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Published by kwaller, 2018-04-20 15:42:20

2018 Insider Magazine

INSIDER2017

P E B B L E B E A C H C O N C O U R S d ’ E L E G A N C E®

TM KAZUNORI YAMAUCHI

CELEBRATING THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF THE AUTOMOBILE GRAN TURISMO INSPIRATION

THHOE LYLAND CARLO MASERATI

1000 SHARES MEMORIES OF

OSCA FRATELLI
MASERATI

RECOLLECTIONS OF WAR HERO JOHN
MOZART
JACK CROUL IN HIS GARAGE
A Life of Collecting

The Motor Cars
of the Raj


Pebble Beach® and Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® are trademarks and service marks of Pebble Beach Company. Used by permission.
European Model Shown: Continental GT.


P E B B L E B E A C H C O N C O U R S d ’ E L E G A N C E®

TM

CELEBRATING THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF THE AUTOMOBILE

F E AT U R E S

10 MY LIFE IN CARS

Kazunori Yamauchi, the Man Behind Gran Turismo

20 OSCA – FRATELLI MASERATI

Reminiscing with Carlo Maserati

30 DREAM GARAGE

Building a Collector’s Life with John Mozart

40 MOTOR CARS OF THE RAJ

The Golden Age of India’s Maharajas
and the Cars that Celebrated the Era

50 WHEN BIGGER REALLY WAS BETTER

Stretching the Limits of Design During the Eisenhower Years

58 BEHIND THE WHEEL

Discovering the Splendor of Israel on the HolyLand 1000

68 MAKE IT A GOOD ONE

An Interview with War Hero Jack Croul in His Garage

D E PA R T M E N T S

84 COLLECTOR’S FILE

Auto-Inspired Furniture Design for Home and Office

92 SOCIAL SEEN

Out and About at the Pebble Beach Concours

102 A LEGACY OF CARS, DESIGN AND DREAMS

Celebrating the Life of J. Heumann

105 REMEMBERING OUR FRIENDS

Fond Memories of Car Friends Lost in the Past Year

108 MUSINGS FROM OUR

MASTER OF CEREMONIES
Derek Hill

110 FOUR PERSPECTIVES ON CARS

An Automotive Historian, a Journalist,
a Collector and a Designer

112 CALENDAR OF EVENTS

www.pebblebeachconcours.net


A passion for great cars of all ages

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A LETTER FROM THE CHAIRMAN

he Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is an event that demands Lorin and J. spoke the truth, often fervently and fiercely. If some-
we keep moving forward—but at times that can be difficult. thing wasn’t right, they said something. If something was good
Sometimes it’s even tough to know where “forward” is. but could be even better, they said something then too. And if
a few well-placed comments didn’t bring about quick change,
For car lovers, the future is more than a bit uncertain. How they didn’t hesitate to take their concerns to the top.
people feel about and use their cars is undergoing a seismic
shift—and it is hard to predict what that might mean for a Lorin and J. were never satisfied with the status quo. J. in
concours. We can’t begin to know yet how we will be best able particular was an “early adopter.” He was the first person I knew
to celebrate our love of cars decades down the road. to get an iPhone—and a Tesla. He was always curious, always
learning. He often had a new project at hand. He spent much
I do believe the answers will come as we continue to share our of the last year of his life figuring out how to re-create our
own passion for automobiles one by one, person to person. Best of Show trophy on a reduced scale.
Real passion seems to grow best as it is shared with others—
amongst friends, and from generation to generation. Admittedly, J. was also merrily wicked. He liked to stir the pot.
He signed his letters to me and to many Concours staffers not
In the car world, I was fortunate to have as mentors our long- with “Jules” or even the abbreviated “J.” but rather with “S.D.” for
time Concours Co-Chairmen Jules “J.” Heumann and Lorin Tryon. “Sh** Disturber.” He wanted forward thinking. He wanted action.

Others, too, have guided me, of course. Chris Bock, now our J. told me more than once that he would be easier to replace
Chief Judge, has been there from my start with the Concours, than Lorin, who had an encyclopedic knowledge of cars and
offering calm, consistent support wherever needed and advice car contacts. And it is true that we now have a Selection Com-
whenever asked. Paul Woudenberg, too, was a source of sage mittee of 15 to do what Lorin once did. I still can’t fathom how
wisdom from the earliest of days. And Glenn Mounger, who he managed to find and vet all of the cars for our show before
served as our Chairman from 2000 to 2005, introduced me to computers existed—using only the mighty pen, snail mail and
a host of car guys. But it was Lorin and J. who were my real select phone calls.
mentors in the car world—the people who most encouraged
me at the start and who affirmed “you can do this” each time But it was J. who gave this concours its international focus. It was
my role changed. through his many contacts overseas, and his tenacity, that some
of our most magnificent displays came about, including the
I still recall the first time I met these two men. I was more than 1985 gathering of the six Bugatti Royales. J. was also the primary
a little bit anxious because a colleague had pulled me aside to author of the judging system we still follow today—a system
say, “We have nicknames for them: Lorin the Tyrant and J. the with two tiers of judges and a focus on expertise. And with
Inhuman.” I soon learned these names stemmed from the fact his design eye, J. determined the best arrangement for our
that these two men set the bar high—both for themselves and 18th fairway, marking it off meticulously with his small strides,
for others. multiple cans of spray paint and a giant spool of string he
created just for that purpose. (The spool held hundreds of yards
of string, with smaller colored strings flaring out from the main
one, to indicate individual car placements. I lived in fear of losing
that spool and his Wellington boots, which he entrusted to me
between Concours.)

We’ve lost both men now, and the car world is being challenged
as never before. I hope we meet the challenge in the fervent,
feisty, forward-thinking manner of J. and Lorin.

Sincerely,

Sandra Button
Chairman

P.S. Yes, J. is standing on a box in the photo above.
He insisted on it!

4


1901 DURYEA
FOUR-WHEELED PHAETON

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with the highest quality Meguiar’s products. Meguiar’s Inc. was founded over a century
ago in 1901 and has become the global leader in appearance care. Meguiar’s is proud to
offer the highest quality products and tools to serious car care enthusiasts.


PEBBLE BEACH CONCOURS d’ELEGANCE

PUBLISHER CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Pebble Beach Company
MARTIN E. BUTTON first entered a car in DEREK HILL was invited to be our Master
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in of Ceremonies in 2015. He initially pursued
Sandra Button 1996. Since marrying Sandra Kasky, the then a career in motorsports, ultimately driving
Co-Chairman of the Concours, in 2004, they to class and championship wins. More recently,
MANAGING EDITOR have shown several more cars together, for he has focused on precision driving on road,
Nic Waller exhibition only. Martin is a member of the track and screen.
Pebble Beach Concours Selection Committee
CREATIVE DIRECTOR and co-announcer of the awards ceremony. JOHN LAMM is a writer and photographer with
ADVERTISING & MARKETING The Revs Institute in Naples, Florida, and has
KATE CONSTANTIN has edited Management attended the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
Katee Waller Week and Business Age and has written for since 1973. He judges at several concours and
several other publications, including Financial is on the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion
SENIOR EDITORS Times and Computer Weekly. She loves and organizing committee.
Kandace Hawkinson collects classic cars and makes Pebble Beach
Concours d’Elegance the hub of her annual PETER LYON contributes regularly to both the
Martin E. Button calendar. English and Japanese editions of Forbes and also
writes auto industry–related stories for Car and
PROOFREADERS MASSIMO DELBÒ is a regular contributor to Driver in the U.S., Auto Express in the U.K. and
Laurel Leigh Octane in the UK, Routeclassiche in Italy, Genroq Italy’s Quattroruote. He is chairman of the World
Susan Becker in Japan and many other publications, including Car Awards.
those of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
DESIGN / PRODUCTION An avid enthusiast, he judges at several concours, RON VERSCHOOR is the editor for the Classic
Bunne Hartmann and he actively participates in club events. Car Club of America. He has attended the
Jerrold Simon Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance since 1989
and written several articles for the Concours
Printed in Canada by on different motoring-related subjects.
Hemlock Printers, Inc.
CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS AND PHOTO ARCHIVES

Special thanks to Pebble Beach Company Lagorio Archives for providing many of the images used
in this edition of INSIDER.

