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Old 23rd January 2012, 19:58   #676
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Default Re: How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas

I do agree with Wumps on this. The early Lanchesters were design trend setters and the quality was next to none.

This is why in the early days of motoring they had a great deal of demand from Indian royalty and royalty from other parts of the world as well.

PS. Good to see you back here after a long time Wumps. Please so share some of the details on your involvment with the Francis Hutton-Stott car and any pictures if possible.

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Old 23rd January 2012, 22:34   #677
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Default Re: Maharaja of Jodhpur 19 25 Rolls Royce Boat Tailed Hunting Car.

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Originally Posted by Boybentley View Post
#9LC seen here offered for sale in 1962, as far as I can see it's all black ;-)
What a handsome car !! oozes style
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Old 24th January 2012, 13:01   #678
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Default Re: How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas

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Originally Posted by kasli View Post
Found a snap. Quite an ugly looking thing ?....
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That is a bit unusually proportioned, ...?
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on the contrary, i think it has a charm of its own, i quite like it, must be quite a balanced chassis for that era
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Originally Posted by mbz180 View Post
IMHO, hideous would be an understatement. Looks more like a limo with a front that's been smashed in.
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Originally Posted by harit View Post
The Lanchester was ugly no doubt, but it was a smooth well engineered car and they do get "collected". .................
Cheers harit
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Sadly, Harit, being "collected" is not a good guide to the intrinsic merits of any particular make or model but I share your views of the Lanchester, many of which, notably the 40hp, were acquired by the Indian nobility............................I'm seldom able to pass up an opportunity to bang the drum for LANCHESTER! Wumpletoad.
Hi Wumpletoad, and I thought that I did a bit of batting for Lanchesters too. See the negative comments, I was trying to bring out merits about its engineering, but you will agree that the looks needed a little bit of getting used to. This applies to almost all veteran cars too. My approach was a bit soft, Lanchesters are collectible cars and it seems that we are on the same page, but with different wordings.

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Old 19th February 2012, 20:40   #679
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Default interesting read about maharaja of Dhrangadhra

Am trying to source a picture of the blue car mentioned below

Raja Ghanashyamsinhji
Dayalu Bava
Nahi male
Have nahi male nahi male


He was an old man, with a flowing white beard and milky eyes when I met him at the village tea shop at Tikar village in the winter of 1986. Tikar the village that sat on the lip of the salt rann. He was now almost blind, but his voice was strong and his old ravanhatha and bow made sweet music still. He wore a white dhoti and a long white shirt with a khes thrown over his shoulders. I had noticed this Nathbava, this wandering singer, in dusty Tikar for the refrain of the song he sang,

Raja Ghanashyamsinhji
Dayalu Bava
Nahi male
Have nahi male nahi male

He was singing a praise song to the ex ruler of Dhrangadhra, Maharaja Ghanshyamsinhji who had died in 1942.

I knew something about Ghanshyamsinhji Bava as any grandson would know something about a grandparent. My grandmothers had told me he was kind, he was generous and that by and large he was a mild mannered man of the family. He was fond of food and fine English waistcoat watches and diamond studded enameled cigarette boxes. I also knew that he was a supporter of Gandhi from the time of his return from South Africa and had given him money when Gandhi was an unknown name in the wilderness. Few know today Ghanshyamsinhji Bava had met with Gandhi in the salt-pans of the rann of Dhrangadhra many years before Gandhi marched to the sea and shook the foundation if the alien empire of the British in India. Salt was one of the pillars of our ancient desert kingdom's revenue for hundreds of years, granted rights by the Rajput Kings of Patan in the eleventh century. Raj Ghansyamsinhji and his predecessors had fought for this vital livelihood of our people with the Sultanate Sultans, the Mughals governors, the Marathas marauders, before the arrival of the latest tormentors, the British taxmen administrators.

I knew these things and so I was not entirely surprised that the singer sang the refrain of King Ghanshyamsiinhji the Kind, but I was curious to know what specific anecdotes Bhurji Bhai sang about and how he came by them, for in 1986 he was in his mid eighties and would have been a man in his thirties when King Ghanshyamsinhji passed away.

This is the story he told me.

A man can be kind to a person a king has to be kind to an entire people.

