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Old 18th January 2011, 00:11   #166
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Default Re: India’s First International Concours D’Elegance - Pictures & Report

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How many of these "leading" experts have actually seen the Nizam's Rolls? My guess is except for John Fasal no one else may have, but I could be wrong
DKG, without meaning to cause you any offence, I've noticed that you seem to prickle any time anyone vaguely suggests that this is not the ultimate vintage car ever. All I will say is that "they" have all seen AX-201.

Mods, will you please remove my previous post in this thread and this one.
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Old 18th January 2011, 00:18   #167
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Default Re: India’s First International Concours D’Elegance - Pictures & Report

Faster I spent an entire afternoon once with AX201 to say that the car didn't impress me. I am not refuting that it may be the most valued car in the world. But in my eyes its no patch on the Nizam's Rolls. After all AX201 was a mere demo car !!

BTW we are all entitled to our opinions regardless of what so called "leading" experts of the RR world like to believe
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Old 18th January 2011, 01:08   #168
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Default Re: India’s First International Concours D’Elegance - Pictures & Report

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BTW we are all entitled to our opinions regardless of what so called "leading" experts of the RR world like to believe
Absolutely, but expert opinions will always carry more weight than others.
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Old 18th January 2011, 09:46   #169
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Default Re: India’s First International Concours D’Elegance - Pictures & Report

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Absolutely, but expert opinions will always carry more weight than others.
I agree and media hype and "expert" opinions is a game we all know pretty well too !

Lets compare AX201 to the Nizam's Ghost and see how the score adds up.

AX201 was commissioned by Claude Johnson (the then MD) as a demonstrator. It was just an ordinary demo car guys . Nizam's Ghost commissioned by the richest monarch/man on earth as a special one of a kind ceremonial coach for a king !

+1 for the Nizam's Ghost

AX201 took part in reliability/durability trials and that is its main claim to fame. There are many cars in automobile history that achieved amazing feats. How about the Merc Pontoon that has done a million miles? Are the world's automotive historians in a hurry to declare it the most expensive car in the world for this feature alone? No. This element of AX201's history though fascinating in the context that in that era cars were known to fail is a feature not unique to AX201. All 40/50's manufactured by RR would have achieved that fate. So why accord a special status to AX201 for a feature that all other Ghosts could have accomplished?

If you wish to state that it created waves in the automobile world so did the manufacture of the Nizam's Ghost. NYC across the Atlantic carried an article when the Nizam's car was made.

So if reliability is the name of the game or fame of the car in those times then its

+1 AX201 and +1 Nizam's Ghost

The body style of AX201 is not unique to this car. It is for the Nizam's Ghost. I find it funny that media gets excited about a tacky badge on AX201's cowl declaring it as a Silver Ghost. Should I start listing out distinguishing features of the Nizam's Ghost? The list is endless as no other car in the world let alone a RR has such unique characteristics.

+1 Nizam's Ghost

Ownership. AX201 was sold by RR within a year after it completed the trials, when they had no use for it and ended up in private ownership for four decades, only to be fortunately rediscovered later and purchased back by RR. If this particular car was so special why wasn't it kept permanently with RR? In comparison the Nizam's Ghost is in the same family for 98 years !!

+1 Nizam's Ghost

AX201 has been overhauled and restored umpteen times to get it to its present condition. Mechanically the Nizam's Ghost is still ex factory works with no mechanical work ever done on the car. It has only 356 miles on it

BTW the car was always kept in running order albeit barely used on road and even when I shifted it to Chowmahalla the engine turned effortlessly. It was periodically started by a brilliant mechanic by the name Ali Taqi whenever the Prince was in town and wanted the car fired up.

+1 Nizam's Ghost

Therefore in light of the above I have concluded that AX201 is no patch on the Nizam's Ghost. AX201 in my opinion is a overhyped RR and as lovely as it is (so are scores of other RR's) it really is not so spectacular to warrant being declared the world's most precious car. I remember I was quite disappointed when I saw it first. For all the hype the car just doesn't cut it !

While I am personally saddened that the modifications on the Nizam's Ghost commemorating a very special event in Hyderabad's history have been undone, the car in all likelihood will be back to its original guise ex Barker and that shoudn't detract from the car's value. My hunch is that under the skin which the Nizam's railway garages applied to give the car a more streamlined look the original woodwork should be intact, but I could be wrong about this. The restorer can throw more light on this.

If AX201 is reputed to be valued close to 50 million USD my personal assessment is the Nizam's Ghost is worth 100 million USD

Last edited by DKG : 18th January 2011 at 10:02.
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Old 18th January 2011, 10:25   #170
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Default Re: India’s First International Concours D’Elegance - Pictures & Report

Guys.