Sandra Button: Pebble Beach Concours Archives; My Life in Cars: Polyphony Digital Inc., Sony
Interactive Entertainment Group, Octane Japan, Pebble Beach Concours Archives; OSCA–Fratelli
Maserati: Massimo Delbò, The Revs Institute Archive, Giorgio Nada Archive, Phil Hill Archive,
Artcurial Auctions, RM Sotheby’s, Corrado Lopresto; Dream Garage: John Lamm, Urban Land Institute;
Motor Cars of the Raj: Manvendra Singh, Robert M. Lee Archive; When Bigger Really Was Better:
The Daily Beast, Associated Press, General Motors Archive, Ron Verschoor Archive; Behind the Wheel:
Gadi Sierra, Ronen Topelberg, Martin and Sandra Button; Make It a Good One: Jack Croul Archive,
Kimball Studios, Pebble Beach Concours Archives; Social Seen: Kimball Studios, Pebble Beach Concours
Archives, Sherman Chu; Master of Ceremonies: Phil Hill Archive; Four For the Road: Kimball Studios,
Pebble Beach Concours Archives, Motor Trend.

THE COVER: 1965 OSCA MT4 Morelli Spider, owned by Craig & Bunny Davis, at the 2009 Pebble Beach
Concours d’Elegance: Pebble Beach Concours Archives

Pebble Beach®, Pebble Beach Resorts®, Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, Pebble Beach Concours™, Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance®,
Pebble Beach RetroAuto™, Pebble Beach Classic Car Forum™, Pebble Beach® Automotive Week, Pebble Beach Golf Links®, Peter Hay™ Golf Course,
The Lodge at Pebble Beach™, The Inn at Spanish Bay™, The Links at Spanish Bay™, 17-Mile Drive®, The Lone Cypress™, Stillwater Cove™, and their
respective underlying images, are trademarks, service marks and trade dress of Pebble Beach Company.

Copyright © 2018 Pebble Beach Company. All rights reserved.


P E B B L E BEAC H®

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Pebble Beach® and Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® are trademarks and service marks of Pebble Beach Company. Used by permission.


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10


MINYCLAIFRES
Kazunori Yamauchi, CEO, Polyphony Digital,
Producer of Gran Turismo

Japanese video game creator Kazunori which took five years to complete. The “Now, I’m a true
Yamauchi first became an Honorary Judge Gran Turismo games simulate the appear- believer. The
for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance ance, performance and indeed the handling eighteenth fairway
in 2008, and since then his passion for characteristics of a vast array of beautifully at Pebble Beach
classic automobile design has blossomed. rendered “digital vehicles,” nearly all of is my annual
If truth be known, when he was younger he which are licensed reproductions of real- pilgrimage, a place
was not that interested in classic and vintage world automobiles. Since Gran Turismo’s of awe. It’s become
cars. That has all changed today. “Now, 1997 debut, over 77 million units have been the most important
I’m a true believer. The eighteenth fairway sold worldwide, changing the face of gaming event I attend in
at Pebble Beach is my annual pilgrimage, and making GT the highest-selling Play- order to learn more
a place of awe,” he says. Attending the Station video game franchise in the world. about the history of
Concours opened his eyes to the elegance cars and, of course,
and timeless appeal of classic and vintage To mark the game’s twentieth anniversary gain inspiration for
cars. Yamauchi adds that “it’s become the in 2017, Yamauchi launched GT Sport, the my game.”
most important event I attend in order to seventh installment of Gran Turismo. In
learn more about the history of cars and, the same year, he was awarded an honor- —Kazunori Yamauchi
of course, gain inspiration for my game.” ary degree in vehicle engineering from the
University of Modena. He then took home
As CEO of Polyphony Digital—maker of Autoweek’s 2017 Car Culture Award. Last
Gran Turismo, the world’s biggest-selling year also marked Gran Turismo’s tenth anni-
driving game series—Yamauchi has much to versary with the Pebble Beach Concours,
celebrate. The original idea was developed when Yamauchi presented the Gran Turismo
for the PlayStation system that launched Trophy to the 1929 Mercedes-Benz S Barker
in Japan in 1994. The idea for the driving Tourer owned by Bruce McCaw. This car
simulator game originated two years earlier, also captured the Best of Show Award, the
when Yamauchi, along with a group of first time in the last decade that the same car
seven designers and programmers, first set won both trophies. Yamauchi was particu-
out to develop the original Gran Turismo, larly excited about the color and style of

11


Gran Turismo series producer Kazunori Yamauchi selected the 1929 Mercedes-Benz S Barker Tourer owned by Bruce R. McCaw
as the winner of the 2017 Gran Turismo Trophy. This is also the winner of the Best of Show in last year’s Pebble Beach Concours,
making it a double winner. The winning car was originally ordered by one of the founders of the British Racing Driver’s Club,
Earl Howe. London coachbuilder Barker built the body, and the peacock blue of the car is an original color that Earl Howe had
painted on all of his racing cars. This is the first time that a prewar model dating back to 1929 has won the Gran Turismo Trophy.

the car. “The Mercedes’s cobalt blue and the Gran Turismo game. The process of Bertone Prototype from 2008, the 1965
unpainted polished steel combination was photographing and scanning a car takes Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ2 from 2009 and
simply stunning, so elegant and so beauti- many hours, sometimes days. The car is the Aston Martin DB3S Sports that won
fully finished. I am the first one to admit also filmed driving, and even the engine the award in 2013. Yamauchi says, “One
that I have limited knowledge of vintage note is recorded so that it can be repro- of my main criteria for selecting a winner
cars. So, normally, I have a few design duced in the game. Yamauchi says that the is that it must be drivable and capable of
experts examine the 200-plus entries in 2017 Concours winner will definitely be racing in the game. The unique and sporty
advance and narrow down the field to re-created and readied for virtual racing. Mercedes-Benz was first built for the pio-
a top 6. It is then my job to pick a GT “The inclusion may take more than a year neering British racing driver Lord Howe,
Trophy winner. And last year, it was easy. as it must fit in with our regular updates. making the vintage car eminently quali-
The Mercedes just stood out,” he explains. But rest assured, you will see this gor- fied to feature in the world’s most famous
geous Mercedes in the game before too simulation racing game.
The winner of the Gran Turismo Trophy long,” he asserts.
does not just receive a notable accolade. Kaz, as he is commonly called, was born
To be awarded this iconic prize means Previous Gran Turismo Trophy winners 50 years ago in the city of Kashiwa, north-
that the winning car will be re-created in include the 1967 Lamborghini Miura P400 east of Tokyo. He was recognized early on

