The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages - Team-BHP
Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > Vintage Cars & Classics in India > Pre-War


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 28th September 2008, 14:16   #1
DKG
Senior - BHPian
 
DKG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 3,705
Thanked: 906 Times
Default The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages

At the turn of the last century as automobiles started to appear around the world, The Nizam of Hyderabad was amongst the first few Indians to import automobiles for his use. It is indeed a great pleasure to share with you all pictures of one of the most amazing collections in the world, a collection that has remained in the family for more than 100 years!!

As a part of the efforts of the present Nizam Prince Mukkaramjah and Princess Esra one of their homes Chowmahalla Palace has been converted into a museum for the public and this collection of cars and carriages will open as a museum display close to the festival of Dussehra this year. I am delighted that in view of the imminent opening of this display I now have the permission to share pictures so all of you can travel to Hyderabad to see this most awesome collection of automobiles.

The splendid 1912 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost chassis number 2117 custom built by Barker for the Nizam as a ceremonial coach.

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-img_1117.jpg

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-img_1121.jpg

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-img_1120.jpg

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-img_1132.jpg

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-img_1134.jpg

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-img_1135.jpg

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-img_1136.jpg

Ornate door handles bearing the family's insignia, their "Dastaar" or crown.

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-img_1137.jpg

The central elevated seat for the Nizam. In the rear compartment opposite this sofa are two occasional seats facing sideways just behind the limousine's glass partition.

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-img_1140.jpg

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-img_1139.jpg
DKG is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 28th September 2008, 14:30   #2
DKG
Senior - BHPian
 
DKG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 3,705
Thanked: 906 Times
Default

A spectacular Fiat limousine with a prominent "Dastaar" or crown on the cowl. The front wooded wheels have been temporarily replaced with artillery wheels to facilitate shifting as one of the wheels has corroded.

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-img_1144.jpg

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-img_1145.jpg

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-img_1146.jpg

A Napier

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-img_1147.jpg

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-img_1149.jpg

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-img_1150.jpg

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-img_1153.jpg

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-img_1155.jpg

A Wolseley

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-img_1156.jpg

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-img_1158.jpg
DKG is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 28th September 2008, 14:42   #3
DKG
Senior - BHPian
 
DKG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 3,705
Thanked: 906 Times
Default

Another Napier, sadly with a slightly damaged roof

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-img_1159.jpg

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-img_1160.jpg

The seventh Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan used this Ford Tourer just for the purpose of going to the mosque at Public Gardens on a Friday.

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-img_1161.jpg

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-img_1162.jpg

This splendid 1952 Packard 200 Deluxe Touring Sedan was used occasionally by the present Nizam and his wife

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-img_1163.jpg

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-img_1167.jpg

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-img_1168.jpg

The young prince Mukkaramjah used this lovely converible 1947 Buick often.

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-img_1169.jpg

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-img_1171.jpg

Last edited by DKG : 28th September 2008 at 14:47.
DKG is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 28th September 2008, 15:20   #4
DKG
Senior - BHPian
 
DKG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 3,705
Thanked: 906 Times
Default

The 1912 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost when delivered new to the Nizam looked like this

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-nizam20maharaja20rr20autocar.jpg

Name:  Nizam20Maharaja20RR20Autocar20Writeup.jpg
Views: 51993
Size:  105.1 KB

In 1936 in commemoration of 25 years of rule of the seventh Nizam a grand celebration was planned. Needless to say being the richest monarch and person on the planet he could have bought the entire Rolls Royce factory let alone a new car for the occasion. But being the frugal man he was he instead opted to have the above car refurbished at minimal expense. A princely sum of 500 dollars was sanctioned for the renovation after much persuasion. The car was sent to the Railway garage and apart from a reskin of its sides, received a "shortening" of the bonnet with a longer cowl and smaller wheels. The front and rear fenders were replaced with "modern" iterations. The changes to this magnificent car to say the least at ghastly. However, these changes are in line with the preparations for a historic event in Hyderabad, the Silver Jubillee celebrations.

Legend has it that on the Nizam's return once from a trip to Delhi he was received at the Nampally station in the Rolls. The crowd was so large that it was impossible to drive and the car ended up being pushed all the way to the palace.

