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Old 23rd September 2016, 19:35   #31
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Default Re: What was different when you bought your first car?

Things have definitely changed for our family since we got our first car. Back in 2003, my Dad had an RX135 which was provided by his office for use within the institute campus and mom had an activa. For all official outstation trips, he would use the office cars (usually Amby later Indica's). It was before 2003 Diwali when my dad decided that we need to buy a small car for personal use.

1. Maruti Suzuki Alto Vx 1.1- Simple requirements then. Needed a hatchback for weekend travels around Mumbai and family outings. We had it for 3 years and sold it to dad's friend before we left India. It was a 2001 model bought used in 2003.

2. 1998 Toyota Tercel- Our first car in Bahrain bought in 2007. It was our neighbour's car and we picked it up immediately after dad got his license as his site was far away. We just needed a car ASAP so nothing was shortlisted. Sold in 2009.

3. 2005 Toyota RAV4- Bought in 2009. This purchase was too complicated. Started off with a used Accord/Camry/Maxima to new Civic/Corolla/Tiida/Lancer to finally settling down on a used RAV4/CR-V/X-Trail/Outlander. Then the requirements had changed. We needed a car which would tackle rough roads, a 4x4(to handle tricky situations on dad's site) and compact due to parking issues near our apartment. Found a 2005 RAV4 which was used by someone in Dad's office. Immediately picked it up. Served us well for the next 6 years and 125k kms(85k kms to 210k kms). Sold Off in Jan 2016.

4. 2006 Honda CR-V- This car was replaced our RAV4 as dad needed a stop gap arrangement for 1.5 years. It was used by my dad's friend a fully loaded 4wd car. The RAV4 was the base variant so this definitely felt better but Dad still finds the RAV4 better to drive. This car will be replaced soon depending upon my dad's location.

5. 2006 Maruti Wagon-R Lxi- Mom and brother shifted to India in 2013. Grandparents were staying with us and managing hospital visits without a car was difficult. I got my license then and we decided to get a car. Strict instructions from Dad- Used hatchback under 2L, not very powerful and preferably Hyundai/Maruti Suzuki. Bought a used Wagon-R from perfect auto solutions Pune. Sold off in 1.5 years after clocking 21k kms (53k kms to 74k kms).

6. 2007 Toyota Corolla- Requirements now had changed. We did a lot of highway drives plus we needed a spacious car with a decent boot for our frequent airport runs. Most importantly ABS+ dual airbags was a must. I started looking for used petrol SX4's and Ritz's. At one point in time, I was at the Maruti dealership to book a new Ritz ZDi. Finding the 'z' variants in the used market was difficult. Came across this Corolla in my friend's apartment. A retired senior level executive from Idea. The car had just done 45k kms. Inspected it and finalised it for 3.10 Lakh. Being the H1 J variant its pretty basic but satisfies all my requirements of a car with safety features, spacious interiors, and a big boot. Already clocked 18k kms in 11 months. The last requirement and a weird one were that I wanted a car which had an unaffected performance with the use of the air conditioner. This was a big problem for me with the Wagon-R on 2-lane roads.

7. 2014 Tata Nano twist- Brother's college is 15kms away from home. He was using my bike and sometimes the activa. We decided to buy a used big bike for me or a new bike for him. But I suggested getting a Nano as it will be relatively safe plus convenient for us to use in the city as the Corolla was big for my dad and brother to use. We were expecting 40kms/day and hence decided to get a new Nano CNG. It wasn't very difficult to convince my parents for a Nano after the test drive. My brother is 6ft+ so barely fits in the Alto. One of my known used car dealers got a 2014 twist which was used by a doctor and had done about 4.5k kms. Most importantly it was under the extended warranty. This was our first time with a Tata product and hence I wasn't too keen on a car outside warranty. The twist was fully loaded in comparison to the CNG Nano XM which just had an air conditioner. The twist had power steering, front power windows, and company fitted head unit. Closed the deal for 1.5L. Its been 2 months and a shade over 2.2k kms. The Nano has impressed all of us in the family.

