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Old 20th February 2013, 22:06   #1
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Default Restoration : Should we / Shouldn't we? A discussion on preservation of cars

NOTE - discussion moved to a new dedicated thread on restoration vs preservation from the Cartier Concours discussion



I feel its apt to address here an aspect of restoration which I feel really needs to be explored. Like heritage monuments vintage cars too deserve an authentic look true to their age.

Is there any restorer on the planet who has an understanding of what a 100 year old paintwork should look like or leather and can recreate it through his art? I am not against restoration of preserved cars, just that the challenge is monumental and before a restorer gets trigger happy shooting modern paints and donning the car in fresh leather he should ask what his objective is for the car.

The Nizam's collection was a precious exhibit of 100 plus year old cars. Any restoration effort should have addressed the need to ensure the cars retain the aged patina.

What they have done is a joke, destroying such an awesome jaw dropping look these cars had. When I shifted the cars there was a discussion about sprucing them up. I strongly advised against touching the cars, suggesting they just be maintained in a climate controlled viewing enclosure.

If a restorer does not have the ability to recreate an aged patina then a car is best left as is, paint chipped, leather scuffed and torn. I think increasingly concours events are recognising that its beyond any restorer's abilities to retain the aged look and therefore its best to leave cars in their preserved condition.

As I said earlier Cartier introduced the preservation class in acknowledgement of this need to hold onto heritage in an untouched look. And they go ahead and ruin three of the most precious cars in India !

To me its such a sad shame. But I am sure many of you will disagree as you like your 100 year old Napiers to look like a new Maruti Alto !

The real irony here is that Princess Esra understood this aspect when restoring Falaknuma and as I have seen the palace on a countless occasions pre restoration and now its an amazing achievement that the restoration hasn't taken away from the look the palace had. She made sure textile was dyed with faded colours to give carpets and tapestry the aged look. And she relaxed that criteria for the cars, perhaps because she got them done for free !

Last edited by karlosdeville : 2nd March 2013 at 17:14. Reason: Adding note
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Old 20th February 2013, 22:56   #2
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I feel its apt to address here an aspect of restoration which I feel really needs to be explored. Like heritage monuments vintage cars too deserve an authentic look true to their age.

Is there any restorer on the planet who has an understanding of what a 100 year old paintwork should look like or leather and can recreate it through his art? I am not against restoration of preserved cars, just that the challenge is monumental and before a restorer gets trigger happy shooting modern paints and donning the car in fresh leather he should ask what his objective is for the car.

The Nizam's collection was a precious exhibit of 100 plus year old cars. Any restoration effort should have addressed the need to ensure the cars retain the aged patina.

What they have done is a joke, destroying such an awesome jaw dropping look these cars had. When I shifted the cars there was a discussion about sprucing them up. I strongly advised against touching the cars, suggesting they just be maintained in a climate controlled viewing enclosure.

If a restorer does not have the ability to recreate an aged patina then a car is best left as is, paint chipped, leather scuffed and torn. I think increasingly concours events are recognising that its beyond any restorer's abilities to retain the aged look and therefore its best to leave cars in their preserved condition.

As I said earlier Cartier introduced the preservation class in acknowledgement of this need to hold onto heritage in an untouched look. And they go ahead and ruin three of the most precious cars in India !

To me its such a sad shame. But I am sure many of you will disagree as you like your 100 year old Napiers to look like a new Maruti Alto !

