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Old 23rd April 2014, 06:21   #211
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Default Re: Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene

Does anybody remember a car called Dolphin. Initially came out in blue color and was one of the fastest cars in India. Manufactured with a fibre glass body, this was a dream vehicle of sorts. Incidentally, the manufactures, Sipani Automobiles Ltd tried their hand in building a 3 wheel car, but that bombed. The dolphin had a raised back and came i think with a 3 door combo. Very quirky design

Have you used a foot switch to dim and dip your car lights. I did while learning in an Ambassador Mark 2 vehicle. It was fun with a hard clutch, hand operated gear shift, indicator switch on the steering as a little triangle and a horn ring on the steering. That was real fun.

Also, i remember during rains, car would stop thanks to water entering the distribution cup. The mechanics used to call it delco cup. Abmys used to have this in the lower part of the engine cabin and therefore once rains started, drivers would open the bonnet, cover it with plastic bag , tie it up and then drive. Premier padminis had less of a problem as the distributor cup was a bit raised

Single bench front seats - where did they disappear ? Was fun cramming an amby with over 10 people and still managing a comfortable drive.

Daily morning ritual - open the car, open the bonnet, check radiator, fill water , start engine, engine fails, try a few more times, rev engine for 5 minutes, shut off the engine, close car and then go back to reading paper and having coffee.
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Old 23rd April 2014, 08:02   #212
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Default Re: Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene

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True. Forgot about RD's silencers. Two carburettors is news to me. I didn't know that. Were RDs common in Kerala in 90s? I don't have any memories of seeing even a single RD350 during my school days.
They were not that common. Mainly due to the high running costs. And it was not a fill it, shut it, forget it bike like the RX 100. Hero Honda came up with that campaign but I think it suits the RX 100 the best. RD on the other hand commanded time and effort from the owner. And IIRC, it used to return 15 to 18 KMPL on an average within the city, when both carbs were tuned properly.

My friend who was my neighbor had 2 of them. One High Torque and one Low Torque. The bike used to pull so cleanly even in the 6th gear. The brakes were pathetic though. And the balance for a bike weighing so much was amazing. One reason is the low center of gravity. The engine was mounted so low and my friend used to lean the bike with ease around here even at low speeds. And the burbling sound was so endearing. What a machine it was!
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Old 23rd April 2014, 09:24   #213
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Wasn't there one Hindustan Isuzu as well?
Yes there was. But it was a 12 tonner, not LCV. HM had set up a plant in Halol, Gujarat for making it. It failed miserably and was soon withdrawn. Local manufacturing did not proceed beyond kit assembly. The Halol factory was later sold off to GM India (in which HM had 50% stake at one time) which used it to make Opel Corsas.

From Wiki:

Quote:
HML also assembled and sold a small number of Isuzu F series - JCS trucks in India in the early-mid 1980s. These trucks came from the factory with a fully built metal cabin which was not common with Tata and Ashok Leyland trucks at the time. They were well known for their reliability and fuel consumption, but were discontinued mainly due to falling sales poor service facilities and since HML could not sell them for an affordable price
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Old 23rd April 2014, 09:42   #214
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Default Re: Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene

The RX-100 "BORN TO LEAD" advertisements were certain lookers for me! so much so that, I had a big poster of it on the one of my bed room walls for many years from school days. I was gifted(forcefully) that bike by my dad when I got into my intermediate.

The black RX-100 was a cult of its own in those days and I had a radium red stickering of 'Born to Lead' on the chrome silencer pipe! The playing around with KRP silencer replacement and stickering the fuel tank and other body covers periodically was truly nostalgic!!
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Old 23rd April 2014, 09:54   #215
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Default Re: Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene

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Originally Posted by subraiyr View Post
Does anybody remember a car called Dolphin. Initially came out in blue color and was one of the fastest cars in India. Manufactured with a fibre glass body, this was a dream vehicle of sorts. Incidentally, the manufactures, Sipani Automobiles Ltd tried their hand in building a 3 wheel car, but that bombed. The dolphin had a raised back and came i think with a 3 door combo. Very quirky design
Sipani Dolphin was a rebadged Reliant Kitten. It was a 2-door, rear-wheel drive car with fibre glass body and was pitched in as rust-proof, though the car wasn't reliable enough to compete with Maruti. I remember seeing red and white Dolphins too, so not sure if it was available only in blue colour.

They launched a 4-door version of the car called Montana and subsequently introduced a diesel variant called Montana D1. It was probably the first diesel hatchback made in India!

The 3-wheeled car you mentioned was called Sipani Badal. I'm not sure but it might have been a rebadged Reliant Robin, considering they already had a tie-up with Reliant.

Similar to the 118NE and Standard 2000, these cars had their bonnet hinges located at the front.
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Old 23rd April 2014, 10:10   #216
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Rajdoot's front fork design is called Earles fork (wiki link) and it actually reverses the brake-dive. The advantage of this design is that you won't be thrown forward during heavy braking. The usage of front brakes causes the front end to actually rise instead of compressing the shocks, preventing you from being lunged forward.
In later years, Escorts did introduce a version with the RX-100 type telescopic front suspension. It was called Excel.
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Last edited by directinjection : 23rd April 2014 at 10:18.
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Old 23rd April 2014, 10:51   #217
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Default Re: Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene

Wouldn't it be more appropriate if the thread was renamed to 'Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Automobile Scene' considering the discussion is not restricted to cars and also includes truck and motorbikes.

