Seventy-five years ago, this beauty glided on the roads of Rajkot, stopping people in their tracks. Soon, she will make heads turn across the world—a custom-built Rolls-Royce that belonged to the maharaja of Rajkot is set to become the world’s most expensive car when it goes under the hammer in Germany.
Known as the Star of India, it is expected to fetch £8.5 million at the auction being conducted by the Rolls-Royce Museum at Muhlheim. Old-timers in Rajkot remember the car moving with its ‘Rajkot State No. 26’ registration number and the emblem of Rajkot state ‘prajadharmi raja’.
“Thakorsaheb Dharmendrasinhji ordered this car to Rolls-Royce. He wanted the colour to be saffron, depicting the spirit of Hindutva. It was specially done as this colour was not in vogue,” says Dharmendrasinhji’s grandson Mandhatasinhji Jadeja. “This car has high nostalgic value for us. Our family used this car during marriages and hunting expeditions,” he adds.
The luxury car has a number of features that were considered unique at that time, including head lights controlled by the steering wheel. They could also track the vehicle’s progress on the road. The price raised for the 1934 Phantom-II 40/50 HP Continental “all-weather convertible” is expected to exceed the £7.2 million paid for a 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa at an auction in May.