Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Model T Ford Car of Mylar Rao

Many decades ago, owners of cars were recognized by their wheeled possessions! "Is it the one who has a car?"  The bicycle was a common mode of transport. A car at home reflected the elite status. Even before that, it was the bullock cart or horse cart.
(Do not forget to click on images to get a magnified view)

Going by the presence of my grand uncle's teacher peeping in the window of the bullock cart and my grand uncle himself [boy, left] in the horse carriage, I must strongly assume that these belonged to my great grandfather. The same bullock cart's window shutters were later fixed to a storage shelf which sits by my side!

Way back in the 1920s into the 1930s, my great grandfather, Mylar Rao who had risen to be an elite citizen had a car, a "Model T Ford".  He could afford a Ford!  Those were good days when a rupee could buy a lot and large joint families could run comfortably on a hundred rupee income, which was considered high.  Mylar Rao died in 1936 and I learn from uncle Sathya [his memories and hearsay from his young days] that later my grandfather Subba Rao continued to use the Ford for some time before disposing it off, for its frequent trouble and repairs.  Sathya recalls that Subba Rao had bought a dark green Morris - with a 'hand brake'.  He had to dispose it off as he could no longer afford to sustain.  A few things related to the Ford Model T and probably the Morris, still hang around. 

Operation Manual, with full details of parts!

In all probability, it would have been the model shown on top.

Parts description.

About the book, signature is of some Wajid, may be the mechanic, known to Mylar Rao.

The Shell can (right) was, repurposed for something else. The Mobiloil BB can had unused gear oil that had the most awful smell, having stored for decades!  I can show how bad it smells!  Such cans are listed as antiques and are sold online! 

In my great grandfather's diaries, I found these separate accounting entries for petrol purchases.  

Gallon measures.  1929.  Page starts with 3 rupees and 15 annas, for 3 gallons. 

Agent/Supplier's seal for receiving the money. 1930.  I learn that S.Vittal Rao & Son, Agents Messrs BEST & Co. Ltd. were the first petrol pump owners in the city. 

See that every 3-4 days petrol was bought.  1934.

More accounts, granduncle's signature for having paid. He would have driven the car!?  1934.

1936, February.  Another supplier, A.Gopalaratnam?  December that year, my great grandfather died.

Photo of my time.... look for the house in the background, which was originally the stables and motor shed. Uncle Sathya recalls the motor shed had GI doors actually where the door and window is and had a pit in the centre for cleaning. 
Later that portion which was at the back of the main house was sold off in the 60s. The stables housed the bullocks, cows and horses.  What life!

Old time cars were petrol guzzlers.  That was the best technology available then.
Maintaining cars have always been an expensive proposition.
Earlier models required much maintenance for wear and tear.

There is no record available as to where. when, how or for how much the Ford was bought.
My uncle Sathya says my grandfather did not drive much but had engaged a driver by name Thammaiah who in fact continued from Mylar Rao's time, driving the Ford.  When the family moved to another house in 1950, the Morris used to be parked in one Prof. Srikantaiah's house.  Sathya says, from here, my other uncle, young Kitti used to stealthily take it out to enjoy rides.  This worried Kitti's mother. Sathya also recalls that selling off the car was a problem because there were no buyers.  No one now can tell how he got rid of it finally. 

1 comment:

Madhukar - VU2MUD said...

I have a vague memory going in it to a house on the other side of Chamarajapuram Railway Station behind Law court to the second house. Remember we used to go to that house in later years also. Not sure but that memory somehow lingers of the car ride