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Old 5th July 2011, 17:26   #601
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Default Re: How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas

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Originally Posted by sureshkishore View Post

Most Maharajas spent their wealth on Expensive Imported Cars, And Built Huge opulent palaces and went around wearing expensive jewelry and clothes.

But thank god, there were some sensible ones who thought of saving their wealth for the future.

Maharajas of Travancore had preserved a huge trove of wealth in the Vaults Hidden in the Padmanabha Swami temple in Trivandrum, Kerala. Now the Supreme Court Ordered the Audit of the Treasure and with one vault remaining to be opened the current estimate has crossed one lakh crore. Double Bihar's annual Budjet or 4 times the Union Health Budjet. Making it one of the richest shrines in the world.

Travancore Maharajas Even Bought Used Cars, they could have easily bought new ones, but refrained from doing so. Perhaps they had read GTO's lateral upgrade thread.,

Wish the government doesnt end up taking over the temple and its treasure.
The Travancore rulers also did buy some expensive cars Like ROLLS ROYCE, Bentley,Buick etc.I am not sure whether they ever bought used cars (highly unlikely),perhaps they may have exchanged cars with other ROYAL families of yore,
Dont think any government will even think of taking over the temple,but regarding its treasure - it is a matter of conjecture

Last edited by ajay99 : 5th July 2011 at 17:27.
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Old 5th July 2011, 19:04   #602
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Default Re: How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas

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Originally Posted by sureshkishore View Post

Most Maharajas spent their wealth on Expensive Imported Cars, And Built Huge opulent palaces and went around wearing expensive jewelry and clothes.

But thank god, there were some sensible ones who thought of saving their wealth for the future.

Maharajas of Travancore had preserved a huge trove of wealth in the Vaults Hidden in the Padmanabha Swami temple in Trivandrum, Kerala. Now the Supreme Court Ordered the Audit of the Treasure and with one vault remaining to be opened the current estimate has crossed one lakh crore. Double Bihar's annual Budjet or 4 times the Union Health Budjet. Making it one of the richest shrines in the world.

Travancore Maharajas Even Bought Used Cars, they could have easily bought new ones, but refrained from doing so...................
Baloney. Maybe they made so much that they still had lots left over. And please do not forget, the valuation is in todays terms, not that it meant any less in those years. But there certainly were well administered states like Baroda, Gondal come to my mind who did spend for public good, education, hospitals etc. Surely there were others too. And their rulers were not known to be really frugal.

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Originally Posted by ajay99 View Post
The Travancore rulers also did buy some expensive cars Like ROLLS ROYCE, Bentley, Buick etc.I am not sure whether they ever bought used cars (highly unlikely),perhaps they may have exchanged cars with other ROYAL families of yore,
Dont think any government will even think of taking over the temple,but regarding its treasure - it is a matter of conjecture
I believe that Travancore even had a Mercedes 500K, one Rolls PI or II now with a newspaper magnette lying in Goa, another Rolls with Pranlal. The Mercedes 500K was chopped and then scrapped. Any confirmation from Travancore?
Temples are never taken over, their administration is. Or Government nomineers are appointed to the trusts, for better management.

Cheers harit

Last edited by harit : 5th July 2011 at 19:12.
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Old 5th July 2011, 20:15   #603
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Default Re: How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas

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Baloney. Maybe they made so much that they still had lots left over. And please do not forget, the valuation is in todays terms, not that it meant any less in those years. But there certainly were well administered states like Baroda, Gondal come to my mind who did spend for public good, education, hospitals etc. Surely there were others too. And their rulers were not known to be really frugal.



I believe that Travancore even had a Mercedes 500K, one Rolls PI or II now with a newspaper magnette lying in Goa, another Rolls with Pranlal. The Mercedes 500K was chopped and then scrapped. Any confirmation from Travancore?
Temples are never taken over, their administration is. Or Government nomineers are appointed to the trusts, for better management.

