Rolls Royce brand has always been associated with luxury. It has been many decades since this fact has not changed. In India, Rolls Royce is associated with the ruler Maharaja Jai Singh, who supposedly used his Rolls Royce as a garbage collection vehicle after he was insulted in London. But did it really happen? We explain.
The story, in short, says that Maharaja Jai Singh visited London and was wearing casual dress. During his city tour, he spotted the Rolls Royce showroom and entered it to know more about the cars and even buy the vehicle. However, seeing his “Indian” appearance, the security of the showroom assumed that he is a beggar and did not allow him to enter the showroom.
Feeling insulted, Maharaja purchased some six Rolls Royce cars and got them shipped to India. To take revenge, Maharaja donated the vehicles to his municipal workers and asked them to use the vehicle like a garbage collection car. There is also a picture associated with this story that is widely spread online and various social media platforms.
Who is Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh?
Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh is also known as Jai Singh II was born on November 3, 1688, and lived until September 21, 1743. Now the early development of motorised vehicles happened in 1885 by Carl Benz, which looked nothing like a modern-day vehicle. Rolls-Royce cars were set-up in 1906, way after the death of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh according to the records on the Intenet. Since the timeline of the conception of Rolls Royce and the death of Maharaja contradicts each other so that story cannot be true.
The same story is also told as Nizam of Hyderabad or Maharaja Kishan Singh of Bharatpur or Maharaja of Patiala. There are many other names of Maharajas and kings that are associated with the same story. However, none of these stories is true as Rolls-Royce was set-up in 1906 and after that, there is very good documentation of its history and the history of the Maharajas.
So why the brooms in front of the cars?
The cars with brooms were used on Rolls Royce vehicles. That is true. However, the purpose of these brooms was something different. As per different reports, the brooms were tied to the front of the expensive vehicles to save the tires. It is quite an interesting story. Since the roads were not very good in those days and rubbles and pebbles could destroy the tires easily, the brooms swept away the pebbles and stones on the way and made the roads clear for the vehicles. Most Maharajas who owned the Rolls Royce vehicles did not even bother to change the tyres of the vehicles. Once the tyres were worn or punctured, they simply used to buy new cars. So the brooms were used for the longevity of the vehicles and not for the garbage collection stories as the Internet tells us. It is always a good idea to fact check the things that seem unreal and unusual.
Rolls Royce in India
There are many enthusiasts and royals who imported expensive cars to India including the Rolls Royce models. Some of these vehicles are restored and are put at various museums and galleries across India. There are many Rolls Royce cars that are in working condition too.