The scion of the Mysore royal family Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar was fond of luxury cars with his palace garage boasting a fleet of 15 vehicles. Interestingly, the number plates of all his cars carried the digits 1953, the year of his birth.
His love for cars can arguably be traced back to tradition. Sources said the royal family, in its heyday, used to get new products from Ford during their launch as it held shares in that company.
The BMW-5 series and Mercedes vehicles were his personal favourites. At one point of time, Wadiyar had five Mercedes cars before BMW caught his fancy. There were five BMWs in his collection, which included a BMW-7 series car that carried a hefty price tag of Rs 1.4 crore. Although the connection with Ford may have faded since the days of royalty, Wadiyar still owned a Ford Endeavour.
While not found in the driver’s seat often, Wadiyar was reportedly fond of driving and loved an occasional long journey.
When he used to go on such long drives, one of his drivers or his wife, Pramoda Devi, would accompany him.
Wadiyar had gifted a Mercedes to Pramoda Devi five years ago and it was the only car she used to drive.
The other five cars she uses are driven by chauffeurs.
During Ayudha Puja where Wadiyar performed rituals, his cars were a sight in themselves in the backdrop of the Mysore Palace.