With all the latest chunky and aerodynamic vehicles coming into the market we really do tend to forget what cars ruled India and shined in the limelight once upon a time. We might go awestruck looking at an Audi or BMW today but there some cars which will be forever locked with our memories. Here are few of those rides that rocked the baba adam era.
The mustang of our childhood and probably the first ever car you have probably got into if you were a 80’s or 90’s kid. Production of this star rolled out in India in 1964 by Premier Automobiles Limited, a division of the Walchand Group, under license from Fiat and marketed initially as the Fiat 1100 Delight and beginning in 1973 as the 14th century Rajput princess named Padmini. This 1089cc four cylinder beast gave a 10.8:1 compression ratio, created 47 bhp (35 kW) at 4,800 rpm with a maximum torque of 7.20 kg/m (71 N/m; 52 lb/ft) soon became the most popular car on the road because of its easy handling, friendly maneuverability and custom features likes AC, leather upholstery and tinted glasses. All in all it was the aam admi’s Rolls Royce back then and still remains a head turner with a distinct exhaust note.
The Mantriji’s car as we all referred it to, was the shining pride of bureaucrats and politicians in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s era. This 1489cc jewel was initially launched with a 55 bhp overhead-valve BMC B-series petrol engine Hindustan Motors as MARK 1 which was based on British Morris Oxford Series III. The petrol engine was later on replaced with a diesiel engine of 37bhp for fuel efficiency. The best part about the car was the body structure which formed a toughened roll cage making it less vulnerable to direct hits. The ambassador was the king of the roads and gained the status symbol of the uber class. It was also the only car one could easily sketch anywhere when someone told us to draw a car.
The only indian original muscle car as we now it, bursted on to the car scenario in 1983 by Hindustan motors. This crazy banger initially sported a 1489cc, 50 hp (37 kW) 4 speed BMC B-Series engine which was later replaced with a 5 speed 1.8L 4ZB1 petrol and a 2.0L 4ZC1 diesel engine variant. Based on the GM Vauxhall Victor FE, this bad boy boasted of spacy interior and hit a staggering speed of 125 km/h (78 mph).It was a hit among business men back in the 80’s and early 90’s and was a sureshot getaway car for drug dealers and kingpins in Bollywood car chases.
This was India’s very own first highest selling modern hatch back when it was launched in 1983 by the Maruti Suzuki alliance. This little city car’s design was based on the Suzuki Fronte and sported a 796 cc (0.8 L) F8B MPFI I3 petrol engine with a 37 bhp (28 kW; 38 PS) which provided the highest fuel economy comfort and most comfortable ride because of its coil suspension with gas shock absorbers. With 30 years of production, Maruti 800 remains the second longest production car in India, next only to Hindustan Ambassador.
This indian off roader monster was every kids dream car because of its muscular and beasty looks back then. The Maruti Gypsy is a four-wheel-drive off-road vehicle, or a vehicle for rough unprepared roads and was based on the long wheelbase Suzuki Jimny SJ40/410 series. This tough nut was fitted with a 1298cc carburetted F10A Maruti engine which made a 45 bhp (34 kW; 46 PS) and was mated to a 4 speed manual gearbox. It overcame almost all surface conditions and was like an off road God back in the 90’s. The gypsy was a hit in the indian defense services as well as the off roading community in india and was well reputed for being strong n stiff under harsh weather conditions.