Kolkata: As the nation is busy celebrating 125th birth anniversary of India’s freedom legend Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose with much fanfare, an iconic German Wanderer sedan of 1937 stands silent witness at Bose’s Kolkata Elgin Road ancestral home from where he had made a “great escape” to Jharkhand’s Gomoh railway station in 1941 to finally reach Germany.
With the initiative of Netaji Research Bureau, the car was restored to its 1941 look by automobile giant Audi.
In 2017, former President late Pranab Mukherjee had unveiled the iconic German Wanderer sedan which Netaji had used to engineer the famous ‘Great Escape’ from his Elgin Road residence.
Netaji had managed to dodge the British intelligence and police officers who were then keeping a close watch on him under house arrest.
He had escaped on the rear seat of the car disguised as Mohammad Ziauddin, in the intermediating night of January 16 and 17 in 1941. According to reports, nephew Sisir Kumar Bose was at the steering wheel during Netaji’s Great Escapee from Kolkata.
The 1937 Wanderer W24 has a 1767cc, 4-cylinder engine that produces 42hp at 3500rpm which could take it up to a top speed of 108kmph. The engine was mated to a four-speed manual transmission. Auto Union had manufactured only 22,500 units of the Wanderer W24, reports said.
The car 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 and a fuel capacity of 40-litres.
According to information available, Netaji was said to be the first Indian to own an Audi vehicle in the country.