The Kapoor Family Site by Shammi Kapoor

Shammi Kapoor's First Car

Sometimes I wonder what is it that drives people to do first things first as soon as you are in a position to do so. What areone's priorities? It could have been a pair of shirts or pants or shoes or watches, a radio or record player, a gift for someone near and dear. No. It had to be a car. My own car.

I started driving my father's car, an "Opel" when I used to go to school. Before that there was a period when a few of us friends at College road, where I stayed, used to help one Mr. Mani in pushing his small Austin car to start it. Then one day unknown to him we started to push it around with one of us at the steering to keep in practice, and ultimately when I jumped into the driver's seat, I fixed some ignition wires got it started. The rest jumped in and we took a short drive. We got away with this routine a couple of times till we were apprehended one day by Mani and got the firing of our lives.

Once while going to school I started my brother's car, a Ford, and before my servant, Dwarka, could get in and close the door, I took off. The result was disasterous. The open door crashed against the lamp post and got wrenched off. The noise brought my brother and parents to the balcony and before anything could be said I was out of hearing range, heading for the nearest bus stop.

After signing my first film "Jeewan Jyoti", I went around like a sire for hire. Also, I wanted to buy a car. I got advice from various sources, including my producer Mr. A.R. Kardar who had a number of cars including a Cadillac. He strongly advised me to: Always buy a brand new car; not a second hand one; and buy a Chevy or a Pontiac, both beauties, which he could arrange for me on Hire purchase. I took no notice of his advise on either points.

I had seen the beauty I wanted:

" It was a skyblue colored, convertible; Buick Super; second hand. It belonged to then film actress Nigar Sultana, who wanted to sell it and it was on display at the Car Mart, at Hughes road. My friend and first producer, Aspi Irani, who I was signed with but had no picture on the floor, knew the owner of Car Mart, Mr. Chunnawala and so off we went to meet and negotiate for the car. He agreed to a pricetag of Rs. 16,500/-, to be paid on a monthly basis Hire purchase for 24 months. The down payment of Rs. 5000/- was to be paid by Aspi. For the next 2 years I paid Rs. 650/- every month almost regularly. It was on the 12th of June, 1952 that I got my Buick. It's registration number was BMY 3009.

Subsequently in my life span as a Film Star, I had a number of different cars; a Desoto followed by a Chevy Belair, a Chevy Impala, a Chevy Intercontinental convertible, a Ford Thunderbird, a Sunbeam Alpine, a Triumph, a Malibu some foreign and Indian Fiats and a number of Jeeps for my Shikar. But to this day the one and only beauty which has always remained dear to me in both my memory and my heart is, the BUICK BMY 3009.