12


Soon after the McCaw Mercedes-Benz returned triumphantly to its garage in Seattle, the GT photographers, technicians and game developers were hard at work
measuring every part of the car in readiness for its re-creation in pixels. Polyphony Digital’s fastidious attention to detail and realism means that the car will be almost

as a child prodigy who took a keen inter- “Cars from the 1930s are so beautiful, so
est in computing, and a very young Kaz artistic and yet so futuristic, all at the same
was also fascinated by automobiles. “I’ve time. When you inspect both the exterior
always loved cars, since I was maybe and interior styling ... you are humbled by
around three years old,” Yamauchi recalls. its sheer elegance.”
“But as soon as I got my driving license,
I realized that while I love cars, I love In 1997, the phenomenal success of the Porsche, Lamborghini and Ferrari, but his
driving even more.” Soon after acquiring original Gran Turismo game led Sony to car tastes have evolved over recent years
his first car, a Toyota Celica, Yamauchi invite Kaz to create his own company, and nowadays he says, “nothing beats
became a hashiriya or street racer. Later, Polyphony Digital. “In the early days, as car design from the 1930s.” Thanks to
inspired by filmmakers George Lucas I was collecting data and content for the his involvement with the Pebble Beach
and Stephen Spielberg, he started his own first edition, many carmakers could not Concours, he says he has learned how to
movie company in junior high school. In foresee the potential of GT, which made appreciate vintage cars. “Cars from the
college, movies took a backseat to the new the game hard to put together. But when 1930s are so beautiful, so artistic and yet so
craze of video games. In 1992, Yamauchi manufacturers like Toyota came on board futuristic, all at the same time. When you
began his career at Sony’s fledgling video and gave me their full support, other inspect both the exterior and interior styling
game department where he created Motor carmakers followed quite quickly,” he of a car like the 1929 Mercedes, you are
Toon Grand Prix, a go-kart racing game remembers. humbled by its sheer elegance. You can see
released in 1994 that formed the build- that people who really loved cars put so
ing blocks for Gran Turismo. He still Yamauchi has always been a huge fan of much effort into designing them as moving
races cars in real life, and every year since supercars from McLaren, Ford, Nissan, artwork. I have so much respect for my
2010 Yamauchi has driven Nissan GT-Rs,
and more recently a BMW M6, in the 24
Hours race at the Nürburgring.

Left: The 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ2 was
photographed at the collection of General
William Lyon after receiving the Gran Turismo
Trophy in 2009. Right: Driving a million dollar
Alfa Romeo TZ2 on a famous racing circuit
—the GT games is as near to reality as you
can get from the comfort of an armchair.

13


At the the 63rd Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2013 Kazunori Yamauchi presented the Gran Turismo Trophy to the “winningest” 1953 Aston Martin DB3S/1 owned
by Brian Classic—60 years exactly since the car won five races at Charterhall, the Isle of Mann and Silverstone.

predecessors who showed so much passion 2027! And yet, even with a rule like that, content with more color and depth.
and vision all those years ago.” you still see so many superbly prepared Players of all ages can learn about car
cars each year. It just goes to show the history while studying world history. Go
His connection with Pebble Beach helped intense interest level in classic cars and the to the year 1989, for example, and you
him to realize Gran Turismo’s place in depth and passion of the restoration com- will immediately notice its significance in
history and gave Yamauchi critical insight munity that supports this event.” Japanese automotive history. A watershed
when creating his latest GT Sport rendi- period for Japan, cars launched in this year
tion, which has several new features and He explains that it is Gran Turismo’s include the Nissan Skyline GT-R, Mazda
a lot more content. “What is difficult to mission to document the twentieth MX-5, Subaru Legacy, Nissan 300ZX and
fathom is that all Pebble Beach entries, century, and the revised Museum feature Toyota MR2, while the luxury brands of
over 200 of them, can only participate in in the game introduces the history of the Lexus and Infiniti were also born. Switch
this event once in 10 years, so cars that automobile alongside the history of the your focus to world history, and you
entered last year cannot reappear until world in order to imbue the automotive will realize that in 1989 the Berlin Wall
came down, the Tiananmen Square pro-
The 3-D models for the GT game are among the highest-quality digital car models in the world. From tests erupted in China and the 14th Dalai
the curves of the body to the headlights, every detail of the car is precisely re-created. Here the DB3S Lama received the Nobel Peace Prize.
body is first mapped as a wireframe model before the car’s digital “skin” is applied by computer. Upgrades to the just-launched GT Sport
game include graphics, colors, clarity and
physics engines, but the quality and depth
of knowledge contained in the Museum
feature will open new doors for both the
GT game and Yamauchi. “After kids, and
bigger kids alike, have had their fill of
racing, they can adjourn to the Museum
function and get immersed in world and
automotive history,” he says. “I can see
this feature as a wonderful new educa-
tional tool that can be used by schools
everywhere to instill knowledge while
teaching kids about the wonders of cars.”

14


The 2010 Gran Turismo Trophy winner: the 1952
Abarth 1500 Biposto Bertone B.A.T 1 owned by Chris
and Angie Drake. This unique Bertone-built coupé
was a complicated car to render, having a futuristic
central headlight, similar to the earlier Tucker
Torpedo, prominent fins in the rear and scarcely
a straight line to its name. The Franco Scaglione
design paved the way for the first of the three Alfa
Romeo 1900 B.A.T. concept cars a year later.

The new GT Sport also includes a power- gamers. He recently partnered with Red Manufacturer’s Series—and the champi-
ful photography mode dubbed “Scapes” Bull’s design ace Adrian Newey in creat- onship winners will be awarded trophies
that allows the user to choose and position ing the ultimate race car. To celebrate on the same stage as the winning Formula
their GT car in gorgeously photographed Gran Turismo’s 15th anniversary, he 1 and World Endurance Championship
real-world locations and then manipulate invited the world’s car-makers to design drivers.
the image using the built-in photo editing unique sports cars in his Vision Gran
suite, breaking the boundaries of what are Turismo initiative to stimulate manufactur- Always aware of GT ’s mission to deliver
now seen as traditional game landscapes. ers’ styling departments. In the charitable the best driving game while document-
Users can, of course, upload their custom- sector, he has collaborated with the Ayrton ing the automotive world, Kaz says he
ized photo art to social media and enjoy Senna Foundation to support underprivi- has been increasingly influenced by his
the ensuing online conversations about art, leged children in Brazil. Pebble Beach Concours judging role to
photography, and, of course, beautful cars. focus on car history. He is now particu-
In 2017, Gran Turismo notched up another larly knowledgeable about racing in the
Now spanning more than two decades, milestone when it became the first-ever early twentieth century and amazed by the
Yamauchi’s world of automotive wonder driving game to be officially recognized way speed captured man’s imagination
has extended to founding the GT as a motorsport by the FIA. This means just over 100 years ago.
Academy, a program that makes real- that GT will host two new annual cham-
world racing drivers out of champion pionships—the Nation’s Cup and the No one has influenced the world of racing
games and instilled a generation with
such passion for cars and car culture as
Kazunori Yamauchi. When speaking of
Yamauchi’s achievements, perhaps the
mayor of Ronda, Spain, María de la Paz
Fernández Lobato, said it best: “In 2013,
Yamauchi had a street named in honor
of him, Paseo de Kazunori Yamauchi.
The street snakes around Ronda. There
is no doubt that his work has a huge
cultural resonance with people today. He
has driven the racing game genre to new
levels of realism, and his creations are as
much art as technology.”

The forever humble Kaz takes these
accolades in stride. As he readies his Gran
Turismo apparatus to respond to the chal-
lenges of his new FIA series, he says he
will be back at Pebble Beach this August,
ready for another lesson in history and
injection of awe.

15


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Carlo Maserati


Bill Spear in his OSCA MT4 winning the 1952 Queen Catherine Cup,
a race for small-displacement sports cars held at Watkins Glen.

“Maserati” is one of the greatest names in Italian motor racing history,

forever associated with the activities of the Maserati brothers of Bologna.

