys of Mysore along with the Mysore Maharaja to this event. Unfortunately the Maharaja was not well, and one convertible from Pune also failed.
MRJ 3371 belonged to one Mr. Ashok Kumar, not the actor, who also had a Rolls which went to Rajkot via Dadar and Indore. If Mr. Ashok Kumar or someone purchased this car from Mysore is not confirmed, but is a possibility.
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Old 10th March 2009, 12:35   #272
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Originally Posted by v12 View Post
The Alwar connection :

When Maharaja Jay Singh of Alwar *visited the showrooms of Rolls-Royce in London, he was affronted when the salesman implied that he couldn't afford to purchase one of the sleek new models -- he promptly purchased 10, shipped them home, tore their roofs off, and used them to collect garbage.

Had stored these stories on my HD so i dont have the source right now. Will search and put them up soon.
There is an apology letter from Rolls Royce framed and on display in the Alwar museum on this incident.
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Old 22nd March 2009, 19:31   #273
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Default The Maharaja Holkar of Indore's 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900

Here are some pictures of the memorable 8C 2900 Touring Spider that is said to have belonged to the Maharaja of Indore.

Source Concept Cars and Prototype Vehicles | Conceptcarz.com

The '8C' in this car's model name refers to the fact that the engine has eight cylinders. The straight-eight engine was designed by legendary engineer Vittorio Jano, and variants powered a wide range of Alfa Romeo racing and road cars from 1931 to 1939.

The '2900B' designation indicates that it was the second variation of the engine with 2900cc displacement.

This model was a forerunner of future Alfa Romeos. It featured 17-inch hydraulic brakes, fully independent suspension and a four-speed rear transaxle.

The engine is a dry sump design with twin magnetos and twin Roots-Type superchargers fed by two Weber carburetors, putting out 220 horsepower.

When it was built, the 8C 2900B was the fastest production car in the world, with a top speed of 140 miles per hour. Not surprisingly, 8C 2900B's took first and second place in the 1938 Mille Miglia.

The 8C 2900B displayed here, with a body by Touring, was originally owned by the Maharaja of Indore, and spent 20 years in the Ralph Lauren collection before being purchased by the current owner.
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How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas-38alfa_romeo_8c2800b_dv_07mb_01.jpg  

How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas-38alfa_romeo_8c2800b_dv_07mb_004.jpg  

How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas-38alfa_romeo_8c2800b_dv_07mb_006.jpg  

How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas-38alfaromeo8c2900b_trngspdr_dv07mb_i03.jpg  

How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas-38alfa_romeo_8c2900b_dv07mb_e02.jpg  

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Old 22nd March 2009, 19:39   #274
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Default Some Royal Rolls Royces exported from India

The first picture is of a 1913 Silver Ghost said to have belonged to the Maharaja of Patiala.

The second picture is of a 1927 Phantom 1 said to have belonged to the Maharaja of Udaipur.

Does anyone have more details on these cars.
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Old 22nd March 2009, 20:11   #275
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Default Interesting Facts on 17 EX The Maharaja of Jammu & Kashmir's 1928 Phantom 1

Some pictures of 17EX ( Engine NO 25EX )the experimental Phantom 1 which was the property of the Maharaja Hari Singh of Jammu & Kashmir. The body is by Jarvis.

This car was up for sale at Bonhams & Butterfields Exceptional Cars Auction at Quail Lodge, Carmel on 15 August 2008 where it didn't find a new home.

This remarkable Rolls-Royce is the final example of a series of four experimental lightweight sporting cars developed in the latter part of the 1920s at the personal request of Henry Royce to explore the performance potential of the Phantom I chassis. In November 1925 Royce had expressed his disappointment that the recently introduced Phantom, with its overhead valve power unit, did not represent an improvement in terms of performance over the sidevalve Silver Ghost that it had replaced. Tests were carried out with chassis 10EX, fitted with a specially tuned engine and open sports tourer bodywork by Barker, but initially it proved only marginally faster than the standard model.