It was cruel winter of 1921 in the village of Sultanpur when the great flight of demoiselle crane circled above before descending in great spirals in the barren fields that lay around the permanent waters of the lake where many flights of mallard and pintail duck had already arrived. The waters were teaming with life of the waterfowl. Snipes, egrets, herons snowy white and blue patrol the shores and green bee eaters, crested hoppoes, sand grouse marked the flat grasslands that race away to the north edge of the salt rann where mirages dance in the winter once the sun has gained some strength. His village was Sultanpur and he was an agaria – a saltmaker, who made salt in the desert.

It was a time of great sorrow for Burji a young boy of fourteen at this time as his father lay dying in the salt pans. He lay on his string cot and Bhurji's mother sat by giving the dying man water from time to time. Waiting for the end. At fourteen Bhurji was a grown man and he pulled the rope on the Dhenkvo well so that the leather bucket went deep into the darkness. When the boy released the rope slowly the stone weight on the wooden arm swung the arm upwards so the bucket emerged filled with brine. Bhurji swung the bucket over onto the pan and emptied the water into the shallow white salt pan. He did this all day stopping to eat and on occasion to attend to his mother. He could not stop. Not for an hour, not even as his father lay dying for the salt had to be made, the water had to be released into the rectangular pans to enable it to evaporate at the correct temperature. If he stopped the salt would not grow into the fine white crystals. What would they eat. So Bhurji bent and pulled up buckets of water with the rhythm of his heart and the strength of his body.

As he was working in the gloom of the hopeless, he saw a small dust cloud rise in the southern horizon and it came quickly towards him. Soon he saw that some hundred yards in front of the cloud there was family of onagers, the brave little horses of the desert, dun and white as they ran fast and straight towards him. They looked long legged as they ran on the mirage waters of the rann and the legs were elongated by the shimmering reflection. Within seconds the dust cloud cleared and the strange new car came into view that streaked the rann. Without thinking he ran towards the streaking car. He ran and he ran as fast as he could waving his head scarf wildly so that the occupants would notice. What did he have to loose. His father was dying. Maybe somebody in the motor car could help him. As he ran the family of onagers split past him, the males on one side of him and the young ones and mothers on the other. They raced on. They raced past and the motorcar raced past him in a flash. Broken and panting he stood bent over in the dust cloud. He looked up into the blinding sun for a moment and then turned back, walking slowly over the cracked earth, flat and shimmering as far as the eye could see. Looking up from the cracked earth, he saw the open sky blue motorcar drive up to him and there were 5 men. Three dressed in khakhi uniforms and shinny brass buttons and turbans with fine upturned moustaches. A third man was dressed like him, a villager, with a muzzlehoader over his shoulder. He was pagi, a game scout. A fourth man drove the car. A fifth man, large and at ease sat looking at him, kindly. He wore a white solar hat on his head. He signaled Bhurji to approach. Bhuji knew at once this was the king. There was only one man in the land who had such a car in the entire region. He had never seen it but people in the village spoke of the sky blue car . It would appear out of the blue horizon without warning and it would fade away into the horizon without warning. Even the black buck antelope loved to play with it and they raced along and in front of it when it appeared in the grasslands and in the salt desert.

"What is the matter, son", asked the king, "Why were you running at the car?" "Bapu, I stammered," My father is dying. Bapu can you help us?". "Where is your father?" asked the king. "There", pointed I at the little reed hut besides the squares of the salt pan, shinning white.

We drove to the hut. "The king had father, mother and me placed in the sky blue car. "Take them to Dhrangdhra hospital" he said softly. Bapu cried I, 'What about the salt?
"Don't worry" said the king.

"Two of his attendants and the pagi stayed with him, Bapa," said Bhurji, "He sat on the string cot looking over the saltpans as we raced away in his sky blue car. My father was saved that day when Andata came. How great was our good fortune? How great was his heart, how ocean wide his kindness? Blessed were we, poor salt makers when his shadow fell upon us!. We will never see such a kind man again, no, we will never see such a kind king again. "

He lifted his ranvanhatha and song in the future.

