Royal Ride to Smuggler’s Pride: Indore’s Duesy Car

Maharaja Yeshwant Rao Holkar (1908-1961), was a true connoisseur of automobiles and built up the most spectacular collection of cars in India. With the income from the highly fertile and industrialized kingdom of Indore at his disposal, Maharaja Yeshwantrao Holkar could order cars on a “cost no issue” basis. With his deep understanding of automobiles, he knew exactly which car to buy, how the car’s line should flow and how the car’s body was to be fabricated. Due attention was paid to every detail and even door handles were specially designed. It is said that the Holkar cars were the only cars in India whose interiors were as impressive as the exterior.

‘Duesy’ was ‘colossal’ and was resold for Rs.3,000

In 1931, when 28-year-old Yeshwantrao Holkar of Indore ordered a custom-built Duesenberg, which was the most expensive cars ever made till that time. The Duesenberg is lovingly known as ‘Duesy’; was a US-based luxury automobile company active from 1913 to 1937, famous for its high-quality cars. The Autocar, a British motoring magazine, described this royal Duesenberg as ‘colossal' back in 1936. The car was presented at the London Motor Show where it received great acclaim. It was shipped to India soon after. This car graced the royal garage at the Manik Bagh Palace.

This car made for a spectacular sight in Indore. But this is where the story of this car abruptly ends. Not much is known about this car in the later period or when was it sold. Some reports suggest that this car was sold to the Maharajah of Idar in 1950, who in turn sold it to another vintage car collector for just Rs. 3000! Later a broker took this car and sold it to a Hindi film actor and producer who smuggled it to Pakistan when he immigrated. The car is currently in the USA.

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