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Little Classics News: 12 June 2014

Extraordinary Classic Car Collector Makes His UK Concours Debut

Extraordinary Classic Car Collector Makes His UK Concours DebutAs one of the world’s most prolific classic car owners with a collection spanning several eras including Mercedes, Rolls-Royce, Jaguars, Mustangs, Corvettes, Sunbeams, Cadillac’s, Packard’s, Lanchesters, Daimlers and Delage's, it was only natural that Dr Ravi Prakash would be invited to show at Pebble Beach and now, for the first time in the UK, two of his prized collection will be on display at this year’s Salon Privé.

1926 Rolls-Royce Phantom I

The lovely Phantom was received for test on 22nd April 1926. Originally consigned to Rippon Bros, the Yorkshire coachbuilders, for stock, it was instead re-designated for the Maharani of Cooch Behar in India. Cooch Behar, now part of the Indian State of West Bengal, is a planned town built by Maharaja Nripendra Narayan in the late 19th century. The 24th Maharajah, Nripendra Narayan died in 1922, leaving the princely state under the Regency Council presided over by his widow, Maharani Indiri Devi, whom he had wed in London in 1913.

Rather than being bodied by Rippon, however, 53TC was sent to Maythorn & Sons of Biggleswade, Bedfordshire for an enclosed limousine body. Dunlop steel artillery wheels were fitted to special order, along with a 90 mph speedometer and Smiths eight-day clock.

1930 Delage D8 S

Maharaja Yeswanth Rao Holkar II of Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India, was completely fascinated by the Art Deco movement of the Delage when he visited the London Auto show in 1930 – during this time he had shipped over £4 million of furniture from Europe. While it was ‘en vogue’, along with the furniture, he also imported quite a fancy piece of automotive sculpture – a 1930 Delage D8 S – with its exquisite Art Deco inspired Figoni coachwork that had just starred at the 1930 edition of the Paris Auto Salon.

With a 120 bhp 4050cc straight eight, two door sports tourer the Delage D8 was a worthy rival to the Bugattis of its time. Dr Prakash – affectionately called “Doc”by the vintage car world acquired his first ‘classic’ in 1979 - a Sunbeam-Talbot 1937, 2 litre sports tourer, willed to him by Retd. General Mahadevan, Commander of the Indian Army who lived in Madras. This fuelled his passion and since then, Prakash has amassed over 225 cars, 60 motorcycles, Horse carriages, Cycles ... housed in ‘Kala Farm’, on the outskirts of Bangalore, Southern India.

“Ever since I acquired my first classic car over three decades ago - 1937 Sunbeam Talbot 2 litre, I’ve not looked back. My love of classic cars borders on ‘‘obsession’ at times – The acquired passion and the encouragement from my wife Sabena, our daughters Rupali and Shefali are carrying on my legacy and making my dreams come true – I want the younger generation to explore the wonder and magic of classic cars. It was only be-fitting we enter two cars so that both my wife, myself and my daughters could drive on the prestigious tour together.”

Doc Ravi

Extraordinary Classic Car Collector Makes His UK Concours DebutFifteen employees work full-time on these cars in an in house workshop — tinkering, painting, repairing and sourcing parts from all over the world. On weekends they get to take these vintage cars out for drives along country roads with crazy Indian traffic!

More recently, they featured in the inaugural ceremony of India’s first GP circuit in Delhi, where more of Dr Prakash’s cars from his 200 piece collection drove the F1 drivers around the circuit for the opening ceremony parade. Daughter, Shefali drove Jaime Alguersuari, Rupali drove Sergio Perez, Sabena drove Sebastien Buemi and Doc drove Lewis Hamilton.

The Prakash’s are the first family in India who are totally involved in the vintage and classic car movement. A cardiothoracic surgeon by profession turned into businessman - Dr Prakash is planning to build the largest classical car Museum in India to house the collection which is expected to be finished in late 2016. His collection has been dedicated to a charitable trust and the monies earned by the museum will be used for treatment of Road Traffic Accident victims.

Salon Privé is a boutique event which opens on Wednesday 3rd September with the crème de la crème of classic cars from around the world competing in the internationally-renowned Chubb Insurance Concours d’Elégance. The 1926 Rolls-Royce Phantom I and 1930 Delage D8 S are both entered in the ‘Fit for a King’ class which showcases cars from around the world with Head of State or Royal provenance.

Tickets to Salon Privé 2014 are available now and can be purchased either by calling the Ticket Hotline on 0808 100 2205 or by going online www.salonprivelondon.com.



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