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Old 18th January 2012, 21:12   #151
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Default Re: The Premier Automobiles Ltd - The Remembrances Thread

Feels nice to see this thread alive again.

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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
I guess anyone born after 1980 has no affection at all for Premier. Can't say I blame them!

In my case...I loved the look of the "Fiat" (it was never called a Padmini by anyone other than the company!) and we were fortunate enough to own 2 of ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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Thanks Mr. Behram Dhabar for this wonderful thread. There is a lot of sentiment associated with the cars of my childhood and this was a nice trip down memory lane.
Well all i can say is that the history of PAL has been discussed a lot in this thread. BTW i do love old Fiats, had a couple of them in family, still have one and plan to acquire one more. Needless to say am a diehard Fiatian.


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Originally Posted by arvi86 View Post
This is a wonderful thread with so many BHPians sharing the wonderful experiences that you all have had with this iconic Italian brand called 'Fiat'. For all you Fiat-lovers out there, I have an eye-candy here. I saw this immaculately maintained Premier Padmini in Trichy when I visited there last October. It was in a pristine condition with absolutely no rust spots, all original fittings and shining chrome parts. There was an old man driving it and the sporty exhaust note was sheer music to the ears. It had covered less than 15,000 km in its life span of over 15 years. How I wish I could own one of these now!

Attachment 873545

I can't help but feel for the sorry state of affairs of Fiat in India right now. They have completely lost the plot despite having two brilliant and stunning models.
arvi86: If am not wrong this car is immaculately restored Delight model & not a Padmini going by the trims. If so then it can't be a 15 year old car, it must be atleast 40+ yrs old. Anyways thanks for sharing the pic.
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Old 19th January 2012, 06:21   #152
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Originally Posted by samsag12 View Post
arvi86: If am not wrong this car is immaculately restored Delight model & not a Padmini going by the trims. If so then it can't be a 15 year old car, it must be atleast 40+ yrs old. Anyways thanks for sharing the pic.
I have to admit that I do not know the history of Fiat or PAL in India. I couldn't stop myself from opening up a conversation with the old man on seeing this beautiful car and whatever I stated was told by him. I guess he might have bought it pre-owned 15 years back and since then, he would have driven it only for around 15000 km. By the way, would you mind sharing the details which helped you identify that it was the Delight model?

If it is a 40+ year old car that's been maintained to look as pristine and beautiful as it was, all I can say is "Hats off" to this old gentle-man and the car's previous owners.

Last edited by arvi86 : 19th January 2012 at 06:23.
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Old 19th January 2012, 11:16   #153
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Default Re: The Premier Automobiles Ltd - The Remembrances Thread

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Originally Posted by arvi86 View Post
I have to admit that I do not know the history of Fiat or PAL in India. I couldn't stop myself from opening up a conversation with the old man on seeing this beautiful car and whatever I stated was told by him. I guess he might have bought it pre-owned 15 years back and since then, he would have driven it only for around 15000 km. By the way, would you mind sharing the details which helped you identify that it was the Delight model?

If it is a 40+ year old car that's been maintained to look as pristine and beautiful as it was, all I can say is "Hats off" to this old gentle-man and the car's previous owners.
Actually i appreciate your move on the conversation with the old gent. It might be possible that he's the second owner and i second with you on the condition of car, its really impeccable. Its very hard to find such good examples.
Regarding the details, though i am no Fiat guru,the Front/Rear Bumper, side Pattis(body beadings), thin steering are from a Delight. It might be the 1971 model going by the design of rims( earlier ones had clip to hold the covers and the present ones cannot be fitted without drilling a hole in the caps, which is not the case here)
Hope this helps answer your question.

BTW those side repeater lights are from a S1, very hard to find.
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Old 19th January 2012, 17:27   #154
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Originally Posted by samsag12 View Post
It might be the 1971 model going by the design
And what about the quarter glass in the front? PAL removed it from 1988. It could be an either or case- its a 40yr old car with quarter glass removed or post 88 model with period trims & rims.
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Old 19th January 2012, 17:43   #155
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Originally Posted by KkVaidya View Post
And what about the quarter glass in the front? PAL removed it from 1988. It could be an either or case- its a 40yr old car with quarter glass removed or post 88 model with period trims & rims.
Well yes it can be the either case but apart from we Fiat enthusiasts nobody thinks of Delighting a Padmini. I highly suspect this car to be a Delight.

PS: Safety was the main reason for the removal of Cut glass by the owners and Cost cutting measure by Pal in '88.
BTW the new rubber surrounds of cut glass are nowhere to be found and a practical way to fix the water seepage problem is to get the glass changed to full one.