Raja Ghanashyamsinhji
Dayalu Bava
Nahi male
Have nahi male nahi male
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Old 20th February 2012, 06:31   #680
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Default Alwar Hispano Suizas and Lanchester

Found these interesting pictures from a movie called Shakepeare-Wallah (1965). Has anyone seen it ?

pictures courtesy iMCDB.org

Name:  Alwar Hispano Suizas in Shakepearewallah movie.jpg
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Name:  Alwar Lanchester in 1965.jpg
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Old 20th February 2012, 07:01   #681
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Default

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Originally Posted by travancore
Found these interesting pictures from a movie called Shakepeare-Wallah (1965). Has anyone seen it ?

pictures courtesy iMCDB.org
The Alwar cars Hispano Suiza in the back ground now in Mr Bhogilal Collection and the Lanchester

Cheers
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Old 25th February 2012, 18:59   #682
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Default Re: How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas

The Maharani's pink slippers......

Here is something that comes closest to corroborating the story of the Maharaja painting his car to match his Maharani's pink slippers! If my memory serves me, the car in the "story" was a Packard

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Last edited by travancore : 25th February 2012 at 19:01.
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Old 25th February 2012, 22:58   #683
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Default Re: How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas

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The Maharani's pink slippers......

Here is something that comes closest to corroborating the story of the Maharaja painting his car to match his Maharani's pink slippers! If my memory serves me, the car in the "story" was a Packard

Attachment 893535
Yes it was a Packard and a 745 limousine in white with pink interior if I recall correctly from Beverly Rae Kimes' amazing book. BTW I have seen the interior of the Porbander palace and know first hand that this American wife of the Maharajah was obsessed with pink. The entire interior of the palace wing where she lived is pink. Also the couple had a unusual preference it appears for White exteriors as apart from this limo their 1931 Packard 830 Custom Deluxe phaeton was also white. In the 30's white was not a common colour chosen I believe.

Last edited by DKG : 25th February 2012 at 23:01.
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Old 9th March 2012, 16:03   #684
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Default Re: How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas

In post 583 a mention is made about the impending sale of a 540K . Engine no 154081 was sold new to the Maharaja of Indore in England, july 1937. Any news of the sale? I also heard rumours about another 500 or 540K having surfaced at a dealers garage in andheri. Team BHP sleuths, any info?
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Old 9th March 2012, 18:39   #685
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Default Re: How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas

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In post 583 a mention is made about the impending sale of a 540K . Engine no 154081 was sold new to the Maharaja of Indore in England, july 1937. Any news of the sale?
The car was sold for 1.4 million euros.

Here is the link: RM Auctions
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Old 24th March 2012, 16:26   #686
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Default Re: How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas

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Originally Posted by travancore View Post
This ought to be interesting. Hopefully some "long-lost" / recently unseen masterpieces will show up:

source / quoted from: www.sportscardigest.com

"Featured Marques – 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
Cars of the Maharajas – The Maharajas, ......."
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.. Actually I think this is a great idea. Also expect to see the Jaipur Bentley 6.5 liter....
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And imagine if General Lyons would bring both the Hyderabad and the Holkar Duesnebeergs ....
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Actually PB invites you to come, you cant go to PB without being invited first.
Attached is an article on a modern Maharaja, and Pebble Beach. My understanding is that selection is a most difficult task, there are no sponsors to take cars there and cars must have a certain standard in restoration to be eligible, and all should be ready by May/June to reach in time.
There have been a lot of selection processes going on and probably three cars are very likely to go from India. All three are from private collections, they are being spruced up and originally come from states in Rajasthan, Gujrat and Central India.
The 6.5 Bentley is unlikely to go. One Duesenberg may be present. I think the line-up of Maharaja cars will be quite small, and may be divided into Rolls and non-Rolls categories. The Jodhpur cars were likely contenders but again these are unlikely to go.

In the article you will see an Aston Martin, what I wonder why our expert had no comments on that car. How did that car landed up there?.

The article is a bit inaccurate. According to googlebaba, Barwani's were Ranas, not Maharajas, apparently there is a difference, just setting right provenance where it is distorted. The crazy car chasing prince also finds good homes for cars, which is not mentioned, having passed on some great cars entrusted to him by sentimental owners, he being an authority and enthusiast.
Hopefully he will do well in the Pebble Beach event supported by able committee's, surely a tad better than the Cartier Event in Delhi which was quite disappointing.
I wonder which foreign based Maharaja cars are likely to appear, hopefully some cars not seen often.
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Old 24th March 2012, 20:03   #687
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Default Re: How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas

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In the article you will see an Aston Martin, what I wonder why our expert had no comments on that car. How did that car landed up there?.
We had discussed the ex-Patiala Aston Martin back on post 624. Looks like it belongs to Mallya's California collection.
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Old 9th April 2012, 13:06   #688
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Default Re: How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas

I don't know if this is the right place but I felt that this was most appropriate - to post a recent news item concerning a Maharaja/Royal Family and a Modern Maharaja/Politician

The link to the news item from - The Telegraph, Calcutta 23rd March 2012.