Things were simple for me in 2003. I always wanted an OHC or the Esteem because of their much talked about engine and the beautiful design. I was very close to picking up an OHC 1.5 in 2013 but the deal didn't go through. Now priorities have changed. We look at cars with all possible safety features and a decent engine. One thing still hasn't changed is that we always buy used cars. But that rule will be broken in 2017 when dad replaces the CR-V in Bahrain. Although looking at the prices of new cars in India I don't think I am ever going to consider a new car here.


Last edited by asit.kulkarni93 : 23rd September 2016 at 19:41.
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Old 23rd September 2016, 20:37   #32
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Default Re: What was different when you bought your first car?

My first car was a 1993 Padmini that I acquired in 1998 for just 60k.

A car with an airconditioner and a stereo was quite a luxury those days.Add to that a car that had dark meroon velvet seats , a beige velvet roof liner and the electronic dash(with a quartz clock) and obviously it summed up excitement unlimited.

I already had some exposure to cars having looked after Dad's Standard Super10 and a subsequent Ambassador but the added knowledge that the Padmini gave me was special.

Constant attention to fix holes in the door bottom using mseal, plus niggles like fixing non functional reverse lights , worn gear shifter bushes , noise interference supressors on the spark plugs causing the engine to misfire etc. were all interesting.

To cap it all , the experience of restoring this car all by myself post flood in 1998 was the icing on the cake.What did I spend?Just INR3500.

The car was a simple machine , with complete tuning control in one's hands , quite unlike the electronic cars of today.

Last edited by vigsom : 23rd September 2016 at 20:40. Reason: Addition
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Old 23rd September 2016, 21:41   #33
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It was in year 1998 when we bought our first car. A pre-owned 1989 model Fiat Premier Padmini for Rs. 40,000 (Quite a lot of money considering those days). I was in 3rd standard. You wouldn't imagine the excitement of an 8-year-old to see a car parked right outside the house - our own car.

Though my dad always had (still has) a government car (A Maruti Gypsy, Ambassador, Tata Sumo and Tata Safari(current)) at his disposal for office work, it was always a wish to own a car of our own for family trips. And those daysí family trip altogether meant visiting your relatives/grandparents in summer holidays.

Our Premier Padmini was an A/C model but its AC didnít work as its compressor was not functional neither it had refrigerant. I used to gaze inside the car, its gearbox attached to the steering wheel. Even thinking of installing an audio system into it was a luxury! We kept it hardly for 6 months. In total, we did 3-4 trips to our relatives place in that car and it always used to break down in the middle of the road.

The first time we took it to my grandparentís place, its clutch plate gave up and car refused to move an inch further. A local mechanic repaired the car for Rs. 2000 and it was the first time I heard about 'Clutch Plates' and how 'Burnt Clutch Plates' can render a car unusable.

The second time we again took it to my grandparentís place, its Dynamo (As the mechanic told), actually the alternator gave up refusing to charge the battery and the car stopped in the middle of the highway. Repaired it for some 1500 rupees if I remember correctly.

The third time we took it to one of our relativeís place to Gurgaon from Delhi, and the gear lever attached to the steering column broke up and my father literally had the gear lever in his hands out of the steering column wondering how on earth to change the gear or bring the car to halt. It's gear box component connecting gear lever to box broke up. Costed us Around 3000 to get the car back in shape.

The fourth time we again took it for Delhi darshan trip, and the car engine got seized! That was the first time in 1998 I got to know the concept of engine oil and how our car's engine got seized apparently due to leaked engine oil and we were driving our car with no engine oil in it!

So after these 3-4 long tripsí, we decided to sell it off this car. The repair expenditure for repairing a seized engine was around 15 thousands IIRC. Since the original seller was known to my dad, we somehow were able to sell back the car to same guy for same amount of money!

