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The Maharajas and Their Magnificent Motor Cars - in pictures

During the first half of the 20th century, deluxe motor cars became highly coveted

among the Indian ruling classes, and a new book by Gautam Sen lovingly

curates their dashing history. Take a spin

The Maharajas N Their Cars

One of the earliest cars to arrive in India, a Gobron-Brillie from 1903 owned by Lord Wolverton.

Photograph: CMSC Collection/ National Library, Calcuttf

The Maharajas N Their Cars

The Maharaja Sir Manmathanath Roy Choudhary of Santosh, next to his Chenard et Walcker.

Photograph: Suchandra Roy Collection

The Maharajas N Their Cars

A 1931 Lancia Dilambda, with Viotti coachwork, which used to belong to the Raja of Jetpur.

Photograph: Makarand Baokar

The Maharajas N Their Cars

The Duesenberg SJN specially made for Yashwantrao Holkar, the Maharaja of Indore.

Photograph: Suchandra Roy Collection

The Maharajas N Their Cars

Maharani Stella de Kapurthala poses with her 1937 Talbot-Lago.

Photograph: Unknown

The Maharajas N Their Cars

Maharana Arvin Singh Mewar and his MG TC from 1947.

Photograph: The Pictorial Archives of the Maharanas of Mewar, Udaipur

The Maharajas N Their Cars

High-end American cars were as prized as European models among the rajas,

as shown by this 1947 Buick Super from the Maharana of Mewar's collection.

Photograph: Makarand Baokar

The Maharajas N Their Cars

The Maharaja of Jodhpur, Gaj Singh II, and his son with the Rolls-Royce Phantom II from 1934

and a Buick convertible, in front of the Umaid Bhavan Palace.

Photograph: Bob Rupani

The Maharajas N Their Cars

Maharaj Shivrajisnhji with his 1945 Mercedes Benz 500 K.

Photograph: Makarand Baokar

The Maharajas N Their Cars

The craftsmen of JW Brooke and Company who worked on the Swan Car,

commissioned by Calcutta eccentric Robert Nicholl 'Scotty' Matthewson in 1910.

He was said to have been very fond of swans.

Photograph: Louwan Museum

The Maharajas N Their Cars

The Brooke Swan car was subsequently acquired by the Maharaja of Nabha,

before being sold to the Louwman Museum in the Hague.

Photograph: Louwman Museum

The Maharajas N Their Cars

A 1939 Delaye 135 with coachwork by Figoni et Falaschi, judged India's most

beautiful car at the Cartiers councours d'elegance in 2008.

Photograph: Makarand Baokar

The Maharajas N Their Cars

The Delaye 135 seen from the front.

Photograph: Makarand Baokar

The Maharajas N Their Cars

The SS100 Jaguar, used as a racing car in the 1950s is these days owned

by "new royalty", Bollywood star Jackie Shroff, pictured here with his wife, Ayesha.

Photograph: Makarand Baokar


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