continuation of the previous page:The Kundanmal Service Station: The Service Station
We went back outside to see a few of the cars and Rishad explained a bit about them and their significance. Some of these are often seen on the road when they’re out for their early Sunday morning drives.
An Austin six limousine. It was a luxurious variant of the Austin which was compared to the Rolls Royce of the era
A client of theirs had this 1964 Chrysler New Yorker. He would get it serviced at the Kundanmal workshop and take it back to Bangalore. Once on his way back he complained about a sudden loud rambling noise which Mr.Kundanmal explained to him over the phone was the exhaust noise that had happened due to road conditions back then and how low the car was. Mr.Kundanmal offered to pay the bill for the repair. Later on a new problem came up, the music system stopped working. They replaced the music deck out of goodwill. That was the customer goodwill service which kept the place alive for 50 years!
The owner grew tired of his car and finally asked for Mr.Kundanmal’s old Mercedes 180 in exchange. The Chrysler New Yorker was worth 10 times more at the time over here but back in the UK the Mercedes 180 had a classic value. They exchanged cars and every time the ex-owner came to town, he would drop by just to say hello.
1956 Plymouth Savoy. This model marked the introduction of the seatbelt to the lineup.
1945 Jaguar, not only does the hood ornament look like it’s leaping forward but so does the entire car as it prowls the city of dreams. Its been restored so well that it drives as if it was built yesterday. It had recently done a road trip around Gujarat and back.
A special rare 8 liter Bentley, customized by Makenzie. This is one of the 3 built, has a triple carb, a higher compression ratio head, a low end differential and a few more special bits to set it apart.
And one of my favorite Merc’s. The W108! This car marked the end of the fintail design in classic Benzs which was prominent for many years.
I was glad that I finally stopped at the petrol pump to see what it was all about. It’s one of the most talked about petrol pumps around and many people have fond memories of the place. A friend of mine mentioned that this was the first place he crossed a road, that possibly explains why he’s a petrol head and so many others spoke about how they’d peek into the place as kids to get a glimpse of the beauties.
Its really sad that we won’t be seeing the cars upfront as a constant reminder of the rich past but it’s not the end, Kundanmal services will be shifting the workshop to their old location at Worli Gandhinagar where they’ll continue to fix and restore classics as they had done here earlier.