But the legendary Maseratis were responsible for another the brothers played an important role, but it was Alfieri
marque that also thrills both race drivers and collectors who was the driving force and the most technically
alike: OSCA. Pouring passion and technical expertise gifted. After several years as a mechanic in Isotta
into their work, they created this small automobile Fraschini’s racing department, he became head of the
company that remains, even today, simply unforgettable. firm’s service department in Argentina and later in Great
Britain before finishing his term with the company in
When one delves into the history of OSCA, it is Bologna’s local service department. After leaving Isotta
impossible to tell the story without a brief synopsis of Fraschini in 1914, he founded Garage Alfieri Maserati
the early days of Maserati. The famous five Maserati in Bologna, later renaming it Società Anonima Officine
brothers—Carlo, Bindo, Alfieri, Ettore and Ernesto—all Alfieri Maserati. In 1919 Alfieri also founded the spark
left their mark on the car world, while a sixth brother, plug manufacturing firm Candele Maserati, and all
Mario, the artist of the family, is credited for creating the the while he raced cars to promote the various family
iconic Maserati badge with its famous trident. Each of businesses.


Top: Alfieri, Ettore, Bindo and Ernesto Maserati outside Officine Alfieri One by one, all the brothers joined the family garage,
Maserati, their first workshop located in the Via de’ Pepoli in Bologna. which often prepared competition cars for Isotta
Above: The first OSCA MT4 (chassis 1101) with the 1,100 cc engine was Fraschini and Diatto. In 1924, Alfieri designed Diatto’s
tested on April 5, 1948, before the car’s race debut on August 15 at powerful 1,500 cc, 8-cylinder engine that, fitted with
Pescara. OSCA’s first race victory came just over a month later at a Rootes compressor, became, after Diatto closed,
the Grand Prix of Naples, for cars up to 2 liters. the basis for the brothers’ first complete car to sport
the trident trademark—the Maserati Tipo 26 of 1925.
This significant sports car was raced by both Alfieri
and Ernesto and was responsible for Ernesto winning
the 1927 and 1930 Italian Drivers’ Championships.
Following Alfieri’s untimely death, and despite the great
respect created for Maserati cars, money was always
tight. Finally, in 1937, the remaining brothers decided
to sell the company to the industrialist Commendatore
Adolfo Orsi, who moved the garage to Modena where,
in the postwar years, Maserati would become world-
famous in racing as well as for its road cars. As part of
the agreement with Orsi, the brothers were required to
stay at the company for a decade, a period that included

22


the five years of Italy’s involvement in the Second
World War when almost no cars were actually built.

All of which brings us back to where we started. When
their obligation expired, the Maserati brothers founded
a new sports car company with Bindo in charge of sales
and finance, Ernesto as chief designer and Ettore as
head fabricator and machinist. Officine Specializzate
Costruzione Automobili, or OSCA–Fratelli Maserati,
or as it is more often referred to, OSCA, was officially
created on December 1, 1947. Ettore Maserati’s son
Carlo, now age 87, takes up the story: “I chose that
name!” he says. “My father and uncles were so busy
working that they gave me carte blanche to create the
name for the new family business. It wasn’t easy, as
there were legal restrictions to consider with regard
to the use of the Maserati name, of course, but I
nevertheless wanted it to be clear that we Maseratis
were behind this new firm, and that we remained
attached to the city of Bologna. For the badge, I
therefore picked the red and blue of the city of Bologna
and had ‘Fratelli Maserati Bologna’ written under
the OSCA acronym.” Carlo’s solution was approved
immediately by all the brothers.

Above right: Pictured at the start of the
1949 Mille Miglia is Franco Cornacchia
driving with his navigator, L. Lesna, in

their OSCA MT4 1100 (chassis 1101).
Three MT4s were entered that year but,

sadly, none finished. Right: The start
of the 1950 Mille Miglia, just before
5:39 a.m., and race founder Renzo
Castagneto is about to flag away the
streamlined MT4 1100 (chassis 1104)

of Alberico Cacciari and Marcelo
Gallerani. Immediately behind is
number 540, the 7th-placed and class-
winning MT4 (chassis 1111) driven by
Luigi Fagioli and Giovanni Diotallevi.


Left: The unique OSCA MT4 Berlinetta
designed by Giovanni Michelotti and
built by Carrozeria Vignale, photographed
at Le Mans in 1952 by Phil Hill. Owner
Dr. Mario Damonte and co-driver Pierre
Louis-Dreyfus (known as Heldé) drove
the slightly modified car to 18th place the
following year. Below left: Lucien Farnaud
in his privately entered OSCA MT4 1100
at the start of the 1954 Le Mans 24 Hours.
OSCA entered two works MT4s that year
and both retired in the last hour, but OSCA
was in 4th place in the World Sports Car
Championship after the race. Below: The
V12-engined OSCA 4500 driven by Franco
Rol finished 9th at the 1951 Italian Grand
Prix at Monza.

The desire to return to Bologna was a major factor in the Maserati van they traveled round in during the war years
brothers’ decision to quit Maserati. As Carlo explains, and that they later used for their daily commute.”
“After leaving our birthplace, Voghera, not too far from
Milano, and moving to Bologna, they had all established For their new OSCA company, the Maseratis rented
their own families there. When Orsi bought the company a facility on Via Emilia Levante, where they began to
and committed them to working in it for a further ten design and build the cars they believed represented
years, they each had to [make] an important family their future, namely small-capacity racing cars for the
decision: whether to stay in Bologna or move to Modena. burgeoning sports car category. “When they opened
To avoid disrupting their children’s schooling, they opted the new factory,” says Carlo, “some former Maserati
to commute to Modena daily, leaving early in the morning employees, keen to be part of this brave new venture,
and returning late at night. I can clearly remember—I came with them.” Usually with a new company, the
often spent time with my grandparents in that period— average age of its employees tends to be quite low: that
that we used to see the men of the family only at week- was not the case for OSCA, where experience and a
ends or holiday times. I also remember the electric long-term relationship with the family was the real asset.

24


Carlo goes on to say that “other strengths the brothers was certainly our trademark during my ten years at the
brought were their great technical expertise and the company. It may sound incredible, but we could create
respect they had already earned among suppliers and a brand new car, from drawing to the road, in about six
racing drivers. They had some money to get them started months. It was an amazing achievement considering
but had little margin for error: they had to do well from the technology then available and the fact that we were
the word go! Hence, the very first project, the 4-cylinder building practically everything in-house.” Even the spark
MT4 was a very solid, frills-free sports car.” plugs were effectively made in-house by OSCA’s sibling
company Candele Maserati; they were more expensive
On April 8, 1948, a proud group of OSCA workers was than the standard ones, explains Carlo, because the
photographed alongside the first car to bear the new insulator was made from mica, a less common and vastly
name. This little OSCA (chassis 1101), driven by Franco more resistant material than ceramic—“but they were
Cornacchia, then made its race debut at Pescara on the absolutely problem-free.”
15th of August and a few months later, driven by Luigi
“Gigi” Villoresi, it won the first Grand Prix of Naples, After the first success, others soon followed, and the
marking the first OSCA victory. “I’m quite sure that no new company flourished. “We were never rich,” says
two OSCAs were identical,” Carlo says. “Every new car Carlo, “because every single cent the company made,
was a development opportunity, and racing customers after salaries and expenses, was reinvested in new
were delighted to receive the very latest evolution. This development, including, as early as 1951, a project

One of three 1954 OSCA 2000 S Morelli Spiders (chassis 2005S) that
were based on the 2-liter OSCA Formula 2 single seater.