Given the special occasions on which such a ceremonial car would be used it is not surprising that in 96 years of its existence this car has done only 356 miles!!!

Name:  MVC034F_3_2.JPG
Views: 42028
Size:  69.8 KB

Last edited by DKG : 28th September 2008 at 15:25.
DKG is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 28th September 2008, 16:13   #5
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Stanher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Hyderabad, AP
Posts: 6,265
Thanked: 1,436 Times
Default

Excellent pics. DKG! I must make it a point to view this collection in person, being a hyderabadi myself!

A request- could you later please post the exact date and timings (if any) the collection would be opened to public view?
BTW, were the packard and buick originally hyderabad cars? Because APY is an early 60s regn., preceeded by APX (which was originally HYX, pre-AP formation?)
Or, as is the case with most Royal family cars (or also maybe due to the fact that the Nizam initially wasnt too happy about Hyderabad being included in AP), they were most likely 'officially' registered much later.

Last edited by Stanher : 28th September 2008 at 16:18.
Stanher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th September 2008, 16:16   #6
DKG
Senior - BHPian
 
DKG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 3,705
Thanked: 906 Times
Default

Perhaps a coincidence but a strange one that somehow my father and I had a little role to play in ensuring the well being of these cars!!

In 1967 when the seventh Nizam passed away his grandson Prince Mukkaramjah was crowned the eight Nizam, as per the wishes of his grandfather. My father has known Prince Mukkaramjah from the late 50's and often the Prince spent time at our home enjoying a relaxed evening. Well before his grandfather had died Prince Mukkaramjah had constructed a modern palace for himself which he named Chiraan Palace which was to be his home whenever he stayed in Hyderabad. He had a row of garages styled in a staggered manner where most of his cars were housed.

Following his coronation once during a meeting Dad asked him if he was aware of a group of very special cars locked up in garages opposite to the King Kothi palace. Mukkaramjah didn't know. He immediately ordered for the shifting of the cars to Chiraan and had a taller shed constructed to house them. Had this fact missed the young prince's notice for long, there was a fair chance some greedy souls would have gotten their hands on these priceless beauties.

Ironically after 40 years when a decision was taken by the Prince and Princess on shifting the cars to Chowmahalla Palace where they would remain as a museum exhibit for eternity the task found its way strangely into my hands.

I had cleaned up the cars sometime in 2007 extensively while they were in Chiraan Palace. Shifting these cars was a daunting task. Given their age and being priceless the risk of damage was to be avoided at any cost. I was aware that all the bodies being based on wood would be prone to damage were any pressure exerted on them during loading or unloading.

For a quite a while I had to rack my brain in figuring out how to load them onto trucks and unload them without damage. I was not convinced hauling these cars up a 3 foot high incline to load into a truck would be free of risks. They are very heavy. I decided not to rush things

It was in Bombay as I met up with fellow enthusiast Nitin Dossa that chanced upon an imported recovery truck used by him for the WIAA of which he is President. On return to Hyderabad I convinced the estate that while the cost was higher using this imported truck was the only way I could ensure safe transfer of the cars. The estate agreed.

And what a joy it was to see the job well done.

Here you see the cars in their home for the past 40 years

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-raw00001.jpg

There were some challenges to be overcome. The front left wheel of the Fiat had corroded and a couple of wooden spokes were completely eaten away. There was no way I could lower the car onto such a wheel. I had to fabricate a hub that mated a central shaft to a Jeep wheel so I could atleast move the car. Designing the contraption I spent an afternoon having it machined out. It worked perfectly and I was able to lower the Fiat onto the floor.

Next the garage was blocked by a huge Michigan Bulldozer, which in its time was apparently the world's largest, and used by Mukkaramjah personally to "carve" out all the walkways in Chiraan palace grounds, something which thousands of walkers enjoy today. There was no way I was going to attempt shifting this monster. But I had to move two cars directly blocked by the dozer. I ended up using my trolley jack to pull the cars sideways so I could roll them out.

As the Rolls still had its tyres on I tried filling them with air. Three of the wheels held up well and a third just about long enough for me to load the beauty onto the truck

Here you see my Truckair compressor hammering air into the Rolls

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-raw00007.jpg

The beauty out into the open after many years. You can see the Michigan Bulldozer by its side

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-raw00011_2.jpg

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-raw00012_2.jpg

The truck lines up and lowers the bed

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-raw00018_2.jpg

The winch attached, it was now just a flick of a switch to load this magnificent beast.

