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Old 30th January 2009, 18:25   #16
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A nice thread in anticipation of the rally in Kolkotta. And so many topics touched, I wish to post some comments and share info.
Unfortunately been to Kolkotta only once and had no time to meet any car colleagues.

Sanjay Ghosh is doing very fine work, so what's new and who am I to comment. See the cars lying with him. The convertible Caddy, comming up very well is an old Kolkotta car which suddenly came up for sale and was grabbed by my friend from Orissa. The Buick has recently been aquired, a Mumbai car which went to Pune about 15 years ago, and on to Kolkotta, ultimate destination will be Orissa. I believe she is 1927, 6 cylinder, 7 seater. Tractor tyres were fitted in Mumbai. Size 20, no others were available. In Mumbai she was Parsi owned. I had met that gentleman and have a pic. Will be a lovely car.
About the Lancia and its wheels, well they are most certainly not original, don't you ever believe the story that these were wheels for harsh conditions etc. The original wheels were bad and replaced with these Chevy truck like wheels. I am so sure about this, a little bird told me. Other than that, the car is beautiful. Now will the current owner hunt for correct wheels? Let us see.
This Kolkotta event is being referred to as the Statesman rally. Was this also not held in Delhi in the past? I have attended a number of them, being present in Delhi on those days by chance. They started from Statesman house, at least till it was demolished.
Pitty that the real rare bird in Kolkotta do not come out for this event, the LaSalle and Singer.
Have you noticed the finish on the blue Fiat? Did Fiat (Premier) in India ever bother to finish cars like this? I doubt it, it would have been uneconomical for those monopolistic profiteers.
I remember in earlier half of 1980's a friend went to pick up his Premier, the tail light was ill-fitting and the paint was defect is a corner. The simple reply was take it or leave it.
Looking forward to pictures of the Rally early next week.
Harit
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Old 30th January 2009, 20:48   #17
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Thanks Ritayan. I didn't realise Parthada's nephew was already a member here !! I used to know Parthada pretty well once upon a time and I quite intimately knew the kind of passion he had for vintage cars and also the kind of money he spent on this hobby. Not too many people I know invest in a complete workshop (including carpentry work) in the heart of the city to just maintain his personal hobby with no apparent financial return.
One Calcutta collection that I have not seen is the Mittal collection. I wonder if anyone has pictures of them. They even have a vintage English fire tender.
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Old 30th January 2009, 22:00   #18
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John may I request you and friends from Calcutta to profile the vintage car scene and enthusiasts past and present based in and around Calcutta. I forget the name, was it Roy?, a gentleman through whom some marvelous cars passed. I think his wife kindly shared some pictures in an old Indian Auto Journal. Lets please bring to the fore all the fabulous cars of Calcutta.

I would also appreciate any info on the Mittar (Mittal) brothers and the Duesy connection.

We need to document this historic city's long long love affair with cars and motorsports.

Anyone with interest on the historical perspective would do us a huge favour in educating us on the Calcutta scene.

Ritayan please do post more details of the cars in your family and also stories behind their ownership
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Old 31st January 2009, 23:19   #19
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The mittal collection is nothing but all cars aquired from Sashi (kanoria). i doubut the state of the collection now as Promod Mittal is based our of London and vinod is in Mimbai. Still will try to get some more info. Partha kakus cars are very accessable the fiat body trame was rebuild by our carpenter. DKG I have been after my uncle to share the pics of restoration let me give it another shot net time i am in town
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Old 1st February 2009, 12:34   #20
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DKG I have been after my uncle to share the pics of restoration let me give it another shot net time i am in town
Ritayan
I saw the pictures of the Jag restoration proudly displayed on a board fixed to the front bumper of the car this morning at the rally. However, due to poor lighting conditions and limited abilities of my equipment I couldn't take any pics of the restoration story.
However, I could certainly take images of your uncle (in red t-shirt) next to his car this morning at the rally.
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Old 1st February 2009, 13:32   #21
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some pictures from the rally. more later.
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Old 1st February 2009, 13:44   #22
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some more...
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to be continued.
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Old 1st February 2009, 21:12   #23
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Lovely pics Amit, thanks ! The two Morris Eights stole my heart.
One question for the gurus: Did Morris Eights (in India) come with factory sun roofs, or are they after market conversions ?
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Old 1st February 2009, 21:36   #24
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Ritayan your uncle's Jag appears to be an SS1 tourer. Did I get that right? Also was the slated bonnet an accessory cos the other SS1 tourers don't seem to have it

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Old 1st February 2009, 22:04   #25
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DKG

This morning at the rally I took it up with a very senior Statesman journalist (and an auto enthusiast himself) Tarun Goswami about why no effort has been made to catalogue the vintage beauties of Calcutta. Clearly this year the level of participation was very low and at this rate in a few years we will have nothing much left to show.

