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India Makes History As Yohan Poonawalla’s Rolls-Royce ‘17EX’ Wins ‘Best In Show’ Award At ‘Valletta Concours’ In Malta

Acquired recently by him, it was quickly refurbished before in Austria prior to entering the contest.

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India Makes History As Yohan Poonawalla’s Rolls-Royce ‘17EX’ Wins ‘Best In Show’ Award At ‘Valletta Concours’ In Malta
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In a historic first for India, Billionaire Industrialist and Philanthropist Yohan Poonawalla’s Rolls-Royce ‘17EX’ became the first car owned by an Indian to win a Best in Show award overseas. His Maharaja Rolls-Royce won the top prize earlier this month at Valletta Concours held in the European city of Valletta in Malta. Prevailing over competition from a line-up of impressive cars spread across various classes, his 1928 Rolls-Royce Experimental Sports Phantom ‘17 EX‘, the only example in the world with coachwork by Jarvis of Wimbledon, impressed the judges and specatators alike. Acquired recently by him, it was quickly refurbished in Austria prior to entering the contest.

Considered as one of the greatest coachbuilt cars and one of the most historically significant Rolls-Royce extant today, 17EX is a car steeped in history, distinct in design, unmatched in character and unrivalled in provenance. The extraordinary car was conceived and developed under the direct supervision of Sir Henry Royce as a prototype. Mindful of Bentley’s success at Le Mans, Rolls-Royce felt the need to build a sports car which could clock a top speed of 100 MPH.

Commenting on the win, Yohan Poonawalla said, “I am thrilled to see 17EX win the top prize today in its first outing with me, and the win is even sweeter coming in this milestone anniverary year as Rolls-Royce celebrates 120 years. The extraordinary car embodies the company’s quest for excellence and innovation to remain at the forefront. I want to congratulate all entrants and thank the organisers, and the Maltese crowd who were warm and hospitable.”

John Saliba, chairman of the Valletta concours said, “We feel privileged to have hosted a truly historic car like Rolls-Royce 17EX and it proved to be the star car of show, and therefore a worthy winner. Valletta concours is an inclusive event, we welcome cars of all ages, shapes and sizes for an annual celebration of our love for classic cars.”

The 1928 Phantom 1 joins the illustrious company of a galaxy of phenomenal Phantoms in the Yohan Poonawalla Collection such as the 1933 Phantom II of Sir Malcolm Campbell, 1937 Phantom III of Maharaja of Panchkote, 1962 Phantom V of the Emir of Qatar, 1979 Phantom VI which belonged to the HM Queen Elizabeth II and a 2005 Goodwood Phantom VII which was the very first car delivered in India, after Rolls-Royce’s return to the country following a 50-year hiatus.

The Yohan Poonawalla Collection based in Pune India is an eclectic mix of pre-war, post-war and modern classics curated with a special focus on provenance & pedigree. An assortment of supercars including Italian stallions such as Ferraris and Lambhorghinis complete the collection. In 2023 the collector became the first Indian to feature in the global ranking of ‘Top 100 Classic Car Collectors of the World’ published by The Classic Car Trust, and also became the first collector from the country to win the prestigious ‘Classic Car Ambassador of the Year’ at the Historic Motoring Awards presented by Octane in UK. He was also named ‘Collector of the Year’ by the Geneva International Motor Show Qatar.

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