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Old 22nd March 2008, 23:43   #1
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Default Classic Rolls Royces in India

India was one of the most significant markets for the Rolls Royce Motor Car Company. From the first Rolls that came into India around 1907 up until a little after independence, over 900 Rolls Royces apparently made it to our shores.

Most of these cars were custom built to the specifications of their owners, and coachbuilders went to any extant to please their customers. The Rolls Royces that came to India often reflected the eccentricities of their owners in design, and form a most spectacular historic representation of princely India

India's wealth was not confined to the Maharajahs alone. Many a wealthy trader indulged himself in ordering these spectacular machines and the larger states saw Rolls Royces flock to the garages of many families other than royalty.

In view of such ownership this marque warrants a separate thread which hopefully in time will document not only the splendid examples of this marque that graced Indian roads but also the many interesting stories associated with this marque's presence in India

A lot of us have seen many pictures of vintage Rolls Royces. Some not so pretty, some handsome, some very pretty, and a few radical. Very rarely do you come across cars such as the following most outlandish and extravagant Rolls Royces I have ever seen in pictures. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did. I am happy to report that these magnificent automobiles survive in India.

Classic Rolls Royces in India-p22600381.jpg

Classic Rolls Royces in India-p2260048.jpg

Classic Rolls Royces in India-p22600471.jpg

Classic Rolls Royces in India-p22600431.jpg

Classic Rolls Royces in India-p2260041.jpg

Classic Rolls Royces in India-p2260044.jpg

Classic Rolls Royces in India-p22600401.jpg

Classic Rolls Royces in India-p2260039.jpg

Classic Rolls Royces in India-p22600461.jpg

Another lovely example

Classic Rolls Royces in India-p2260028.jpg

Last edited by DKG : 23rd March 2008 at 00:03.
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Old 23rd March 2008, 00:04   #2
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Great stuff DKG, how about some details?? Lovely cars.
And some more:

This 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II, with a "Continental"-engine and a Torpedo body by Thrupp & Maberly was built for the Maharajah of Rajkot.
It was called "The Star of India"
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1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Hooper Sports Roadster known as the "Tiger's Eye of Jaipur" not surprisingly went to the Maharajah of Jaipur in India.
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This is a Silver Ghost hard to tell the year but there are no front brakes so its not a late one. Love the scalloped mudguards

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Photos from the internet guide to STUTZ cars history and models

Last edited by Julian UK : 23rd March 2008 at 00:06.
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Old 23rd March 2008, 00:06   #3
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these are the kanpur cars, right?
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Old 23rd March 2008, 00:13   #4
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Manvendra Singh's book refers to some of these cars as Rolls Royces from the Bharatpur royal garage. The peculiar bumpers were "cow guards" and in order not to startle cattle bells were fitted ahead of the radiator

Mods, inadvertantly I replied to the next message separately, kindly merge this and the next post

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Old 23rd March 2008, 00:15   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awini View Post
these are the kanpur cars, right?
Yes Awini I am told so, I have not yet had the pleasure of seeing them but a friend who did forwarded these pictures for our viewing pleasure

Julian may I request you to re-post in this thread all the Rolls pictures you have so kindly posted elsewhere. Thanks

Last edited by DKG : 23rd March 2008 at 00:31.
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Old 23rd March 2008, 00:44   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKG View Post
Yes Awini I am told so, I have not yet had the pleasure of seeing them but a friend who did forwarded these pictures for our viewing pleasure

Julian may I request you to re-post in this thread all the Rolls pictures you have so kindly posted elsewhere. Thanks
Ok take a bit of time though.
Regarding these cars:
1--3 Looks like a Phantom 1
4–8 Are 1918-1924 Ghost
9 I presume 9 is the back of the pre 1924 Ghost in pictures 7&8
10 Is an earlier Ghost possibly pre war.
Love all that hardware

I think the forum must be shaking under the onslaught of all this heavy metal!

Last edited by Julian UK : 23rd March 2008 at 00:46.
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Old 23rd March 2008, 00:57   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julian UK View Post
Ok take a bit of time though.
Regarding these cars:
1--3 Looks like a Phantom 1
4–8 Are 1918-1924 Ghost
9 I presume 9 is the back of the pre 1924 Ghost in pictures 7&8
10 Is an earlier Ghost possibly pre war.
Love all that hardware

I think the forum must be shaking under the onslaught of all this heavy metal!
Ideally we must document the chassis numbers and refer to them so as is done with Rolls Royces the world over. This would dispel any issues of correct year. Further we must make an attempt to correctly identify the coachbuilder.

