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Old 22nd April 2014, 11:24   #181
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Default Re: Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene

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Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
Did the Allwyn Nissan Cabstar have a column shift gearbox? It had a very different engine note too compared to Toyota, Mitsubishi and Mazda. It had the lowest payload capacity but a look at the rear axle suggested it was the most rugged of the competition.
Yes, it did.
It was the only LCV which had a mid-body ending exhaust pipe, something which has come into the industry only in recent years.

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I remember an (in)famous Top Gear episode on the City Rover. Rover refused to let Top Gear test drive the car, so TG team used false customers and spy cams !
It was James May who acted as a customer since he was new in TG back then and test drove the car commenting while doing so.
The same year TG had the worst car awards which included City Rover and the Hyundai Accent 3 cylinder diesel and the award went to the Accent


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Originally Posted by KiloAlpha View Post
In the Yezdi, it was the same lever. You pushed it "in" with your ankle and flipped it upwards before kicking. Once started, let the lever fall back to its position and it was a gear lever.
The Yezdi also had something of a reverse gear too, which got engaged by fluke. I still have no idea how it works.


There was a moped that was sold during the early 90's which was under license for Peugeot. It was called the Sportif. I remember this very well since their service center was right next to my school on Residency Road, Bangalore.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/post-w...mopeds-13.html (Looking for classic mopeds)

There was also a Petrol version of the Ford Escort(1.6l) when it was launched. The only different being the tail pipe end which did not have a visible muffler like the diesel versions.

Last edited by tharian : 22nd April 2014 at 11:35.
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Old 22nd April 2014, 11:52   #182
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I remember Palio and Cielo needed to press knob to engage the reverse gear, anybody knows the first car introducing this useful feature?
While engaging reverse gear in the Standard 2000, you were required to lift up the gearstick before you could slot it in reverse.

The ignition had a feature, whereby if the engine didn't start at the first crank, you had to turn the key all the way to off before you could make the next attempt.

The Amby Mark 4 (the later models) and the Contessa had steering locks which required you to press a button below the column before the lock would engage and only then were you able to remove the key from the ignition.

The early model Contessa had the horn button located at the tip of the combo stalk on the right.

The Premier 118NE had the ignition key located to the left of the steering column.

Our Fiat 1100D had a small cabinet mounted midway on the shelf located below the dashboard. There were two knobs - one for the choke while the other was a rubber (for the want of a more appropriate word) squeezee. When you pushed this squeezee a few times, water would be sprayed on the windshield through two nozzles located just behind the bonnet - aka the windshield washer. This feature was eliminated in the President and the Padmini along with the cabinet. The choke knob was relocated to the dashboard to the left of the instrument binnacle, replacing a tiny green dashboard light whose intensity you could vary by turning the cover.

Last edited by Babuda : 22nd April 2014 at 12:05. Reason: correction
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Old 22nd April 2014, 12:05   #183
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Default Re: Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene

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Originally Posted by KiloAlpha View Post
In the Yezdi, it was the same lever. You pushed it "in" with your ankle and flipped it upwards before kicking. Once started, let the lever fall back to its position and it was a gear lever.
The kick gear lever combination had the unique ability to act as the clutch too. Slot in first and hold on to the "play", don't let the lever travel back. This held the clutch. It was super useful as the clutch cable used to snap quite often.

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The Yezdi also had something of a reverse gear too, which got engaged by fluke. I still have no idea how it works.
I feel this was a rare case of the crank turning the wrong way round when we were pumping the pedal. As you know, it was a task to start the D250.
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Old 22nd April 2014, 12:13   #184
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Default Re: Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene

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The kick gear lever combination had the unique ability to act as the clutch too. Slot in first and hold on to the "play", don't let the lever travel back. This held the clutch. It was super useful as the clutch cable used to snap quite often.
Have no idea about this. But then how would one 'release' the 'gear lever clutch' slowly?
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Old 22nd April 2014, 12:51   #185
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What a delightful thread – so many memories – but hey, trivia can be from new cars and makers too!