The real irony here is that Princess Esra understood this aspect when restoring Falaknuma and as I have seen the palace on a countless occasions pre restoration and now its an amazing achievement that the restoration hasn't taken away from the look the palace had. She made sure textile was dyed with faded colours to give carpets and tapestry the aged look. And she relaxed that criteria for the cars, perhaps because she got them done for free !
Just read both the posts on the Napiers. In a few points mentioned by you I would say OK but getting them back to the way they stood at the show was magnificent. Mr Singh has done a very good job, did you peak inside and saw the wood work which I did get a chance to see in detail. Nice really nice . They sound like gems ! Perfect and the gentleman Christopher has done exactly what HARIT said a very nice job to such respectable cars. The idea that the Nizam was one of the richest guys in the world and today they have started sprucing up the various places like chowmallah etc and Faluknama to authenticity but the enclosure where these cars where kept and how they looked like derelicts was actually an eye sore. People come to see the awe and grandeur of the Nizam and the history; The cars are just a part of it , Please keep that in. Mind.

For us it's a big thing.... So lets say we got something restored to a some respect that's all. The shade in its own right on the limo is bright but its not that bad . Takes a bit to get tuned to it. The Napier with the wooden wheels was too cool with the removal attachment for the top.

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Old 20th February 2013, 23:28   #3
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Kasli I suppose we will have to agree to disagree !

I suppose we can debate endlessly on what constitutes a more worthy and precious exhibit the cars in an as is condition or a restored one.

I personally don't like the look of the restored Rolls or the Napier Saloon, the wooden wheeled car looks lovely as I prefer it so than in its damaged roof state.

But left to me the cars were priceless in an as found condition. They were even more spectacular to look at when I first saw them in their Chiraan palace garage. More direlict garage than what you saw in Chowmahalla ! That garage had so many stories to tell about how Mukaramjah spent his time in Chiraan, the man his great grandfather's machines and his hobbies. But tnat's another story !

Of the three cars I like the colour and look of the wooden wheeled car and am not surprised it won a prize.

As for the Nizam who was the richest monarch in the world the altered RR was one of the most precious testimony of the man and his simplicity and frugality. To me leaving the Rolls in that state was more precious as it reflected Osman Ali Khan's eccentricity and frugality. All that has been undone.

I suppose like you many obviously want to decide what the richest monarch should represent !! Grandeur and glory !! And the man wore shabby clothes and scribbled notes in pencil on a pillar in his verandah. Osman Ali Khan was anything but ostentatious. I wonder what he would have done to the restorer !!

None of what I said detracts from the hard work that has gone into restoring the cars. Great effort but totally misplaced in my opinion. But then its just my opinion and aren't we all entitled to our opinions?

Last edited by GTO : 22nd February 2013 at 16:57. Reason: As requested
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Old 21st February 2013, 00:33   #4
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I am in no way an expert but from what i have learned i think the following napier could have been preserved the way it was, it had quite a lot of its original paint and its old world charm still left on it, and i too believe the Napier looked and was worth 100 times more than it is now with its 100 year old patina.

There is now no way to bring that back. Lost forever. Collectors and Museums the world over are trying to preserve vintage cars in as found in conditions where possible these days rather than restoring them, and these napiers of Historical importance were the most worthy contenders from India for a similar treatment.

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Old 21st February 2013, 07:24   #5
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Originally Posted by Shreeram View Post
I am in no way an expert but from what i have learned i think the following napier could have been preserved the way it was, it had quite a lot of its original paint and its old world charm still left on it, and i too believe the Napier looked and was worth 100 times more than it is now with its 100 year old patina.

There is now no way to bring that back. Lost forever. Collectors and Museums the world over are trying to preserve vintage cars in as found in conditions where possible these days rather than restoring them, and these napiers of Historical importance were the most worthy contenders from India for a similar treatment.
Spot on !!

That look was priceless and like you say now impossible to bring back. The condition in which I found the cars and shifted them to Chowmahalla gave me the goosebumps. I was careful even in touching them for fear I would inadvertently scrape the paint off. To me they were like old paintings of a master. The upholstery all tattered and torn in the RR was priceless as it was the material on which the sixth Nizam last sat on for his silver Jubillee celebration procession.

