There’s plenty to criticize about the British rule in India, but I think I’ve found its most redeemable factor. I’d like to introduce you to the 1910 Brooke Swan Car, designed by a very wealthy engineer named Robert Nicholl “Scotty” Matthewson. It is absurd. It is hilarious. It is the only thing I ever want to drive for the rest of my life.
Back in the day, a Brooke cost way more than a Rolls-Royce, which is why Matthewson chose them. Fancy. This is a man determined to have the peak of luxury, so he was going to pull out all the stops. All the rich British fellas in India were commissioning great one-off vehicles—he would not be outdone.
The Swan car is built on a 1910 Brooke 25/30 HP chassis outfitted with a sculpted wooden body crafted by makers of fairground rides. The head and body were carved to create the effect of feathers which doubled as a way to conceal the radiator. And, y’know, just to make sure the thing was going to be the pinnacle of class, the swan had glowing eyes, Indian silk upholstery, gold leaf, brushes to keep the wheels clean, and a keyboard in the backseat to operate the Gabriel horn.
But two of its most incredible features? The swan’s beak would actually open and emit steam. It also apparently poops on the ground, because… I don’t know. Fuck it. Let’s go. Realism.
Folks: I need this. It’s horrible. It’s terrible. It’s the tackiest thing I’ve ever seen. Put me behind the wheel of this thing so I can blow steam at people in my way and leave behind a trail of swan poo. It’s the epitome of I Have Too Much Money And A Lot Of Bad Ideas, and it’s so horrifically right up my alley.