Here are a few points from me: (sorry if it reads like a auto-biography, but it is really auto-trivia!)
  • My father owned a Standard 10 in early 70’s – it was a small cute car and we were the only one to own a car in the street. Whenever the car wouldn’t start, the driver would take out a z shaped bar (like the jack bar) and MANUALLY crank the car to life! I tried it once and had to nurse my shoulder for 2 days.
  • We then had a sky blue Standard Herald 2 door sedan. It looked fantastic, but a bit noisy. It was sold for Rs.10,500 which my father said was a reasonable price. These were the days when phone numbers in Hyderabad had only 4 digits!
  • My adolescent dream was Explorer – the ad went “what a man’s first bike should be…”. Jawa / Yezdi and Rajdoot were going out of fashion by then.
  • I always wanted to buy RD-350 when I grew up. The fine print in the ad said of RD350 “can outstrip any Indian road vehicle” I had kept the ad for 10 years. Legend has it that there was only one mechanic in entire Hyderabad who can tune the “double cylinder engine” of RD-350 and my biggest worry used to be whether this guy would be around when I grew up!
  • Bajaj Chetak: booked and cancelled because the delivery was so long! Government made a rule those days that a vehicle ownership cannot be transferred within one year of purchase to avoid black-market. This rule however was short-lived.
  • Doctors had a “quota” for out of turn allotment of scooters and cars. When I heard that, I wanted to be a doctor – became a mechanical engineer, though.
  • Then booked a scooter called PL-170 (it was designed for a payload of 170 kg, so the name PayLoad-170 or PL-170)by Andhra Pradesh Scooters Limited. It was a Govt company so “influence” worked to push up the priority numbers into some “quota” or the other. I think this company closed shop pretty soon. Vehicle itself was nice with a slim body.
  • Booked RX-100 but father was convinced that I would speed and get into accidents, so had to grudgingly cancel it.
  • Finally bought a RX-100 from a friend who was leaving for US. It was a “Original Kit”. (the first few units were imported as CKD and assembled under Japanese supervision). Fantastic, absolutely reliable bike and used for almost 20 years and sold for Rs.2,000 when it was still under good condition. Later found that it had a much higher price and kicked myself. I christened it “bronco de al-fresco” and treated it more like a pet than a machine. Mileage was horrible – in spite of repeated checks by mechanics, it used to be hardly 30. I bought a faux-leather jacket and started smoking just to add to the macho feel!
  • The TV ad for RX-100 used to be with a jingle “listen to the heart beat of the Yamaha…”. But the first Japanese 100cc bike in India, I think was Ind-Suzuki AX-100 – 2 stroke engine that sounded really sweet.
  • Automobile “annual books” and collector’s picture cards used to be imported in India in 70s and 80s. They were one-a-page description of cars of the previous year of most of the manufacturers. I still have a couple of those books. Now sometimes I see these precious things on foot-path book shops and sigh.

A couple of less known 2 wheelers of 80s were:
  • Girnar scooters which made a scooter “Leo” with collaboration with Agrati Garelli or some such company. Only remember the ads – never saw one on the road.
  • A scoter called “Cento” – used to look very nice but no clue who was the manufacturer. Anybody heard about it?
  • Mopeds – Suvega, Luna, used to be rage of youngsters those days – anybody has them or even remember them?

Last edited by Rehaan : 23rd April 2014 at 16:46. Reason: Removing [FONT] and other tags. Please see the related thread in our Announcements section. Thanks.
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Old 22nd April 2014, 12:56   #186
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Default Re: Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene

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There was also a Petrol version of the Ford Escort(1.6l) when it was launched. The only different being the tail pipe end which did not have a visible muffler like the diesel versions.
Was it the Zetec engine? I remember names like Zetec, Orion and Alpha associated with the different engines of Escort, though I can't recall specifics.
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Old 22nd April 2014, 13:03   #187
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Was it the Zetec engine? I remember names like Zetec, Orion and Alpha associated with the different engines of Escort, though I can't recall specifics.
Yes, it was the Zetec engine. Alpha and Orion as much as I know were limited special editions of the same model.
I think there was a 1.3 petrol initially which was discontinued with the 1.6 launch.

Last edited by tharian : 22nd April 2014 at 13:07.
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Old 22nd April 2014, 13:17   #188
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Super thread!
Some trivia that I can remember (some are related to ones already discusses)
* San Storm was the convertible sports car sold in India. It had a full fibre galss body and advertised it as dent proof body. It was from a company which made locomotive parts.

* Standard 2000 was ahead of it times with many modern features like power windows, power steering, reclinable fromt bucket seats, and many such. It suffered seriously due to reliability and perception of poor gas mileage, and low ground clearance. Ironically all these are still concerns while buying new cars.

* Late 80s there was a flood of geared step through 2 wheelers. Kinetic Spark, Enfield Silver plus, Hero Puch, etc...

* Hero claimed Hero Puch was designed by Prosche. It used to carry the decal/engravement "PORCHE" on it.

* Ideal Jawa used to make a step through called Yezdi Colt. It also made 175cc Yezdi, 250cc variants as well as 350 cc Monarch.

