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Old 23rd July 2010, 06:50   #541
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Default "Maharaja" Alfa Romeo RLSS

This Alfa Romeo RLSS (1925) by Castagna has been repeatedly referred to as an "ex-Maharaja" car. It was supposedly taken out of India in the 1970's and is currently owned by the Alfa Romeo Museum.

The car was displayed at this year's Concorso Villa d'este in celebration of Alfa's centenary. The horse head mascot is supposedly symbolic of the horse(s) on the Maharaja's coat of arms.

Anyone know the provenance / history of this car ?

source indicated on photos

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Old 28th July 2010, 14:56   #542
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A choptop Humber and Citroen Traction are on display at the Ramgarh Palace.

How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas-01.jpg
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The Ramgarh Fort and Palace - a set on Flickr

Also Khimsar Buick and Fiat can be seen here

How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas-0000.jpg

Vintage cars, Rajasthan, India on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
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Old 31st July 2010, 21:04   #543
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Originally Posted by travancore View Post
This Alfa Romeo RLSS (1925) by Castagna has been repeatedly referred to as an "ex-Maharaja" car. It was supposedly taken out of India in the 1970's and is currently owned by the Alfa Romeo Museum.
For whatever it is worth, I found this picture with me which must have been posted earlier elsewhere on the forum.

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

Plus here is what the Alfa Romoe museum catalogue has to say

How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas-01.jpg
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Old 31st July 2010, 21:15   #544
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From a July 1988 issue of the Indian Auto Journal, here is part of an article on Pierce Arrows written by Manvendra Barwani. There is only one reference to an Indian connection, attached below.

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

Any idea how long this car stayed on in India after the convention?
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Old 2nd August 2010, 18:17   #545
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Default Idar Hotchkiss 686GS

Interesting photo (source: Beaulieu Encyclopaedia of the Automobile)

How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas-idar-hotchkiss-686gs-roadster-1938-small.jpg

Note the "IDAR 36" Licence plate.
I have a feeling this car is different from the Bhogilal car. Differences include door cut line, disappearing top, absence of running board / bodyside mouldings etc.


The display plate on the Bhogilal car seems to say "Nandgaon". However, going by the spear mouldings on the fenders, I am inclined to think it is an ex-Alwar car that may have gone on to Nandgaon. Any expert views ?
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Old 3rd August 2010, 10:25   #546
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Originally Posted by travancore View Post
Interesting photo (source: Beaulieu Encyclopaedia of the Automobile)

Attachment 398036

Note the "IDAR 36" Licence plate.
I have a feeling this car is different from the Bhogilal car. Differences include door cut line, disappearing top, absence of running board / bodyside mouldings etc.


The display plate on the Bhogilal car seems to say "Nandgaon". However, going by the spear mouldings on the fenders, I am inclined to think it is an ex-Alwar car that may have gone on to Nandgaon. Any expert views ?
Great find! Appears to be shot in Bombay.
We must note that the Bhogilal car was heavily altered. It was featured in BSMotoring magazine sometime back where Bhogilal himself was quoted as saying that he had it rebodied in the style of F&F. To what extent I dont know.

According to prior discussions on the forum, I remember talk of the Bhogilal car coming from a Jewish man in Bombay, and not a princely state. Subject to correction of course. Also I believe the Jeejeebhoy family had a Hotchkiss in Pune/Bombay, though no details.
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Old 5th August 2010, 18:28   #547
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Originally Posted by travancore View Post
Interesting photo (source: Beaulieu Encyclopaedia of the Automobile)
Note the "IDAR 36" Licence plate.
The display plate on the Bhogilal car seems to say "Nandgaon". However, going by the spear mouldings on the fenders, I am inclined to think it is an ex-Alwar car that may have gone on to Nandgaon. Any expert views ?
Hi and very interesting. Lovely pose outside the Taj. It would be after 1940, and much before 1970. From Idar 36 the plate changed to GJ? 3???
I had received another photo from a collector from north India which was identified by Lord Montague of Beaulieu as a 3 1/2 litre 686 GS Hotchkiss with Indian built body. Attached photo is from the 1971 Book of LMB titled " Lost Causes of Motoring" Vol. 2 (Europe). At that time I dug into my pictures and came up with a picture from my collection of the same car.
Today this car is in Ahmedabad, with a Parsi gent.
I remember on an occasion in the late 1970's both the known Hotchkiss cars participated in a rally. One was white, the other was blue. This is probably the white one, the blue one is now with Pranlal, duly 'Flashed" and "Figonified"(R).
Now that this car was from Idar, it was very likely once in the hand of Mr. Nath, maybe he can confirm. Because my picture came with a picture of the Lagonda which he sold to Indore. And he did buy cars from Idar, the Duesenberg is one such example. Ignore the scooters in the background, they would have been sold.

Pranlal's car was with a Jewish gentleman, Samson, he was in the navy, perhaps even an admiral. Where he got it from is not known to me. It used to lie in Colaba in the navy buildings near to the agiary, in Navy Nagar. Whether it came from Nandgaon or Alwar is at the moment difficult to verify.

