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Old 16th December 2015, 00:03   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ-got-BHP View Post
Talking of Cars and that too of Cars of the 90's ..... we sorely miss the The King of the Roads which was launched in the 90's and was a revolutionary Passenger Car in the Indian Market being the First Diesel Passenger Car on Indian Roads. The first Car Manufacturer of India launched the HM Ambassador NOVA with a 1500cc Diesel Engine.

Attachment 1450332

Though HM has closed down it's operations now, the "Raja Gaadi" (as it is known in this part of the country) still makes it's presence felt in the City of Joy, Kolkata as the common Taxi and is a stand out amongst all the Cars on the Road just because of it's Golden Yellow Colour.

Attachment 1450335

Attachment 1450334
I just realized that the ambassador survived the generational switch from pull type to flap type door handles and then back to pull type without any changes to its handles.
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Old 16th December 2015, 13:06   #62
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Originally Posted by sidzzone View Post
We all know Team BHP to be the best source for information on cars, accessories and basically automobiles. Team BHP was formed in 2004 and since then we have had the luxury of an unbiased vantage point of the Indian car scene.

Team BHP reviews cover every inch of the car, and we all, read every inch of the review! But then, I'm sure a unique feature in Team BHP reviews is What you'll like and dislike section at the beginning which sets the tone for a review.

Now, the 90s was in some ways a revolutionary period for the Indian automotive industry. Post economic liberalization, we saw many overseas companies bring in their cars into a market which had only a handful of models. I've always wondered what the reviews would've been like for those cars? Think about the Team BHP review of the Ford Escort, or the Daewoo Cielo.
Excellent thread sidzzone. Would love to hear about those ones coz i got my DL only on 2007

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Originally Posted by sidzzone View Post

Ford Escort:
Just loved this car, though I've never driven this.

For me that was the best looking car as yet. No idea on why they discontinued this.
I remember this one running on a diesel engine.

Any pics of the one you owned ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Innovative thread idea . My two cents:

1997 Mahindra Classic:

What you'll like:

A Pure Jeep! Well priced too (3.45 lakhs ex-showroom)

Many 'export market' features such as front disc brakes, 12v electrical system, comfortable recaro-replica seats etc.
I used to cut out pics of classic from ads on magazine. I even had a plastic scale model of the same. Loved this one. It had an unique silverish alloy wheel. Looked like spokes on 2 wheelers rims.

3.45 Lakhs ? I remember we had a 97 Omni-E which was around 2-3 Lakhs then.

Front Disc Brakes is shocking ? which other cars had disc brakes. I am sure the Germans did.


Quote:
Originally Posted by karthick_b View Post
Now this is an interesting thread and I loved how GTO quickly posted a quick review on two classic cars from the 90s. Here is my try on one of my favorite cars from the 90s, the Tata Sierra.
  • 4 wheel drive variant had limited availability
Loved this one. Sierra is still my favorite Indian SUV in terms of the looks and appeal.
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Old 16th December 2015, 15:22   #63
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Default Re: What if Team-BHP reviewed cars from the '90s?

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Originally Posted by peterjim13 View Post
Excellent thread sidzzone. Would love to hear about those ones coz i got my DL only on 2007



Just loved this car, though I've never driven this.

For me that was the best looking car as yet. No idea on why they discontinued this.
I remember this one running on a diesel engine.

Any pics of the one you owned ?
We had a petrol 1.3 L version, which was ridiculously underpowered. But it was heavy and built like a tank. Imagine steering this weight without power steering - it was an effort. Interiors were great, well put together.

I might have some pictures, will search and post it here.
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Old 16th December 2015, 17:55   #64
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Default Re: What if Team-BHP reviewed cars from the '90s?

Good summary.

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Originally Posted by rangarx View Post
Wow wow!

Here is my addition

Mitsubishi Lancer

1. Poor ground clearance
Lancer has the best ground clearance of its competitors. GLX/SLX has stock GC of 185mm. The rear suspension is a bit soft, so one has to take big humps a tad slow. Maybe the SFXi with 175mm GC is somewhat limited.
Quote:
2. Low seating is not for elders
Its a tad low, but in GLXi/SFXi trim, it is very comfortable on long drives - both front and rear seats.
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Old 16th December 2015, 18:34   #65
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Default Re: What if Team-BHP reviewed cars from the '90s?

