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Valley Public Radio Staff
Thu September 26, 2013
For Sale: 1925 Rolls-Royce, Elephant Gun Included
Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 10:31 am
If you've got a spare $500,000 lying around, or just love rare cars, this news is for you:
A 1925 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Maharaja "tiger car," complete with an elephant gun attached to the rear bumper and a hand-cranked machine gun on a trailer, is up for auction Saturday in Las Vegas.
It's part of the Barrett-Jackson Auction Company's annual three-day sale in Sin City, which kicked off Thursday.
According to Barrett-Jackson:
"Equipped for hunting Bengal tigers and other wild game, this especially opulent and intriguing 1925 Rolls-Royce Torpedo Sports Tourer was originally commissioned by India's Umed Singh II. Also known as Sahib Bahadur, Umed Singh II was the Maharaja of Kotah from 1889 until his death in 1940. ...
"In early 1925, the Maharaja contacted Barker and Co., Ltd. of London, at the time, the preferred coachbuilder for Rolls-Royce chassis, to specifically outfit a Rolls-Royce New Phantom (aka Phantom I) for service as his estate's main hunting car."
"Prized by collectors for their rarity and extravagant custom designs and accouterments, Maharaja cars hark back to a period in colonial India when money was no object for this ruling class. During the first half of the 20th century, the maharajas were known to order their cars with a vast array of customized bodywork and themes. ...
"Originally intended as a vehicle for hunting, the Rolls was ordered with custom flourishes, including a searchlight mounted to the front and rear of the car to startle big game, a nickel-plated snake horn, extra-tall tires for better ground clearance, and lockable gun racks. Later, a variety of guns were added to the car. This included a massive .450-caliber, hand-cranked machine gun towed behind the car, a double-barrel pistol, and an elephant gun mounted to the rear bumper."
The auction house expects the Rolls will sell for between $500,000 and $1 million.