There is no comparison possible between AX 201 and the Nizams car. They are two entirely different cars and their claim to fame is also due to totally different reasons.

The main reason that AX201 is a landmark car is that it was one of the first of the series, actually the 12th 40/50 ever built and the first to be names Silver Ghost.

The name then went on to become synonimus with all 40/50 RR built and then even the factory started refering to the 40/50 cars as Silver Ghost after the Phantom was introduced.

AX201 was a publicity tool and earned its place in history by doing well in the trials and catching the publics eye.

It is the car that was instrumental in establishing the RR build quality and reputation. It can't be compared to the Nizam's car.

In all probability if AX201 had not done its job so well, the trials and the publicity bit, maybe the Nizam nor anyone else from Indian Royalty would not have been drawn to order these cars.

Now coming to the Nizam's car it is unique as its a one off to say the least an extravagant one off with a unique design for an important person. This is what sets it apart from a horde of custom built RR's.

Then comes the bit about its low mileage and relatively original condition and its continousone family ownership from new. This again is unmatched by any existing RR so this is point two of its claim to fame.

Now it remains to be seen how much of this originality is retained when we actually see the car but the fact that its a genuine low mileage car can't be take away

Both AX201 and the Nizmas car are landmark 40/50 chassis and for different reasons and will remain so forever.

Another thing DKG is that this RR was actually ordered by Mahboob Ali Khan who sady passed away before the car was delivered so it became the property of his son the seventh Nizam.
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Old 18th January 2011, 10:29   #171
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Default Re: India’s First International Concours D’Elegance - Pictures & Report

Wow, so much discussions on Ghosts. Haunting indeed.
I too have seen AX 201 live and will put some pictures when I find them. And AX 201 according to my knowledge was not "discovered" but traded in. I will not be able to find that article in the piles of magazines. BUT,
both DKG and Faster have some points and we should wait. We have all seen AX 201, restored and dressed up, but we have NOT seen the Nizams car restored. We have seen pictures of a tired looking run down car. Even the most beautiful lady can appear droopy when she gets up in the morning. One must see her after freshening up, and that is what is happening to the Nizam's Rolls. So we should wait and then compare on even level. As DKG pointed out AX 201 attained a lot of added status after being hyped up. Maybe there will now be added hype to the Nizam's Ghost too.

But I have another thought. What would be a better car as the star of a show, the Nizam's Ghost, or the Delahaye. Enjoy!!

In the end, whatever is said, the fact of the matter is that we have a unique car like the Nizam's Rolls in India and we should be proud of it.

Cheers harit

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Old 18th January 2011, 10:33   #172
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Default Re: India’s First International Concours D’Elegance - Pictures & Report

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this RR was actually ordered by Mahboob Ali Khan who sady passed away before the car was delivered so it became the property of his son the seventh Nizam.
I honestly don't know the details but like you say it may have been Mahboob Ali Khan who ordered it.

Osman Ali Khan ascended the throne in 1911. This is a 1912 car and may have reached Hyderbad late 1912 or early 1913. Wouldn't it be fascinating if the archives reveal some invoices?

I am however inclined to go with your assessment that it was Mahboob Ali Khan who ordered the car as it kind of explains why it was never ever used by Osman Ali Khan. Just like how he never stayed in Falaknuma !

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Old 18th January 2011, 10:38   #173
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Default Re: India’s First International Concours D’Elegance - Pictures & Report

Maybe the RR people in UK can confirm who actually placed the order.

But I am sure had not AX201 layed the groundwork and achieve fame the Nizam would not have ordered this car.
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Old 18th January 2011, 10:54   #174
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Default Re: India’s First International Concours D’Elegance - Pictures & Report

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But I am sure had not AX201 layed the groundwork and achieve fame the Nizam would not have ordered this car.
Considering that more than a tenth of the entire production of Rolls Royces was picked up by India it just goes to show that people bought this expensive car perhaps also to curry favour with the ruling powers. The Indian princess would have liked to impress the British and also get into the usual one upmanship amongst themselves

As for this car its highly likely that this order may have come about in preparation of the Delhi Durbar celebrations. I think some 12 other Ghosts were ordered around the same time by several Indian rulers? I don't know all the details but I'm sure Barker and other coachbuilders would have fervently pitched for orders around that time and cashed in big time.

It also explains why something so over the top and grandiose was commissioned. The Nizam would have looked a knockout sitting alone in the rear central seat

BTW here's another example of how media attaches labels and gets carried away. This is not a throne car ! It simply has a sofa in the rear which has a central part with arm rests. Its not like some ornate throne sits in the back !! It definitely is a ceremonial coach for a King and while the rear has two tiny auxillary seats in front of the sofa at best I can visualise the Nizam using it with women by his side and two in front Its nice and cosy in the back to want to be sharing that space with courtiers !! But with purdah days it would have to be European ladies or none !!

