Maharaja's tiger-hunting Rolls-Royce brings the firepower to Quail auction

You expect to find all sorts of optional equipment on a Rolls-Royce. It could be pearl-inlayed veneers or a special paint job. But this example is something else entirely.

Crafted for Sahib Bahadur – also known as Umed Singh II, Maharaja of Kotah – this 1925 Rolls-Royce New Phantom was coachbuilt by Barker & Company of London and includes some rather unusual accessories. Namely, a mounted shotgun, rifle stand, Lantaka cannon, a pair of search lights and a machine gun fitted to a matching trailer.

The car was custom built for the Maharaja for the purpose of tiger hunting, and though requested by the Indian Consulate for donation to a museum, is now going up for auction at the hands of Bonhams at the Quail Lodge mid-August, where it's expected to fetch between $750,000 and $1 milllion.

Though the armaments aren't depicted, you can check the car out in the high-resolution gallery and the press release after the jump for a closer look.
Show full PR text
Mounted machine gun, cannon, rifle stand and brass searchlights included.

22 July 2011 - San Francisco – A truly unique, handmade automobile will be auctioned by Bonhams at its forthcoming Quail Lodge sale, held each August in Carmel, California during the world-famous Pebble Beach Car Week.

The custom-made 1925 Rolls-Royce New Phantom was originally commissioned by Sahib Bahadur of India, officially known as Umed Singh II, Maharaja of Kotah, for the purpose of tiger hunting. The Rolls-Royce Limited company–then in Derby, England– employed preferred coachbuilders Barker & Company of London who created the highly specialized and bespoke Sports Touring body for His Highness the Maharaja.

The massive and impeccably crafted car is powered by an 8.0-liter, 6-cylinder engine with dual-spark ignition that's set to a low gearing ratio, allowing it to creep powerfully through the roughshod jungles of Rajasthan.

In addition the standard luxury fittings for which Rolls-Royce and Barker are renowned, the purpose-built motorcar contains a hidden safe, a nickel-plated hissing snake horn, mounted Howdah gun (double-barrel shotgun in pistol form), rifle stand in the rear passenger compartment, two powerful searchlights for night spotting, a mountable Lantaka cannon, attached to the bumper, and, if that weren't enough, a machine gun mounted on an attached, matching trailer.

Due to its distinctive history, it's been said that the Indian Consulate had once requested the car be repatriated to India to be displayed in a museum as a piece of national heritage. Respectfully declined by the then owner, the car will now be available at auction for the first time and carries an estimate of $750,000-$1,000,000.

This is just one example of the exceptional cars that will be auctioned at Bonhams' annual two-day sale August 18th and 19th. For more information on this anticipated event and to register to bid –in person or remotely– please visit

Share This Photo X