Last edited by samsag12 : 19th January 2012 at 17:45.
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Old 19th January 2012, 17:48   #156
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Originally Posted by samsag12 View Post
PS: Safety was the main reason for the removal of Cut glass by the owners and Cost cutting measure by Pal in '88.
Need to know what was the safety measure for removal of the cut glass. Can you please explain in detail? Personally, I feel the car looks better with cut glass.
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Old 19th January 2012, 18:13   #157
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Originally Posted by KkVaidya View Post
Need to know what was the safety measure for removal of the cut glass. Can you please explain in detail? Personally, I feel the car looks better with cut glass.

As mentioned by Behramji else where in the thread, the quarter glass was removed mainly for cost cutting. PAL saved 40rupees from this move! Hope I'm right!
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Old 19th January 2012, 19:06   #158
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Originally Posted by KkVaidya View Post
Need to know what was the safety measure for removal of the cut glass. Can you please explain in detail? Personally, I feel the car looks better with cut glass.
Safety as in the safety of car itself from being stolen or leading to act of something similar such as flicking the deck(M system), opening bonnet to steal the battery,radiator, carburetor and all.
I too think cut glass adds a classic style to the car and looks really good.

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Originally Posted by ruthvikmagal View Post
As mentioned by Behramji else where in the thread, the quarter glass was removed mainly for cost cutting. PAL saved 40rupees from this move! Hope I'm right!
Yes you are right. Term used for cost cutting by PAL was "Value Engineering"
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Old 21st January 2012, 02:41   #159
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Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM
We (my colleague Unni and I) drove down from Delhi to Mumbai, displaying the cars at Jaipur, Ajmer, Udaipur, Ahmedabad, Anand and Baroda.

Read this - it is really hilarious - at Anand inside the dealer's showroom I was literally mobbed by some very rich Gujaratis who were hell bent on taking MZM7247 from me on the sopt. They had brought 1 lakh rupees in cash in a cloth bag (in which you normally carry vegetables home) which they wanted to give me for the car. They were in no mood to listen. The dealer had to intervene. I also remember drinking dry fruits milk shake in the showroom at Anand, courtesy of Gujaratis ("saheb, dry fruits to roj khavani"). These guys live kingsize. Some memories to share. More to come.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
What a lovely thread. Thanks a ton Mr. Dhabhar for this thread. It brings all my childhood memories back about Padminis that we owned at that time.

I think you are talking about Auto Parts, then dealer of PAL and later Fiat located on NH-8's Anand crossing.

Last edited by Nitrous Power : 21st January 2012 at 02:43.
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Old 8th April 2012, 15:38   #160
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I was just going through this thread and suddenly I remembered about this padmini lying unused at a parking lot behind our house...lke for the past 4-5 years. they at present own a wagon-r but the condition of this looks pretty OK. I think its the economy version, orissa registered. Can someone throw more light on this?
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Old 8th April 2012, 16:50   #161
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Default Re: The Premier Automobiles Ltd - The Remembrances Thread

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I was just going through this thread and suddenly I remembered about this padmini lying unused at a parking lot behind our house...
Super find Sid bhai. Yes it's indeed a Padmini Economy. Very very original car. You surely can save her, will ya?

Why don't you talk to the owner and see if something good can be done to the car please.
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Old 8th April 2012, 16:53   #162
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Originally Posted by sidindica View Post
I was just going through this thread and suddenly I remembered about this padmini lying unused at a parking lot behind our house...lke for the past 4-5 years. they at present own a wagon-r but the condition of this looks pretty OK. I think its the economy version, orissa registered. Can someone throw more light on this?
Nice find Sid, looks complete sans the body beading. I am even surprised to see that front grill still intact.
Going by the trims and fittings like bumpers, grill, hubcaps and all it appears to be a Economy version indeed.
I guess all it requires is a decent servicing & lube change to get it in running condition.

BTW is that a Temp registration sticker on the bumpers

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Old 8th April 2012, 22:03   #163
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Default Re: The Premier Automobiles Ltd - The Remembrances Thread

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Originally Posted by samsag12 View Post
Going by the trims and fittings like bumpers, grill, hubcaps and all it appears to be a Economy version indeed.
How did you make out its an Economy version? Just willing to learn since i never heard about Economy version, also the body beading( side strip ) seems to have been removed isn't it, since we can see the holes.

Bumpers dont look different to me, and the Grill looks very good indeed, also is this grill only for Economy version?
Body seems to be in good shape.

When was the Economy version launched and what was different in it than normal padmini?