Last edited by DKG : 18th January 2011 at 11:03.
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Old 18th January 2011, 12:08   #175
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Default Re: India’s First International Concours D’Elegance - Pictures & Report

This discussion and associated posts need to be moved to the Nizam's collection thread.
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Old 18th January 2011, 15:38   #176
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Default Re: India’s First International Concours D’Elegance - Pictures & Report

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There is no comparison possible between AX 201 and the Nizams car. They are two entirely different cars and their claim to fame is also due to totally different reasons.
We are in agreement Wasif. In my opinion the difference comes down to the fact that AX-201 is the seminal Silver Ghost and in some ways, the car the company was built upon if such a statement could be true.

The Nizam's car is a special Rolls, but at the end of the day (I am over simplifying this) it is a one-off, custom, low mileage example of a legendary Rolls model.

DKG, whilst I admire your passion for the car, the points you make in your lengthy post do not really serve to change one’s view. For example:

"So why accord a special status to AX201 for a feature that all other Ghosts could have accomplished?"

Because it broke new ground in a fashion never seen before, that’s the whole point. If you think “reliability” in the context you seem to have applied it in, and by itself is the reason for AX-201’s place in motoring history, you have in my view, missed the point. Simply sharing a particular trait does not put you on an equal footing – there have been a number of men on the moon, but Neil Armstrong is the man on the moon for a number of reasons.

"...same family for 98 years"

Ownership has very little to do with AX-201’s merits. Whilst it is a wonderful part of the Nizam’s RR’s history it really doesn’t enter into a debate at this level. In any event, AX201 has sterling accreditation here compared to most cars of comparable status having been with a/the parent company for the majority of its life.

I also simply don’t get your point about AX-201 being overhauled and the Nizam’s car effectively being left to fend for itself. What has that got to do with anything?

As for being disappointed when you saw AX-201, I presume you are referring to the car’s visual impact. Again, I think you are missing the point. This car is about more than it’s looks, which in any event are right up there with the best of the Ghosts. Taking another car as an example, the Speed Six Bentley, Old Number One. This car would be worth what it is worth even if it had a body that resembled a hearse and was made from bubble gum. It is what the car achieved at a particular point in time, in a particular fashion, the people associated with it, etc that makes it what it is. In fact, that Bentley has had a number of changes of body from it’s old Vanden Plas body and this affects it not one iota.

All in my opinion with absolutely no axe to grind. I don't own AX201 nor do I own any other Silver Ghost. In fact, my collection has never included a Rolls though I have been tempted.

Last edited by Faster789 : 18th January 2011 at 15:45.
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Old 18th January 2011, 17:35   #177
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Faster AX201 is no doubt a significant car for its achievements in terms of reliability and what it did to establish RR as one of the finest cars on offer. But that alone in my opinion does not make it the most valuable car in the world. Its a significant car but definitely not the most desirable or most valuable. A lot of hype and marketing has gone into building up the image that its a precious car. When you keep shipping a car to all RR showroom inaugurations across the planet for decades and use it in all publicity events you end up making a car a bit of a star. This is what has happened with AX201. She's just been made famous because RR decided to make it its ambassador. The reliability achievements honestly don't add up to making it the most precious car!! BTW did you know the owners eventually managed to crack its chassis?

Just recently that Bugatti got sold for 30 million USD. Why? Because its exotic and one of only two surviving.

Apply the same measure to the Nizam's Ghost. Exotic? You bet !! One off?? The only one !! Now add up the numbers !

In any case we can discuss this endlessly as this is purely subjective and neither of us needs to persuade the other. To me AX201 is an ordinary Ghost with a fascinating history nothing more. To you it is the quintessential RR. But that's fine.

Last edited by DKG : 18th January 2011 at 17:40.
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Old 18th January 2011, 18:22   #178
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Default Re: India’s First International Concours D’Elegance - Pictures & Report

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In any case we can discuss this endlessly as this is purely subjective and neither of us needs to persuade the other.
Actually, I would say that the points I made were for the most part entirely objective. In any event, more than happy for you to have your view and enjoy it.

For the record, I have never held the view that AX201 is the world's most valuable or desirable car. Value is objective and that figure is only debateable upon realisation which is not the case here. Desirable is a loaded word and there is dead thread on here about that too.

Last edited by Faster789 : 18th January 2011 at 18:25.
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Old 18th January 2011, 19:18   #179
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In fact, my collection
BTW if in any way I could prevail on you to share your collection's pictures please? that would indeed be a real pleasure !!
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Old 18th January 2011, 19:52   #180
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Default Re: India’s First International Concours D’Elegance - Pictures & Report

mods. the last two pages need to be shifted to another thread,
the nizams collection
way too offtopic
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