It's funny that we come from a background where we consider it inappropriate to sit on a chair where the Nizam sat and Princess Esra looked like a buffoon when she popped into the back seat of the RR and to top it was driven around by Manvendra Singh. That was such a ridiculous sight. She forgot that let alone sitting in that chair she wouldn't have dared come into the Nizam's presence unless summoned. Those were the traditions of old Hyderabad and for a few of us they remain a precious part of our history. But then neither does she nor the restorer understand all these things because they aren't from Hyderabad and all they cared for was a few minutes of press time to warrant such behaviour.

Maybe it's because I am from Hyderabad and I value it's heritage that I feel so strongly about things being messed up. Neither the restorer nor the workers who worked on the cars can even relate to how precious the cars'condition was as a historical artefact.

You don't commission a touch up of the Mona Lisa just because you think the paints a bit old and needs sprucing up !! The world's museums are full of artefacts that bear testimony to the ravages of time and human conflict. How many disfigured statues of historical importance have their noses and arms reinstalled so that you get to see a 'nice' form?

These cars were a global treasure of immense significance as they were a window into time which spanned more than a century. They have lost that precious position amongst the fraternity of similar cars thanks to the insensitivity of a few.

The carriages too have suffered a similar fate. I simply couldn't prevail on the estate that the cracked paint on the carriages that lasted more than a hundred years was priceless and should be left on. They look horrible all painted and re-upholstered.

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Old 21st February 2013, 10:34   #6
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Well now that three of the cars are restored to better than new condition the family hopefully will keep the Wolsley and the Fiat in as as condition so that people can see what they all looked like when put on display.

Even better would be to just get the Wolsley and Fiat mechanically sorted, give them a coat of clear paint and preserve the looks forever.

That would be a treat.

These are cars after all not works of art to be hung on a wall in a museum so at the very least they should be fixed in such a way that they can serve their purpose or even just look the part.

Fix the rims, get period tires, get the mechanicals sorted and leave them as they are would be the best way to go for them rather than leave them to fall apart in the near future.

The Buick, Packard and the Ford are pertty good as is so just attention to their mechanicals would be the perfect thing to do.

Same goes for the bikes
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Old 23rd February 2013, 04:44   #7
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I think so many have had their say to preserving on one hand and restoring on the other is one endless debate. While preservation for one's childhood dreams is a good thing, for posterity and pleasure for generations to come it surely isn't! Also the manner in which the restoration job was executed is indeed terrific. Christopher whom I met in Bombay is truly a kid with a mature head atop his young shoulders. He has learnt the art of passionate restoration from Manvendra and Tripur and all three have to be complimented for their effort. It is not about going to London or Edinburgh or Las Vegas to check out a Napier in all its glory but for many historically minded to see these in their splendour and relate them to Hyderabad's rich heritage. Or haven't we thought ot his at all?

One of the big things about concours events is that it is not alone to have a good car but to also have proper car histories otherwise the judges are just not going to waste their time. If this sounds horrific it sure is but then not many bothered to have proper documentation of their cars and so if many others did then it is a pointer to move the game forward in the right manner. Harsh it might sound but thats the correct way to go.

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Old 23rd February 2013, 12:57   #8
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I think so many have had their say to preserving on one hand and restoring on the other is one endless debate. While preservation for one's childhood dreams is a good thing, for posterity and pleasure for generations to come it surely isn't! Also the manner in which the restoration job was executed is indeed terrific. Christopher whom I met in Bombay is truly a kid with a mature head atop his young shoulders. He has learnt the art of passionate restoration from Manvendra and Tripur and all three have to be complimented for their effort. It is not about going to London or Edinburgh or Las Vegas to check out a Napier in all its glory but for many historically minded to see these in their splendour and relate them to Hyderabad's rich heritage. Or haven't we thought ot his at all?