What a thread, I instantly went into memories of my first car buy PAL Peugeot 309 GLD in 2000. The options considered were as below,

1. TATA Sierra
2. TATA Estate
3. Opel Astra
4. Fort escort
5. PAL Peugeot 309

The simple reason to choose was looks Peugeot diesel engine was refined compared to Estate and Sierra, Looks and price (got a good deal and car did just 36K KMS in 3 years) I drove Peugeot for 5 years did almost 1.00 Lakh kms and still managed to get half of purchase price.
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Old 16th December 2015, 19:57   #66
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Originally Posted by Vijay1105 View Post
I would like to add the Fiat Palio 1.2 & 1.6 + Sienna
Strengths:
1. Great looker which came in as a breath of fresh air.
2. Great ride and handling
3. S10 Limited edition was good.
4. 1.6 Litre petrol was the quickest with 100bhp in the hood.

Weakness :
1. ASS was very bad
2. 1.2 lacks the punch
3. Sienna was no match to its competitors.
4. It was a gas guzzler
I had a Fiat Siena 1.6. It had plenty of gizmos for its time- drivers airbag, power windows, ABS, and that powerful twin cam engine which gave it superb acceleration. Mileage though low compared with my previous Zen was good considering it had a hundred horses under the bonnet.
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Old 17th December 2015, 01:15   #67
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Default Re: What if Team-BHP reviewed cars from the '90s?

Well, since people covered most other cars from the 90's. But I find it an honour and my fortune that people have left for me to talk about the single most defining moment of the 90's for me. Without which the Indian automotive scene wouldn't have been where it is now.

It was Historic and quite an honour for our great country, when the best in the world, chose us, to manufacture and sell to ourselves, what was undeniably, the best in the world then and still remains an Engineering tour-de-force.

Am talking about 1994 and the launch of the first Mercedes-Benz car in India and that too the accomplished W124 with a 2200cc heart. The aweinducing and instant prestige assigning Mercedes-Benz E220 (and the torque monster E250D). The launch price was Rs 21.65 lakh (precise ex Calcutta)

What if Team-BHP reviewed cars from the '90s?-img_6504.jpg

What you will Like

It will not be too wrong to finish this section with one word "Everything".

However will still try to bring about a few salient points
  • Our introduction to reliable reasonably High Speed Motoring/cruising. Yes we had the Contessa 1.8 GL prior to this, but this was in a completely different league.
  • High speed poise, without being all too firm at parking speeds. Yes we did get a very fast car in the form of Maruti Esteem, almost at the same time, but show it a mid corner abnormality of road at high double digit speeds, it would end up in the bushes. Neither would the brakes hold up on constant high speed runs.
  • Quality of materials in almost everything. It might not have been eye-ball grabbing, even in its time, but they would age gracefully and hold their own for years.
  • Ride quality, especially on extended long drives. No longer bobbing up and down, right and left in a soft sprung (comparatively) Conty. Although I am being unfair in comparing these cars, when the pricepoints were entirely different. But I am doing this, because this car was seen as too costly at its time, and these statements actually justified what one got against the price one shelled out.
  • Manual Gearshift was a delight to slot with a slightly heavier clutch
  • Engineering, Engineering, Engineering. Plenty of small but significant items that spoke highly of the mechanical engineering that went into the car.
Just to state a couple of examples
The bonnet, would hold up on its own, after lifting up, without any ungainly hydraulic struts, by a hingeless slider arrangement holding a massive bonnet in a cantelever.

What if Team-BHP reviewed cars from the '90s?-img_77042.jpg


One single wiper would cover the entire windshield, but unlike the sorry arrangements we see today, building a compromise between wiping area and cost, this would actually almost cover the entire windshield by extending the wiper arm at the corners and retracting it at the vertical and horizontal ends.

What if Team-BHP reviewed cars from the '90s?-img_34672.jpg

Each weighted nut and screw would speak of engineering that went into designing how those would sit in the final tightened position, preventing self loosening. Then there were Jacking points that could be accessed from the side, without needing to crouch underneath the car.

