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Old 26th September 2016, 20:00   #46
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Default Re: What was different when you bought your first car?

What was different when I bought my first car, well Vitamin M, the relative status of buying and owning a car, the attitude of the car sales agency, what you paid versus what you got and of course the car itself.

By 1990 when I bought my first car (actually wifey & me) owning a car was less of a privilege than say in 1953 when my father bought his first car but it still had some value and prestige in 1990. The car was a Padmini with bucket seats, floor shift gear and slightly tinted glass. Our first born was on his way and we decided a car was called for so we emptied out all our savings and bought 4 wheels for an on the road cost of a little south of Rs 2 lakhs. The building we stayed in then had 21 flats and 3 cars. So our new possession was an event for the building too with sweets to all 21 flats a big tip to the chowkidar etc etc and every evening for no rhyme or reason we would push off for a drive. Today an upper middle class apartment block of 21 would I guess have 40 cars. That has changed.

What else has changed - Interestingly some of the elders in my family were a bit chuffed about the wayward spending ways of young folks these days just waking up one morning and buying a car just like that!! - not having the patience to book and wait 4 years. But my maternal grandfather, a car lover himself, sent us a telegram (some of the younger BHPians may ask what's that) of congratulations.

Another thing is different - the style and attitude of the sales staff. At Premier Motors, those days, they behaved as if the buyer should be grateful for being allowed to buy the car - indifferent and trifle rude and unhelpful. And this 6 years after Maruti had entered - old habits die hard. Most sales folks today are eager to please even if their technical knowledge is weak. At least they are not rude. What else has changed - no seatbelts! No air conditioning. The car topped 95 kmph once for 2 minutes on a highway - never went any faster ever.

The biggest change I believe is in how much affordable cars are today in real terms than in 1990. The rupee has depreciated about 6 to 7 times since 1990 due to inflation. For Rs 12 lakhs today we get a hell of a lot more than a Padmini.

Frankly I don't feel nostalgic, beyond a point, because cars today are so much more reliable and comfortable compared to the license raj products we lived with.

Last edited by V.Narayan : 26th September 2016 at 20:08.
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Old 27th September 2016, 16:41   #47
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Default Re: What was different when you bought your first car?

My first car - Fiat Uno 1.7D 1993 model White. I never had a liking for maruti , so in 2007 when I started working - saved up some money and started searching online. In those days I had to use a Sify internet booth to do my online searches.The car was a beauty , Awesome dashboard , A/C , Nice power and moreover it was really big. I did not know much about cars but used to do a lot of small maintenance on the car. Did A/C work, bleeding brakes and fixed the radiator fan with the help of a manual. I had a pretty good FNG in medavakkam too. Too bad though i never know which grade of oil i used ever. That car served me 40K kms. Best 80K INR spent ever. My second car was an Ikon 1.6 ZXI and currently drive a Figo 1.4 D. I really loved my first car to bits!
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Old 28th September 2016, 09:53   #48
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Default Re: What was different when you bought your first car?

My first car was when I went to the US for a long term assignment. Every single colleague of mine asked me to stick with the Big Japanese Three for guaranteed resale value (Toyota, Honda and Nissan). After being quoted absurd prices for Early 90s cars which looked like they were being held with rubber band and string, I thought I might as well reward myself with a good car.

So a New 1999 Volkswagen Jetta GLS it was! Power everything, Moonroof, heated leather seats, Automatic. Drove the wheels off of that thing. Got it in 2006 when it had 76K miles on it and sold it in 2010 when it had 111K on it!

Since it was the car that I actually learned my driving in (despite the fact that I had to complete my education 6 years later on a manual transmission vehicle) - I loved it to bits. Also where I lived was the most picturesque region of New England. Loved taking it out for random purposeless drives on weekends, through blazing fall colours in October.

Served me real well during the icy slick winters as well. Finally sold it only because I got a new VW Golf on lease in 2010. Tears were shed...
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Old 28th September 2016, 10:07   #49
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Default Re: What was different when you bought your first car?

Do you have a few photos? Please share.
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Old 28th September 2016, 10:53   #50
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Default Re: What was different when you bought your first car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wilful View Post
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.
I have used a starting handle to start my Dad's Standard Super10.In fact the first start of the day was using the handle.

The same technique was used on my aunt's mark 1 Ambassador.
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Old 28th September 2016, 11:20   #51
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Found some pictures of the Jetta!
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Old 28th September 2016, 11:29   #52
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Default Re: What was different when you bought your first car?

My first car was a Premier Padmini 1970 model purchased second hand in 1981 for Rs. 40,000. I got totally ripped off by the dealer in Dadar as most of the car had been filled with car patch and painted for sale.
The battery failed after two days, the starter motor a week later and then the brakes started playing up.
Within a couple of months the rust started to show up, holes in the roof and around the rear parcel tray, lower section of the doors etc. and I had to do a complete "scrape down" job. Also had to do an engine overhaul which was done with Italian parts as I had some contacts in Premier. This cost half of the purchase value of the car but after that it was great. It had a "racing" muffler and oversize carburettor jet.
In 1983 Maruti arrived in India and I got one of the first lot of "high roof" vans in 1985 and the Padmini was sold soon after.
However, memories of my first car will always be with me.

SS
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Old 28th September 2016, 13:43   #53
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Default Re: What was different when you bought your first car?

After 2 Premier Padminis (1969 and 1989 models) and a "Fire" Fiat Uno in the family, I decided to buy my first car in 2004. A Ford Ikon Flair 1.3 Rocam anniversary edition. Had it for 7 years and it performed very well for 55000 kms. It was my first fully loaded car with power this, power that, fog lamps and the works. My requirement was clear, the car had to have a boot aka 'dicky' which I guess gave a big car feeling then. I guess the 'dicky' mania still exists today with hatches sporting all these awfully designed, after thought 'dickys' in cars like Dzire, Ameo, Amaze etc..

3 more cars later I can say the biggest thing to have changed, is my preference to have cars with better active safety devices over anything else.
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Old 28th September 2016, 13:52   #54
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Default Re: What was different when you bought your first car?

My first car was an Amby, (1984 model bought in 1990) which I used for three years and in 1993 bought an Omni. Both were non AC cars and the Amby was not having any music system also. The Omni had one and the first song played on it was the then hits from the movie Roja.

Several cars later, I feel, that the best thing that happened to cars in India are the keen focus on safety and the environment.

Last edited by rajeev k : 28th September 2016 at 13:55.
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Old 30th September 2016, 16:50   #55
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Default Re: What was different when you bought your first car?

Started with a premier padmini, ultimate joy was fitting new wheel covers and a cassette deck! Carried water and turmeric powder to stop radiator leakages!
Next was a maruti 800 with 4 gears. Its replacement the Zen had 5 gears and i did not know how to engage 5th gear! From 4th it would go to 3rd while trying to engage 5th! Upgraded to a Palio only because my Zen did not have power steering and my shoulders ached with pain everyday! Finally now very happy with my VW Vento and Honda City both fully loaded
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