25


for the new Formula 1 Grand Prix season involving a Le Mans in 1953, and the following year an MT4 Spider
4.5-liter V12 engine. This was fitted into a new ladder- driven by Stirling Moss and Bill Lloyd took top honors at
frame chassis and called the Tipo G 4500.” The car the 12 Hours of Sebring. Another famous occasion was at
debuted at the 1951 Italian Grand Prix at Monza, driven Bonneville in 1955: the OSCA MT4 1500 cc “Simpson
by Officine Alfieri Maserati works driver Franco Rol. Special Streamliner” broke 18 world speed records on
Eventually with all this development work, the Bologna the salt flats, including an average of 162 mph over 10
facility became too small, so the production department kilometers.
was moved to San Lazzaro di Savena, a small village
close by. With the decline of the sports-racing category in the early
1960s and the introduction of the GT classes—as well
During the 1950s and early ’60s, all the leading racing as the need to build at least 100 cars in 12 months for
drivers visited OSCA headquarters, and many drove to homologation purposes—OSCA needed to reinvent itself
victory in cars built by the Maserati brothers, such as the but lacked the necessary economic resources. “As always
legendary 1.1-liter MT4, the twin-cam MT4-2AD, and happens, there is more than one reason that a renowned
the Type S in all its different versions. The achievements company reaches the end,” says Elvio Deganello, one
of this firm that built only about 200 cars in the 15 years of the most respected OSCA historians. “The change in
between 1948 and 1963 are quite remarkable: 578 class racing rules had an enormous impact on the company.
and overall victories worldwide. And not forgetting two The Sports Car championship went on, at least until
First in Class wins at the 1953 Pebble Beach races for 1964–65, with beautiful cars competing in the new Grand
drivers MacDougall and Mayer. It is evident that, for a Touring championship, but the change in the rules had
good decade, to win a class, nothing was better than an severe consequences and the new OSCA 1600 GT, as the
OSCA—especially in the little 750 cc class. Since its name implies, was supposed to enter the GT class but,
debut in the Mille Miglia, OSCAs nearly always won because of the strict rules, was relegated to compete in the
in whatever class the car was competing in. A Vignale- Sports class without any chance of success. The Maserati
bodied MT4 ran in the 1,500 cc class at the 24 Hours of brothers were wonderful technicians, but they weren’t
great entrepreneurs: they wanted to build wonderful, fast,
refined racing cars, not manage a production line, which

26


Opposite: The 1957 OSCA Type S 273 (chassis 1187). Six of was one of the reasons they quit Orsi’s Maserati
these 1,100 cc–engined Spiders were built by the Maserati company. For them it was not only impossible to
brothers based on an MT4 chassis and widened to improve sustain the economical investment to start series
handling. Under the hood, the twin overhead cam, 4-cylinder production and set up a distribution network, but it
was away from their ‘credo’ that they followed their
engine was small but very powerful. Below: Sandwiched entire life.”
between the Austin-Healey of Maurice Gatsonides and the
This was the turning point for the firm. Although
Porsche 550 of Hans Herrmann at Le Mans in 1953 is the agreements were reached—first with Fiat to equip
Rees Makins OSCA MT4 of Phil Hill and Fred Wacker Jr. the Turin carmaker’s small convertibles with the
twin-cam 1.5-liter OSCA engine, and then with
Photographed on rare Kodachrome color film, Hill stands with different coachbuilders like Touring and Zagato
the car before the race start. Bottom: A total of 128 OSCA

1600 GT Coupés were produced before the OSCA company
was sold to Agusta. Chassis 0014 is one of two 1600s bodied

by Carrozeria Touring and was shown at the 1961 Turin
Motor Show. It is now owned by Corrado Lopresto of Milan.

to produce the 1600 GTs—these contracts were
not enough. The final chapter of the OSCA story
concludes with the sale of the company to Count
Domenico Agusta’s MV Agusta company in August
1963, and its subsequent move to Cascina Costa,
close to Varese. It marked the end of the brothers’
working relationship and an end of an era.

Carlo Maserati smiles broadly as we finish our
discussion. “Working at OSCA,” he says, “was
a privilege: hectic but hugely satisfying, and for
me, it was a pleasure to work with my wonderful
relatives.” After selling OSCA, the Maserati
brothers retired, remaining in their beloved Bologna.
Carlo is sure that 70 years after starting their second
company they would be enormously proud that
their cars are so sought after by collectors. I’m
sure they would be equally gratified to see their
grandchildren, in the spirit of the Maserati family,
still working together but now in their Porcomondo
restaurant in the heart of the city—where OSCA has
been replaced by pasta.

27


Screams everything but subtlety.

Competitors, take notice. 520 hp. A top track speed of 193 mph. It’s the latest
achievement in a line of audacious motorsports performance dating back 70 years.

The Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Challengers wanted.

©2018 Porsche Cars North America, Inc. Porsche recommends seat belt usage and observance of traffic laws at all times. Vehicle shown is European specification and includes equipment not available in the U.S. market.


G A L A24TH ANNUAL PETERSEN
GUEST OF HONOR, DR. WOLFGANG PORSCHE
OCT 5 2018

THE EVOLUTION OF AN ICON

PRESENTED BY: 6060 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90036
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
MADE POSSIBLE BY THE MARGIE & ROBERT E. PETERSEN FOUNDATION

All inquiries regarding tables, seats,
and support visit petersen.org/gala


JOHNMOZART

BUILDING A COLLECTOR’S LIFE

BY JOHN LAMM

Google the name John Mozart
and you’ll learn that he is a
prominent California real estate
developer; Mozart Development Company and
Classic Communities take center stage in online
entries about him. He has been responsible for
developing some 6 million square feet of build-
ing space over a period of 35 years, and in 2015
he became the seventh inductee into the National
Association of Industrial and Office Properties
(NAIOP) Developers Hall of Fame.

Mozart is justifiably proud of the work he has
accomplished during his career, explaining,
“We’re doing about 100 homes a year right
now, maybe a little more. It’s been an incredible
business, and I’ve got some really good people
running it.” Then he adds with a smile that his
real estate business is, appropriately, “strictly
a vehicle” for his love of automobiles.

The two Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Best of
Show winners in the Mozart collection: the 1938 Bugatti

Type 57SC Corsica Roadster from 1998 and the 1937
Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Spider that won in 1988.

In the center background is a 1933 Hispano-Suiza J12
Faux Cabriolet, one of two coupés built for the famous

sportsman and race enthusiast, Count Felice Trossi.

30


DREAM GARAGE
31


When it comes to his collection of 165 cars he’s often such as Vacaville, Moffett Field and Stockton, where
asked, “How did you get interested?” He replies, “It’s Mozart’s father would take him through the pits
like sometimes the fruit does fall close to the tree, and explaining everything. “There was a lot of stuff lying
in this case it did.” His father was in the automotive around the house like Road & Track magazines and
parts business during World War II, traveling from old race programs—I became a sponge,” says Mozart.
San Francisco down California’s Central Valley, and
And it was then that the apple fell near the tree:
“There was a lot of stuff lying “I got into the car parts business, which I liked,”
around the house like Road & Track Mozart explains. “I became an importer of parts for
magazines and old race programs— Volkswagens, Porsches, Mercedes, and then Japanese
cars, selling pistons, clutches and all kinds of things.
I became a sponge.” Pretty soon it turned into a big business and I had 140
employees.

young John would often go along for the ride. After “I needed a big distribution center, and that’s how I
the war, in 1947, his dad opened a Ford dealership got into real estate. I think I had eleven little build-
in Half Moon Bay that he later moved to Los Altos, ings, and it was just logistically crazy. So I bought a
where he also sold DeSotos, Plymouths and Hudsons. piece of land in the Silicon Valley, subdivided it and
In the early 1950s, Mozart Sr. became the Volkswagen built a big warehouse. Then I built one in Atlanta,
dealer in Palo Alto, and over the years this segued into Georgia, and ran that business, but I got tired of it in
Porsche and then Audi. 1979 and sold it to the bearing company, SKF.”