In between I remember, how I along with my siblings used to push the car for starting it as its battery hardly hold up any charge and the alternator hardly charged the battery at the first place. It was fun to be honest. One more incident I will always remember; my dad was getting the tyre pressure checked of Premier Padmini, I went on the front seat and removed the parking hand brake without knowing if it is a break! Since the car was on slope merging into the main road, it started moving forward with an 8-year-old kid sitting in the front seat, my dad outside the car and my mom at the back seat. Somehow my dad forced stop the car using his hands along with the help of air pressure checker guy! Imagine the scenario!

I got to know about so many things about the car from our Premier Padmini.
But the not so good experience with our first 'Used' car, my parents made a resolution to not to buy a second hand car again. After selling the car in Dec 1998, we bought our first new car, a Maruti 800 std in 2001 after cancelling the booking of Maruti Alto in 2000.

In year 2007, came the WagonR, a much modern and reliable car still doing the duty for us, I learnt my driving in this car, I learnt it on my own without any instructions from my dad. With WagonR, I became the in-charge of maintaining the car, polishing//waxing it every month and so on.

In 2010, came the all new Honda City 3rd gen, an exceptional car still ruling the roads. A humble i10 came up in 2011 to fill up the remaining space in the garage.

Let's see which one joins the family in upcoming times.

Ah! That Nostalgic Feeling and Memories all around at the time of writing this text

Last edited by bluevolt : 23rd September 2016 at 21:48.
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Old 23rd September 2016, 22:45   #34
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It is fun reading this thread. Like many members here, our first car is also a Maruti 800 which my dad bought in 1995. In Southern Tamil Nadu, for some reason, cars were called as "pleasure" or "plessure" at that time and the feeling was extraordinary when my dad bought our first "pleasure" car.

I was studying in nursery schools and used to think rotating the steering wheel makes the car running and hence more the rotation, more the distance travelled

Ours had an after market fan mounted and a good cassette player.

In our town, there were not many cars at that time and I had seen only Padmini and ambassador other than Maruti cars. And one day my friend was saying that his family had bought a new car called Estate and its windows were button operated. I couldn't believe that as I was seriously thinking that ours was a very modern and sophisticated car and how could switches be fitted on a door till I saw it in person.

Dad sold that car in 2001 and bought an indica and then vista and later an Innova. But for all of us, that car is a special and we regret for not keeping it. Loads of memories with it.

After getting a job in Bengaluru, got my first car which is a Exotic Red coloured FIAT Punto MJD two years back. Like our 800, punto is also very close to my heart.

Comparing those days, lot has changed and today we have ACC, airbags, ABS, EBD etc., even in budget cars. Driving at 60 kmph is not driving fast in modern cars.
Personally, I learnt a lot about cars thanks to team-bhp and no longer think rotating steering wheel makes car run
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Old 24th September 2016, 02:15   #35
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Quite an interesting thread. Our first car was a Fiat Premier Padmini. It was in 1995. I learnt to drive in that car, without my dad's knowledge :-D. Every two/three year the car would be changed as per my dad's company policy. The next 2 were also Premier Padmini's. The last one that we got in 1999 or 2000 was the 137D model. It had the bucket seats and floor shift. This was in Delhi. I still remember the registration no. DL6CA 6497.

Every morning in the winters it would refuse to start. Myself, Dad and Driver would struggle and seek help from passer by's to push start the car. Once we realized that this is the norm, the process would start early in the morning. Sometimes when the driver would not turn up, Dad would sit and I would push the car. Few times it happened that I could not push it with full strength and ended up behind the wheel and the Car would come to life. I would tell dad, see I started it and you were not able to.

Diesel was dirt cheap those days and we did so many long trips in that car. Nainital, Mount Abu, Mussoorie, Jaipur. Still remember when Dad used to race with other cars in the highways and we won couple of times. Nostalgic.
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Old 24th September 2016, 06:41   #36
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Default Re: What was different when you bought your first car?