* THere used to be diesel Bullets, these used Crompton Greaves agricultural engines. They used to be 6bhp, for 300KG wieght. Menacingly difficult to start in the morning. On the bright side it returned 65kmpl of diesel. Another company made look-alikes of these bikes called "Suraj"
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Old 22nd April 2014, 13:33   #189
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* Standard 2000 was ahead of it times with many modern features like power windows, power steering, reclinable fromt bucket seats, and many such. It suffered seriously due to reliability and perception of poor gas mileage, and low ground clearance. Ironically all these are still concerns while buying new cars.
True that Standard 2000 was way ahead of the times. Many times it is also referred as the 'First Luxury Car of India'. But apart from what you stated, the Standard 2000 was a highly underpowered car. To cut it short, it was a Sheep in a Wolf's clothing
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Old 22nd April 2014, 13:42   #190
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* Late 80s there was a flood of geared step through 2 wheelers. Kinetic Spark, Enfield Silver plus, Hero Puch, etc...

* Hero claimed Hero Puch was designed by Prosche. It used to carry the decal/engravement "PORCHE" on it.
Owned one! Mine was the Hero Puch "Automatic" version. The Hero Puch range was wildly popular when I was in college. The Hero Puch Shakti had a 2 speed gearbox. They also had a 3 speed bike called 3G. The vehicle was relatively trouble free. The primary reason for the popularity was the mileage I guess. The bikes gave ~ 70km/l. Shah Rukh Khan was the brand ambassador back then.

The vehicles had weird issues. The stock headlight was as powerful as an 'Agarbatti' making these vehicles very unreliable in the night. I had to adjust the chain multiple times as it used to fall off (similar to a bicycle) Dad sold it off for a measly 4k once the sales stopped in 2003.
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Old 22nd April 2014, 14:05   #191
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....some more!
There were quite a few moped back then.
* Hero Mejestic, TVS 50, Luna, Suvega, Avanti garelli, etc..
* Luna Magnum had CVT transmission, Belted version. Others mostly had slipping clutches.
* Avanti Garelli had 2 speed auto transmission.
* There were strap-on engines available for bicycles. You could make a moped out of bicycles using one of these.
* They used to put steel/glass wool inside the silencers of yezdi bikes. So smoke used to emanate from them long after the engine stopped. Just likes 007's smoking gun

*Amby and Padminis used auto locking mechanism for their hoods. Lift the hood high enough it stays there. They also sported lights in the engine bay. Not sure if it was standard fitment or accessory!

* (personal) My Uncle had a Mahindra jeep (not sure which one) and a mahindra tractor. He used to swap the engines quite often between them. So much so that, if he had to use the jeep to go to a wedding, he would decide which engine to use few hours before the journey. His mechanics used to do the engine swap just in time for the journey right in front of the court yard.

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Old 22nd April 2014, 14:14   #192
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*Amby and Padminis used auto locking mechanism for their hoods. Lift the hood high enough it stays there. They also sported lights in the engine bay. Not sure if it was standard fitment or accessory!
They were standard fitment and was great for that time.

Anurag.
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Old 22nd April 2014, 14:28   #193
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* San Storm was the convertible sports car sold in India. It had a full fibre galss body and advertised it as dent proof body. It was from a company which made locomotive parts.
San Engineering and Loco company manufacture shunting loco's as well, used for private and public sector industries. Their factory is opposite ITPL , Bangalore.
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It also made 175cc Yezdi, 250cc variants as well as 350 cc Monarch.
The 350cc version was called the Jawa 350 Twin. It had the body of a Monarch which from a 250cc version., not entirely sure though.

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* They used to put steel/glass wool inside the silencers of yezdi bikes. So smoke used to emanate from them long after the engine stopped. Just likes 007's smoking gun
I doubt this, probably few owners would have done this. However, a stock bike used to smoke too mainly because of the hot oil in the pipes . They also had a 'flute' which was a metal pipe with holes in them that could be screwed and un-screwed from the exhaust tip. This was essentially the muffler in these bikes. Remove them and you have the lovely de-acceleration hum from a Roadking.
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Old 22nd April 2014, 14:43   #194
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1. I don't remember seeing a handbrake in the ambassadors and fiats of the 90's, so I guess there was none. My driving school even had a day dedicated for practising "starting from an incline". (Press both brake and accelerator using your right foot, and use 'half clutch' on your left foot).
2. Maruti introduced the floor-gear-lever in India, a change from the steering mounted gear levers of ambassadors/fiats.
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Old 22nd April 2014, 14:51   #195
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1. I don't remember seeing a handbrake in the ambassadors and fiats of the 90's

2. Maruti introduced the floor-gear-lever in India, a change from the steering mounted gear levers of ambassadors/fiats.
Ambassador handbrake was located on driver's side between the driver's door and right side of driver's seat.
FIAT handbrake was on the LH floor, beside the centre tunnel. (they didn't bother to change it for RHD India)

Floor-shift was available in Standard Herald's. FIAT also offered a PREMIER PADMINI DELUXE BU (Bucket Seat) with floor shift gear lever.
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