Tuesday 26 July 2011

Funny Little Wars Staff Car

James Bond would have been impressed!

Now this is just the thing for the budding Funny Little Wars or Wellsian army - a hand built Rolls Royce complete with a veritable arsenal of weaponry designed for hunting tigers....

I kid you you not - and it is up for auction at Bonhams on August 19th!

From the net:  "With its swivelling searchlights and arsenal of animal-killing weaponry, this isn't just any old Rolls Royce. It's a 1925 Torpedo Tourer or 'Tiger Car' built for Umed Singh II, a maharajah who was rather fond of hunting the big cats. Before anyone gets excited, the rather grand vehicle does come with a price tag that warrants a deep sniff of the smelling salts. Next month it will be one of six pre-war Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars up for grabs when Bonhams holds its annual auction on the Monterey Peninsula in California. 
It's expected to fetch between $750,000 to a cool $1million. In its hey day the car had all the latest tools for the hunt. It boasted a large-calibre gun for seeing off charging game; a number of bird guns, rifles and shotguns mounted in the cabin; and, at the rear, a trailer towing a Bira .450-caliber hand-cranked machine gun - the primary weapon for hunting Bengal tigers. The machine gun attachment still exists and is part of the auction. If that wasn't enough the maharajah also had a Lantaka cannon attached to the rear bumper, should he fancy a spot of elephant hunting before tea time. The top speed of similar models is around 88mph but the gearing on the Tourer was built for stealth plodding in the jungle rather than cruising down the streets.
It's powered by its original 8-litre, 6-cylinder engine. This would have been custom built to suit the owner's preferences. 'There was no going to the dealership and just picking out a Phantom in a colour you liked,' David Swig, a specialist with Bonhams auction house, told the New York Times. 'They were built to order. Many maharajahs built cars like this.' Worryingly the interior of the car boasts a Chubb safe for holding contingency money for any family members of hunting assistants killed in the bush, according to Bonhams literature. It also has seats upholstered in crocodile hide just in case riders were in any doubt what the car's purpose was for. There is no record of a torpedo being attached but the body work could certainly have supported one. Given the amount of other ballistic material it had sticking out of every nook and cranny, it is feasible. The Tourer has been owned by collectors in both England and the U.S.. It has undergone two restorations in the 1960s and 1980s. The Bonhams auction is on August 19."

"How much Congestion Charge?"

Just the thing for the shopping run then and you would never have to worry about a parking space....;-)


Paul O'G said...

and I even like the colour!

David Crook said...

Hi Paul,

It would certainly get you noticed although any potential targets would see you coming a mile off!

All the best,