Along the way the family acquired a new Jaguar XK120 Real estate development became Mozart’s next busi-
and an MG TC, “which I really, really loved,” Mozart ness and it turned into a passion, but not like his love
recalls. Father and son began going to races at tracks of automobiles, which he describes as “like a disease.
I couldn’t get rid of it.”


Mozart now had a little money and bought his first In a mouthwatering lineup of Brass Era motorcars
vintage machine from collector Tom Barrett—the is a 1912 Packard 2-48 Touring, which was part
1931 ex-George Whittell Murphy-bodied Duesenberg
Boattail Speedster (J-120), which he still has. He also of The Harrah Collection for many years. In its
accumulated a library and “every night I’d read some- day it was a very fast car, easily capable of over
thing automotive related before I’d go to sleep.” Along 80 mph in 1912. Below: One of the six Duesenberg
the way he met the legendary collector and owner of Model Js built during the Depression for bon vivant
MovieWorld: Cars of the Stars, Jimmy Brucker, who playboy George Whittell Jr. of San Francisco, the
taught Mozart a great deal. Next came a restoration 1930 Model J Murphy Disappearing-Top Torpedo
shop in Reno, Nevada, and his love of cars really Convertible Coupe was acquired by Mozart in 1981.
began to evolve.

His first emphasis was American classics with
Duesenbergs, Dietrich-bodied Packards and the
like. When he looks at his original “Duesy” he says,
“I have the same passion for the car as I had when I
first bought it.”

Around 1983, Tom Batchelor convinced Mozart
to attend a well-known tour for Brass Era antique
cars in California’s northern Modoc County. Enter
phase two of the collection, with Mozart’s love of
cars expanding to those built between 1907 and
1918. He met Rodney Flournoy, another Brass Era
collecting legend, and learned the rather particular
art of driving automobiles of that early vintage.
“I liked the big horsepower ones, which are rare
and unique. I started
to gravitate to a
wider selection
of cars, to expose
myself to more.”
Mozart entered the
London to Brighton
Veteran Car Run for
the first time in a
1904 Mors.

Left: John Mozart is immensely
proud of the two original low-
mileage Porsches in his collection.
The 1957 Porsche 356 Cabriolet, on
the left, was purchased new in 1957
by his father, Gus Mozart, who was
the VW-Porsche dealer in Palo Alto,
California. The yellow 1962 Porsche
356B Coupe is an extremely rare
Karmann notchback coupe that has
been owned for its entire life by
the Mozart family.

33


Don’t think these are just concours queens that never get driven.
Mozart says of his award-winning Alfa: “It’s part of me” and

has been driven on numerous vintage car rallies.

Prowling through those automotive publica-
tions every evening, Mozart “started reading
about the prewar Alfas,” and the needle
moved again when he bought a long-chassis
2900 Alfa in England. He also read every-
thing he could find about Type 57 Bugattis,
and his European classic phase began. This
element of his passion brought Mozart a pair
of Best of Show Awards at the Pebble Beach
Concours d’Elegance. His 1937 Alfa Romeo
8C 2900B Touring Spider took that top prize
in 1988, and one decade later, he earned his
second Best of Show Award with a 1938
Bugatti Type 57SC Corsica Roadster. And
don’t think these are just concours queens that
never get driven. Mozart says of his award-
winning Alfa: “It’s part of me” and has been
driven on numerous vintage car rallies.


Mozart’s fourth phase came with cars from the Mozart then goes to the Best of Show–winning 1937
1950s. A small collection of early Porsche road cars Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B. “I’ve had it so long, and I’ve
and sports racing cars led to vintage car racing in an driven it so many miles. It’s been through a couple
Alfa Romeo GTA, a 300S Maserati and the car that engine overhauls, and it’s never let me down. Once
many of us remember, his black Chevrolet-powered on the Colorado Grand, I walked out of my room
Lister . . . which was often near the front of the pack. and the Alfa was buried in snow. It’s beautiful . . .
Eventually his wife, Heather, and daughter, Ashley, and it never misses a beat.
joined in, racing other Alfa Romeos.
“I have an all-original Pierce-Arrow, Far left, top: Concours Chairman Sandra Button
I had to ask that inevitable question: which are a 1911 model I bought from Phil Hill. alongside the 1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Corsica
Mozart’s five favorite cars? This turned out to be a He must have had it 25 years, some- Roadster, as Mozart is awarded the Best of
tough target, and he started out with a surprise: “When thing like that. It drives so nicely. And Show Trophy in 1998. Bottom left: The 1932
people ask me, ‘What’s your favorite?’ they think it’s it’s still in its original paint with the Lincoln KB Dual Cowl Phaeton, a 1933 Ford V8
going to be about money. I tell them, ‘I’m kind of like original upholstery. It’s very rare to Roadster with the optional Lincoln Greyhound
a mother. You love the ugly ones, too.’ My favorite find automobiles that way.” mascot and a little red 1932 Ford Model 18
ones are the ones I’m with at the time. I know that’s Roadster. Below: First shown at the 1937
maybe a strange answer, but, for example, I have a Naturally, Mozart includes his first Milan Motor Show before being delivered to its
Model A Ford sedan. It’s not worth anything, but it’s vintage car—the Murphy-bodied first American owner, the 1937 Alfa Romeo 8C
all original and it’s brown—not black or blue as many Duesenberg—in his list of favorites, 2900B Touring Spider made its post-restoration
were. There’s something about it. I just love sitting in and then adds, “I have a ’32 Lincoln debut at Pebble Beach in 1988 where it became
it. The car is so simple. It was really affordable and Murphy roadster. I mean it’s the most the first-ever Alfa Romeo to be awarded Best
kind of reminds me of Volkswagens, the early ones beautiful design I’ve ever seen on of Show at this Concours.
from 1955 and 1956.” a classic car. Very conservative but


Right: This is one of just a few early
Pierce-Arrow Roadsters that exist. It is all
original, including paint and upholstery, and
was purchased by Phil Hill in Massachusetts
approximately 35 years ago; it was bought
for the collection in 2004. Below: Mozart’s

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO (chassis 3909GT).
Restored in its original Grigio Metallizzato,

the Ferrari ran in the 1962 Tour de France
before Swiss driver Jo Siffert raced it in

the 500 km Spa race, finishing 3rd overall.

just off the planet! Every time I look at it, I think,
‘Those guys in Pasadena (the Walter M. Murphy
Body Company) could design cars like nobody else.’”

Now on a roll, Mozart brings up cars as diverse as
a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO and “two 1932 Fords that
are nice, mint originals.” Listing just five cars wasn’t
going to come close to covering Mozart’s favorites
or his enthusiasm, and we hadn’t even gotten to his
Scarab. In the late 1950s, Lance Reventlow, the son of
heiress Barbara Hutton and a Danish nobleman, had a

Listing just five cars wasn’t going
to come close to covering Mozart’s
favorites or his enthusiasm, and we
hadn’t even gotten to his Scarab.

series of sports racing cars built by Troutman & Barnes through the shop and just look. The guy said, ‘Yeah,
in Venice, California. These Scarabs became famous, just don’t touch anything.’ Back in the corner was a
particularly the one raced by Augie Pabst. Mozart and car with a cover on it. I said, ‘Jeez, what’s that?’ He
Scarabs go way back: “When I had a break in school, goes, ‘Oh, that’s the Scarab.’ I said, ‘You’re kidding
a friend of mine and I would go to Los Angeles for me.’ Because when my father took me to the races,
a week to all the hot rod shops. One day I walked I watched Scarabs run in the period. I’d stand in the
into Troutman & Barnes and asked if we could go Reventlow pits for an hour, just watching them work
on a car. I loved it. We asked if we could take the
cover off, and he said, ‘Sure.’”

