While the organisers might have agonized over the eventual selection of former Maharaja cars, in Shriji they had a right royal and if that wasnt all, he also prevailed upon another royal to enter his car for Pebble Beach.
I am referring to Yuvraj Saheb Mandhatasinh Jadeja of Rajkot.
Ever since it was announced last year that there would be two classes catering to cars of the maharajas at the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours dElegance, the at times vibrant, at times faction-riven classic car fraternity in India did pause and while not exactly break.Swan Car B Roll Footage ) were purchased by the Louwman Museum in Holland which restored them from the ground up and turned them into truly wonderful machines replete with all the James Bond-type gadgets of its era!The former focused on great Maharaja cars from all over the world while the latter focused on Maharaja Rolls-Royces only, logical this because were it not for the largesse of our royals and their splurging capability, the firm could have had a torrid time financially.From the front end till the scuttle line, the entire bonnet plus the flowing fenders were all in shiny polished metal while the rest of the body was painted a very strong shade of saffron.However, Maharaja Hari Singh Bahadur being a well-heeled patron for the brand could not be refused and so this car came into his possession.While many marvel at Rolls-Royces and go ga-ga over them, in the 1930s they had to contend with the likes of the great Hispano-Suiza and many Indian royals understood the pedigree of this make.However it is not just about Maharaja cars that Pebble Beach is so important because as a single event it celebrates automobiles (and motorcycles since the past few years old, great, innovative, exciting and racy with a purpose not many can comprehend at first instance!Over the years it lost its original engine to keep another of its stablemates motoring and for almost the better part of four decades it was stored and kept.To see these two Hispanos in their pristine glory was a sight for sore eyes.That said, it was great to see none else than.H.I am referring to the J Gurney Nutting bodied 1935 Duesenberg J sports coupe of the Maharaja Holkar of Indore.However the car that took top honours here was probably one of the greatest American sports cars of its time ever.It has stayed in the family ever since!Then there was the 1928 EX17 Phantom formerly of the Maharaja of Jammu Kashmir, a milestone car in Rolls-Royce history.
Presence is everything and it holds true for the schmoozing set as well as the cars, grand and old the better and if with vital provenance, it could be just the proverbial lalique crowning the hood!
Cars, which have never been seen for ages, caged in their climate controlled garages, selectively taken out for this one event and then cocooned back into hibernation.