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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Audi Wanderer that transported Nethaji from Bihar to Delhi in 1941

On 23rd Jan,  We will be celebrating the 120th birth anniversary of the greatest  person of our Nation ***

I first heard of Audi Car, when Ravi Shastri was the player of the tournament down under in 1985.  Audi,  is a German automobile manufacturer that designs, engineers, produces, markets and distributes luxury vehicles, having its HQ at Ingolstadt, Bavaria, Germany.  Decades ago, existed – Wanderer, another famous  German manufacturer of bicycles, motorcycles, automobiles, vans and other machinery. Established as Winklhofer & Jaenicke in 1896, the company used the Wanderer brand name from 1911, making civilian automobiles until 1941 and military vehicles until 1945.  During the Great Depression, in 1929, the company owner, Dresdner Bank, sold the motorcycle business  and in 1932 divested the rest of Wanderer. The car division with its Siegmar factory became part of Auto Union together with Horch, Audi and DKW.

The post is certainly about  Subhas Chandra Bose – whose birth anniversary falls on 23rd Jan.  Subhas Chandra Bose, (Bengali: সুভাষ চন্দ্র বসু, (January 23, 1897 – August 18, 1945 [disputed],  very popularly known as Nethaji (lit. "Respected Leader"), was one of the most prominent and highly respected leaders of the Indian Independence Movement against the British Raj.

Bose was elected president of the Indian National Congress for two consecutive terms but resigned from the post following ideological conflicts with Mahatma Gandhi. Bose believed that Mahatma Gandhi's tactics of non-violence would never be sufficient to secure India's independence, and advocated violent resistance. He established a separate political party, the All India Forward Bloc and continued to call for the full and immediate independence of India from British rule. He was imprisoned by the British authorities eleven times. 

His stance did not change with the outbreak of the Second world war, which he saw as an opportunity to take advantage of British weakness. At the outset of the war, he fled India and travelled to the Soviet Union, Germany and Japan seeking an alliance with the aim of attacking the British in India. With Japanese assistance he re-organised and later led the Indian National Army, formed from Indian prisoners-of-war and plantation workers from Malaya, Singapore and other parts of Southeast Asia, against British forces. With Japanese monetary, political, diplomatic and military assistance, he formed the Azad Hind Government in exile, regrouped and led the Indian National Army to battle against the allies in Imphal & Burma during the World War II  .. .. there is unresolved  mystery in the life of reverred Netaji and more so, surrounding his disappearance and perceived death  .. .. now read this intresting piece from Daily Mail.  Nethaji Audi Car

President Pranab Mukherjee will unveil the car that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose used to escape from his residence in Bihar to catch a train to Delhi in 1941. The Audi Wanderer W24 will be unveiled at Netaji Bhavan in Kolkata.

On January 18, Sugata Bose, Netaji's grand-nephew and also a Trinamool MP, will accompany the President to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the great escape.  In 1941, the 1937 Audi Wanderer W24 transported Netaji from his Elgin Road residence in Kolkata (then in Bihar) to Gomoh railway station to catch the Kalka Mail to Delhi despite 24x7 surveillance by the British.

A group of 10 mechanics from Audi Kolkata have restored the iconic four-door Audi (then Auto Union) Wanderer W24 to its former glory. In an interview with a newspaper, Sugata Bose said: 'Audi gave technical expertise and a vintage car restorer, Pallab Roy, and his team started working in May 2016 to restore it fully. 'It is the most prized possession of the Netaji Research Bureau museum. Now, once a week, people will see this car in motion in the driveway of the building.'

In the 1937 Wanderer W24 lies a 1767cc, four-cylinder engine that produces 42hp @3500rpm which can take it up to a top speed of 108kmph. The engine is mated to a four-speed manual transmission and has a fuel capacity of 40-litres. The Wanderer W24 came with a wheelbase of 2600mm, with a length of 4280mm, width of 1645mm and height of 1600mm. It has a ground clearance of 200mm - the same as of the present day Audi Q5.

Auto Union had manufactured only 22500 units of the Wanderer W24 and Netaji was said to be the first Indian to own an Audi vehicle in India. 

Great feeling !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
18th Jan 2017.

Photos and news in blue : credit  www. 


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