36


Left: The winning Scarab Mk II from the 1958
Riverside Grand Prix, where it was driven by
Chuck Daigh, was the second Mk II built by
22-year-old Lance Reventlow. John and his
wife, Heather, took the car on last year’s
Colorado Grand. Mozart’s love affair with the
Scarab goes back to his childhood, when he and
his father saw them racing in period. He first
saw this actual car in Vacaville in 1958 and
finally bought it in 2012. Middle: Another car
that is no stranger to the Colorado Grand, the
1959 Ferrari 250 TR59/60 Fantuzzi Spyder
(chassis 0770) is one of two works Testa Rossas
in the TR59/60 body style that raced at Le Mans
in 1960 driven by Wolfgang von Trips and Phil
Hill. Bottom: Covering 25,000 square feet, the
Mozart Foundation Automobile Museum was
designed by Korth Sunseri Hagey Architects of
San Francisco and completed in 2011.

Now Scarab number 2, Pabst’s famous Meister
Bräuser racer, is in Mozart’s shop, with some
bodywork removed during our visit. Not that
it’s ailing, but the Scarab had been on the full
1,000 miles of the Colorado Grand. Mozart had
also taken his 1959 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa,
which had been raced in period by the likes of
Phil Hill, Dan Gurney, Wolfgang von Trips and,
of all people, Augie Pabst. Mozart has made
the Colorado Grand a family affair. He has four
children and loves the photos of them sharing
drives in the two cars. Quality time together
on roads that wind through beautiful Colorado
countryside—that is his favorite touring event.
Smiles all around.

It’s one thing to own and display a collection of
great automobiles. Mozart has many of his in an
elegant museum, some cars restored, some not,
beautifully reflected in a polished black floor.
The new museum was designed to “make a state-
ment,” Mozart said, with the black granite floors,
walls made of interlocking beams of translucent
glass and special lighting designed to make the
cars “pop.” There’s even a Chevron race car in
his office lobby. But there’s also something of an
art to properly using and enjoying a car collec-
tion, and that seems to be something at which
John Mozart is a master.

37


Brooks Brothers is proud to be a partner
of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®

Pebble Beach® and Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® are trademarks and service marks of Pebble Beach Company. Used by permission.


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MOTOR

CARS
L OF THE L

raj
BY KATE CONSTANTIN

40


t the dawn of the twentieth century, Britannia
not only ruled the waves but almost a quarter
of the Earth’s landmass, an empire upon which
“the sun never set.” And undeniably, for many
years, India was the most valuable jewel in the
crown of the British Empire.

From colonization in 1858 to independence in 1947, the rela-
tionship between the governing British elite and the Indian
aristocracy was inextricably interwoven. The sons of Indian
nobility were sometimes educated in the universities of Europe,
and maharajahs often visited members of the British royal
family, where they adopted a penchant for all things Western.
Of particular interest were the carriages powered by marvel-
ously clamorous engines that began to appear on the streets of
London and Paris around the turn of the century. Not surpris-
ingly, shortly thereafter, early models were spied on the rough
byways of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras.

Left: The Star of India, a 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II
Thrupp & Maberly All-Weather Cabriolet commissioned
by the Maharaja of Rajkot, Thakore Sahib Dharmendrasinhji
Lakhajiraj. Above: The 1911 two-cylinder, 12 hp Renault

Type AX was typical of the sturdy cars delivered to
India before the First World War.

41


Legend has it that the first motorized vehicle to set wheels faced with enormous challenges, exacerbated by India’s

in India was an 1892 De Dion-Bouton two-cylinder distance from the European and American manufacturing

tricar—an instant showstopper on streets where oxen and hubs and a dearth of mechanical expertise. Spare parts were

carts ruled supreme, and it is said to have “driven fear into scarce, although a small number of enterprising Indian

the hearts and minds of all who surveyed it!” businessmen opened independent workshops capable of

Hearing of the De Dion’s success, repairing and machining parts for various marques. Many
Ransome E. Olds, Oldsmobile founder,
dispatched his four-wheeled steam of the roads were virtually impossible
model to India a year or so later, only
to have it sink en route. Other cars to navigate, requiring high clearance
followed, although documentation is
rare and often contradictory. In 1901, The Rolls-Royce was and multiple tire changes, and fueling
Mr. Olds, undeterred by his oceanic stations were few and far between.

a status symbol for the Nevertheless, the Indian potentates’pre-
maharajahs. They were dilection for pomp and circumstance,
as well as Western conveniences,
merely following the

misadventure, exported three more fashion of royalty in fueled steady growth. Enterprising

Oldsmobiles to Bombay—this time Europe and England. Europeans recognized the potential of
Curved-Dash models. Jamshedji Tata, this wealthy nation and sent cars spe-

founder of the Tata Group of Industries, cifically to showcase them with the

purchased one of these and was the intent of attracting Indian clients. Frank

envy of his peers, infamous for driving friends on excur- Norbury, a merchant trader from Manchester, England,

sions with the caveat, “a breakdown only adds to the spice exported a 1907 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Limousine

of the adventure!” bodied by Joseph Cockshoot and Co. Ltd. Chassis 60576

The early history of automobiles in India is shrouded in was the first Silver Ghost shipped to India. Norbury
clouds of steam and exhaust, and although we know that named the car the “Pearl of the East” and after winning
the French, Italians, British and Americans all exported a 620-mile reliability trial from Bombay to Kolhapur, he
early models, it took several years for the sport of motor- sold the Pearl to the Maharajah of Gwalior, thus firmly
ing to really gain momentum. Pioneer motorists were establishing Rolls-Royce in the heart of the empire.

Left: British guests arriving at a grand reception in
Bhopal in a 1907 De Dion-Bouton with a simple open
body with drop-down canvas sides built for the hot
Indian weather and behind that, an early Model T Ford.
Above: A 1912 Crossley 15 hp Five-Seat Tourer fitted
with larger 820-x-120 wheels and tires to take on India’s
rugged roads.

42


Within the first decade of the new century most auto- says John Fasal, author and expert on the quintessentially

mobile manufacturers made an appearance in India, in British brand. “The maharajahs saw the cars and in true

particular luxury brands, including Rolls-Royce, Benz one-upmanship—everyone wanted one.”

& Cie, Hispano-Suiza, Lagonda and Lanchester. Even Not surprisingly, dealerships opened in the main cities,
small- production manufacturers, such as Horch, Crossley Rolls-Royce leading the fray in 1911 with an establish-
and Spyker, advertised their automobiles in Indian maga- ment in Bombay, followed by facilities in Calcutta and
zines in the hope of breaking into this
new and lucrative automotive market. Delhi, each stocked with an enor-
mous inventory of spare parts and

In some cases, a particular royal family Lavishly built over 70 sales and service employees.
would patronize a specific pedigree; the automobiles also The company’s most loyal customer,
Alwars favored Hispano-Suiza, the royal His Highness Bhupinder Singh of

family of Nawanagar purchased mostly satisfied their proclivity Patiala, owned a fleet of Rolls-Royce

Lanchesters, and the Kutch princes pre- for extravagance motor cars, as noted in Courts and
ferred the German-built Benz. However, and pageantry. Camps in India, by Yvonne Fitzroy:
it seemed that Rolls-Royce, favored “The Maharajah, superb in a tiara and

by the British gentry, was the badge of a breastplate of emeralds [presented]

honor among the Indian nobility. John an enormous silver state coach for

Wakefield, whose ancestors served in the Diplomatic Corps the Viceroy and a blue and silver state coach for Lady

during the British Raj, says, “The Rolls-Royce was a status Reading—and Rolls-Royces for the vulgar throng!” No

symbol for the maharajahs. They were merely following doubt the maharajah’s 44 Rolls-Royce motor cars, 25 of

the fashion of royalty in Europe and England.” which were Silver Ghosts, were much appreciated by the

In 1911, the Indian Court hosted King George V at the “vulgar throng,” as well as his 4 wives, 300 concubines
Delhi Durbar—an imperial-style assembly to mark the and 52 children—known as the pack of cards.

succession of the emperor of India—and a fleet of eight In the nascent days of India’s auto industry, most vehicles

Rolls-Royce landaulettes were imported especially for were imported fait accompli—bodied with coachwork

the occasion. “This really put Rolls-Royce on the map,” by prestigious houses such as Thrupp & Maberly, Barker,

Left: His Highness the Nawab of Palanpur arrives at an official function in his 1931 Buick
Series 8 Tourer. Above: The 1931 Cadillac 452A V16 Pinin Farina Roadster originally

ordered by the Maharaja of Orchha. The car was later sold to actor Sheikh Mukhtar, seen
here with actress Meena Kumari on the set of the 1967 Bollywood movie Noor Jehan.

