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The Tax Man Cometh...in a '32 Ford

by Nancy DeWitt

Willy and Ron Allen zipped down to Anchorage last week to pick up a new treasure for the museum: a 1932 Ford V8 custom phaeton. This isn't just any old Ford, though, but one with right-hand drive and a rich history. It was built in 1932 by Ford of Canada (Ontario) and shipped new to Bombay, India. The car's first owner was a zamindar who collected taxes from peasants for a maharaja. At some point during the next three deades the car's original engine was replaced.

In 1966, a gentleman named Lowell Robert "Bob" Satin found the abandoned car while working for the U.S. Agency for International Development in India. He restored it with a 1937 Ford V8 engine and drove it for three years before shipping it from New Delhi to Michigan in 1970. The car sat in storage in Kalamazoo for 10 years before being shipped to Washington, D.C. Bob re-engined it again, this time with an early 1932 Ford V8 engine (# *18-134*). When Bob moved to Seward, Alaska (where he would eventually become the town's mayor) in 1994, he left the car behind in heated storage.

After getting married in 2001, Bob told his bride that he was bringing his "Indian mistress" up from the Lower 48 to live with them, but assured her that he would keep the mistress in the garage. By 2003 he had the car running again and enjoyed touring in it until he passed away in 2009.

Willy hopes to have the car tuned up and running soon. Maybe the fancy tool kit that came with it will come in handy? We're very pleased to be the new caretakers of this interesting car and are grateful for the care and research that Bob put into his "Zamindar's Ford."
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