One of the big things about concours events is that it is not alone to have a good car but to also have proper car histories otherwise the judges are just not going to waste their time. If this sounds horrific it sure is but then not many bothered to have proper documentation of their cars and so if many others did then it is a pointer to move the game forward in the right manner. Harsh it might sound but thats the correct way to go.
I had seen these cars before restoration and after also. I think marvelous job done by Trio and in time.
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Old 23rd February 2013, 17:07   #9
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Harit these cars were a glimpse into what 100 plus year cars actually look like, and that's been lost forever. I was invited to a viewing at the palace now that they have returned and must say while the wooden wheel Napier looks better with the roof repaired the saloon which was the most spectacular of the entire lot of cars actually looks garish and tacky..........................................
Just to make a point, we have lost a glimpse of what a car can look like AFTER 100 years, and not what it looked like 100 years ago. This after always depends upon the car's exposure to the elements and care taken. The bonnet without paint, etc. makes it look much weaker than the majestic appearance which the car must have had when new.

Restoration : Should we / Shouldn't we? A discussion on preservation of cars-nizfiat.jpg

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......... The idea that the Nizam was one of the richest guys in the world and today they have started sprucing up the various places like chowmallah etc and Faluknama to authenticity but the enclosure where these cars where kept and how they looked like derelicts was actually an eye sore. ................Cheers
That's the point, the palaces should be restored, the cars not. I don't see the logic in that.

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I am in no way an expert but from what i have learned I think the following Napier could have been preserved the way it was, it had quite a lot of its original paint and its old world charm still left on it, and i too believe the Napier looked and was worth 100 times more than it is now with its 100 year old patina.

There is now no way to bring that back. Lost forever. Collectors and Museums the world over are trying to preserve vintage cars in as found in conditions where possible these days rather than restoring them, and these napiers of Historical importance were the most worthy contenders from India for a similar treatment......
This is not a matter of being an expert, basically its opinions which can change with trend, tastes etc. As a non automotive example, old world charm of say a living room in a palace means to me a room with old furniture but useable, so it will have been polished, tapestry will be new but in old patterns and materials used in that time, walls painted and cobwebs removed. If the hall of a palace was like the Napiers, who will come to visit fearing the chairs could collapse? Grandeur should be visible, we need not have to imagine what the item was like when new, we want to see what it was like when new. The state of an object is also a factor when you try to say
"Museums the world over are trying to preserve vintage cars in as found in conditions where possible these days rather than restoring them". The Swan car was restored, it had to be, it was in a similar state as the Napiers.

And then you say "and these Napiers of Historical importance were the most worthy contenders from India for a similar treatment". That is also not true, India has some really worthy preservation cars, and none were present.
Hint: two are Mercedes-Benz's, and probably manipulations and politics kept them out.

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Well now that three of the cars are restored to better than new condition the family hopefully will keep the Wolsley and the Fiat in as as condition so that people can see what they all looked like when put on display.............. The Buick, Packard and the Ford are pertty good as is so just attention to their mechanicals would be the perfect thing to do. Same goes for the bikes
You say "see what they looked like", that means returning to splendour. That what I would do, not display them as "what's become of them".

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Originally Posted by vincentcomet99 View Post
.......one endless debate. ...... He has learnt the art of passionate restoration from Manvendra and Tripur ........ see these in their splendour and relate them to Hyderabad's rich heritage. .......
One of the big things about concours events is that it is not alone to have a good car but to also have proper car histories otherwise the judges are just not going to waste their time. If this sounds horrific it sure is but then not many bothered to have proper documentation of their cars and so if many others did then it is a pointer to move the game forward in the right manner. Harsh it might sound but thats the correct way to go.
True, an endless debate, which may go on for a while. From what I know, Christopher has come from Australia and probably has picked up something there. If it was Manvendra alone, well hopefully he learnt from the Stutz and RR Nizam Ghost and improved the life of the restorations.
About history and documentation, I am of the same view and have been advocating this since years, also on t-bhp. You may not be aware, many cars are being reregistered and with that a lot of history gets lost. Cars in old photos can be positively identified from their number plates, sadly many cars particularly in MP are being reregistered. There is nothing harsh in what you say, I'm in agreement.

