Thrissur: Expatriate businessman C P Salih had a happy reunion recently after 60 years — with a gleaming Studebaker car that had left his home in 1960.
Salih's father Chandanaparambil C P Mohammad had bought this American car from Delhi. It is estimated that the car, manufactured in 1947, arrived in India in 1949.
It was in this car that the wedding party of the mother-in-law of prominent businessman Galfar Mohamed Ali had travelled to the wedding.
C P Mohammad sold the car in the 1960s. After changing several hands, it finally reached Delhi again. What's more, it had the same old number — DBG 8213. Mohammad had written in his diary that he had bought the car for Rs 2,400. The car was tracked in Delhi with the help of the old number.
Salih purchased the car and brought it to his Valappad home to give it to his son Anhar Salih as a wedding gift. The car was originally red in colour. It has now turned blue. The top was lost due to age. But the engine is still the old one.
On seeing its return, many elders shared their memories of having seen the car in the past. All this was recorded and kept by Salih's family. Many were not even allowed to touch the car. But C P Mohammad took everyone in the area in the car.
While the old car has been found, one puzzle related to it remains. CP Mohammad had written in his diary that an Ezhuthachan in Thrissur had helped him buy the car. Salih has not yet been able to find out who that was.