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Ralph Bunger of Spain

1923  Barker Barrel-Sided Open Tourer 66H9


Model - 20hp

Year of Manufacture - 1923

Engine N° - G361

Coachbuider - Barker

Registration N° - SL9801

Chassis N° - 66H9

Body name/type - Barrel-Sided Open Tourer

Body Colours - Polished Aluminium

Main Colour - Polished Aluminium


66H9 was ‘On Test’ at Derby on 26th May 1923 and delivered, with raked steering and nickel fittings, by Midland Railways Goods Train on 1st June 1923 to Lillie Hall, Rolls-Royce depot in London. It was earmarked for ‘stock’ at Rolls-Royce depot in Bombay. The original specification for the car was for polished aluminium coachwork to be constructed by Barker & Co of London. After final testing by Rolls-Royce in July 1923, the car left Tilbury Docks on board the S/S Delta on 24th August 1923 and arrived in Bombay in September 1923.
The car had been ordered by Nawab Mumtaz-ud-Daula Mohammad Mukarram Faiyaz Ali Khan of Pahasu. However, he died in 1922 before taking delivery. So, it is thought that the car went to his son Mohammed Mukarram Ali Khan, who succeeded him as Nawab of Pahasu.

In November 1924 a new owner is recorded by Rolls-Royce Limited as His Excellency the Nawab Moin-ud-Doula (sic) of Hyderabad. Hyderabad was the most senior princely state in British India covering a region larger than England and Scotland combined. It was ruled by the Asaf Jahi dynasty who used the title of Nizam. In the 1920s and 1930s the Nizam of Hyderabad was acknowledged to be the world’s richest man.

Nawab Moin-ud-Daula (1891-1941) was a scion of that family and, other than being a well-known cricket player, he was also a Minister in the administration of the Nizam. Amir-e-Paigah-e-Asman Jahi, Moin-ud-Daula Bahadur, Nawab Muhammad Moin ud-din Khan Bahadur was born at Basheer Bagh Palace in 1891.

Rolls-Royce Limited recorded Mir Alam Ali (1890- 1974) of Aurangabad, Hyderabad as a subsequent owner of 66H9 on 1st February 1932 and under his honorifique Name of Alam Yar Jung, title which was conferred to him in 1943, on 4th November 1947. Writing on Facebook on 7th December 2020, his great grandson, Aun Mehdi, added that he owned 66H9 for over 40 years (presumably until his death in 1974).

John Fasal has a note of 66H9 being owned by Ram Chander Nath of Old Delhi. He had a large collection of cars, including Rolls-Royce motor cars and, according to the tax disc, 66H9 was still in India in 1977/78. Thereafter, John Fasal believes that the car came out of India around 1979 and has provided the following information regarding future ownership:

- 1979: Bridge Motors, UK
- 1982: Gerry Porter, South Kensington
- 1983/84: Charles Howard, South Kensington
- March 1984: Harry Smith, Essex
- 26th May 1984:Enfield Transport Auction – unsold at auction
- 30th June 1984:Sotheby’s, Penshurst Place – unsold at auction

After the sale, 20-Ghost Club member Ben Grew acquired the car from Harry Smith on 18th June 1985. At that time, 66H9 still had its Indian registration plate of APY-713 on it together with an Indian tax disc on the windscreen. Other features include the rare radiused or rounded edged Rolls-Royce radiator that Sir Henry Royce disliked and quickly replaced with the sharper edged one, a Watford EO6 magneto that was usually on the Silver Ghost model rather than the 20HP and a hand windscreen wiper. Over the last 36 years, 66H9 has travelled extensively throughout Europe. In 1999 the car carried the Arrows team in the Drivers’ Parade at the British Grand Prix, Silverstone. In February 2014 the car was displayed at the Paris Retromobile, along with 13 other Indian cars, where it formed part of a display under the title ‘Maharajas & Their Amazing Automotive Jewels’. In November 2021 Ben Grew wrote in the RREC’s Spirit & Speed (Issue No 369) about being invited to the Salon Privé Concours d’ Elegance at Blenheim Palace.

In April 2022, via Jonathan Wood, Ralph Bünger acquired the car which is currently registered as SL-9801 but will be re-registered in Spain where Ralph lives. A full description of the history of 66H9 was reproduced in Issue 373 of the RREC’s Spirit & Speed of July 2022.