Nepal Car Delivery Men

Nepali tribesmen work together to carry a car across a river


Here we see a marvel of the 20th century. This is a photograph of a tribe of Nepali men carrying a car that appears to be a Mercedes. The picture was taken in 1948 in the region of Nepal known as Kathmandu. The people carrying the car are believed to be a tribe of this region. Some tribes of Nepal were known for working for Indian nobility in this regard because the noble families would purchase automobiles from Europe and have them usually delivered by boat.

Sometimes, however it was best for them to be delivered by land, utilizing trucks to carry them into the mountains. When the mountain trails ended, the tribes would take over, utilizing pure manpower to carry them to their destinations. It is believed that the Nepali never actually referred to the cars by name, but simply called them a number based on how many people it took to lift it. So a car that needed fifty men to lift would be called “Fifty.”

Utilizing a set of enormous wooden poles, the porters are able to lift the car up high in order to allow them to carry it safely across the river that can be seen in the photo. This method made it possible to distribute the weight and allow the multitude to contribute their strength toward the process of lifting it. It was necessary to strip the cars of unnecessary weight, like the bumper and tires in order to make it easier to manage the weight. In 1956, however, this tradition of carrying cars was abandoned as the Tribhuvan Highway was completed that allowed cars to be driven to India.