The Wheels of Indian Freedom Fighters
These cars served them in their battle for freedom against the British Raj
In 1947, India attained its independence from the British government, but it was not achieved in a day. The struggle was long and several lives were lost. Young men and women happily sacrificed their lives for the sovereignty of India. Their sacrifice has not been forgotten and therefore, we pen this column about the cars they rode during their freedom movement.
In the battle, these cars were used several times to evade the British police and were also utilized to travel to critical meetings. We can claim that the automobiles they drove played a fairly critical role in the great battle for freedom against the Britishers.
Without wasting more words, let’s have a read about the famous wheels of some notable Indian freedom fighters.
1937 Wanderer W24
The first car on this list belongs to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. This car was restored in 2017 and now sits in the mansion of Netaji in Kolkata. This is the same ride that Netaji used to escape his home-arrest and reached the Gomoh station. The car was powered by a 1.8-litre, inline-four, four-stroke petrol engine capable of churning out 41hp of peak power and was mated to a four-speed manual gearbox. The car could touch an excellent speed of 108 kmph.
Ford Model T
The Ford Model T was operated by Mahatma Gandhi. Although the freedom fighter loved to travel by foot, he used this car for covering long distances. In 1927, he travelled in this car after his release from the Bareilly Central jail. The Model T was armed with an inline four-cylinder engine that was water-cooled. The car could hit a fine speed of 45 kmph and had a peak power output of 20hp.
The Packard 120 is another car that was used by Mahatma Gandhi on several occasions. This car did not belong to him but was a possession of freedom fighter and industrialist Ghanshyam Das Birla. The Packard 120 had a 4,621cc engine that featured a rear-wheel-drive setting and was a convertible model. Back in the era, it used to generate a massive 120hp of peak power.
This car belonged to the freedom fighter and India’s second Prime Minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri. The car was not used in the freedom battle but was later bought by Shastri for INR 12,000. The Fiat 1100 was equipped with an inline 1,089cc engine that used to generate 37hp of power and had a top speed of 90 kmph.