The Car Mania of the Arni Jagirdar
|To my father, collection of automobiles
was not just a hobby - it was an addiction , mania - and a "magnificent
obsession". He neglected his family and did not make any other investment (
except owning horses and betting ! ). It must however be said that he kept his cars
in an immaculate condition and never had a chauffeur and drove his cars by himself ( like
his father before him).At any one time he had 5 to 7 cars for himself alone and 50 % of
the cars he bought was from Bombay as the ocean liners landed. He rarely lost on the sale
of his vehicles as in those days "running in" for 500 to 1000 miles and
"frequent servicing" were essential before normal driving, and his cars were
"broken-in" perfectly. His reputation was so high in this area that he even
demanded a premium as his cars were almost always less than 6 months old.
He purchased his first car in 1923 ( a 1923 Chevy ) when he was 19 and had bought the tally to a total of 182 cars ( see link "Fathers Car Inventory") by 1948 ( an average of over 7 cars per year) when the Jaghir was abolished and there was no spare money for this passion . The initiation of the inventory, commenced with his dowry upon marriage (see link "Cars as a dowry"). The inventory would have been much higher had not the USA in 1942 halted automobile production and converted the assembly lines for military vehicles during the World War, and resumed Auto production only in 1946. Another encroachment to his craze of accumulation was the Jagir was under the Court of Wards , resulting in lesser personal funds, until he got the Jagir back in 1-1-1938.
Though photographs of my Grand Fathers Photo Gallery are taken from our archives, this is NOT the same with Fathers Car Gallery.( where there are 6 albums for the 71 car photos here). There were just 2 car photos in his disgraceful records (archives, my foot !) as the rest was lost by him. However his Log Book ,( in my personal possession), maintained in his own handwriting gives most details by Car Nos. purchase & sale dates (except values !!) besides the Inventory of total purchased from time to time. The Car gallery is a result of patient hunting and downloads by me from the internet. Unfortunately only 71 cars out of his 182 cars were unearthed. This inventory and the 6 albums of cars are worth viewing !