No wonder, this car was voted by many as probably the best Mercedes ever made.
Infact the positives for this car, could go on and on and would never be over

What you won't Like

Very difficult to say if one puts up a thinking prevalent in 1994. But here goes.
  • Price - It was twice of the much overpriced perceived Montego. With local manufacturing, the masses of the time felt that the car should have been cheaper, especially since there was a substantial influx in the import market from returning executives. But hey, look at the pricing from present perspective!!
  • Small electrical niggles on the initial batches, mostly due to heat and dust of the Indian Sub continent and the Bio degradable wiring and electrical components took a beating. However, later batches employed the West African package and was much more reliable.
  • Space - For the pricepoint the car was on offer, space wise, it did not offer much over the Contessa (and also the Premier 118NE pampered with more space). But hello, look at the width of the doors and the safety cocoon on offer.
  • Steering was a bit vague straight ahead, though not short on feedback.
  • Interior flair. I have marked this under the negatives, because although the Interior appointments looked classy, sober and understated, they did not have the kind of flash that some people were looking for, thankfully at that!
  • Models offered and equipment in the Indian car. For example, the famed rear suspension that Mercedes jointly developed with Citroen did not make it to the Indian car.
  • Although mechanical bits would last forever, the car is plagued with self degenerating wiring and other similar electrical components, although this was a requirement from the laws of Germany in relation to the eco threat rotting cars proposed on their junkyards. So getting hold of an old Indian car wouldn't help, although Imported early W124's (that did not have to comply to the Bio degradable wiring clause) do substantially better.
Large shoes to fill for the cars decendants, which they never did, although pricing kept going northward.


All in all, "Engineered like nothing else in this world". It was great knowing you and giving me the opportunity to talk about you on this forum.








Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ-got-BHP View Post
The end of the 90's brought the Josh Machine from Ford .... the Ford IKON !! A car for the enthusiasts

I would consider the Real Josh Machine to be the one with the 1.6L Petrol Engine. Apparently BHPian 1100D & BHPian navsjab are still the proud owners of this "Beauty from outside & the Beast under the Hood" Josh Machines. Posting some Pictures from our Meets :
[*]Do we need to talk of Speed and the Top Speed ... The Car does the talking
[*]The Muscular American Designing
This was probably that a car was launched with a preference of driving enthusiasm alone (Marking it as a Josh Machine). The smaller 1.3 pushrod Ikon came later and wasn't actually a "chhota Josh" as was marketted.

Top speed wasn't its strength, infact it strains a bit at the top end, compared to the tsunami that is prevalent everywhere else.

The styling was totally an older Fiesta from Europe, designed at the Ford center in Germany.
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Old 17th December 2015, 10:23   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
W
What you won't Like

Very difficult to say if one puts up a thinking prevalent in 1994. But here goes.
  • Price - It was twice of the much overpriced perceived Montego. With local manufacturing, the masses of the time felt that the car should have been cheaper, especially since there was a substantial influx in the import market from returning executives. But hey, look at the pricing from present perspective!!
  • Small electrical niggles on the initial batches, mostly due to heat and dust of the Indian Sub continent and the Bio degradable wiring and electrical components took a beating. However, later batches employed the West African package and was much more reliable.
  • Space - For the pricepoint the car was on offer, space wise, it did not offer much over the Contessa (and also the Premier 118NE pampered with more space). But hello, look at the width of the doors and the safety cocoon on offer.
  • Steering was a bit vague straight ahead, though not short on feedback.
  • Interior flair. I have marked this under the negatives, because although the Interior appointments looked classy, sober and understated, they did not have the kind of flash that some people were looking for, thankfully at that!
  • Models offered and equipment in the Indian car. For example, the famed rear suspension that Mercedes jointly developed with Citroen did not make it to the Indian car.
  • Although mechanical bits would last forever, the car is plagued with self degenerating wiring and other similar electrical components, although this was a requirement from the laws of Germany in relation to the eco threat rotting cars proposed on their junkyards. So getting hold of an old Indian car wouldn't help, although Imported early W124's (that did not have to comply to the Bio degradable wiring clause) do substantially better.
.

One more point to add was that the Indian tyres (JK) that these came with were not up to the job initially
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Old 17th December 2015, 10:33   #69
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Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
One more point to add was that the Indian tyres (JK) that these came with were not up to the job initially
Yes, yes, now I remember! Didn't those lousy squealing JK Tyres have a top speed rating that was lower than what the E220 could actually do?
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Old 17th December 2015, 10:59   #70
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Originally Posted by gkrishk View Post
I had a Fiat Siena 1.6. It had plenty of gizmos for its time- drivers airbag, power windows, ABS, and that powerful twin cam engine which gave it superb acceleration. Mileage though low compared with my previous Zen was good considering it had a hundred horses under the bonnet.
I had always wondered if Fiat Petra and Sienna are the same cars. Could anyone tell if there are any differences apart from names?
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Old 17th December 2015, 11:36   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
One more point to add was that the Indian tyres (JK) that these came with were not up to the job initially
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Yes, yes, now I remember! Didn't those lousy squealing JK Tyres have a top speed rating that was lower than what the E220 could actually do?

