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Old 2nd April 2015, 02:18   #31
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Default Re: Remembering Sipani Automobiles!

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A small question- Did a *petrol* Montana ever exist?

And ummm...Since you mention that Sipani was *formerly* a HM dealer- on similar lines, how is your Landmaster doing?
Ex-Bombay car- and then ex-Poona, IIRC. She was registered BML something, no?
1. I cannot recall exactly, but I think the Montana was also sold with the same Dolphin engine as well as the VST Tractors and Tillers Mitsubishi Shakti engine that promised (and delivered) over 30 kmpl of diesel.

2. The Landy is running fine and is with a well-known gentleman of some influence. You can probably find it parked outside some major government buildings in New Delhi (say, Parliament, North Block, South Block et al) - its his daily drive now.
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Old 2nd April 2015, 06:01   #32
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I am not sure if Badal had a cargo/pickup truck model. There used to be one near my house that used to transport cement. It always looked like it was doing a wheelie of sorts, with a plume of smoke coming from the exhaust pipe next to the front wheel. I sound like an old man, but I really had dreams of owning a Badal for the sole reason it had a steering wheel - unlike a Bajaj auto with a scooter like handlebar. Even in my dreams- I did not want to dream a full car, it was limited to a 3 wheeled car. A realistic dream was to own a auto with light blue color (unlike the black and yellow striped ones in B'lore)

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Old 2nd April 2015, 06:05   #33
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Default Re: Remembering Sipani Automobiles!

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The Montana D1: Supposedly, an 'improved' Montana. It had a body copied in plastic (or fibreglass. Whatever) from a second generation Daihatsu Charade but equipped with an Indian-built Mitsubishi-Shakti diesel engine intended for a mini-tractor. These cars were very small players; in the fiscal year 1989-90 a mere 290 automobiles were built by Sipani.
Was this car named Montana D1 or was it called Sipani D1?
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Old 2nd April 2015, 06:58   #34
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Default Re: Remembering Sipani Automobiles!

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Was this car named Montana D1 or was it called Sipani D1?
I seem to remember both were used interchangeably in ads back then. Sometimes combined as sipani Montana d1
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Old 2nd April 2015, 08:56   #35
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1. The Montana came with the Dolphin's petrol engine initially. The diesel variant came later.

2. The person driving the MRF rally Dolphin in the pic is Vicky Chandok (Karan Chandok's dad) who used to regularly rally Dolphins. Although he was a good driver he hardly won any rally as he was jinxed and would always have some mechanical failure.

3. Dolphins were regular at the Sholavaram track where they had a category of their own.

4. On account of it's FRP body which gave it a relatively high power to weight ratio, Dolphins would give an impression as if they were flying - they were fast in comparison to the other cars available at that time.

5. Being an English car, it had its share of problems mainly suspension related.

6. The Dolphin's tyres were imported and were not readily available in the replacement market. They were available only with Sipani.

7. The Montana was an ugly variation of the Dolphin developed mainly because of Sipani's contract with the original manufacturer coming to an end.

8. Among all the cars that Sipani sold, the Dolphin was probably the best as in terms of design and features it was closest to the original Reliant Kitten.

9. That the Montego would be a failure was a no brainer given the antecedents of the company. It didn't take long for that to happen.

Last edited by VeyronSuperSprt : 2nd April 2015 at 09:03.
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Old 2nd April 2015, 11:22   #36
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My uncle had Sipani Montana 4D until five years back. It had a unique number CKM 2500 and I guess it was a rare find. He had maintained it in pristine condition, and had made umpteen modifications to fight against non availability of spares. The transaxle had many parts from an Ambassador. The V-belt was taken from a Washing Machine Sadly I dint have pictures of it. He had also converted to car to run on LPG.

The car was sold for 0 rupees to Maruti True value except for which he got a 25k exchange bonus. Guess that's the highest offer he got. If anyone has an idea where CKM 2500 is, I am interested in letting him revisit the car. It could have been scrapped too, but it was in a good condition itself except that his mechanic stopped working on cars and no one else would maintain it which made him buy a WagonR.
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Old 2nd April 2015, 11:35   #37
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The Dolphin won the K1000 since it was light and rugged. The main favouite Uday Eswaran was driving a Mayura prototype (Coimbatore engineering company trying to make a car) which was unreliable. There was also a Lancer Turbo driven by 2 Arabs on a joy ride.

If the Dolphin got bogged down, it was easy to lift and shift

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That the Montego would be a failure was a no brainer given the antecedents of the company. It didn't take long for that to happen.
It only sold since there was nothing between a Tata Estate / Contessa and beyond. Poor serivce, backup meant no one would stay. The car was not approved properly in other RTO's> One used to see a lot of KA reg Montego's in Chennai.

The cars were put together on a farm in Attibele. You now see an apartment complex by Sipani coming up there. Sipani is someone you run from when it comes to financial dealings so I am told
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Old 2nd April 2015, 12:10   #38
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Default Re: Remembering Sipani Automobiles!