The project had been initiated with the full blessing of Rolls-Royce’s commercial genius, founding managing director Claude Johnson, hence its in-house title “the CJ sports car”. But Johnson died unexpectedly early in 1926 and was succeeded by his more cautious brother Basil, who worried that the program might produce a “rough and noisy car, typical of the sports car of the day”.

To reassure him, Henry Royce – who after all had initiated the project – wrote: “The object of preparing this chassis is that, if speed merchants in the form of English peers or Indian Rajahs or others doubt the capacity of the Rolls-Royce Phantom I, this specimen, which we should be able to repeat, can be tried by them… We have no thought of making a freak machine or to depart from the smooth and silent model, but we do think that the owners of the smooth and silent models within their large bodies capable of 80mph will be pleased to know that the same chassis and engine when fitted to a touring car will be capable of 95-100mph.”

It was a line of thought that would ultimately lead to the Derby Bentley “silent sports car” of the 1930s, but in this early stage of Royce’s quest to produce a car with “a bit of fizz”, there was the problem that 10EX was not producing the hoped-for level of performance.

In the immortal words of Ettore Bugatti, of whose work Royce, as a former owner of a Type 13 Bugatti, was fully aware, “weight was the enemy”.

Demands for greater levels of comfort and enhanced specifications were offsetting the extra power developed by the new engine: Consequently, recalled Rolls-Royce designer Ivan Evernden, who worked in the little studio established near Royce’s summer home at West Wittering in Sussex, “since 1911 cars, besides becoming materially bigger, had become disproportionately heavier. This fact, together with tires of large section and lower pressure, caused an increase in road rolling resistance. Even more important was the fact that the wind drag of the car had increased enormously due chiefly to the increase in the frontal projected area. The front wings had grown to envelop the wheels, headlamps had risen to add to the frontal area of the taller radiator and the higher bonnet and scuttle. Also, there was little improvement in the aerodynamic form.”

Extra power was not the answer: opening the exhaust cutout – illegal, anyway, in Great Britain – added an extra 11hp, but only increased the speed by 2mph. So W.A.Robotham, assistant to Derby works manager Ernest Hives, carried out a series of tests on the Brooklands race track, progressively removing wings, sidemount spare wheels, headlamps and windshield. The results were remarkable: removing the wings alone gave an increase of 6.4mph in maximum speed, while the windshield, sidemount and under-hood ventilation were found to create a total of 11.4mph-worth of drag.

Ivan Evernden was given the task of developing a new type of body design that would incorporate the results of these tests to produce an enhanced level of performance. He would spend almost a year developing a more efficient body shape. A major obstacle, he quickly discovered, was the entrenched attitude of many of the companies who erected bodies on Rolls-Royce chassis: “The classic coachbuilder of the day, a craftsman whose ancestors had built carriages for the landed aristocracy… was an artist, but certainly not a scientist or an engineer. His methods of body construction were still those evolved in the days of the horsedrawn carriage and were totally inadequate to cope with the stresses set up in the motor car capable of almost five times the speed. To cope with body cracking, more and more wrought iron was introduced into the structure without an adequate reward in an increase of strength.”

A further problem for Evernden was that the Rolls-Royce management was reluctant to spend much money on his researches as the company did not build its own bodywork and felt that the coachbuilders should be funding at least part of the project.

He had the happy idea that an acceptable result could be achieved at minimum cost by reworking the Barker tourer bodywork on 10EX. Finding it difficult to explain the desired shape to the coachbuilders, Evernden obtained a slab of balsa wood and some sheet aluminum from Hives and, working in Royce’s own workshop beside his garage at West Wittering, he made a one-eighth scale model of the required modifications. Barkers agreed to carry out the work for £300, and cut off the existing body behind the front seats to graft on the new aerodynamic rear end designed by Evernden; new wings and windshield were also fitted, and the front seats and steering wheel lowered by four inches. Very much in the spirit of the contemporary Art Deco movement, the revised body tapered both horizontally and vertically at the rear.