Agreed, Lousy they were. But! The positive side to it was that they actually allowed the W124 to exploit its tail happy nature even on its 4 cylinder 2.2 engine, E250D was a car that loved snapping sideways whenever you wanted to (Especially when coupled to a Manual Gearbox).
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Old 17th December 2015, 15:03   #72
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Default Re: What if Team-BHP reviewed cars from the '90s?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dean5545 View Post
I'll add my bit too!
TATA SUMO


What you won't
-Outrageous Handling
-Unending niggles
-Long waiting period( we booked our car in the lottery system in 1995 and got delivery in 1996)
I remember the first lot of the Sumo. Got to drive it a few times.

You forgot the mention
the absence of Power Steering in the initial lot, not even as an option
Came with the truck engine - terribly noisy & too much vibration
No one ever gave a thought to the Bumpy rides the 7+ seaters had till the time the Qualis came into picture
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Old 17th December 2015, 15:07   #73
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Being a teenager in the 90s, I followed the car revolution with zeal. It all started with a subscription to AUTO INDIA in 1992 from my father that added fuel to fire. As much has been said & written on the cars we had in those days, I would like to brief on my favorites from that era.

TATA SIERRA: I was smitten by the macho looks and size of this vehicle. One of my friend's father had a '93 model with a roof-rack and whenever he visited us, I would first go and look at the Sierra and then greet him.
Had traveled from Mumbai to Nashik in my Uncle's friend's Sierra and it is still a clear memory. The car performed flawlessly until the AC conked out in the last leg of the return journey. We were baked. That episode confirmed the belief in my uncle's head to stay away from TATA cars. But I still have a soft corner for the Sierra.

STANDARD 2000
: My father's friend owned one and it was a looker in those days. It was fast or could be that my father's friend always had the pedal to metal so our 118NE had to be pushed to keep up with the 2000. Had a brief ride once - all i remember was that the seats were to soft and deep (bucket seats you know) and it had power windows at rear too.

HM CONTESSA CLASSIC: This was my all time favorite and it still is. None of our closer circle had one so never got a chance to even sit but I was enamored by the length and power of this vehicle. I especially loved the deep exhaust and the mystic interiors with those smoked windows. And I have never seen a Contessa with the windows rolled down in those days- meaning you had air conditioning.

M&M ARMADA: Loved the classic style of this JEEP turned SUV. The only thing i disliked was the constant hum of the engine at high speeds. I used to admire a White Armada with dark green tints that used to frequent near our house. Would always circle the car 3-4 times whenever it arrived.

MARUTI GYPSY
: Loved it from the day it was launched. The King was faster & wider then the MG410. It was one of the earliest 4wd vehicles i knew apart from the sparse 4x4 JEEPS seen in those days. A yuppie near my house had brought a white King and removed the soft-top apart from fitting it with auxiliary lights and an air-horn that still rings in my ears.

Apart from these memories I also liked the Mercedes E220, Peugeot 309GL, Fiat Uno, DCM Daewoo Cielo, M&M Classic and Mitsubishi Lancer. Not to forget our beloved '82 Premier Safari which we sold off in 1998 to accommodate a Rouge Red ZEN. The ZEN was loved for its speed & Handling but missed the hands-on working & simplicity of our Premier Safari.
I was also a die hard fan of the ENFIELD BULLET. In those days, you heard a thump once every week that would bring me to the window, I knew each and every person who owned a BULLET in those days; such was the charm and exclusivity.

Attaching some pictures of my cars from that era:
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Old 19th December 2015, 21:00   #74
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Talking about Mercedes from the 90's, I still remember the white Mercedes Benz with the state car number 1 plate used by the then Kerala chief minister K. Karunakaran. It used to come for washing and fueling at a petrol bunk in my neighborhood. I always used to drool at it. Rumor was that it used to cover the nearly 300 Km distance between the state capital Trivandrum and his constituency Mala near Thrissur in 2.5 Hrs flat! Average speed of 120 KPH. Think about the top speed sprints needed to have that average!
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Old 19th December 2015, 21:45   #75
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Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
Agreed, Lousy they were. But! The positive side to it was that they actually allowed the W124 to exploit its tail happy nature even on its 4 cylinder 2.2 engine, E250D was a car that loved snapping sideways whenever you wanted to (Especially when coupled to a Manual Gearbox).
And another point, The W210 was already available overseas. Typical w124 owners would be totally aware as they would be traelling abroad a lot. Ironically, at that time, they had no idea that the w124 was still the better car
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