“That’s the Killer Car,” shouted a man from the dais and everyone turned their heads in curiosity to see a blue soft-roofed Studebaker making its way through the onlookers at The Statesman Vintage and Classic Cars Rally on Sunday. “Who was killed by the “Killer Car”?” everyone demanded to know.
The owner Mujeeb Rehman finally revealed the secret: “Nathuram Godse was using this car when he shot dead Mahatma Gandhi.”
The 1930 Studebaker holds a six-cylinder, 3,500-cc engine to generate 26.5 BHP. It was a made on an order placed by the Maharaja of Jaunpur in 1930. The Maharaja had close ties with the Hindu Mahasabha, of which Godse was an active member.
On January 30, 1948, Nathuram Godse drove the Studebaker to Birla House, and pumped three bullets in to Gandhi’s chest from point-blank range.
“The car was at the Tughlaq Road police station till 1978,” tells Rehman. After changing a couple of hands by auction and resale, the Studebaker came back to Delhi, and is now parked at Rehman’s Laxmi Nagar residence.
Though paperwork and so the story is not so clear, the history is inked on the car: A red oval with the letters “KILLER”, underlined by USF 73 on the license plate.
Does the history affect the owner? “Yes it does. The car needs reworking, for it has been stoned at many times by people who come to know its history,” Rehman told HT.