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A 1924 Vauxhall 30-98 OE Velox Tourer originally owned by Hari Singh, the last maharajah of Kashmir, will be offer by Bonhams at an auction December 2 in London.
The vehicle, recognized as one of Britain’s best vintage sports cars, will be on the block at the annual Bond Street Sale.
The 30-98 is said to be an exquisite example of customization. Singh wanted the car as symmetrical as possible and ordered an extra handbrake on the passenger side, a door (then not standard) for the passenger, and a split windscreen.
“This is the finest 30-98 ever offered by Bonhams, and its rare aluminum body and extraordinary specification makes it one of the most important examples in existence,” Sholto Gilberston, Bonhams’ motoring department director, said in a release. “Its fascinating history only adds to the significance of this motor car, and we look forward to offering it at our Bond Street sale.”
Singh is one of the most significant figures in Kashmiri history. Following a troublesome childhood — including paying a Parisienne courtesan nearly £300,000 in blackmail — he took over as the maharajah of both Kashmir and Jammu after his uncle died.
Singh banned child marriage, made primary education compulsory and allowed people of lower castes to attend religious services. In 1947, his attempts to play Pakistan and India against one another led to the first Indo-Pakistan War.
Singh remained maharajah, at least in title, until 1952, when the monarchy was abolished, making him the final person to serve in the role.
The 30-98 once owned by him — and other prominent people, including watchmaker George Daniels and Ed Roy, the president of the Vintage Sports-Car Club of America — will go to the block with an estimated value between £330,000 and £390,000 ($431,000 to $509,000).