Have any of you guys ever used a starter handle to start a car?
Well I have. My dad's first (own) car was a 1967 Amby Mark 2 - and I remember him showing me how to use it.
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Old 24th September 2016, 07:50   #37
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Great thread! My first car was a new Fiat Palio, the day I turned 16 (way back in 1999, gosh time flies!)

I loved it. Loved everything about it! Even though it was a (relatively) puny 1.2L petrol engine, it was great to drive. Didn't care about fuel economy, maintenance costs or anything, because I wasn't paying for any of it . It had all the bells and whistles of a bigger car - aircon, power windows, airbags and a host of safety equipment. It was a manual and didn't have cruise control though, but I loved the fact that it was a manual.

The first car in our family was a new 1986 (the year my parents migrated to Australia) Toyota Corolla (my parents never had a car while they were in India). I vaguely remember the car, but looking back, it was a pretty basic car - didn't even have an aircon or power steering! Had wind up windows, a Sony cassette deck with 6 speakers! Back in the day, 6 speakers in a car was something that was unheard of.
Petrol was very cheap those days (I think it was 44 cents a litre) and we used to go for a long drive almost every weekend. It was a great car, still have the seat covers from that car lying somewhere in the garage!

Back in India, I think the first car in our family was bought by my late grandfather - a 1953 Morris Minor. He apparently had the car for quite a few years before upgrading to a Morris Oxford (don't know the year, but I do remember travelling in that car). It was eventually replaced with a more "modern" Premier Padmini, and a Maruti 800 in the early 90s.

I still get the same exciting feeling when I sit in my car today, that I used to get in that Toyota Corolla back in '86!
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Old 24th September 2016, 09:35   #38
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Default Re: What was different when you bought your first car?

Interesting thread!

The main parameter which was deciding my first car was of course Vitamin M.

Only AC was in the original desired list.

I hardly did any research / check. I had almost made the booking/decision on a M800 AC. At that time, one of my friends told me to go for a vehicle with power steering as it will be more easy to drive in the city. (I had never driven a power steering vehicle then). I changed the decision to buy an Alto LXi, stretching my budget to another 25K.

This served me very well for close to 9 years and approx. 1.25L km. Absolutely niggle free other than the regular maintenance.

Team-Bhp has been the "goto" place for any car related research. Nay, even road routes, guidance, team-bhp community has been the one-stop place! Many thanks!
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Old 24th September 2016, 10:26   #39
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Default Re: What was different when you bought your first car?

My first car got overtaken by its own wheelcaps.

It all started with a visit to Ponmudi hill station, 60 kms away from Trivandrum. If I remember correctly, this was also my first drive to a hill station, and this particular drive used to take around two hours thanks to narrow and broken roads. This time it took more, being a family trip with a few Kodak photo moments along the way.

I was driving our first car - a humble Maruti 800, complete with "My Flying Maruti 800" mudflaps, a state of the art 'phoren' Pioneer casette player bought proudly from the grey market and "keeeyo keeeyo kukukuku" reversing chirps. I always wanted "Attention please, this car is backing up" announcement instead of the kukukuku, but couldn't find one at all the local shops.

No power steering, no power brakes. No worry about electricals or hydraulics shutting down with the key off, as long as key is in ACC position to avoid steering lock.

Anyways, back to the main story. While coming back from the hills, I thought of a brilliant plan to save a lot of fuel. It was pure genius. Switch off the engine, put the key in ACC position to avoid steering lock and voila, 15 kms of free coasting till we hit the plains. Nice. I felt proud of my knowledge about cars.

And it all went well and we almost made it to the bottom of the hill, when suddenly I noticed one small object overtaking my car and rolling down faster. Took a few seconds to realize those were our wheelcaps. Weird. Slowly parked the car and opened the door, only to be greeted by a burning stench in the air. By this time, I noticed that the wheelcaps had run out of straight road and gone off the cliff.