See the Nizam's Fiat and Wolseley as today, you have to spruce them up. Maybe someone who understands sympathetic restoration should work on them and not strip them down completely. If Cartier is to pay for their restoration again, then what choice is there than to get them done from a stripped down stage. The restorer also has to earn, so the job will be thorough, not sympathetic.
The Ford, Buick and Packard could be kept preserved, why would Cartier want to spruce them up for their shows? These are not cars with grandeur. The Wolseley can be kept as original as possible, hope and expert will evaluate this before anyone gets his hands on them. This is a car worth preserving.

Restoration : Should we / Shouldn't we? A discussion on preservation of cars-nizwols.jpg
Restoration : Should we / Shouldn't we? A discussion on preservation of cars-nizford.jpg

The past preservation Rolls in Delhi was a disaster, unfortunately it did not have interiors to attract attention. Such a majestic Rolls, belonged to a Maharaja, how could it be displayed like that. And in this show, just see this sight of the Kalahandi Rolls, so sad, looks as if something was lacking to keep up the maintainance. The paint has aged, flakes off, with every opening and closing of the door you lose some more paint. Whats the point of this? The Kalahandi Rolls, in my opinion, needs a sympathetic restoration, probably paint the exterior and leave the interior original. Then the owner will be able to show off his proud possession.

Restoration : Should we / Shouldn't we? A discussion on preservation of cars-sangrolls.jpg

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Cheers harit

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Old 24th February 2013, 09:31   #10
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Harit the points you make are a classic case of missing the forest for the trees !! We are not talking about comparing a chipped door panel in comparison to a freshly painted one and asking which one looks more appealing. Quite obviously the painted one.

If you look at the vintage cars in India the vast majority are cars that have been repainted, reupholstered, and overhauled at some point in their lives, and all done so quite understandably considering their continued use and change in ownership and subsequent owners' desire to enjoy the car as it may have been brand new.

Then you have cars like our family's LaSalle and some others I know of in Hyderabad (am sure every city will have a few each) of cars that were periodically spruced up to ensure they are useable and presentable. These are single owner cars still remaining in the original owner's family.

Which brings us to a tiny collection of cars that have never been overhauled or repainted or reupholstered and that interestingly still remain in some cases with the original owners. Now what attribute about these cars makes them special? Not comparing panel to panel and deciding the Kalahandi RR or the Darbhanga PIII look horrible hence they need to be stripped and restored. To a viewer it's an unbelievably precious experience to witness what a 70 or 100 year old car actually looks like showing all the weathering of time and use. If you say that experience has no value then I rest my case as you and I are not on the same plane. But if you can relate to the preciousness of an automobile in remaining untouched over the years and still reflecting a family's use of it or care of it over its lifetime then perhaps you can appreciate my point of view.

To me the Kalahandi RR is not important because its a RR and a handsome Phantom. It's precious as it represents a family's love for the automobile to have cared for it in its original guise for all these years and retained it. it shows a particular attitude and way of thinking that led to some owners refusing to touch and repaint and reupholstered their cars and keep them in original form. The Kalahandi Rolls is precious because of the family and that it represents an automobile reflecting its entire lifetime's wear with no change affected to it ever. That to me is extremely precious and the Nizam's cars fell in this category. To me they were not just precious because they were a one off Rolls Royce and rare Napiers. To me they were Mahbub Ali Khan and Osman Ali Khan's cars and the fact that Mukkaramjah chose to retain them and not mess with them. They were his grandfather and great grandfather's cars and he had chosen to simply store them and keep them as is. On all his visits to Hyderabad Mukkaramjah would spend the greater part of his day in the garages tinkering with his earth moving equipment and his workshop was adjacent to where these five precious beauties rested for decades. He would have looked at them a million times and still chose to not touch them. Not because he didn't care but because he actually cared that they were his grand father and great grand father's cars and he wanted them preserved so.