Evernden collected 10EX from Barkers on 9 April and it was then delivered to Derby by works test driver George Radcliffe for work to be carried out on the chassis.

Preliminary road testing revealed that the high-speed performance of 10EX had been “materially improved” by the modifications; it was found to be both faster and to hold the road better. Finally, the car was driven down to Royce’s summer home in Sussex at the end of April for his approval.

Always the perfectionist, he called for improvements to be made to the steering and suspension; these improvements would find their way on to production Phantoms.

After a further spell at Derby, 10EX was sent to the East Coast town of Frinton where Basil Johnson was on holiday, the staid reputation of this upper-crust seaside resort town doubtless reflecting Johnson’s conservative nature. Inevitably, he had reservations about the car’s adventurous styling: “We realize that this car is only an experiment, and we are hopeful of being able to improve its appearance.”

But further tests at Brooklands against a standard Rolls-Royce touring car proved the rightness of Evernden’s design; with the cut-out open, the “CJ sports car” recorded a top speed of 89.11mph against the 78.26mph of the standard car, and removing its flared front wings only added an extra three miles an hour.

These impressive figures were achieved with the standard final drive ratio, and the engine was peaking well before the top speed was reached; a taller final drive gearing was called for, but the improvised nature of the modifications to 10EX meant that this could only be achieved with a substantial weight reduction – the car tipped the scales at a substantial 2.35 tons unladen – to maintain the car’s rate of acceleration.

Nevertheless, tests with a 17-tooth pinion instead of the standard 16-tooth gear, produced an extra 1.4mph in adverse weather conditions, with the promise of more on a calmer day, and the decision was taken to go ahead with the production of three very special Phantoms based on the design of 10EX, but with lighter bodies to justify the use of the taller gearing. Their chassis numbers were 15EX, 16EX and 17EX (though the chassis card of 17EX specifies the 16x52 gear set, perhaps in view of the terrain in which it was to operate).

Evernden turned to aircraft construction techniques to achieve the necessary weight reduction, using sheet metal gussets instead of heavy wrought iron bracketwork and a plywood and metal sandwich construction for the vertical panels; construction of each of the three bodies was entrusted to a different coachbuilder; 15EX went to Hooper, 16EX to Barker and the car offered here, 17EX, was bodied by a well-known maker of sporting bodywork, Jarvis of Wimbledon, whose distinguished clientèle included speed king Sir Malcolm Campbell and Bentley’s backer Woolf Barnato…

The first of the three, 15EX, was completed early in 1928 and used for high-speed testing on the Continent, but was written off in an accident, while 16EX was completed in September of that year and shown to Edward, Prince of Wales, when he visited Rolls-Royce the same month; “No sale was effected,” lamented Evernden, but the car – with an estimated price ticket in the region of £2850 (almost $13,000 at the then rate of exchange) – soon found an owner, a Mr Fuller of Ealing, though he quickly sold the car, doubtless for a quick profit, to a well-known sporting motorist named Captain J. F.C. Kruse (for further information on Capt. Kruse please see lot 347).

A more exalted destiny awaited 17EX, which was completed in the autumn of 1928 and sold for a discounted price of 42,000 rupees ($9150) in December 1928 to the 33-year-old Maharaja Hari Singh Bahadur, ruler of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir in India, whose family was said to own no fewer than 26 Rolls-Royce motor cars, doubtless the reason for the discounted price ticket. The Anglophile Maharajah had served as a Page of Honor to the Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon of Kedlestone, at the grand 1911 Delhi Durbar that celebrated the accession of King George V of England as Emperor of India. When his father had died in 1909, the British Raj had taken a close interest in the education of the ruler-in-waiting, who had received an upper-crust military training with the Imperial Cadet Corps at Dehra Dun and become Commander-in-Chief of the Jammu and Kashmir state forces at the age of 20.

The car, which incorporated many departures from standard, including an engine positioned 1.525in further forward than the normal position and a shortened steering column, had been extensively road-tested at Derby before being shipped to its new owner’s mountainous domain. It had a reported 4350 miles on the clock, half of it covered before the body was fitted, and had apparently recorded 99.5hp on the bench with an open exhaust.

Among its special features were a solid cover over the rear seats to enhance the streamlining; this could be deployed to provide a cover for the legs of the occupants of the rear seats, the rear section hinging back to create their backrest. The rear seats also had their own windshield, and were included beneath the shelter of the disappearing top. The aerofoil section combined running boards and tool boxes on either side resembled the floats of the victorious Schneider Trophy Supermarine seaplanes that owed their winning performance to their specially-developed Rolls-Royce “R” aeroengines.

17EX marked the end of Rolls-Royce’s experiments with open sports cars. There were two reasons for this; firstly, the introduction of the Phantom II in the fall of 1929, with a new chassis whose semi-elliptic rear suspension called for a chassis frame that extended to the rear spring shackles, made it difficult to build a body with a long and elegant tail like those fitted to the cantilever sprung experimental Phantom I sports tourers, and secondly, tourer bodies were rapidly becoming unfashionable, thanks to the development of the sports saloon, whose better aerodynamic shape enabled it to provide similar performance to the open car despite its greater frontal area. A further bonus of the closed sports body was that it was more rigid than the open tourer, which was prone to develop stress cracks around the door openings. Despite its elegance, 17EX had proved a blind alley as far as the development of new models was concerned.

The Maharaja kept 17EX until 1932, when he is recorded as having sold the car to one Ram Narain of Kanpur, in the state of Uttar Pradesh. He only retained 17EX for a few months before parting with it to a prominent connoisseur of very exclusive automobiles, P. K Mitter of Calcutta, who also owned a Duesenberg and an Isotta Fraschini. He drove 17EX for some eleven years before selling it to Greta Devi of Allahabad in 1944. A West Bengal registration document dated 1956 indicates a transfer of ownership between one Sukosh Banerjee and Bimal Kanti Ghose, both of Calcutta, but the next long-term owner was the Raja Saheb of the remote princely state of Bhadri, in the north central province of Madhya Pradesh.

Some ten years later, around 1967, news of the car’s existence reached the ear of a keen collector named Protap Roy, Maharajkumar of Santosh, who already owned a 1928 Hooper-bodied Phantom I and a Mercedes-Benz 540K, eventually persuaded the Raja Saheb to part with 17EX, which was in poor shape “after years of being locked up in a dark garage”. Part of the deal was a request for Roy to help the Raja Saheb, a keen dog lover, find a pair of corgis!

Roy restored and enjoyed 17EX, but eventually the car had to be sold to finance the purchase of a new addition to his collection, and in 1976 it was acquired by British dealer Christopher Renwick, who arranged to have the car shipped to Europe, where it was sold to two Italian collectors, Dr Veniero Molari, a Fiat executive, and Giulio Vignale, nephew of the famous carrozziere.

During the 1990s the car was entrusted to Gianni Pena, a modeler for the leading Torinese coachbuilders, for restoration, which was still ongoing when 17EX was acquired by the current custodian, Victor Muller, CEO of the Spyker supercar company. Since restoration was completed, the car has appeared at Pebble Beach as part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Rolls-Royce company in 2004 and in 1996 won the Trofeo Rolls-Royce for the most elegant example of the marque at the Villa d’Este Concours.

Now looking every inch as elegant as it did almost 80 years ago when it was delivered to Maharaja Hari Singh Bahadur, 17EX – once described as resembling some extra-terrestrial dragonfly – is ready for new world to conquer and, perhaps, to attain that magical 100mph of which Henry Royce dreamed all those years ago, plotting new cars beneath the mulberry tree in the garden of his Sussex home.
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Old 22nd March 2009, 20:21   #276
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Originally Posted by wasif View Post
Some pictures of 17EX ( Engine NO 25EX )the experimental Phantom 1 which was the property of the Maharaja Hari Singh of Jammu & Kashmir. The body is by Jarvis.

