Thursday, May 21, 2015

Top-of-the-line cars of Maharaja Vijaysinhji of Rajpipla in the late 1920s

Inevitably, the Rolls-Royce stable-mate, a 3-litre Bentley with chassis no. LT 1585 and Connaught coupe coachwork joined Maharaja Vijaysinhji’s fleet in 1927.

Rolls-Royce Phantom I 1927 at Maharaja Vijaysinhji's estate 'The Manor' at Old Windsor, Berkshire, UK.

The same year, Petersham Garage of Queen’s Gate Place, London SW 7 arranged for a cabriolet de ville body to be built by the Elkington Carriage Company on Rolls-Royce Phantom I chassis no. 55 EF. It was painted royal blue and black, and trimmed in gold-figured damask, the steering wheel ordered in ivory white, quite a common feature with cars supplied to Indian buyers. The car was delivered to the Maharaja at the Savoy Hotel in London, bore the registration no. YF-8389, and used in the UK.

Rolls-Royce Phantom I 1929 as seen in 2012 with its top cut off.

The Phantom I 55 EF was sold in May 1929 via Windovers, who replaced it with a January 1929 Phantom I carrying their Brougham limousine coachwork, design no. 5583 on chassis no. 27 WR. This car has an interesting history. It was shipped to India, and then back to the UK about a quarter-century later in the 1950s, used for another two decades and dry-stored in a garage since 1975. The top of the Brougham body was cut and converted into a tourer, and the Phantom I engine was replaced by a 4 litre Rolls-Royce engine. It surfaced in 2012 when it was listed for sale on e-Bay.

Maharaja Vijaysinhji of Rajpipla at The Manor, Old Windsor with his Riley sports car in the background.

In the late 1920s, Maharaja Vijaysinhji owned a perky little Riley sports car in which he would zip in and out of his Windsor estate.

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