Inside Sudhir Choudhrie’s Rare Vintage Car Collection, the Largest in India
Sudhir Choudhrie is an Indian-born businessman and philanthropist. He was born in 1949 and raised in Delhi by his mother, whom he considers one of his greatest role models. Choudhrie earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Delhi and started his career in his grandfather’s real estate business. He also collects and restores rare vintage cars, including vehicles from countries such as France and Italy.
Rare and Notable Vintage French Automobiles
The most iconic manufacturers of French vintage cars include Hispano-Suiza, Cottereau and Darracq, all of which are represented in Choudhrie’s collection. These brands included some of the world’s most stylish and powerful luxury automobiles during their peak in the early 20 thcentury. The attention to detail and design of these models are apparent in every feature, which is why they’re so prized by serious collectors.
The Hispano-Suiza H6B was a luxury car first introduced at the 1919 Paris Motor Show. The 1927 Hispano-Suiza H6B in Choudhrie’s collection is one of his most prized pieces due to its revolutionary design. It has a straight six engine based on aircraft engines designed by Marc Birkigt. Additional examples of the cutting-edge technology in this model include the use of deceleration to drive the brake servo, thus conserving fuel.
Sudhir Choudhrie’s Hispano-Suiza H6B 1927*
Choudhrie also owns a Cottereaus Voiturine, which has a single-cylinder water-cooled engine with a three-speed transmission that generates 7 hp. The 1903 Cottereau Voiturine in Choudhrie’s collection is its oldest car and one of the oldest in the world. The Voiturine was one of the first cars imported to India and was originally owned by the Maharajah of Patiala.
Sudhir Choudhrie’s Cottereau 7hp Voiturine 1903*
Darracq also features in Choudhrie’s collection and the Darracq Type V is a touring sedan with an inline 4-cylinder side-valve engine and a 4-speed transmission that generated 12 hp. It was a popular car in its time with a production rate of 14 cars per day until Rootes Group acquired Darracq. The Type V’s French roots are clearly apparent in each curve, making the 1914 model in Choudhrie’s collection one of his favorites.
Sudhir Choudhrie’s Darracq 12hp Type V circa 1914*
Rare and Notable Vintage Italian Automobiles
Italian cars are known for their small size and speed. Fiat has long been the largest car manufacturer in Italy, and it currently makes about 90 percent of the cars from that country. This figure includes the vehicles produced by Fiat’s subsidiaries such as Alfa Romeo, Lancia, and Maserati.
The Fiat 514, produced from 1929 to 1932, is one on the most iconic examples of Italian automobiles. Models in this series include the Spider, a 2-seater with two doors, and the Torpedo, a touring sedan with four seats and four doors. Additional models of the Fiat 514 include a coupe with two doors and a saloon with two doors and four seats. Choudhrie has one Fiat in his collection, which is a bright yellow 1930 Fiat 514 with a black top.
Sudhir Choudhrie’s Fiat 514 1929–1932*
About Sudhir Choudhrie
Sudhir Choudhrie is a successful entrepreneur who has established a reputation for improving the growth of the firms he invests in and has a passionate interest in rare and vintage cars. Choudhrie has also played major roles in international diplomacy and politics.
*images provided by Sudhir Choudhrie