Cheers harit
As per my info Travancore had 2 RR's (which exact model I dont know since my knowledge of that marque is subzero) one was with Ravi Prakash and the other one must be the one in GOA.The Mercedes 500K is new info for me.In one magazine there was a list (with photos) of the cars the Palace had over the years starting from 1911 (year in which the first motor car arrived in Travancore),incidentally the first car was supposedly not owned by the PALACE!
I will try to locate the magazine and get the list
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Old 6th July 2011, 00:53   #604
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Default Re: How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas

Please share the link

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Its available on Torrent. If you want I can give you the link.
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Old 6th July 2011, 05:23   #605
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Default Re: How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas

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As per my info Travancore had 2 RR's (which exact model I dont know since my knowledge of that marque is subzero) one was with Ravi Prakash and the other one must be the one in GOA.The Mercedes 500K is new info for me.
The only two Travancore RR's that I know of are a Phantom II (Chassis 85-GN, Hooper Limousine) and the 25-30 in the Bhogilal collection.

I have heard stories, but know nothing of the 500K and have seen no documented proof.

Having said that, the book "The Mighty Mercedes" by Michael Frostick mentions a 500K (Cabriolet B, Engine # 113634), delivered June 1935, with first owner the Maharajah of "B"ravancur. A typo perhaps ????

There was an an article on Travancore cars in the "Fast Track" (spelling ?) mag about 3 years ago - with many inaccuracies!

Last edited by travancore : 6th July 2011 at 05:25.
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Old 6th July 2011, 11:51   #606
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Default Re: How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas

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As per my info Travancore had 2 RR's ....one was with Ravi Prakash and the other one must be the one in GOA...In one magazine .....I will try to locate the magazine and get the list
Ravi Prakash and Goa car are the same. After this Rolls was moverd with a Buick, changed ownership many times and now has a permanent home. Please trace the article for us

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Originally Posted by travancore View Post
The only two Travancore RR's that I know of are a Phantom II (Chassis 85-GN, Hooper Limousine) and the 25-30 in the Bhogilal collection.
Having said that, the book "The Mighty Mercedes" by Michael Frostick mentions a 500K (Cabriolet B, Engine # 113634), delivered June 1935, with first owner the Maharajah of "B"ravancur. A typo perhaps ????

There was an an article on Travancore cars in the "Fast Track" (spelling ?) mag about 3 years ago - with many inaccuracies!
This Merc 500K story is supposed to have been told by the Maharaja himself to an automotive historian, who told me. No reason to doubt. Please try asking around, something may come up.

Cheers harit
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Old 6th July 2011, 18:32   #607
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Ravi Prakash and Goa car are the same. After this Rolls was moverd with a Buick, changed ownership many times and now has a permanent home. Please trace the article for us



This Merc 500K story is supposed to have been told by the Maharaja himself to an automotive historian, who told me. No reason to doubt. Please try asking around, something may come up.

Cheers harit
Will try to trace the article,I am sure I have the magazine,
The automotive historian must be Manavendra singh, he did visit the present Maharajah about 5 years ago(September 2006 -to be specific)
to present his book ""THE AUTOMOBILES OF THE MAHARAJAHS"" to the king.What is really amusing is why it took 3 years after publication ,for the author to think about presenting the book to the Palace
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Old 7th July 2011, 03:46   #608
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Default Re: How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas

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Will try to trace the article,I am sure I have the magazine,
The automotive historian must be Manavendra singh, he did visit the present Maharajah about 5 years ago(September 2006 -to be specific)
to present his book ""THE AUTOMOBILES OF THE MAHARAJAHS"" to the king.What is really amusing is why it took 3 years after publication ,for the author to think about presenting the book to the Palace
Did anyone notice there are ZERO Travancore cars pictured or described in the book ? There is a passing reference to Travancore - quoted from a 1930's Autocar / Motor article.
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Old 8th July 2011, 17:41   #609
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Did anyone notice there are ZERO Travancore cars pictured or described in the book ? There is a passing reference to Travancore - quoted from a 1930's Autocar / Motor article.
.It seems the authors did not consider the TRAVANCORE and COCHIN royalty cars not worthy of inclusion,what a pity!!
Cochin too had some cars like Buick ,Cadillac etc.
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Old 13th July 2011, 14:18   #610
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Default Re: How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas

Not sure if this has been posted earlier, a Rolls Royce Phantom 1 Hooper Tourer

Rolls-Royce Phantom Phantom I Tourer by Hooper Tourer 1931 for sale - PreWarCar

Name:  57EF Hoopers 1927 Pithapuram.jpg
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Part of the description reads

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Among the most lucrative and prestigious markets for the model was of course the Empire, then in full splendour, and especially the Rajahs and Maharajahs of India. They commissioned some of the most elaborate coachwork ever placed on a Rolls-Royce chassis, with every exotic fitment imaginable, so that the order forms for such clients make fascinating reading. 57EF is just such a car, ordered from Hoopers in the summer of 1927 for the resoundingly named Sri Raja Rao Venkata Jumara Mahipati Suryarao Bahadur Garu, Maharajah of Pithapuram, whose name and title must have occupied a large proportion of the order form.

The coachwork itself, a superbly–proportioned four-door tourer is of Hoopers’ finest craftsmanship, with twin side-mounted spare wheels and a very ingenious system of lowering the side screens inside the doors when not required. However, as with most Maharajah cars, it is the detail fittings which catch the eye, all recorded on the Factory chassis build cards of which a copy comes in the car’s documentation. The finished product glittered with special equipment, including silver-faced dashboard instruments, ivory-coloured steering wheel, card case, fitted drinks cabinet, and pleated rather than buttoned upholstery. A full set of spectacular Stephen Grebel sidelights and headlamps with matching spotlight is still fitted to the car and remain in lovely condition, still with the patented Barker dipping system. The car has a four-panel opening windscreen, just in front of which are a pair of nautical-type scuttle ventilators. As well as the last word in comfort the Maharajah clearly also had a commitment to personal security on the move, since rather alarmingly the original specification also included ‘a receptacle for revolver between front seat cushions and flap to cover’.

How long His Highness retained the car is unknown but by the mid 1980s it had made its way, in common with many another elaborate Rolls-Royce to the USA. Many illustrious names are associated with its subsequent history including the celebrated Charles Howard, who has owned more great Rolls-Royces than almost anyone, and the equally spectacular Thomas W Barrett III of Scottsdale Arizona. This wonderfully elaborate car is now offered in remarkably pleasing condition, with Carlton Grey coachwork and contrasting delightfully patinated scarlet hide interior, with – a breed point for most of the Maharajah cars - a polished aluminium bonnet. Very rare, very special and a piece of history.
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Old 17th July 2011, 17:13   #611
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This is a Wolseley belonging to The Maharajah of Murud Jhanjira. The car has been rescued as I have been told and rebodied also. The car was in a shed just exposed from above and lying to rot.

The snap was taken in 2007

Cheers
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Old 17th July 2011, 18:51   #612
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This is a Wolseley belonging to The Maharajah of Murud Jhanjira. The car has been rescued as I have been told and rebodied also. The car was in a shed just exposed from above and lying to rot.
The snap was taken in 2007
Cheers
Is this the 1909 Wolseley, now blue in colour?
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Old 17th July 2011, 19:13   #613
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Is this the 1909 Wolseley, now blue in colour?
No , that was a car from UP as per the registration number. This is slightly later car looks like 1920's by the body style

Cheers
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Old 13th August 2011, 06:25   #614
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Default Kolhapur Maybach

Here is the Kolhapur Maybach (SW-38?)
Interesting to note the "Peacock Lamp" behind the fender lamps

Name:  Kohlapur Maybach Frt 3Q L2.jpg
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source: Google Image Result for http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_KoMaQBMKRTk/TRHr0-3bNuI/AAAAAAAAB4c/hD65fX0EXFc/s1600/34853_1346201903689_1490542732_30810071_842654_n.j pg
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Old 13th August 2011, 13:47   #615
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Originally Posted by travancore View Post
Here is the Kolhapur Maybach (SW-38?)
Interesting to note the "Peacock Lamp" behind the fender lamps

Attachment 592210


source: Google Image Result for http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_KoMaQBMKRT...1_842654_n.jpg
The peacocks stand behind the conventional pilot lamps, I doubt that they light up themselves. They are also rumoured to be gold.

How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas-12.jpg

How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas-28.jpg
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