The 1910 Brooke 25/30 HP Swan Car- Maharaja Class
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The 1910 Brooke 25/30 HP Swan Car- Maharaja Class

The 1910 Brooke 25/30 HP Swan Car- Maharaja Class
Before 1947 India was ruled by the British, and was divided into a number of princely states, that were ruled by Kings, Princes of these states. They had huge wealth and royal tastes, along with tastes for luxury and elegance. Many of these Indian Maharajas had a penchant for cars and automobiles, or Horseless carriages. These vehicles not only reinstated their authority and power over their subjects, they also made it possible for them to flaunt and feel at par with their rulers. They also provided comfortable journey, fast and also the convenience of night travel. They Maharaja’s were also pretty eccentric and had cars custom built to their taste and eccentric demands. The swan car and the Cygnet car are two such cars that not only are eccentric in their design, they are also one of the first examples of concept cars in India, if not the world. The 910 Brooke 25/30 HP Swan Car- Maharaja Class was possibly the first concept car designed in the world. The car was commissioned by Robert Nicholl Matthewson a Scot who lived in Kolkata, the then capital of the British India. The car was created by this eccentric and wealthy Scotsman, and was possibly to mock the lavish and garish tastes of the Indian Maharajas, and was built by JW Brooke and company in Lowestoft. The car was a combination of both car and boat, which was what the Brooke’s manufactured. The car resembled a swan gliding gracefully in water, and had some awesome and interesting features and decorations. The car’s body was carved from wood over the Brooke chassis, and the overall weight of the car exceeded 6615 pounds. The car was decorated with golden lotus plants all over the pearl white body. The eyes of the swan were made to glow, and the beak also was moving. The beak could also shoot hot steam to clear the road. One of the major features of the car was its horn that could play in four different tones. The tires has brushes affixed to clean any dirt especially elephant excreta that was very common on the roads in those days. The rear valve also was designed to shoot faux excrement of the swan, which resembled white wash. The car also had mother of pearl decorations and expensive leather upholstery. The car was bought by the Maharaja of Nabha, for an undisclosed sum. He loved this eccentric design because of his love for Swans. He also built a smaller version of the car which is popularly known as the Cygnet. Currently retained by the Louwman Museum in Netherlands who bought the cars for an undisclosed sum, and maintain them in working conditions, the Swan car and the Cygnet has been regularly displayed in the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The car might have been a few thousand dollars in those days, but surely they are priceless in the modern times. A car that symbolises elegance, style, eccentrism and creativity at its best, the Swan Car of Maharaja of Nabha.
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