Tyred, Not Retired: Discover Mumbai’s Oldest Tyre Company That Is In Business Since 1929

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From Bombay Presidency to Bombay and now Mumbai, our city has a vast history that is still unknown to many people. Here’s another chapter in the history of our city that recounts one of the oldest garages in Mumbai and also a sneak peek into an antique cash register machine that is over a century old. Located near Charni Road station, International Tyre Services, a dimly lit garage not only houses a variety of tyres and solutions to your cars problems but also a story weaved into history that began with its origin. Set up in 1929 in Mumbai, this shop is one of the oldest in Mumbai and has seen the evolution of tyres in our country.

Mr. Sujon Chaudri

From Horsecarts To Cars
Mr. Sujon Chaudri, Director of International Tyre Services says, “It was the time when India had limited means of transport which was restricted to the affluent. During this time, one of my father’s nine brothers frequently travelled to London due to his profession as a barrister. There, he saw cars that looked like horseless carriages that had no comfort. The situation was worst in India as we had bullock carts or we walked miles to reach our destination. This encouraged him to learn the mechanics of tyres along with my father, and one o fhis other brothers. They joined different companies and specialized in various fields related to tyres. They set up a company in Kolkata in 1924 and later we built a branch here in Mumbai in 1929.”

BEST bus in 1900s

Banking On The Best
To take things at the next level, they bought cars in knockdown conditions and assembled it in India. They put up a branch in Mumbai as most of their customers were from here. Being one of the unique services offered to the people, International Tyre Services had very special customers – all from the higher strata of society. One of their customers was Sir Sorabji Pochkhanawala, the founder of Central Bank of India. Mr. Chaudri recalls, “He wanted the best tyre for his car and came to us. We gave him special tyres called double eagle tyre with lifeguard tubes that cost was 120 rupees as compared to 80 rupees which was the cost of a normal tyre in those days. He didn’t believe in the quality of the tyre and thought we were overcharging him. He refused to pay us more than 80 rupees and left our premises. It so happened that after eight months he returned back and told us how, in spite of a tyre burst, he had managed to control his car and survive an accident. He offered us a cheque of the amount he owed us and also opened an account for us at Central bank which is still maintained by us.”

Cars serviced at International Tyre Services
Cars serviced at International Tyre Services

Other than this, the tyre shop boasts of other famous people in history who visited their shop as customers. Some of them are Justice Y V Chandrachud, the former Chief Justice of India, Ratan Tata, Raj Kumar, Prithvi Raj Kapoor, Captain Cooper who was the first person to bring the Boeing 747 airplane to India and many more. Mr Chaudri proudly says, “Many of the Parsi folks owned cars and came to us for its servicing and repair.” 

Currently, Mr. Chaudri is accompanied by his son Sumit Chaudri who is happy to assist his father and run their inherited workshop. They have their old customers coming back to them and a whole set of new and soon-to-be loyal customers too. This proud father and son duo run their workshop with the same standards of service and hope for brighter years in future. 

106-year-old Cash Register

A Slice Of History
I spotted this 106-year-old cash register machine in the premises of the International Tyre Service workshop. This machine came into being in 1904 and since then it is being used by the staff here. Interestingly, this cash register can only tally money up to 99 rupees. It has a cash drawer and a printer that prints the bill which includes all the details of the money withdrawn and the money deposited. The machine also keeps a record of the registrations made in each department along with all details. Incredible, isn’t it?


Post By Syrah (76 Posts)

Always curious, writing was something she discovered accidentally which she now enjoys. Loves reading fiction, dislikes staying idle and enjoys spontaneous trips or treks over weekends.

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Syrah

Syrah
Always curious, writing was something she discovered accidentally which she now enjoys. Loves reading fiction, dislikes staying idle and enjoys spontaneous trips or treks over weekends.