Owner of vintage beauties

Proud collector

Unique: Chevrolet Fleetmaster

A well-known name among the vintage car collectors in the City, Prabhu has a good collection of old beauties. And the interesting thing is that most of them were manufactured at the time of Second World War.

Prabhu is quite famous in and around ISRO Layout as a car collector and anyone can lead you to his home. A transporter by profession, Prabhu developed a passion for vehicles since his childhood days.

“My father DNM Rajagopalan owned three cars during his time. Obviously, being around the cars, I developed a passion for them slowly. I started my own collection when I was a college student and it began with ‘Triumph’ (1939 model) car which I bought in 1982,” he says.

Now his collection has seven cars and five motorcycles. Chevrolet Impala, Chevrolet Fleetmaster (1946 model), Skoda (1946 model), Ambassador (1959 model), Ford A (1927 model), Studebaker (1956 model), CZ (1916 model), DKW are a few among them and each one gets a royal treatment in his home.

He claims that he succeeded in increasing his collection by luck. “It was in 1998 that I heard Chevrolet Fleet master was on sale in Mysore. Though thousands of people had eye on it, the owner was not ready to sell it. I approached him and succeeded in making a deal without much difficulty,” he says proudly.

The Chevrolet Impala needs a special mention as Prabhu bought it at an auction conducted by the chief secretary, Government of Karnataka. The car was exclusively for Prime Minister’s use when he or she visited the State. Among all, Skoda is Prabhu’s favourite car because of its fantastic features. Now, he is eying an Rolls Royce car and he is pretty sure to make a deal.

Being a mechanical engineer, Prabhu repairs each vehicle and sometimes modifies them according to his wish. “Most of the vehicles I bought were in a bad condition. I had bought some from scrap dealers too. But I gave them all a new look. I had designed a mini bike for my son when he was a kid,” he says.

Prabhu is all praise for his wife Chandrika and son Balaji for supporting him.
“Without her consent, I wouldn’t have been able to keep the spare parts of automobiles on the top shelves in the kitchen,” he laughs and adds, “my son is also passionate about vehicles. He helps me in repairing and accompanies me whenever there is a rally.” Prabhu also has a wonderful collection of books and manuals related to automobiles. He is a founding member of Karnataka Vintage Car Club and has been taking part in the rallies conducted by the club every year. He has also won many prizes in vintage car rallies held in Mysore during Dasara festival.

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