I can start with the Nizam's Rolls being a 1912 Silver Ghost chassis number 2117, body by Barker

As for the forum, well what we are attempting to do has a major educational value and I hope many will appreciate this rich heritage

Last edited by DKG : 23rd March 2008 at 01:11.
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Old 23rd March 2008, 01:34   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKG View Post
Ideally we must document the chassis numbers and refer to them so as is done with Rolls Royces the world over. This would dispel any issues of correct year. Further we must make an attempt to correctly identify the coachbuilder.

I can start with the Nizam's Rolls being a 1912 Silver Ghost chassis number 2117, body by Barker

As for the forum, well what we are attempting to do has a major educational value and I hope many will appreciate this rich heritage
Ideally....
Every car had a number I have all the records for Phantoms I, II, III and W.O.Bentleys but not Ghosts or "Rolls Bentleys", the car number is the key. We'll get there
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Old 23rd March 2008, 05:55   #9
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Default RR's In India

Julian,
You have some great pics of cars in India. Would be wonderful if you just add them to this thread. Yes, that would be asking you to do a good bit of work, re-posting them here. If you could, we would have all pics of one Marque, in one thread, and would be a great pictorial record of these beautiful cars. We seem to have lost a number of these cars to the West. Let us now enjoy what's left. I have some pics from the 1980's taken at car rallies, that I will scan and post shortly.
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Old 23rd March 2008, 07:14   #10
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Originally Posted by xoticars View Post
We seem to have lost a number of these cars to the West. Let us now enjoy what's left. I have some pics from the 1980's taken at car rallies, that I will scan and post shortly.
You are very right, but what cars still remain must be preserved properly...
Do post your pictures, they will be valued and appreciated here.
It would also be appropriate if left hand drive Fiats, VWs,Tongas and Landmasters etc were given suitably honourable threads all of their own. They are also an important milestone in Indian motoring history and deserve their own threads, but in a different context to vintage cars.

Just look at the next post of a RR 20hp, it just exudes history. Absolutely wonderful! I will shortly upload a list of all the 20hp Rolls-Royces that came to India. Wonderful photos Moral Fibre these are wonderful photos of magnificent cars! Any more?

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Old 23rd March 2008, 07:25   #11
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Here's one from Pune done around 600 miles till date.

Quote from Karl's post on Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by karlosdeville View Post
Undoubtedly, the jewel in the crown has to be this 1925 Rolls Royce 20hp, ex Maharaja of banswada...when Mr Thakker saw the car with the royal family, it was laid up on bricks for decades...he just spun one of the wheels, and it kept spinning for 5-6 minutes! only a rolls has that kind of quality...

the car had covered a genuine 429 miles when purchased, creating a record of sorts...to date she has only covered 600 odd miles...
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Old 23rd March 2008, 07:39   #12
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Just a curious question, don't think it is off-topic.

How did they handle after sales service (A.S.S) for these rare cars in those days? Did RR have service centers in India, or did they dispatch mechanics for doing routine service?

Going by the practices those days, it is quite possible that they supplied couple of full-time mechanics along with cars.
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Old 23rd March 2008, 07:51   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Just a curious question, don't think it is off-topic.

How did they handle after sales service (A.S.S) for these rare cars in those days? Did RR have service centers in India, or did they dispatch mechanics for doing routine service?

Going by the practices those days, it is quite possible that they supplied couple of full-time mechanics along with cars.
They had a whole service network of Rolls-Royce agents in India, some photos still exist of their buildings, I will upload a picture or two in due course. In UK, if your car broke down, they would come and take it away, repair it and bring it back very quickly and many repairs were deleted from their records to prevent any record of failure.... But they didn't break down very often due to stringent quality control. Every component, even nuts and bolts were tested all nickel steel! Most of them were stamped and the records are still available from them or the Rolls-Royce enthusiasts club RREC.
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Old 23rd March 2008, 09:00   #14
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if i am not mistaken there was a book titled"ROLLS ROYCES OF INDIA" written by ....Ali BAIG published some years ago. Someone has it ??
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Old 23rd March 2008, 10:21   #15
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Here's an ex Mysore Silver Wraith from 1948 WGC 31. The car survives in India. Don't remember the coachbuilder now but doesn't it look like a Hooper?

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Last edited by DKG : 23rd March 2008 at 10:27. Reason: Mods please delete this post. Strangely this got posted while previewing it
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