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-raw00022.jpg

By now I was elated that I had taken the right decision to bring in this truck all the way from Bombay. I relaxed and stood aside taking pictures as the electric winch hauled the beauty up

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-raw00023_2.jpg

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-raw00025.jpg

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-raw00026.jpg

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-raw00027.jpg

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-raw00029.jpg
DKG is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 28th September 2008, 16:30   #7
DKG
Senior - BHPian
 
DKG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 3,705
Thanked: 906 Times
Default

With the bed straightened up it moves in to close forward

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-raw00030.jpg

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-raw00031.jpg

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-raw00032.jpg

With the beauty all strapped down I rested assured there was going to be no rocking and rolling as we drive across town

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-raw00035.jpg

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-raw00036.jpg

Covered up we then set forth to her new home. It was indeed an honour to personally escort the most precious Rolls Royce in the world to a grand new home.

The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-raw00037.jpg

This was a job well done. By early next morning all eight cars and three motorcycles were shifted. Not a single scratch, no damage whatsoever. Given these machines are more historic artefact than automobile that was such a satisfying experience for me. I am glad I did my bit to ensure they were finally shifted safely.
DKG is offline   (6) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 28th September 2008, 16:37   #8
DKG
Senior - BHPian
 
DKG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 3,705
Thanked: 906 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stanher View Post
A request- could you later please post the exact date and timings (if any) the collection would be opened to public view?
BTW, were the packard and buick originally hyderabad cars? Because APY is an early 60s regn., preceeded by APX (which was originally HYX, pre-AP formation?)
Or, as is the case with most Royal family cars (or also maybe due to the fact that the Nizam initially wasnt too happy about Hyderabad being included in AP), they were most likely 'officially' registered much later.

I will post details of when the display is open for viewing. I have recommended they be enclosed in a glass showcase and this is being done right now.

From what I gather APX referred to Hyderabad city and APY corresponded to suburbs or "Atraaf Baldiya" as was termed. Which means both APX and APY co existed. APX apparently was succeeded by ADX. Do please confirm this as this is what I was told by an oldtimer.

Banjara Hills where Chiraan is located comes under Sheikhpet village

Last edited by DKG : 28th September 2008 at 16:39.
DKG is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 28th September 2008, 17:00   #9
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: hyd
Posts: 231
Thanked: 0 Times
Default

what an amazing collection

has anyone heard of this incident where the nizam wanted to buy a rolls and they denied him so he got someone else to buy a couple for him and then he used them to collect garbage around charminar!!!!!

talk about being pissed off !!!
gt_mustang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th September 2008, 18:02   #10
BHPian
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: London UK
Posts: 700
Thanked: 124 Times
Default

Lovely photos DKG, you were wise to use the low loader truck.
The Napier and Wolseley especially are magnificent. The Rolls-Royce really does look like an unt ka %$&?#!. I hope it is rectified soon.
I do hope that these cars will be displayed in a proper climatically controlled environment protected from the elements, not just some kutcha lean to roof with one side open to the weather, heat and dust where they will be rusty scrap in 7 or 8 years.
Now to try and identify the Napier, Fiat and the Wolseley.

Last edited by Julian UK : 28th September 2008 at 18:03.
Julian UK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th September 2008, 18:41   #11
Senior - BHPian
 
agspins's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: MH-31
Posts: 1,558
Thanked: 270 Times
Default

Amazing cars...Btw found this newspiece featuring a pic of 1st Napier
Attached Thumbnails
The Nizam of Hyderabad's Collection of Cars and Carriages-ddd0916840.jpg  

agspins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th September 2008, 20:38   #12
DKG
Senior - BHPian
 
DKG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 3,705
Thanked: 906 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by gt_mustang View Post
what an amazing collection

has anyone heard of this incident where the nizam wanted to buy a rolls and they denied him so he got someone else to buy a couple for him and then he used them to collect garbage around charminar!!!!!

