The unusual relationship between Parsis and their cars are severally famous across the globe. You can check the sales column of any renowned newspaper; you’ll unmistakably come across the picture of the vehicles with the Parsi owners. These multiple images are primarily published to attract maximum buyers as everyone knows Parsi’s indomitable passion for their cars. It is believed that they love them sometimes even more than their wife and family.
Do you know when this eternal love affair between Parsis and their cars started? When the exorbitant automobile industry, Tata Group was founded by a Parsi gentleman named Jamsetji Tata, in 1897. It was the time of British rule in India when Calcutta, the capital of the Bengal became the first city to espouse this new fantasy of the affluent. Still, Bombay is known to be the motherland of automobile industry as later on three more cars were shipped by Parsis to Bombay.
People started honoring the love and devotion of the Parsis towards their beloved car because when the first automobile came to India in the early part of the last century, the wealthy Parsis were the first takers of those motorcars. Afterwards, they gradually flourished in this business by shipbuilding and trading. Additionally, in today’s world, the maintenance of a motorcar is much smoother than that time because it was a very fussy contraption and continuously needed care and attention. So they were not just a car owner but the true worshipers of those vehicles.
So it can be Mercedes or Maruti or any other vintage cars, Parsis love, and passion for them is nonpareil, and still, the tradition continues. This exceptional talent and enthusiasm of Parsis were seen long back when in the 1660s Portuguese entrust Bombay to the British government. At that time, Parsis were the preeminent emigrants who converted the wood into ships with their remarkable carpentry and sailed them into the ocean. This spirit and the touch of brilliance are also seen when the founder and the chairman of the Tata Group, Ratan Tata launched India’s leading indigenously invented car, the Indica.
Today, we are going to explore a few cars which were used by Parsis in the British era. We would also like to reveal the devotion and the fierce passion of Parsis towards their “gaari” or car. Clearly, to them, these beauties were not just machines but connected with the foundation of their lives. Take a look
Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith
Silver Wraith was one of the great inventions of Rolls-Royce which was created after the first war. Rolls-Royce started producing the chassis from 1946 to 1958 at Merlin engine plant. It was the time when Bentley was also available as a chassis. But now it could be bought with a standard steel body built by Rolls-Royce. The 1939 Wraith was the first car which was with the much less standard steel body, and as a result, it had massive craze among the affluents, everyone wanted to purchase it.
This kind of vehicle truly deserves everyone’s attention. The first owner of this fantastic car was The Gaekwad of Baroda. Later on, when Dinyar Jamshedji owned this car, it was maintained as the same condition. The vehicle was entirely in new condition just like when it was in the factory which reflects their passion towards their precious vehicle. Parsis not only keep their cars as new but they are very much interested in the functions and the detailing of that car also.
Dinyar Jamshedji was not an exception. He admitted that this card had an irrational priority in his life. He was indeed influenced by his father. His father’s passion and the dream has been carried over to him, and he became the owner of a garage where he used to tweak engines to deliver it with more power. This kind of restoration is not an easy job at all, needs extreme competency and knowledge about the car and it’s engine.
It was the time of the late 1920s when “S series” started making uncountable victories in the sports tracks. And gradually with the development of a new chassis, this “K” was added to “S” which defines sports. The outstanding engine was set back 30 cm to the back. As a result, it improved the axle load distribution. Additionally, the sizeable six-cylinder power plant can also be fitted lower in the vehicle.
In mid-1928 the powerful 7.1‑litre engine was incorporated in the “S” chassis, and then the superb racing sports car was designated as “SS” which means Super Sport. When the smaller chassis was combined with the 7.1‑litre engine, the new “SSK” was born. And just like “SS,” it was an absolute trade marking car.
You’ll be amazed to know that this magnificent car, Mercedes SS has belonged to a Parsi family. Encountering this type of fantastic vehicle in India is truly astounding, and it happened because of Dadajee Dhackjee family. Here people saw a new dimension of love and passion for a car. The car was embellished differently when it finally belonged to a Parsi family. They sent it to the UK for restoration. So this remarkable car was a milestone on the British era.
The renowned brand Bugatti was established in 1909, and since then this French name is ruling the industry with its high performance and exotic design. Bugatti family was the perfect combination of Bugatti constructor and artist. With their significant variations, they own many car races. But after the death of Ettore Bugatti, the founder of this coveted brand, they suffered a lot and finally released the last model in the 1950s. But holding the hand of an Italian entrepreneur, they again revived in the 1990s. Now, this unique brand is known as Volkswagen. Bagutti was famous and successful for car racing. Bugattis were known for their exceptional design too. They use the hand scraper on the Engine blocks to rub metal from a surface. It makes the surfaces flat.
The Bhiwandiwalla, another distinguished Parsi family, owned this classic car which was first belonged to Sir Dosabhoy’s Rolls. That time, another car was displayed with impeccable design and test, Asi. But this twin-ignition Bagutti with custom-made body impressed them more and set Adi back. They bought this fabulous mechanical creation for 18,000 which was an exceptional amount that time. It was delightfully maintained and capable of taking 105 mph pick-up speed.
Fiat Automobiles S.p.A is primarily an Italian automobile company which was established in 1899. The first factory of this coveted brand was found in 1900 in Corso Dante. They started with just 24 cars which used to give the 3/12 HP speed. Later on, with new renovation, this brand had improved a lot and started making the mark as a sports car. Vincenzo Lancia, their exceptional creation won a race in 1902 with 24HP speed. In 1908 it had already renowned as a brand and shifted to the US. It made several outstanding records and continued to shine in the present. Its presence is seen everywhere starting from Europe, United States, South America, Asia till Africa.
Parsis were the pioneer of taking these extraordinary vehicles to India. And their love and maintenance of a car are also remarkable. That is why till now Parsi owned vehicles get much better price than regular cars. The first car belonged to Mr. Rustomjee Cowasjee Cursetjee Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy. This one is another Parsi owned Fiat used in the British era. This vintage car is also one of the most exquisitely maintained old Fiat’s which shows the neatness of their maintaining tradition. But this is still unknown that which Parsi family managed to do this kind of neatness.
Rover, the renowned British car company, was founded in 1878. Land Rover is the proud ancestor of Jaguar Land Rover, the founder. Rover started their car production in 1888. Before that, they were specialized in tricycle manufacturing. During the 1920s this business was not so flourished but later on when this company handed over to Spencer Wilks and Frank Searle they started producing cars for them who wanted even superior models than Austins and Fords.
Jini Dinshaw was gifted this car by her father during British Raj. Parsis are always car enthusiasts, and her father was not an exception. She only used it at the time of emergency as this was just not a car for her but the memory of her father. This remarkable creation can be used even more than 50 years if properly maintained and no one can compete with Parsis when it comes to maintenance of the car. They try to take care of them even more than their wife. That is why sometimes many Parsi wives call them the mechanical mistress of their husbands.