It still did not occur to me that it's all my doing though. But the next sight made it all clear that my foolishness would cost us both front brake pads, and rear brake drums. As I stood there stunned and not knowing whether to burst into tears (or laughter as my father already did), the brakes were burning red, hot enough to melt both the plastic wheel caps off, quite literally red, a sight I had only seen in the posters of racing cars on my bedroom wall.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 24th September 2016 at 10:29.
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Old 25th September 2016, 00:30   #40
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Default Re: What was different when you bought your first car?

Our first car in 98, was the Omni.
Before then, my father took me to an expo and promised to buy the Matiz, but one fine day, he broke the news that he had booked the Omni, when I came back from school. reason? He could clearly see the road in front of him
Sad, but any car would have done to me, as it was such a long wait before then.

I remember, he would stall at every possible junction, and people were considerate enough to not bully. I still remember the tension in my Granny's face each time.

The longest we had driven was 200km, to hogenkkal, and that was such an achievement, with two drivers taking turns.

The heaviest probably was with 10 people, 4 at the back

The driver seat would get hot, after a small drive. It had 4 gears, and no space for an AC.

When it rained, we had a cloth in it to wipe the glass from inside. Me, the usual cleaner.

Even though it reached a top speed of 80, there weren't many that overtook us. But when someone did, the Van would whither.

We once fitted a cassette player, two speakers and two tweaters. And the cassette player was the first to give way. Press the eject, and the player would go inside
Forgive the tweaters, they only grumbled.

The spring action on the extra rear seats were so vicious, that one could have lost their hands.

We had ordered ours in Burgandy red, and we're so proud that the car looked so beautiful in that rare color

On the day of delivery, the car was so much bare metal, that it actually looked like scrap. We then got those wonderful rubber mats all over, and today, it would feel like a toilet.

And finally, what a nice door whrrrrr-thud, when you closed those rear doors

No, another last one of the car-err-van that we liked so much. You actually Sat with your feet at an angle, if you were seated in the front row, cause you had the wheel well for company
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Old 25th September 2016, 01:14   #41
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Default Re: What was different when you bought your first car?

Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
My first car got overtaken by its own wheelcaps.
Ha ha! Nicely narrated! I guess you know how lucky you were that no serious mishap happened! and this is a mistake most of us make when we are new to driving! I almost made this same mistake (ie, free wheeling) but was fortunate enough to have an old "wise-head" friend, who was with me at that time, who gave me a nice scolding and warned me off the dangers of this!
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Old 25th September 2016, 03:14   #42
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What was different was that I knew the challans were going to come in my name for the first time. And well, ever since then the police still manages to find my name and send one at my home address, no matter which car I buy. Maybe I need to go find my first car and burry all the fingerprints and proof to escape these challans.

Anyhow, I am not that old that I would have a funny episode to share. I knew what I was buying, what all a car was supposed to do and what I was supposed to do. Have been doing the same thing ever since. No wheels caps over taking me, no switching off the engine while going downhill, no installations of cloth hangars on the rear. Nothing funny has ever happened with my first buy or any there after.

On the contrary I have gotten smarter to be able to buy the best VFM car for my next purchase all thanks to tbhp. More smarter, more knowledgeable, more sure, more secure and I read all reviews. My first purchase was based on nothing. That's the only difference I can think of.
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Old 25th September 2016, 10:59   #43
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Default Re: What was different when you bought your first car?

Interesting thread!

My first car belonged to the company I worked for. There was one driver each in three shifts. However, I would drive it once in a while. Later two of the drivers were shifted to factory work and only one driver was regular. That gave me a lot of time on the good old Ambassador. So, very slowly from about 1986 to 1993 I increased my driving. From 1994 to 1996 I was in Mumbai and did not drive any car. In 1997 I was again driving the (not so trustworthy) Ambassador.

In 1998, I bought my first car - Maruti Omni E! Why eight seats - you say? Because my father, my father-in-law, my brother and my brother-in-law did not have any cars. They would take turns to come and stay at my place in Jalgaon. Eight seats was the only option. And this was the only car that met my needs and was within my budget. In fact, even that was too expensive for me. The total cost was around 2.25 lakh Rs and I had to take a loan of 1.5 lakh Rs!