talk about being pissed off !!!
I think its safe to say this story pertains more likely to Bharatpur, definitely not to Hyderabad. Besides the Nizam was considered a most "faithful" ally of the empire, RR would have bent over backwards to please him. Time magazine once carried an article about him gifting close to 150 million pounds for the war effort ! You don't tick off such a serious donor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Julian UK View Post
Lovely photos DKG, you were wise to use the low loader truck.
The Napier and Wolseley especially are magnificent. The Rolls-Royce really does look like an unt ka %$&?#!. I hope it is rectified soon.
I do hope that these cars will be displayed in a proper climatically controlled environment protected from the elements, not just some kutcha lean to roof with one side open to the weather, heat and dust where they will be rusty scrap in 7 or 8 years.
Now to try and identify the Napier, Fiat and the Wolseley.
Following my suggestion the estate is having the entire display closed with glass to keep off dust and the elements and not to mention over enthusiastic visitors!! Will ensure that even sunlight doesn't fall directly on the cars. Hyderabad fortunately is dry weather and possibly the best in India for cars to last a lifetime. You will be pleased to note there's hardly any weather based corrosion anywhere on these cars. I just might persuade them to install a dehumidifier, just in case!

Some of the devices on the Napiers show 1904. I reckon they are between 1904 and 1907. It should be fun to correctly identify them. I have some numbers off them will post them too. Couldn't find any Napier clubs off the net. Any help would be much appreciated. The first Napier after the Fiat looks almost certainly pre 1907/8

Quote:
Originally Posted by agspins View Post
Amazing cars...Btw found this newspiece featuring a pic of 1st Napier

Wow that's fantastic. As part of the display I am handing over some pictures to be blown up and displayed. This would make it too, thanks a ton.

Any articles or pictures such as these would be of great help.

Last edited by DKG : 28th September 2008 at 20:40.
DKG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th September 2008, 20:57   #13
DKG
Senior - BHPian
 
DKG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 3,705
Thanked: 906 Times
Default

Would appreciate any help in correctly identifying the model years of some of the cars

The RR I know is a 1912 Silver Ghost based on a London to Edinburgh chassis, original body by Barker, body later modified by the Nizam's Railway garage in 1936 at a cost of $500 for the Silver Jubillee celebrations

Napier No 1181, wheelbase 134.5"

Fiat Tipo 54, no 179, 15176 tyres 920 x 120 Michelin

Napier No 1178, date on a device Dec 3 1903

Wolseley, VS&M, 047242 on engine No. 5712

Hope this helps. I can always refer to the cars for additional details whenever needed.
DKG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28th September 2008, 21:33   #14
DKG
Senior - BHPian
 
DKG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 3,705
Thanked: 906 Times
Default

Here are pictures of id plates off the Fiat, the two Napiers and the Wolseley. I realised the 1903 date pertains to a patent. So possibly the Napiers are closer to 1907/8?

Fiat

Name:  MVC005F_7.JPG
Views: 38530
Size:  73.0 KB

Name:  MVC007F_6.JPG
Views: 39672
Size:  69.8 KB

Rolls Royce

Name:  MVC039F_3_2.JPG
Views: 44276
Size:  83.4 KB

Second Napier

Name:  MVC056F_3.JPG
Views: 38204
Size:  66.5 KB

First Napier, ie the one parked just after the Fiat

Name:  MVC075F_6.JPG
Views: 38123
Size:  68.2 KB

Name:  MVC078F_5.JPG
Views: 38310
Size:  73.7 KB

The Wolseley

Name:  MVC087F_2.JPG
Views: 37868
Size:  75.8 KB
DKG is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 28th September 2008, 21:43   #15
Senior - BHPian
 
greenhorn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: TN-14
Posts: 6,613
Thanked: 929 Times
Default

just a doubt, will these cars remain in this condition, or is there some chance of restoration
greenhorn is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Buses of Contract Carriages / Tourist Buses girishglg Commercial Vehicles 11 2nd April 2012 11:18
hyderabad srisailam nagarjunsagar hyderabad warangal hyderabad pravdr Travelogues 61 2nd May 2010 21:52
Hyderabad Collection-2 karlosdeville Vintage Cars & Classics in India 27 23rd September 2009 13:15
Hyderabad Collection karlosdeville Vintage Cars & Classics in India 44 15th February 2009 23:03
Newbie/Greenhorn from the Nizam City PVS Introduce yourself 12 7th November 2007 13:38


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 05:50.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks