Received for test on 22nd April 1926, the 1926 Rolls-Royce Phantom I was at 1st consigned to Yorkshire coachbuilders, Rippon Bros for stock. It however was then sent to the Maharani (queen) of Cooch Behar, India. She married the 24th Maharajah, Nripendra Narayan in London in 1913, and he passed away within a decade in 1922.
Chassis 53TC was then sent to Maythorn & Sons of Biggleswade, Bedfordshire for an enclosed limousine body. Maythorn & Sons were founded as carriage-builders in 1842. This Phantom I had special order Dunlop steel artillery wheels fitted, along with a 90 mph speedometer and Smiths eight-day clock.
53TC’ original wood and red leather still do the job. Body restoration work has been carried out from window sills upward. Gold crowns on rear doors and regal registration plates from the early days are retained. Carl Zeiss headlamps are in use.
Power comes from a 7,668 cc overhead-valve six-cylinder engine. Chassis 53TC has a dual ignition with coil and magneto. The four-speed manual gearbox returns 40/50 hp. The 1926 Rolls-Royce 40/50 hp Phantom I Limousine by Maythorn & Sons was auctioned on May 1, 2010 and sold for €50.400.
Dr Ravi’s 1930 Delage D8 S was owned by Maharaja Yeswanth Rao Holkar II of Indore, Madhya Pradesh. Greatly influenced by the Delage’s Art Deco inspired Figoni coachwork at London Auto show in 1930, the king had it shipped to India. The 120 bhp 4050cc straight eight, two door sports tourer was at its time a Bugattis rival.
Dr Prakash fondly known as ‘Doc’ first took to vintage cars in 1979 with a Sunbeam-Talbot 1937. The 2 litre sports tourer was willed to him by Retd. General Mahadevan, Commander of the Indian Army. Over time he has picked up 225 cars, 60 motorcycles, Horse carriages, Cycles, and more. His collection of wheels is housed in ‘Kala Farm’on the outskirts of Bangalore wher 15 full time employees cater to car care at the workshop.
He serves as secretary to the “Karnataka Vintage and Classic Car Club” (KVCCC) in Bangalore. The cardiothoracic surgeon turned businessman is building the largest Indian classic car Museum, a project that will be completed by late 2016. His collection has been dedicated to a charitable trust and museum earnings will be used for treatment of road traffic accident victims.
A few of Doc’s cars were pressed into service at the inaugural ceremony of the 2011 Indian Grand Prix at BIC, Greater Noida. Daughter, Shefali drove Jaime Alguersuari, Rupali drove Sergio Perez, wife Sabena drove Sebastien Buemi, and Doc drove Lewis Hamilton.