Last edited by Roomy : 23rd April 2014 at 11:03.
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Old 23rd April 2014, 11:49   #218
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In later years, Escorts did introduce a version with the RX-100 type telescopic front suspension. It was called Excel.
Thanks! That picture brought in a lot of sweet memories! This was the version we had for around 12 years. Bought at around 17-18k INR and was sold at 12k INR.

The telescopic front suspension was the weakest link in this version. The only regular maintenance we had to do was for this part. The oil seals (of shock absorber) where to be replaced very often along with oil top ups. Even the springs were changed at least 3 times! Apart from that, this one was a really good bike.
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Old 23rd April 2014, 12:28   #219
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The 3-wheeled car you mentioned was called Sipani Badal. I'm not sure but it might have been a rebadged Reliant Robin, considering they already had a tie-up with Reliant.
Badal was indeed license-built Reliant Robin. It was launched in India around 1976.

From Wiki:

Quote:
The Robin was first manufactured in October 1973, a direct replacement for the Reliant Regal. The final original version of the Robin rolled off the production line in 1981, when the model was replaced by the restyled Reliant Rialto. The vehicle was also produced under license in Greece by MEBEA between 1974 and 1978. It was also manufactured in India by Sunrise Automotive Industries Limited as Badal.
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Old 23rd April 2014, 12:36   #220
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Here's an Ad of the silver plus sourced from our very own TBHP. Never knew it was from Enfield until I read your post. Was it pitted against the TVS 50?


Attachment 1231714
Thanks for posting this! this was my dad's first motorbike, it was a used one from his friend. Sadly dad faced some issues like parts falling off while riding dad sold it off at throw away price once he got HH cd100 ss.
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Old 23rd April 2014, 22:11   #221
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Have no idea about this. But then how would one 'release' the 'gear lever clutch' slowly?
Let go of the kicker "play" slowly, like you would with the clutch lever. Seasoned Yezdi riders always used the area just above the heel bone to slot first and even to come down the gears. You pop first and hold the lever till the end of travel, then slowly release. That is how you did it if you snapped a clutch cable. You could go through all the 4 gears, up and down shift without a stall or jerk. You just had to be in the correct rpm. I am saying this from experience as I've owned and ridden the D250 Classic, Roadking and Yezdi 350Twin (I still own the twin)

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Was it a feature given by the company or was it just that it used to happen this way in most yezdis as time passed, or something like that?
This was a feature by design of the gearbox, clutch. Not advertised though. More user discovered. I discovered it quite later in to owning the motorcycle.

Last edited by sandeepmohan : 23rd April 2014 at 22:15.
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Old 23rd April 2014, 22:57   #222
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Default Re: Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene

By the mid-1980's the Indo- Jap collaborations for 100 cc bikes came full circle and the Hero Honda CD 100, Yamaha RX 100, Ind Suzuki AX 100 and Kawasaki Bajaj KB 100 were all launched.

Auto journalism had also taken shape and the first exclusively wheels, regular and monthly automag Indain Auto Journal was launched in mid- 1987 at a price of Rs 8=00.

The production figures of cars , bikes and some other categories of automobiles were published by the media. Indian Auto too displayed some such statistics. Now the manufacturers played with the figures. Bajaj was a case in point. With the Hero Honda sales at all time high (with waiting lists too) and Yamaha and Ind Suzuki closely following (even Kawasaki Bajaj KB 100 sold well) Bajaj revealed its game plan.

The Bajaj Auto figures for motorcycle production then, included the m80 (the m50 was defunct being underpowered) sales figures, clubbed with the KB 100 (KB100 + m80) . What an ingenuity? Now there was no way to know the real sales figures of the KB 100.

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 23rd April 2014 at 23:19.
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Old 24th April 2014, 15:13   #223
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Many years ago, the land on which the Jawa factory stood was sold to a builder called Sankalp, who built apartments on it. The road is still called Jawa Main Road in Yadavgiri, Mysore.
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Old 24th April 2014, 15:23   #224
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Hi

I learnt 2-wheeler driving on Rajdoot 175. We had two edition of Rajdoot. The Mini-Rajdoot was made famous by Rishi Kapoor in Film Bobby.
Name:  RajdootGTSBobby.jpg
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Raj Kapoor daughter got married in Nanda's family, who owned Escorts, the makers of Rajdoot
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Old 24th April 2014, 15:44   #225
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Hi
I learnt 2-wheeler driving on Rajdoot 175. We had two edition of Rajdoot. The Mini-Rajdoot was made famous by Rishi Kapoor in Film Bobby.
My dad too had this bike in the same colour and he absolutely loved it and was truly devastated when they parted. It was then affectionately called 'Bobby Rajdoot'.

Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene-my20first20car1.jpg

A picture of Sipani Dolphin for old times sake from fellow BHPian Iqbal Veerji's Thread: My Life 84 Sipani Dolphin (My life with an '84 Sipani Dolphin)
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