Respected collector, Diljeet Titus, a well-known lawyer who founded his firm Titus & Co in 1997, works hard on his sterling collection of vintage cars, motorcycles, horse carriages, Osler crystal chandeliers, gilded furniture and rare antique books.
Diljeet Titus, soft in speech and incisive in opinions, spends precious time first finding vintage collectibles of rare provenance and then restoring them to an original usable state. One of the biggest patrons of Royal Fables, he shares his enjoyment for collecting the vintage and old simply because he “loves their design”. His two favourites are the 1933 Minerva Type AL, which once belonged to Raja Mohammed Amir Ahmed Khan of Mahmoudabad and the 1930 Stutz Series M, 4 Passenger Speedster, which is the only Dual Cowl car in India that belonged to His Highness Maharaol Sir Ranjit Sinhji K.C.S.I of Baria.
A careful collector, Titus feels that every collector should have a clear collection policy and a museum grade care and maintenance programme. He shrunk his collection of cars from 106 to 36 because he feels one should only retain the best and one must also prune their collection from time to time. He emphasises on authentic restoration techniques and preserving the originality of the collectible. According to him, it is best to let an expert do the job and one
should never use an element that is not supposed to be there. Titus devotes at least 25% of restoration effort to conducting through research. For him, the provenance of whatever he acquires is important. He must know who designed, engineered, built and owned it. He also implores the government to help collectors bring back to the country what was originally from India by making import duties friendlier. Every caracquisition is preceded by research into its history. Diljeet Titus’s cars include Rolls Royces, Packards, Auburns, Cadillacs, Buicks and Pierce Arrows which once belonged to the princely states of Sachin, Jaipur, Ayodhya, Travancore, Palitana, Kolhapur, Patiala, Bikaner and Jodhpur amongst others.
Titus prefers to show his collection to youngsters because even if five out of a hundred become collectors, they will have a pleasure of seeing their history well preserved. Of the firm belief that collectors should attempt at bringing back collectibles, he approaches his role as a collector more as a custodian.