This car was up for sale at Bonhams & Butterfields Exceptional Cars Auction at Quail Lodge, Carmel on 15 August 2008 where it didn't find a new home.
Wasif:
Check out Post # 681 and # 631 in the Rolls Royce thread for some interesting period pictures. Cheers

Last edited by v12 : 22nd March 2009 at 20:23.
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Old 22nd March 2009, 20:21   #277
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Default Maharaja of Jodhpur 19 25 Rolls Royce Boat Tailed Hunting Car.

Some details and pictures of a 1925 Rolls Chassis 9LC with Barker boat tailed body said to have belonged to the Maharaja of Jodhpur and subsequently the Maharaja of Idar.

Courtsey Concept Cars and Prototype Vehicles | Conceptcarz.com

Boattail Hunting Car
Coachwork: [COLOR=#3333cc]Barker[/COLOR]
Chassis Num: 9LC
Engine Num: HC 55
This 1925 Rolls-Royce Phantom I hunting car with coachwork by Barker has chassis number 9LC and body number 5670. It is in three-seater sports configuration and originally supplied to The Maharaja of Jodhpur. In 1927 it was used by the Maharaja of Bikaner in 1927 and the Maharaja of Idar in 1933. This vehicle was very fast with its straight six-cylinder 7.6-liter engine that produced 108 horsepower. It was also very reliable and used regularly by the Maharajah as a hunting car.

The one-off coarchwork was created for the Maharaja of Jodhpur, with the purpose of tiger hunting in India. Specific options ordered for this car include light-weight three-seater sports body, sporty outside handbrake lever, two side-mounted spare tires, an ivory white finish to the steering wheel and real ivory control knobs. There are teardrop-style running board toolboxes, wood-grain paint finish to the upper surface of the bodywrok, ultra-low windshield, and oyster shell fenders.

The car remained in the Idar family until the early 1960s.

In 2008, this Phantom I Barker Boattail was brought to the Gooding & Company auction held in Pebble Beach, CA. It was one of the highlights of the auction, selling for $1,210,000 including buyer's premium.


This is a very unique and wonderful Rolls-Royce Phantom that has a purposeful design and an elegant ambiance and majesty. It retains its original silver and black color combination and is a matching numbers example.dv
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How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas-25_rolls_phantom_barker_dv_06gcpb_01.jpg  

How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas-25_rolls_phantom_barker_dv_06gcpb_03.jpg  

How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas-25_rolls_phantom_barker_dv_06gcpb_06.jpg  

How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas-25rollspi_barkerdv08_gc_02.jpg  

How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas-25rollspi_barkerdv08_gc_08.jpg  

How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas-25rollspi_barkerdv08_gc_03.jpg  

How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas-25_rolls_phantom_barker_dv_06gcpb_i03.jpg  

How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas-25_rolls_phantom_barker_dv_06gcpb_i02.jpg  

How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas-25rollspi_barkerdv08_gc_i03.jpg  

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Old 22nd March 2009, 20:29   #278
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The first picture is of a 1913 Silver Ghost said to have belonged to the Maharaja of Patiala.

The second picture is of a 1927 Phantom 1 said to have belonged to the Maharaja of Udaipur.

Does anyone have more details on these cars.
The Patiala Silver Ghost (along with the Mysore "Throne Car" were part of the Solove Collection and auctioned last year to benefit the Ohio State University Cancer Research Center. Car is Chassis # 2517 - by Mulliner.

The Udaipur Phantom 1 is Chassis # 100EF, Hooper Tourer. There are period pictures in "Automobiles of the Maharajas".
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Old 23rd March 2009, 10:01   #279
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Originally Posted by travancore View Post
The Patiala Silver Ghost (along with the Mysore "Throne Car" were part of the Solove Collection and auctioned last year to benefit the Ohio State University Cancer Research Center. Car is Chassis # 2517 - by Mulliner.