Spurning a Rolls, craving an Audi

Several news papers on 18th March 2012 had reported that the Haed of Travancore Royal Family - who turned 90 on 17th March 2012 (Star Birthdays) came to temple in Rolls Royce Phantom, which was a birthday gift for him.

But I want to highlight a news of 22nd March as to what transpired after 18th March 2012.

I am posting the actual story here for ready referrence.

Best Regards & Drive/Ride Safe

Ram

Spurning a Rolls, craving an Audi
- Kerala prince & acting governor in contrasting rides





ANANTHAKRISHNAN G.
Thiruvananthapuram, March 22: If popular wisdom is any guide, a prince should be known by his love of ostentatious display, a politician by his keenness to project “austerity”.





But people in Kerala have recently been left scratching their heads over the paradox presented by a tale of two cars.

One is a Rs 7.5-crore Rolls-Royce Phantom that the head of the former royal family of Travancore has declined to accept as a gift from a businessman.

The other is the Audi Q7 that Kerala’s acting governor H.R. Bharadwaj wants to add to his official fleet that already boasts a new Mercedes E-class car bought just six months ago for Rs 40 lakh.

Bharadwaj, the Karnataka governor and a former Union minister, has hardly visited Kerala since January 17 when he took additional charge of the state — after governor M..H. Farook went on medical leave and subsequently passed away in Chennai. But that hasn’t stopped his office, the Raj Bhavan, from writing to the state government to buy an Audi Q7 for his travels. The purchase, which the state finance department is expected to clear, will cost Rs 80 lakh in taxpayers’ money.

On the other hand, former royal Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma, a known car lover and custodian of what many believe is the world’s largest temple treasure, wouldn’t yield to a Bangalore-based businessman’s pleas to accept the special edition Rolls-Royce Phantom.
Purushottam Reddy, a builder with mining interests in Turkey, wanted to present the luxury car to Marthanda Varma on the occasion of his 90th birthday on March 18.

Reddy is vice-chairman of the Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma Foundation, a charitable trust that has the prince as its nominal head and is chaired by Abu Dhabi-based magnate B.R. Shetty of the New Medical Centre group of companies.

Reddy, who owns a fleet of luxury cars, requested the king to accept the vehicle, but he politely declined saying he had his own cars. After much pleading, the king agreed to use it just for that day and then returned it to the owner,” said P. Rajesh, a member of the trust.

The Phantom, which is bullet-proof, has its insides rimmed with white gold while the emblem in front is made of platinum. It had been custom-made for a prospective British buyer but Reddy secured it about seven months ago, sources said.

Marthanda Varma has been driving cars since the age of 17 and still retains three of his vintages — a 1955 Mercedes 180D, a 1975 Mercedes 220S and a 1975 model Valiant.

Known for its frugal ways, the royal family recently hit the headlines for safely preserving an estimated Rs 1 lakh crore worth of precious stones and gold jewellery at the Sree Padmanabha Swami temple here. The temple’s vaults, which lay closed for years, were opened in mid-2011 on the Supreme Court’s directions and revealed the astonishing collection donated by the erstwhile rulers of Travancore state.

Last edited by r_nairtvm : 9th April 2012 at 13:07.
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Old 9th April 2012, 17:25   #689
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Default Re: How rich were the Maharajas before Independence! Cars of the Maharajas

Can anyone identify which palace this may be based on these elephant heads seen on the wall? Anyone who has seen this would remember.
And there seems to be a large car in the background.

Cheers harit
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Old 9th April 2012, 19:50   #690
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Can anyone identify which palace this may be based on these elephant heads seen on the wall? Anyone who has seen this would remember.
And there seems to be a large car in the background.

Cheers harit
Mysore ? Just a guess due to elephants
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