Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Tax Man Cometh...in a '32 Ford

by Nancy DeWitt

Willy and Ron Allen zipped down to Anchorage last week to pick up a new treasure for the museum: a 1932 Ford V8 custom phaeton. This isn't just any old Ford, though, but one with right-hand drive and a rich history. It was built in 1932 by Ford of Canada (Ontario) and shipped new to Bombay, India. The car's first owner was a zamindar who collected taxes from peasants for a maharaja. At some point during the next three deades the car's original engine was replaced.

In 1966, a gentleman named Lowell Robert "Bob" Satin found the abandoned car while working for the U.S. Agency for International Development in India. He restored it with a 1937 Ford V8 engine and drove it for three years before shipping it from New Delhi to Michigan in 1970. The car sat in storage in Kalamazoo for 10 years before being shipped to Washington, D.C. Bob re-engined it again, this time with an early 1932 Ford V8 engine (# *18-134*). When Bob moved to Seward, Alaska (where he would eventually become the town's mayor) in 1994, he left the car behind in heated storage.

After getting married in 2001, Bob told his bride that he was bringing his "Indian mistress" up from the Lower 48 to live with them, but assured her that he would keep the mistress in the garage. By 2003 he had the car running again and enjoyed touring in it until he passed away in 2009.

Willy hopes to have the car tuned up and running soon. Maybe the fancy tool kit that came with it will come in handy? We're very pleased to be the new caretakers of this interesting car and are grateful for the care and research that Bob put into his "Zamindar's Ford."

6 comments:

  1. That cell phone doesn't look too "period correct" to me.

    Wanda T.

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  2. Cell phone???? that may be a vintage diagnostic tool rarely seen. lol they become such a part of our life we forget to set them aside. thanks for following us

    Willy

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  3. I am bobs nephew and was in india when he found the car and restored it,we went shopping in calcutta for parts and found many in original cartons ,spark plugs and steering wheel brand new in box,the car was in his garage in new delhi and the car had its own mechanic who slept next to the car.this was 1968 and it was amazing to watch the restoration happen.scott morgan/maine

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  4. Hi Scott, good to hear from you, it must have been fun to find new old stock parts during that time. if you have any pictures of the restoration we would love to have copies of them. we are happy to have the car in the collection and hope you will get a chance to come and visit us one of these days.
    willy

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  5. I am looking a phaeton / tub. I like model 18 tubs , vickys, deluxe coupes, fordors, trucks, five winders. Richard
    salazrich@live.com

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  6. I am currently restoring a 1937 Ford V8 Phaeton, also right hand drive and built by Ford of Canada and delivered to Bombay, India. The car belonged to my great great grandmother and is a single family car.

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