On the drive back from the desert to Delhi, I asked if my car-mates had seen the massive old Rolls (we think) that just passed on the street. You yourself can see the car I'm talking about in my post about driving in India. No one other than me saw it, but one of the other passengers, a friendly guy named Ashish Bagga, said something to the driver in Hindi.
Mr.Bagga is CEO of the company that publishes AutoBild India, which in hindsight explains why we were able to so easily get into where he told the driver to go. Not speaking Hindi, it was a mystery to me, but unlike some of the other mysteries I encountered in India (how do I use a squat toilet?) this one had a happy ending.
(Full Disclosure: I spent a week in India as part of a Mahinda-organized adventure sparked by a random post I did on Indian cars. Read the full story of why I'm in India here.)
We pulled up at a very fancy hotel with guards, who deferred at either Mr.Bagga's name or maybe something more exciting like a stern, meaningful look. The hotel turned out to be one of the Maharaja's former residences, and, more importantly, had a small but very nice collection of some of the Maharaja's cars.
The cars at this location were all well-preserved American cars from around the late 30s to early 50s, and there were some lovely examples.
Of special interest is the car reserved for the Maharaja's wives, who were not to be looked upon by, you know, common folk, with our filthy common eyeballs. As a result, this car had extremely dark tinted windows.
I'm still researching it, but it's possible this represents one of the very first applications of tinted windows in any car. It may not be the first, but the 1936 timeframe would put it somewhere in the infancy of any window tinting. Window tinting history I don't think has been well explored, so hopefully soon I'll have more to report.
Anyway, I'm just going to put pictures of these cars here for you to enjoy. There's a nice mix, from an original Willys jeep to that candy apple red Ford to a lovely silver Packard.