Cheers harit

How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas-hotchkiss-02.jpg

How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas-hotchkiss-03a.jpg

Last edited by Technocrat : 16th May 2012 at 20:42.
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Old 5th August 2010, 20:09   #548
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Originally Posted by harit View Post
Hi and very interesting. Lovely pose outside the Taj. It would be after 1940, and much before 1970. From Idar 36 the plate changed to GJ? 3???

Cheers harit
Harit - nice pictures. Looks like the car gained some "bullet" rear view mirrors at some point.

Also looks like the car has a wind down windshield that goes into the scuttle.

The "Indian Body" I find hard to believe, but hey, I have been wrong before. Besides, folks like the French Motorcar Co and Simpsons & Co have built some world class bodies.
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Old 5th August 2010, 20:25   #549
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Default Renault

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Despite the passage of time, I can recall that there was no space for a rumble seat. I wish I had taken a picture. It was at school every day. Unfortunately, those were not the days of digital profligacy and picture manipulation on Photoshop. Besides, before the Vintage Car Rally of 1966-67 and the enthusiasm of Prof. NPW Moore of Imperial College London (then on secondment to the CSIR), there was hardly any realisation that these cars were exceptional: witness the Willys Overland Whippet in the Ghasiarimandi area of Lucknow, frequently used for vegetable delivery. Offhand one recalls several Alvis cars, an Armstrong Siddeley, a 1911 Renault (Raja HND Singh of Oel); a Perry from 1916 (Shailendra Prasad), and two Model Ts. I notice one or two of the Lucknow MGs on this site.
3. Incidentally, no response so far from the "august personage who should know" about the cream Packard in Lucknow.
4. This should go offline, but which is the correct thread for a 1930s Chevrolet about to be delivered to its owner in the coalfields?
5. I notice Julian has shifted some Gurney Nutting RRs to the main RR thread. Should I follow suit with the remainder? Grateful if someone could advise, offline if necessary.
The Renault was owned by one Mr Agha of Lakhimpur. He was a lawyer by profession. HND Singh also resident of Lakhimpur, used to get the car for Lucknow Rallies.
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Old 6th August 2010, 14:13   #550
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Originally Posted by harit View Post
Today this car is in Ahmedabad, with a Parsi gent.
Lovely pictures Harit, thanks for sharing. That front end shot reminds me so much of the Jodhpur Delahaye. Do you have any pictures of the Bhogilal car when she attended rallies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by travancore View Post
Also looks like the car has a wind down windshield that goes into the scuttle.

The "Indian Body" I find hard to believe, but hey, I have been wrong before. Besides, folks like the French Motorcar Co and Simpsons & Co have built some world class bodies.
What a neat feature, I haven't seen anything like it. But if it were to disappear into the scuttle, wouldn't it foul with the steering gear and other bits? An awfully tight fit at the least.

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Old 6th August 2010, 21:38   #551
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Wow what an awesome machine. Surprised I missed this when I was in Ahmedabad !! One more reason to head back there someday to see this stunner in person
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Old 6th August 2010, 23:15   #552
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............... At that time I dug into my pictures and came up with a picture from my collection of the same car.
Today this car is in Ahmedabad, with a Parsi gent.................
Cheers harit
Totally OT, can anyone identify those Scooters? With a current picture )

Cheers harit
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Old 7th August 2010, 04:51   #553
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What a neat feature, I haven't seen anything like it. But if it were to disappear into the scuttle, wouldn't it foul with the steering gear and other bits? An awfully tight fit at the least.

There were at least a few cars with the windown windshield (e.g.: Delahaye 165's by F&F and the ex-Persia Bugatti 57 C at the Petersen Museum below:

Petersen Automotive Museum,


Quoting from Petersen: "Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the Prince of Persia and future Shah of Iran, received this striking supercharged Bugatti as a gift from the French government on the occasion of his first wedding. The dramatic body was constructed by Vanvooren of Paris in the style of Figoni et Falaschi, one of the most progressive coachbuilders of the day. Advanced features include fully skirted fenders, a top that conceals beneath a metal panel when down, and a windshield that can be lowered into the cowl by means of a hand crank mounted under the dashboard".

Last edited by travancore : 7th August 2010 at 04:56.
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Old 10th August 2010, 18:50   #554
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Pranlal's car was with a Jewish gentleman, Samson, he was in the navy, perhaps even an admiral. Where he got it from is not known to me. It used to lie in Colaba in the navy buildings near to the agiary, in Navy Nagar. Whether it came from Nandgaon or Alwar is at the moment difficult to verify. Cheers harit
Here is Pranlals car, duly beautified.

Memory says that it is of 1936, and the word Biarritz was part of its name. Google this name, Hotchkiss Biarritz and see what you get.

BTW, Hotchkiss also made Jeeps, the Ford/Willys type.
Cheers harit
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Old 10th August 2010, 19:02   #555
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This is a part picture of the famous Rewa Daimler. Photo taken around 1950, she was no longer a royal car in the sense that she was used for religious processions. But all was kept intact, the lights, aligator horns, still a prestigious car.

This was my very first picture of an Indian Maharaja icon car, others followed. This photo should not appear in any publication

Cheers harit
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