Rolls-Royce brand stands for opulence, luxury, and indulgence – but there is a period in anecdotal history when Rolls Royce cars became Garbage collectors.
For the uninitiated, Rolls Royce is one of the oldest automobile manufacturers and its vehicles are considered to be the most expensive cars in the world.
This legendary brand history goes a long way when Henry Royce’s made his first car in 1904 and collaborated with Charles Rolls, a car dealership proprietor to found a car manufacturing company, Rolls-Royce Limited in 1906.
Apart from the car’s comfort and engineering features, the unique ornament on the Rolls-Royce bonnet captured the imagination of the World’s elite. The popularity of the car increased manifold and it became a preferred choice of many rich people across the globe.
An interesting story is popular in India, which as per accounts caused huge embarrassment to the Rolls Royce brand.
It happened in England when the Maharaja (King) of Alwar, happened to visit the country in the 1920s, much before India’s independence. The Maharaja Jai Singh while taking a stroll in the London market, unceremoniously walked into one of the Rolls-Royce showrooms.
The Rolls-Royce salesman ignorant of Jai Singh’s royal status did not appreciate an ordinarily dressed Indian walking into a fancy story and Maharaja was shown the door.
Deeply insulted, Maharaja Jai Singh, rushed back to his hotel and asked his team to call up the company to make an appointment.
Maharaja got a red-carpet welcome when he reached the same showroom in his royal attire. He purchased all the 6 Rolls Royce cars which were in that showroom and also ensured that the same salesman was given the responsibility to make the delivery.
On reaching India, when the salesman made the delivery, he summoned the local municipal workers to use the Rolls Royce cars as garbage collection vehicles.
When Rolls Royce Cars became Garbage Collectors, the incident got massive attention and hugely embarrassed the automobile giant.
The event was detrimental to Rolls-Royce’s reputation at that time, as its cars were an integral part of the Indian royals and the elite class. Many rich people owned Roll Royce cars in double digits. Before the first world war, many Rolls Royce cars found their way to India. Around 800 Rolls Royce cars were imported by Indian kings and royals in that period.
Recognizing the domestic and international stakes, Roll Royce immediately apologized for their service and requested Maharaja to stop the Rolls Royce Cars to be used for Garbage Collection.
The Maharaja after teaching a lesson to the automobile company accepted the apologies and asked the municipality to stop using the Rolls Royce cars for collecting garbage.
The details of this story have different versions and also the parts of the story also vary, but considering its humor and the fun element, it is something not to be missed.
There are images on the internet that show brushes tied on the tires of Rolls Royce and it is used alongside this story, but it is unlikely to be connected with this incident. The brooms in that particular picture were either tied to protect the tires from dust or to save the tire from sharp objects.
If you want to catch the glimpse of the love affair of Rolls Royce cars in India and especially with Indian maharajas, you can find it here and here.