Last edited by silverado : 8th April 2012 at 22:07.
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Old 8th April 2012, 23:06   #164
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Default Re: The Premier Automobiles Ltd - The Remembrances Thread

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Originally Posted by sidindica View Post
I was just going through this thread and suddenly I remembered about this padmini lying unused at a parking lot behind our house...lke for the past 4-5 years. they at present own a wagon-r but the condition of this looks pretty OK. I think its the economy version, orissa registered. Can someone throw more light on this?
Lovely to see the Padmini Economy in pictures,though the car is starting to rot.
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Originally Posted by silverado View Post
How did you make out its an Economy version? Just willing to learn since i never heard about Economy version, also the body beading( side strip ) seems to have been removed isn't it, since we can see the holes.

Bumpers dont look different to me, and the Grill looks very good indeed, also is this grill only for Economy version?
Body seems to be in good shape.

When was the Economy version launched and what was different in it than normal padmini?
The Economy version was made available since around 1988, if I am not wrong. They made very few of these and advertised their sale with the lower price tag prominently, though for a limited period.It was sold at some Rs 60,000 odd.I will check out my old Indian Auto issues to post greater details here.
The car was then available in the Economy, Deluxe BE, Deluxe BU and Deluxe BU/AC versions.(BU for bucket seats in front).
The Economy version had body painted bumpers (cheaper option than chrome plating), coir foam seats (I may be corrected here),no ash trays on doors,a signature honey comb, black, plastic front grille, rubber bumper guards (only rubber and no chrome plated steel with rubber as in other versions), no chrome plated wheel discs but small plastic hub caps,rubber front and rear windscreen beading with no chrome strip as in other versions.
The dash was the same as only the Deluxe BU/AC had an AC.There was no question of any tachometer and other goodies like power windows and so on.
In 1989,the meter console was changed for the higher versions, that had a clock located to its left with the speedo to the right and warning lights at the centre. But the Economy version did not get this console and continued to be fitted with the old instrument.
These are some of the cosmetic differences but I would like to know about more such cosmetic treatments and the technical ones if any, from experts.
I am sure the Economy version was launched as the 800 was at its zenith, outdoing all other brands, sales wise.

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 8th April 2012 at 23:09.
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Old 8th April 2012, 23:24   #165
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Default Re: The Premier Automobiles Ltd - The Remembrances Thread

My father bought his first car in 1960. It was a Fiat 1100, it cost him about Rs 12000. He bought his next Fiat ( don't know whether it was called 1100 or Padmini), in 1966 for about Rs 17000, and sold his earlier one for Rs 16000. He bought a Padmini in 1970 for I think around Rs 22000 and sold the old one for almost the same price. He was in the central government, and was entitled to a Fiat on a priority basis once in four years.

I think the 1960 car was the best. Complete indigenisation had not yet taken place, the engine was fully imported. In 1961, my father took it on a trip from Indore to Bangalore and our native place in Karwar district. On the trip he got a mileage of 45 mpg, which is equivalent to about 16 km/l. The car went up the then Khandala ghat ( which was much steeper than now), without struggling and getting heated up, it did not have to stop anywhere. As he was still new to driving he had kept a driver, who had turned out to be a gem. That car could go to 70 mph without trouble on flat roads.

As my father never stayed in a coastal town, he did not need to get routine tinkering and painting done. He retired in Bangalore. I took the 1970 car after his death in 1989 to Mumbai. Sure enough, it needed tinkering after two years. The workshop people were surprised to find that the car had no tinkering done earlier!

I discarded the dynamo in favour of an alternator, put a bigger carburettor, and a bigger radiator. The car was practically trouble free after that. Also I had the services of a good workshop available to me.I left Mumbai in 1997, and sold the car to a colleague.After that I had a Premier Padmini(?) 137 D for 3 years, also practically trouble free.

Incidentally, I was in Frankfurt in 1989, just after the Berlin wall was brought down, and the two Germanys were united. Believe me, our Fiats, Ambys, and Standards, were a thousand times better than the smoking worse than chimneys (pitch black smoke) East German cars, which had poured into West Germany as families were being united after a long time.

Since 2000 I have had, first the original Indica DLX, and now the Indica DLX V2 Turbo.

My father's 1960 Fiat was the car on which I first learnt driving. His driver used to take me out of the city to unpopulated open fields outside the town! So I have very good memories of Fiats.


I got my driving license in the US when I was studying, and got my Indian license based on that. A slight reversal on people getting a license abroad based on an Indian license.

Last edited by mgh : 8th April 2012 at 23:28.
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