I do not remember the exact details - however - my scooter was running at Rs 0.50 / km and this was around Rs 1.50 / km! That hurt! Just to give a context: my Scorpio is running at Rs 5/km and I think that is ok!

Specifically, what was different?

My car did not have AC. And even though it was in a hot place like Jalgaon, AC did not feel necessary.
Steel bumpers!
Petrol pump operators were always shocked when I asked them to 'fill' it! Everybody else just filled 5~10 lts!
No credit cards or debit cards at petrol pump. Note: I was among India's first few credit card holders way back since 1995!
Pune-Jalgaon road was 2 lane with no dividers.
Engine overheating problems in b-to-b traffic.
No tachometer on the van.
No pickup drop facility for servicing.
Relatives and friends felt that I was mad to purchase a car before purchasing a house! No regrets here!
No power brakes - no power steering - no power windows - no power anything!
Carburetor - no fuel injection!

Oh! I am sure I could find some more later!
Stopping for now!

Thanks for reading my rants!


Girish Mahajan
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Old 26th September 2016, 10:58   #44
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Default Re: What was different when you bought your first car?

Before getting a car, I rode a bike, Yamaha Alba, for some four years; and during that period, I rode over 60K kms. I took it to various towns and cities in my country and to various terrains. It performed well. The maximum speed I rode it was 103kmph. As it was a light bike, it vibrated a lot over the speeds of 70kmph.

While I had that bike, I bought a used 2002 model petrol Tata Indica for 4lacs INRs which is 6.4lacs in Nepal. A used one because I was a student again and cars are expensive in Nepal because they attract a tax of 240%. For reference, Honda Jazz SVMT costs 34.5lacs in Nepal which is 23 lacs INRs. I kept it for 2 years before selling it off a couple of months ago. Though I had learned driving when abroad, I practiced my skills on Indica. Drove it for meager 8K kms because I could get little time off. Yet, it was of great use and served me on a lot of purposes. The best thing about Indica was that it felt very planted on highways (all our highways are 2-lane). I wanted to keep it for a few months more until I get a new car after finishing my studies. But it began giving a lot of problem. So much that it was troublesome owning it. First it began with engine overheating. After multiple visits to the mechanic, this was sorted. Then, the right front axle began shuddering and the car would come to a complete halt. Multiple visits again but got rectified only after changing the axle. Apart from this, there were rattles and quite a number of minor ailments and niggles. It was getting pretty expensive to maintain this car. Anticipating my little usage for upcoming few months and availability of cars to rent when required, I sold it over internet.

In a new car hunt now. If things go as planned, would have one by the end of 2016 after getting a job. I personally like Jazz SVMT. But roads are so bad in Nepal that ground clearance has become the top priority. I hope they get Brezza with a petrol engine soon. Wish they could plonk the 1.4 from Ciaz into Brezza. We do not have different taxation for 1.2 and 1.4l engines here. Any model, its 240%.
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Old 26th September 2016, 15:19   #45
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Default Re: What was different when you bought your first car?

Our first "modern" car was a Maruti 800. Bought in the mid-80s it was among the first few to be delivered in India.
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I didn't choose the seat covers, honest! Though my tastes are no better.

I was utterly smug about the fact that it was a safe car, the pinnacle of safety when compared to the prevalent Ambassadors and Fiats. Given a chance, I would tell anyone who would listen - and a few who would rather have not - about how the steering column would deflect upwards in the event of a crash, to prevent the steering wheel hitting the driver's chest. I made some a few unfortunate souls even bend down in the footwell to show them the universal joints in the steering column that enabled this design. (Yes, I was an annoying kid back then. Now I'm just annoying).

After all that, we used to barrel down highways with no seatbelts. "Car safety" in that era meant remembering to lock the car when we stopped for lunch!

We Indians have come some way since then in automotive safety, but we've still miles to go.
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