43


Above: The first GM showroom in India opened in 1928 in Jodhpur
Rajasthan. The dealership was called Rajputana Motors and later
renamed Sanghi Motors. Right: A 1930 Buick Series 60 Tourer crossing
the river Jhelum on a precarious single-car cable ferry. Opposite: A 1930
Stutz Series M Dual Cowl LeBaron Speedster in front of the Red Fort in
Delhi. This is the only known surviving Stutz in India, formally owned by

Captain His Highness Maharaol Sir Ranjitsinhji K.C.S.I. of Baria.

Hooper, Park Ward and H. J. Mulliner—and often packed be seen on the 1927 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Limousine

in wooden crates drawn by water buffalo. However, as with Windovers coachwork, created specifically for the

clients became more demanding, some European coach- Maharani of Jodhpur and which will be exhibited by

builders established ateliers in the larger cities of India, the current Maharajah of Jodhpur this year at the Pebble

and even a few Indian companies, P. B. Press and Simpson Beach Concours d’Elegance in the Motor Cars of the Raj

& Co., for example, met with success. class.

One such homegrown coachbuilder— By 1914 only 4,000 In accordance with the Hindu faith, a
James & Co. of Bombay—created a motorized vehicles few families were strict vegetarians
magnificent replacement tourer body were registered in and their vehicles were upholstered
on the 1921 Silver Ghost (113LG) India, with 1,000 in in fine brocade, rather than leather.
ordered in 1935 by the Maharajah of Other auto enthusiasts had their motor
Wankaner. cars especially prepared for shikar

Utilizing local coachbuilders facili- Bombay alone. or game hunting, with racks for all

tated the shipment of a favored chassis, manner of firearms and huge Grebel

which was then completed on arrival, spotlights. A classic example is the

often with exquisite and opulent “Tiger Shooting Rolls,” custom built

custom features. “Most royal families had Western for H. H. Maharao of Kotah. This 1925 Phantom I Barker

upbringings, giving them a refined taste and sensibility,” Tourer, with a top speed of 88 mph, carried large-caliber

says Karl Bhote, an Indian automotive history enthusi- rifles and shotguns and was fitted with several hunting

ast. “They knew the latest global trends and what money lights. Subsequent claims that the maharao also had a

could buy—and by nature—usually didn’t take no for an tow hitch for a machine gun installed have been refuted

answer.” Ornate fittings would include embellishments by his grandson, the current Maharajah of Kotah, who

in ivory, mother-of-pearl and semiprecious stones. Some claims that his grandfather was a sharpshooter and did not

families observed purdah, the tradition of concealing a require a machine gun to shoot tigers!

female passenger behind smoked glass or curtains—as can

44


For the families that had ruled India for centuries, money and 1926, a mere 350 chassis, suggesting that while

was no object. The Maharajah of Kapurthala, an ardent India remained a high-profile export destination for

Francophile, built the Palace of Jagatjit fashioned after prestigious brands, it represented a small share of overall

Versailles, and wore a string of pearls valued at over a production. And predictably, with the onslaught of the

million pounds. The Maharajah of global depression of the late 1920s,

Gwalior owned the Jai Vilas Palace, automobile imports from all coun-

which boasted the largest chandeliers Such flamboyant tries declined from 16,500 vehicles
in the world, each weighing 3.5 tons in 1929 to just under 7,000 in 1931.

with 250 lightbulbs that, when lit, displays of wealth, The advent of the “Turbulent
dimmed the lights in the nearby town. however, became the Thirties” marked a new era and a
Lavishly built automobiles also satis- anomaly, rather than shift in tastes, as many Indian auto
fied their proclivity for extravagance the norm during the enthusiasts looked to the United
and pageantry. States for innovative design. Ford
Depression. had established a plant in India in
Despite the apparent ubiquity of top-

marque motor cars in India, the actual 1924, and General Motors, with

influx was relatively small and con- its burgeoning brands of Buick,

centrated among a few wealthy individuals. By 1914 Cadillac and Chevrolet, developed an assembly opera-

only 4,000 motorized vehicles were registered in India, tion in 1928, placing American auto manufacturers in

with 1,000 in Bombay alone. Rolls-Royce, the most pole position to exploit the evolving market. Luxury

visible automaker of Indian high society, exported just builders such as Pierce-Arrow and Auburn, with robust

4.4 percent of its Silver Ghost production between 1907 and powerful offerings, increased their market share,


The 1931 Cadillac 452A V16 Pinin Farina Boattail Roadster owned by the Robert M. Lee collection in Reno, Nevada. This rakish roadster
was designed to be used as a hunting car with built-in gun compartments in the boattailed deck and doors to a throne compartment
raised 12 inches above the front seat. This innovation not only enabled the maharajah to be conveyed around Orchha at an elevation
befitting his rank, it also gave him a 360-degree field of fire.

while Rolls-Royce, having exported over 1,000 motor challenging infrastructure, soon became the order of

cars to India, reached saturation point and in the early the day, with some American manufacturers producing

1930s began shipping unsold models back to England. right-hand-drive options specifically for the Eastern

Manvendra Singh, an acknowledged market. Although cost-conscious

authority on motoring in India, has British models from Austin, Ford,

written extensively on American Morris, Hillman and Vauxhall expe-

motor cars during the Raj era and Extravagance rienced some success during this

says, “The magnificent Pierce-Arrows was usurped by time, by 1932 American manufactur-
of the thirties represented the epitome reliability and power, ers were outselling the Europeans
of sybaritic snobbery.” He goes on to and for many purists by 30 percent. As India gained trac-
describe a 1930 Pierce-Arrow that, tion in its bid for independence, the

although built for the Kansas City the age of opulent influence of British royalty waned

Motor Show, was shipped to India automobiles was and fewer automotive aesthetes
for the Princes’ Convention in Delhi drawing to a close. ordered such lavish custom coach-
in 1931. “It was exhibited with its work. Extravagance was usurped by

hubcaps, instrument panel and gear reliability and power, and for many

lever all encrusted in precious stones, purists the age of opulent automo-

predominantly diamonds, worth over biles was drawing to a close. Those

a million dollars,” says Mr. Singh. magnificent motor cars that had navigated the unpaved

Such flamboyant displays of wealth, however, became roads of India in the early twentieth century were, in
the anomaly, rather than the norm during the Depression, many cases, garaged, abandoned or shipped abroad.

as a demeanor of sophistication and financial pru- In 1947 India won her independence and the sun finally

dence evolved among Indian socialites. Cadillacs, set, not only on the great British Empire, but also on the

Chryslers, Packards and Lincolns, with their depend- era of the great motor cars of the Raj.

able and impressive performance well suited to India’s

46


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2015 Bulletin n°9