I appreciate a family who valued their cars so and retained them in their original guise albeit reflecting the weathering of the years. Neither Mukkaramjah nor the Kalahandi RR's owners needed these particular cars to remain as their transport and hence they opted to store them and retain them while they still cared for them as family heirlooms.

That a family can hold onto a 70 or 100 year old car(s) in its original guise and look after it so that it doesn't fall to pieces is one of the most amazing experiences for me as a automotive enthusiast.

As a museum exhibit that makes such cars the most precious as they have a story to tell and show. Of a 100 years of weathering, and a family that cared for it all along. The altered RR was special to me and to many other Hyderabadis as it reflected and was a splendid example of Osman Ali Khan's frugality. And being a special custom bodied RR made it all such an amazing museum exhibit. Whether anyone likes it or not all the Nizam's cars will remain as museum exhibits. They will never be driven on the roads and least of all ever be used by the family. So what purpose does the restoration serve? When it has just undone a visual story of what a car looks like having lived a 100 years in one family's use and home in Hyderabad? Nothing in my opinion. For the few enthusiasts like you who fail to see the value they were as museum exhibits and who accord more importance to painted panels than the stories they tell I have nothing to say.

To me the stories these cars tell of the weathering that decades in India reflects in their chipped paint and torn upholstery and the love of families that ensured these cars remained so untouched is far far more precious than the dolled up appearance of the Napiers and RR now.

We probably should end this debate here as this thread was about the Cartier show and not about whether certain cars deserve to be restored. I think they are a joke now and you think they look awesome. We are both justified in our viewpoints and while many will agree with you that painted panels is more pleasing to look at there will always be a few like me who value the stories and human element in car ownership and prefer them to remain just that, a wonderful story of human experiences and artefacts in their use.

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Old 24th February 2013, 09:55   #11
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If the owners /families loved these cars and wanted to save them then they didnt do a very good job of it.

All the Nizam's Veteran cars were practically falling apart. Just covering them and storing thme may have contributed much to their pathetic condition.

DKG, you say one family and useage but when were these cars actually used byt he family concerned, almost never ? And if they were loved and cherished they were definitely not treated that way.

Mukarram Jah didnt care much for any of these cars except the Jeeps and the construction equipment and thats a known fact. He sold the bulk of the collection over time. The last major sale was to the Captains collection.

These particular cars would also have been sold if there was someone wanting to buy thme at the prices the owner wanted and thats a fact.

I just hope the restored cars are stored in appropriate conditions as to ensure they remain in their current splendid state.
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Old 24th February 2013, 10:06   #12
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Just covering them and storing thme may have contributed much to their pathetic condition.
Is there anyone else in India who has stored 100 year old cars in better condition? Or are you assuming you know how to better?

Wasif Mukarramjah was offered a new RR way back when a certain British historian of repute first saw the car and carried the info back to RR, he had refused then. You assume too much, ask the palace staff about how particular he was about how the cars not be messed with and you will know that cars don't survive hundred years when owners don't care for them

The engines of all the five cars turned when I cleaned them and later the RR was started as well. Prettty good for a 100 year old car not cared for shall we say?

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Old 24th February 2013, 10:35   #13
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I am not assuming anything but stating a fact that the way they were stored contributed to their current sorry state. This is certainly not the right manner to store cars.

Had they been stored well, cleaned periodically and maybe even started / driven they would have been in a much better condition and would certainly have qualified for preservation instead of restoration.

Your family La Salle is a case in point, a much loved and cared for car stored accordingly and not allowed to fall to bits.

My uncle had this single owner 1929 Ford Model A roadster, he used it all the time then in the sixties waent and got a new Fiat which became his daily drive.

The For was kept in the garage jacked up and covered, he used to clean it very weekend abd then once in a few months it was driven.

When he died the car remained like this and was bought by a collector in Pune who was amazed by the originality and how it was carefully used and maintained all these years.

