Imagine you’re Indian royalty. Your favorite hobby is the Most Dangerous Game, the hunting of wild tigers in the wilderness—as befitting a maharaja. Such a gentlemanly pursuit requires only the most luxurious and extravagant of conveyances: when blasting tigers with a Browning 30-06 machine gun (the choice of professionals!), why would you settle for anything less than a coachbuilt 1925 Rolls-Royce Phantom?
This custom-bodied Roller was commissioned by Umed Singh II, who ruled from 1889 to 1940 and at the height of tiger hunting’s popularity (and before those pesky conservation laws). Hunters commonly stalked their prey from atop elephants, but some employed motor carriages such as this: with an 8.0-liter six-cylinder engine and off-road low gearing, the Rolls is pretty close to an elephant but with more places to stash one’s brandy.
The Rolls also came with some features not available on today’s Phantom unless you ask really nicely, such as a bronze Lantaka cannon and a trailer-mounted machine gun, as well as enough rifle and shotgun racks to make Jeff Foxworthy feel underappreciated. All the better to drive India’s endangered Bengal tiger population from a peak of 40,000 to around 1,700 today.
If that sort of PETA-annoying violence appeals to you, then Bonhams will gladly auction this relic of Indian royalty to you for the appropriately lavish sum of $1 million or more when it goes on the block on August 18th. Tiger-hunting season will probably start around then. And after you mount one on the hood, drive it to an ESSO station and put a tiger in your tank!