Sri G D Naidu, an eminent industrialist and philanthropist of Coimbatore, South India, had a great passion for the automobile. He visited several countries during his lifetime and was fascinated by the workmanship and engineering capabilities of Germany and other forward nations. He was an ardent automobile enthusiast, science lover and loved learning the science behind the functioning and invention of everything that he came across.
G D Naidu Charitable Trust was started by Mr. GD Naidu in 1950. His purpose was to start a charity and make it a perpetual entity for imparting knowledge and sharing information to the community. He was a man of practical learning and he strongly believed that empowerment comes through dissemination of knowledge.
Gedee Car Museum is the only classic car museum of its kind in south India, located in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. It has an impressive collection of more than 100 vintage cars, each with a history or a unique technology.
The cars are a private collection of G D Naidu Charities, a social trust founded by (late) Sri. G D Naidu. Like his father, Sri. G D Gopal, who is also an avid auto enthusiast, purchased and collected several cars, especially those that had unique mechanical features or the ones that had significantly influenced the evolution of the automobile.
The main objective of the museum is that students and the general public, who see these vintage beauties, learn about the technology and the people behind designing and manufacturing the cars, with the minimal technology available in that era.
The museum has a section that acknowledges the achievements of five car designers who revolutionised the automobile industry.
- Karl Benz, who in 1885 invented the first ever Benz Motorwagen, which was patented and is the birth certificate of the automobile.
- Henry Ford of America, who in 1908 introduced the Ford T, the first mass produced car.
- Ferdinand Porsche, who in 1938 built and presented the Volkswagen Beetle known as the ‘Peoples Car’ introduced in Germany by Adolf Hitler, which had an engine in the rear above the driving wheels.
- Pierre – Jules Boulanger of France, who in 1948 built the Citroen – 2 CV, the cheapest car on the planet, which was a masterpiece of design with very good engineering with a special suspension.
- Sir Alec Issigonis, the father of the Mini, the first car built in 1959 with transverse engines and first car having the gearbox and differential in one housing in the crankcase.
Several other significant cars are also on display, which are grouped country wise, to appreciate the contribution of each country to the fast evolving automobile industry.
A separate hall dedicated to the Indian Cars, produced Post Independence by various business houses, is a new addition to the museum. Many unique and rare Indian cars, which are seldom seen on the road, can be seen here.
The Gedee Car Museum is housed in the basement of the main building and leads into the Indian Car section on the Ground Floor.
A thorough tour of the museum for someone interested in Automobiles would easily take two hours.
Caution – Motor heads & vintage car enthusiasts may not like to come out!!!!