As, India celebrates its 70th Independence day today, all Indians would remember the freedom fighters who fought for India's freedom for decades. However, not many would remember the cars used by our freedom fighters. As India's largest multilingual auto portal, DriveSpark takes it upon itself to bring some of their iconic cars into the limelight on this occasion.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, also known as the 'Father Of The Nation' is one of the main freedom fighters of India. He is often seen as someone who always travelled by foot, using just a walking stick to help. However, he used a Ford Model T regularly to travel to various places. Gandhiji also used the same Ford Model T to address a rally in Uttar Pradesh, in 1927.
The car is considered to have an extremely high historical value and has been in the possession of many car collectors since. The car had even spent some time recently with a collector, sharing garage space with a 1930 Studebaker, which was the car used by Nathuram Godse when he killed Mahatma Gandhi.
Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose:
Subhash Chandra Bose, popularly known as Netaji, played a pivotal role in the independence struggle. He was one who fought against the British rule in India with valour and by using whatever he had. The Bose family had several cars, but the one car that has to be taken note of, is the Auto Union W24 Wanderer.
The W24 Wanderer is a sedan manufactured by the now defunct Auto Union, which earlier consisted of four German car manufacturers including Audi. The W24 Wanderer was the slower car in the Bose family's garage at the time, but is now known more than the Studebaker President it shared garage space with.
In 1941, the British had placed Bose under house arrest at his Elgin Road residence in Calcutta, as he was against the Britishers using Indian soldiers in World War II. He escaped his house arrest in the W24 Wanderer, sitting in the back seat, posing to be the Pathan insurance agent, Mohammad Ziauddin, with his brother Sisir kumar Bose behind the wheel.
They drove for two days to the Gomoh railway station, from where Bose travelled to Peshawar, and then to Afghanistan and then to Germany where he met Hitler. He then travelled in a German submarine to Cape of Good Hope, where he got into a Japanese submarine and travelled to Japan, where he founded the Indian National Army. Quite an adventurous itinerary right?
This is also the reason for this particular W24 Wanderer to be known as the 'Great Escape Car'. It was powered by a 1767cc, four-cylinder engine producing 42bhp and is capable of touching a top speed of 108km/h.
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru:
Jawaharlal Nehru also called Pandit Nehru, was an important leader of the Indian Independence Movement and the Indian National Congress, and became the first Prime Minister of India after independence.
Pandit Nehru was most commonly seen in India's first state car - A Roll-Royce Silver Wraith. The car was gifted by Queen Elizabeth to Viceroy Mountbatten, and was then passed on to Pandit Nehru after independence. Pandit Nehru had maintained a good relationship and status quo with the Britishers, and that is how the car was passed down to him.
Jawaharlal Nehru, in this particular picture, is seen going around Shimla in a Sunbeam Talbot.
The cars we see today as 'Indian' are indigenously developed vehicles, made in India. But, 70 years ago, the cars used by our freedom fighters were all made out of the country. Thanks to efforts made by those freedom fighters back then, today some of us can be proud about driving around in 'made in india' cars.