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. 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. A group of 10 mechanics from Audi Kolkata have restored the iconic 4-door Audi’s (then Auto Union) Wanderer W24 to its former glory.
In an interview to TOI, 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.”
The 1937 Wanderer W24 lies a 1767cc, 4-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 the country.