HYDERABAD: It’s a car, but like a swan. A white, graceful creature adorned with gold, ornate lotus motifs. The Swan Car, which was unveiled before local media at Sudha Cars Museum in Bahadurpura, takes you back in time with its quaint, vintage appeal. The bonnet is sliced in the middle, and when both the sides are opened, the car looks like a bird ready to take flight.
The automobile has been re-created using scrap material by K Sudhakar, the man behind the car museum. His inspiration was the Swan Car made by British car manufacturer JW Brooke in 1910.
Sudhakar, who established the museum in 2010, says: “The car has four silk upholstered seats. There is a rooftop air conditioner in the rear cabin. We invested around Rs 3 lakh to build this 3-tonne vehicle. The replica is built on a Jeep chassis and can give a mileage of 10 km per litre. Since most of my cars are made from scrap material, we need not invest much into each unit. In my museum, which has 210 exhibits, there are cars which have been created at a cost of Rs 25,000 too.”
The original Swan Car is said to have created quite a stir on the streets of Calcutta, which was later sold to Maharaja of Nabha. Today, it has been restored and displaced at Louwman Museum in the Netherlands.
Talking about the making process, Sudhakar adds: “I, along with my two staff, made this at my workshop. Except for the body and chassis, we built everything. I am lucky that some of the best tinkerers are found at Old City here, and along with them, I have been able to build the collection at my museum, which includes 55 wacky cars modelled after everyday objects like table, cup and saucer etc.” It took two and a half years to design and manufacture this vehicle, which is fitted with an Isuzu 2000 cc petrol-driven engine. “We had to face several hiccups to make build it. It took us three months just to get the neck right,” adds the car expert. While he speaks about his passion for cars, he fondly remembers his mentor Babu Khan, who was an automobile whiz.
Sudha Cars Museum is a big attraction for students and sees a footfall of around 700 on a weekday. He plans to open another car museum at Lonavala in Maharashtra, which will replicate the one here. “Lonavala is frequented by students for field trips and a car museum will help children develop a fondness for cars,” he adds.