I still remember when your uncle lived opposite the water tank on Road No 1 and how he used the car as a daily driver, now that is care and love.

Check how cars were / are stored by other Royal Families like the P II that won the best of show and other cars from some of the Rajasthani Royal families, that is how to store cars that are loved and cherished.

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Old 24th February 2013, 10:53   #14
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Default Re: Third Cartier Concours d'Elegance: Feb 2013 in Mumbai (PICS on Page 19)

Wasif, I don't think the Jodhpurs P2 can figure in your comparison. The car has undergone both mechanical and cosmetic re builds over the years .

It won best of show not for it's condition but for its provenance. actually, the car observed at close quarters , was a bit shabby and could benefit from some TLC.

To me preservation does not mean neglecting a car. The car should be cared for by the owner and constantly maintained to remain in as original a state as is practically possible.

Having said this, words like PRESERVATION and RESSURECTION have different meanings for different people. Let this discussion end here with all agreeing to disagree.
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Old 24th February 2013, 11:14   #15
DKG
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Default Re: Third Cartier Concours d'Elegance: Feb 2013 in Mumbai (PICS on Page 19)

Wasif with all the resources and wealth of the Queen of England not a single car has survived in their garages.

While our LaSalle has remained, a whole slew of Edwardian cars and an amazing collection of carriages found its way out of our homes. We had the space but just didn't have the vision to retain them all. We like many families are guilty of not having retained a priceless heritage we inherited. All that's left is photographs.

When Mukaramjah was crowned the Nizam and he chose to build the Chiraan for himself many a time he would take my father to show the site when it was under construction. He had lovely garages made for the cars he had and it was only later when my father brought to his attention these five Edwardian cars lying locked up in the Motorkhana opposite King Kothi that he immediately ordered to have the cars shifted and the taller shed had to be made as they wouldn't fit into the low slung garages he had. I remember speaking with Alamdar uncle who was close to Osman Ali Khan as a child and remember him telling me that there was a retinue of mechanics who looked after the Nizam's cars during Osman Ali Khan's time. I am sure the engines were oiled regularly and turned. That tradition may have continued at Chiraan too as it was a wonder that all the engines turned so easily when I cleaned them.

In the fifty years that Mukaramjah was responsible for the cars you need to understand that with the loads of problems someone with such an estate had to deal with that the cars were housed in covered garages and engines turned periodically was just about a fair way to keep them. it was when a section of the wooden roof of the garage caved in that the Napier roof got damaged.

Ali Taqi always told me that on several occasions he was summoned (and he was the only mechanic in town Mukaramjah trusted) as his father Taqi sahib was the in charge for the Aamira garage, and the RR was fired up a couple of times. The car was driven by Mukaramjah a couple of times within Chiraan.

It's easy for us to sit in judgement over how a family has cared for their possessions but I feel it's admirable that the Nizam's family looked after these automobiles and retained them all these years. They really could have long disappeared, lets give Mukaramjah the credit to hold on.

In a hundred years when most families in Hyderabad saw their fortunes vanishing and their palaces and cars falling to dust or being sold a few have retained their possessions despite all odds. This is a remarkable achievement.

The Jodhpur Phantom saloon I saw in its unrestored condition and was spectacular. I don't like it now. I remember I was awestruck when I saw it the first time.

I am not saying that your or Harit's point of view is not appreciable. I am sure to many these cars spruced up is an amazing sight.

Just that there's something so fabulous about being in the presence of an unrestored vintage car. I can't describe it. I am sure some can relate to this.

Now before the mods cut this conversation down lets leave it at that. The cars have been restored. Some will like it, a few won't and I happen to be one of those who felt there was a bigger story to be told in the unrestored condition. I wish I can someday write about my experience of being in the presence of the totally whacky RR which Osman Ali Khan had modified because he didn't think it prudent to waste money on the silver jubilee celebration.
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