One of the things he said was the non-cooperation of the owners themselves, which is fairly sad. One of the reasons for this apparent noncooperation is most owners would rather sell off their cars quietly (if they get a good price) than be catalogued as the owner and then be questioned later about their vanished car. Lot of old Calcutta cars are now in Australia and America - through the backdoor of course.

As I realised, sadly enough, there are just two very serious vintage car enthusiasts in Calcutta today. One is Partha Sadhan Bose and the other is Sanjay Ghosh. These two gentlemen have the money, interest and knowledge to be in the game seriously, rest are either somehow pulling along or are pretenders.

Meanwhile here is Sanjay Ghosh with his Ford. As I said earlier, his family still has the original bill of the car and this car has been consistently winning the best maintained car in its category award for the last few decades!!!

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Old 1st February 2009, 22:22   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sudipto-S-Team View Post
This morning at the rally I took it up with a very senior Statesman journalist (and an auto enthusiast himself) Tarun Goswami about why no effort has been made to catalogue the vintage beauties of Calcutta. Clearly this year the level of participation was very low and at this rate in a few years we will have nothing much left to show.
That's sad. Calcutta must have had some amazing cars gracing its roads. Glad to hear that between Ritayan's uncle and Mr. Ghosh we have some serious enthusiasts keeping the flag flying.

I was just reading up a little on the SS1 tourers as I was curious about the louvered bonnet on Mr Bose's car

Apparently a batch of SS1's were prepared for Alpine trials. These featured (apparently) louvered bonnet tops, side mounts in wheel fenders, wiper motor off the windscreen run through a cable.

Now Mr. Bose's car has the louvered bonnet. Curious to know how the car acquired this hood. If it is an Alpine edition then the other elements characteristic of the car prepared for racing don't add up.

Lets have the owner (with Ritayan's help) enlighten us.

The ss100 apparently had the louvered bonnets as well as the dozen or so SS1 Alpine tourers

Sudipto thanks for the effort. Lets make that effort to slowly catalogue some of the cars. I will dig out the article on a well known Calcutta enthusiast of yesteryear and post details.

Its just so wonderful when you encounter a family that has lovingly retained their car for so many years as Mr. Ghosh has. Do tell Mr. Ghosh that my family too has a 1929 LaSalle since new and still in great running form

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Old 1st February 2009, 22:40   #27
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I will definately try to get the information on the SS, its history and why it is in its current form. I as a personal opnion feel that a lot of these cars have been restored without real reference to the originals and made do with what ever reference was available at that point of time. The SS i remember was restored in 94 and was white then along with the Fiat.
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Old 1st February 2009, 22:54   #28
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I will definately try to get the information on the SS, its history and why it is in its current form
A chassis number, if possible, would help. Thanks.
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Old 1st February 2009, 23:04   #29
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to profile the vintage car scene and enthusiasts past and present based in and around Calcutta. I forget the name, was it Roy?, a gentleman through whom some marvelous cars passed. I think his wife kindly shared some pictures in an old Indian Auto Journal.
Dilip, you could pick up the January 2009 issue of Auto India and turn to the last page for some more dope on Protap Roy's cars. This piece is on a Riley that they'd raced/rallied in Bombay. Although I don't understand why it's still mentioned as a Sprite when she's clearly an Imp to me, something that had been pointed out before the printing. And the engine difference between the two is also mentioned in the text! So it's really curious and sets me wondering, maybe I'm missing something. Anyway, the February issue may be round the corner and this one will then be withdrawn. There's some more interesting reading on vintage and classic autos inside - something to be expected from the editor GS, an afficianado himself with global access. Just FYI.
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Old 2nd February 2009, 00:30   #30
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Lovely pics Amit, thanks ! The two Morris Eights stole my heart.
One question for the gurus: Did Morris Eights (in India) come with factory sun roofs, or are they after market conversions ?
my grandpa's eight had a sunroof but don't know whether it was an aftermarket or not.

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and to be continued...
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