The Udaipur Phantom 1 is Chassis # 100EF, Hooper Tourer. There are period pictures in "Automobiles of the Maharajas".

I remember a car similar to the Mysore Throne Car was a part of the Bhogilal Collection.

Any idea who it belonged to. I remember he had named it Chamunda or something like that.

Last edited by wasif : 23rd March 2009 at 10:03.
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Old 23rd March 2009, 10:23   #280
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Wasif, thank you for the great articles you are sharing here. However all these vehicles have been featured before either in this thread or elsewhere, do check first in detail before posting the same car again. It is a tedious process

Also please do give us the link of the original article rather than just copy pasting. Thanks again.
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Old 23rd March 2009, 12:54   #281
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Some comments on the past few threads.
According to an article in one of the magazines a couple of years ago, where they interviewed the person who bought the Rolls from Mysore, the Mysore throne car was not his reason for going there. In fact he had come to purchase some guns. Some slip up and he was kept waiting. The Maharaja later took him to the royal garage and asked him to select a car. He chose this car. I do not remember if it was part of the gun deal, sold separately or even gifted to him.
Pranlal's car is a replica built on a chassis which he had, without a body. Someone has to ask him where it came from.
As rightly said, Indian Maharajas bought a lot of RR's, but they did not bring all to India.
The Nabha swan car was a Brooke, not a RR. And probably the only Brooke left in the world, though if I remember correctly remnants of a Brooke were discovered in New Zealand a couple of years ago. But did Nabha have a second Swan car built on a Rolls? I doubt it.
BTW, can anyone figure what Protab Roy did with his 540K?
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Old 23rd March 2009, 12:59   #282
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The Nabha swan car was a Brooke, not a RR. And probably the only Brooke left in the world, though if I remember correctly remnants of a Brooke were discovered in New Zealand a couple of years ago. But did Nabha have a second Swan car built on a Rolls? I doubt it.
It has been mentioned frequently that along with the Swan car 3 more cars were part of the deal with Nabha - one later Rolls (possibly a Silver Wraith, one was advertised in Germany as ex Nabha), one earlier Rolls (Phantom 1, 20hp?) and a smaller replica Swan car. Any details on this replica?
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Old 23rd March 2009, 14:34   #283
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Originally Posted by karlosdeville View Post
It has been mentioned frequently that along with the Swan car 3 more cars were part of the deal with Nabha - one later Rolls (possibly a Silver Wraith, one was advertised in Germany as ex Nabha), one earlier Rolls (Phantom 1, 20hp?) and a smaller replica Swan car. Any details on this replica?
The replica swan car was if i am not mistaken called the Cygnet as in baby swan.. It was a mechanical scale version of the original Swan car
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Old 23rd March 2009, 15:53   #284
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This car was sold by RM in 07.

Pictures / Details courtsey 2007 RM Auction, Scottsdale: 3 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghosts

1921 Silver Ghost Torpedo Phaeton

Chassis No. 50UG is Lot 266 and was shipped to the 1921 Calcutta Motor Show soon after being built with a Touring Phaeton body. The Maharajah of Bundelkhand in central India bought the car on the spot. After five years, the Maharajah took this Ghost back to the Rolls factory where it was given its current polished aluminum Torpedo body. The car was discovered years later in India with 10,000 miles on the odometer, its original alloy body intact and the factory build sheets. During the restoration, no body panels were replaced. RM says in its catalogue description that the body "... required nothing more than a thorough polishing..." The car's estimated auction price was $350,000, but the gavel fell at $465,000.
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Old 23rd March 2009, 16:51   #285
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Some details and pictures of a 1925 Rolls Chassis 9LC with Barker boat tailed body said to have belonged to the Maharaja of Jodhpur and subsequently the Maharaja of Idar.
Interesting car, thanks for posting.

If I remember right, Rolls Royce always insisted on supplying the chassis with the radiator, bonnet & dashboard. This one seems to be an exception. Perhaps an exception was made for a valued customer

Aditya
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