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I am not sure if Badal had a cargo/pickup truck model. There used to be one near my house that used to transport cement. It always looked like it was doing a wheelie of sorts, with a plume of smoke coming from the exhaust pipe next to the front wheel. I sound like an old man, but I really had dreams of owning a Badal for the sole reason it had a steering wheel - unlike a Bajaj auto with a scooter like handlebar. Even in my dreams- I did not want to dream a full car, it was limited to a 3 wheeled car. A realistic dream was to own a auto with light blue color (unlike the black and yellow striped ones in B'lore)
I think you are referring to the good old tempo which was a 3 wheeler used for carrying cargo.
It had a steering wheel and I remember the funny gear shift rod or something like that in the cabin.
This vehicle was front wheel direct drive through a chain.
Brings back good old memories.

Last edited by Habanero City : 2nd April 2015 at 12:19.
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Old 2nd April 2015, 12:58   #39
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Dear Fintail - my best memory of the Dolphin was that of Hoshi Patel alongwith Pradeep Mhaskar from Nasik rallying in it in 1988 or thereabouts. The car was white and red in color, it ran on twin Solexes and I remember that it was blisteringly fast and nimble. There was a night stage which started from the Shalinitai Palace Hotel in Kolhapur and finished at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Pune at around 6 o'clock in the morning. As far as I can remember, he was running second overall, first overall was a light blue Maruti SS80 from Andhra Pradesh with registration number APU 2 or AAP 2.

In the same rally, Pradeep Dani from Pune was servicing somebody with MRY3112. I asked Pradeep to gift me the long thin aluminum gear lever knob, when he smiled and poliltely declined. In 2008, I picked up MRY3112, which is still with me, the gear lever knob is still there and will always remain so! .

And yes, original Made in France Cibie Concave 7" round reflectors with Made in Hungary Philips P45t 140W bulbs with Finolex wiring are still the best headlights that I have ever driven! The Lucas TVS assymetric beam comes very close, though! .

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 2nd April 2015, 13:17   #40
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Was too small to have understood between RWD and FWD. For me, it was just a bigger toy, than the toy, i had when i was a kid( a car with pedals). managed to get behind the wheel with a pillow nicely propped up, released the parking brake and just saw the guy rollthus began my driving. During one such adventure, managed to get down a slope, basically a muddy road with nice big weathered stones at the crown of the road. but coming up, something funny happened, the car started rolling back down the slope, no amount of acceleration moved the car forward. when i got out happened to notice a nice groove on the road, on following the groove, happened to see it end under the car, and saw the prop shaft detached from the differential, after effects of this from home is something that makes me be a little extra cautious even now.
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Old 2nd April 2015, 13:55   #41
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Default Re: Remembering Sipani Automobiles!

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[b][u]
I picked up MRY3112, which is still with me, the gear lever knob is still there and will always remain so.
And yes, original Made in France Cibie Concave 7" round reflectors with Made in Hungary Philips P45t 140W bulbs with Finolex wiring are still the best headlights that I have ever driven! The Lucas TVS assymetric beam comes very close, though.
Have you posted pictures of these in any threads earlier. If yes, I will search it out or else a posting would help.

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Old 2nd April 2015, 14:08   #42
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Have you posted pictures of these in any threads earlier. If yes, I will search it out or else a posting would help.
Dear Rajeev - I had posted photographs of MRY3112 in the restored Fiats thread, however, I am posting two photographs which show the original gear lever and the long thin aluminum knob. Enjoy!

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 2nd April 2015, 14:58   #43
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Default Re: Remembering Sipani Automobiles!

Thank you Fintail, for a trip in the memory lane.

I had the exact same picture of Sipani Montana D1 with me, and was wide eyed after seeing the ads of Rover Montego and Montego Estate - especially the one where they claimed that the running costs are cheaper than that of a Kinetic Honda.

--Anoop

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Old 2nd April 2015, 18:24   #44
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The Dolphin's tyres were imported and were not readily available in the replacement market. They were available only with Sipani.
My uncle was the Sipani dealer in Coimbatore and so naturally our family acquired one from the mid 80's, the first car in Coimbatore - poor spares, support and the entry of Maruti 800 killed the product. My uncle had to drive these from Bangalore and deliver them in Coimbatore.

The Dolphin ran on Good Year radials - first for India, eh? And no replacement existed until the advent of the cross ply's from Vikrant, the auto ;-)

My mom wanted to get rid of it due to the 2 door frame, so much so my father asked my uncle to salvage a body from the 4 door Montana - but he didn't relent, so it stayed a 2 door. My dad refused to sell it even after buying a M800 in mid 90's until we had a parking crunch, let it go for a paltry 10 grand.

I remember Jaya Diesels based in Coimbatore were also trying to supply diesel engines to the Montana - not sure if it went into production
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Old 2nd April 2015, 21:03   #45
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This thread reminded me of the Dolphin that my cousin used to race. Here're some pics I clicked at Sholavaram a long long time ago...

My cousin's car with Cosworth engine and full cage plus tube subframe. Probably was THE fastest Dolphin in its time.



He still has it. We need to restore it a bit.

I think this is Kari in his van which used to carry a micro-light. They were on the same team - Team SuperSpeed.



Couple more Team SS cars.


Memories...

Last edited by 71Convertible : 2nd April 2015 at 21:05.
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