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‘Mysore 1’ Bentley wins ‘Best in Class Award’

‘Mysore 1’ Bentley wins ‘Best in Class Award’
  • Car once owned by Jayachamaraja Wadiyar
  • Now industrialist Yohan Poonawalla owns it

London: Billionaire industrialist Yohan Poonawalla’s Bentley Mark VI has won the ‘Best in Class’ award at the RREC Concours d’Elegance in the UK.

The award winning 1949 Bentley Mark VI – chassis B-294-EY – 4 Light touring saloon was built by London-based Hooper & Co for Jayachamaraja Wadiyar, the Maharaja of Mysore. It is known as the ‘rhubarb and custard car’.

The competition was organized by the International Club for Rolls-Royce and Bentley Enthusiasts (RREC) between July 1 and July 3. Their annual rally and Concours d’Elegance is the largest gathering of Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars in the world.

The event was held at Burghley House near Stamford, known as England’s most fabulous Elizabethan home. The ‘Mysore 1’ took on a collection of beautiful Bentleys and emerged as the winner.

Yohan Poonawalla was presented with the ‘Rob Emberson Trophy’ from REC Chairman David Wyld, owner of ‘Mysore 1’ and said: “I am delighted that the car was rated best in class by a range of very impressive Bentleys. I see this as a testament to the dedication and passion of my hard-working team and would like to thank everyone involved in this car.”

A personal coach

The Maharaja had ordered a total of seven Bentleys at the time and these were delivered in 1949. ‘Mysore 1’ is today regarded as one of the most historically important Bentleys in the world. Personalized to fit the royal tradition, it was finished in bright red and yellow, earning it the nickname ‘the rhubarb and custard car’.

It was upholstered in cream leather and green piping and came with lots of regalia and a range of extras. Special features include cabinets at the back of the front seats, with flasks and a picnic set, a hollow armrest with a cut glass toiletries set with silver tops, an open tray for glasses.

It has two cases in a solid skin for the trunk, a folding tray, a large sandwich box, a recess in the upper part of the rear seat for water bottles, thermoses and four silver cups.

This was in addition to power windows, two flagpoles, illuminated plates and shields in solid silver and 24 carat gold mounted to the front and rear of the car, and an illuminated plaque on the top of the windshield inscribed with the Mysore Royal coats of arms.

Yohan Poonawalla and his family with their proud possession.

Restored in Mumbai

The ‘Mysore 1′ was bought by Yohan Poonawalla about 16 years ago. The original color of the car (bright red and yellow) was prepared for the 2020 ’21 Gun Salute Concours’ vintage car rally in New Delhi. Allan Almeida restored the Bentley at Viveck Goenka’s restoration workshop in Mumbai.

After the car was built, it was photographed in front of the Hampton Court Palace before making its way to India. Now, 73 years later, the ‘Mysore 1’ was brought back to the scene for a photo shoot a day after the event. The car’s final outing was a visit to Crewe, home of Bentley Motors Limited and the birthplace of the car, before returning to India.

The ‘Mysore 1’ also previously won the ‘Best of Show’ award at the 21 Gun Salute Concours d’Elegance and also the prestigious ‘Duke of Marlborough Award’ at Salon Prive.

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