Kanyaboyina Sudhakar Yadav of Sudha Cars Museum at Bahadurpura which exhibits myriad handmade wacky vehicles in different shapes and sizes has added a new feather in his cap. He recently revealed his latest creation, known as Swan Car, built on a Jeep chassis and entirely from scrap.
Amid dozens of crazy creations of Sudhakar, the ‘Swan Car’ surely comes out on top since it is the replica of one created in 1910 by England-based J. W. Brooke and Co Limited for a Calcutta-based (now Kolkata) Scottish man Robert Nicholl Matthewson. In those days, it was three times more expensive than the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost.
However, British Raj banned the car from plying on the streets of Calcutta seeing that it was causing distraction and panic in the road users. Then it was sold to the Maharaja of Nabha, one of the Phulkian States in Punjab. After the car stayed with his family for nearly 70 years, the Louwman museum in the Netherlands purchased the four-wheeler in an auction in 1990.
Sudhakar, who has, so far, manufactured over 50 wacky cars, says the making of Swan Car by simultaneously giving it an original touch has been the toughest out of all the cars he made so far. He used the photographs of the original car as a reference.
“It took me two-and-a-half years to manufacture this car. Each and everything, including the metal body, is made by hand, not by machine. The two dragon models fixed at the front, fish-shaped handles and golden lilies and lotuses at the outer part add to the beauty of this car,” the car expert says.
Talking about specifications, Sudhakar said that the four-seated air-conditioned car is made with 2000 CC Isuzu petrol engine. Spoke wheels, which were once all the go, were used. The lantern lights and a Sanai car horn give a nostalgic feel.
Sudhakar began his journey of manufacturing vehicles in his teenage years by collecting scraps from junkyards. But, it was merely a hobby then. In the year 1991, when he came across a skating car at a promotional event in the United States, Sudhakar made up his mind to give a quirky touch to his hand-made cars and bikes.
He started making automobiles with a resemblance to everyday objects. In 2005, he set a Guinness world record for making the world’s largest tricycle and also owns a credit of building the world’s smallest double-decker bus.
Eventually, Sudhakar made a name for himself for being the only person in the world to design wacky and subject-based cars. But little did he know he will own a museum one day for his cars.
“I was a commerce student. Manufacturing vehicles was my hobby since my childhood though I was never trained in it or studied. In the beginning, it was quite difficult, but my father encouraged me throughout. I never planned to open a museum, but the increase in collection and outstanding response from people eventually prompted me to do it,” he said.
Sudha Car Museum, opened in 2010, is the only one of its kind in the world that houses about 200 vehicles on display and many among them are hand-made following the pattern of a shoe, computer, Shiva linga, cake, pencil, stiletto, handbag and many more.
The car expert aims to manufacture about 100 wacky cars. Currently, he is working on a jewellery-shaped, a chessboard and a shuttlecock car, besides two bridal wear-inspired ones. Also, he is soon opening another museum at Lonavla to exhibit his hand-made automobiles.