A tale of generations

A tale of generations
It’s hard to take your eyes off Tosher G Hormusjee’s 1927 Fiat. And it’s not just the colour that grabs one’s attention, even the design and shape are typical of cars of the 1920s. One can’t resist the temptation of wanting to know more about the vehicle and get an insight into how Tosher restored the grand old lady.  Tosher has grown up around vintage and classic vehicles. His father was a connoisseur of these old beauties and that passion has been passed on to Tosher.

Every car in Tosher’s stable has a story behind it and is indeed special because he has taken a lot of trouble in not only restoring each one of them but has also personally handpicked every vehicle. “I don’t want to reel out how many cars I have but among the existing ones, my father’s Mercedes is close to my heart. It is presently under restoration,” says Tosher. Tosher has armed himself with an inexhaustible amount of knowledge and information about these vehicles. “There was a time when I would work on the cars myself because I never wanted to hand them over to a mechanic, especially after our 1951 Morris was stolen. Now it’s hard for me to spend as much time as I used to. I have managed to make space for these cars to be parked at one place and I hope to find a full-time help to work on them. My son too helps me with the restoration,” says Tosher.

The excitement in his voice is palpable when he gets talking about his lineup. “I remember we brought the 1927 Fiat home in different boxes. It was given to me by my aunt Jini Kharas and her daughters Meher and Pheroza. I was so eager to see it back on the road that I lost no time and began working on restoring it almost immediately. Finally, when the car was ready, we had to literally break the walls of the house to move the car out because the gate was meant for smaller vehicles,” he recalls. He informs that the car has been with the family for over 50 years. The Fiat is fondly nicknamed as ‘boozy’. “We call her ‘boozy’ because she consumes a lot of oil. The shape of the car is similar to cars of the 1920s. It is a 1600 cc, four cylinder engine with a side valve,” shares Tosher.
The first Morris to be brought into the Tosher household was a white 1951 Morris Minor which Tosher gifted to his wife Radhika. “The car was stolen and we bought another 1951 green colour Morris as the replacement car. It was a well-maintained vehicle and continues to be in a good condition,” he adds. Radhika belongs to the royal family of Travancore. She too has grown up amidst a fleet of vintage vehicles. Her grandfather H R H Kerala Varma is now 101 years old but his love for these old cars is still very strong. Tosher’s son Zoish and daughter Roshni too share his love for cars.

He also has an interesting line up of vintage bikes. “The oldest among the bikes is a 1907 Norton, followed by the 1956 BSA 650 Golden Flash twin which belonged to my father and there’s also a 1940 Matchless,” he adds. Tosher’s parents were so fond of travelling in their old vehicles that the duo did a tour of sorts on their Lambretta. “In 1960, my parents travelled the southern part of the country on the Lambretta. They also took their dachshunds with them,” informs Tosher. Tosher isn’t a regular to any of the vintage car rallies in the city. He quietly derives joy in simply restoring these old beauties.

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