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Old 9th September 2008, 11:08   #1
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Default Fiat a.k.a Premier Padmini 137D

It is a 1997(last), bucket seat-A/C model.

The engine sounds like a tractor (but still preferable over the matador powered amby’s then). 1366cc(hence 137D) mated to a Nissan floor shift. I haven’t ever felt such an assured smooth shift. 4 speed boxes belong to pre-Cambrian era, but it is still manageable. The car had done 1,01,100 kms until now. Engine is at ‘half-condition’. A/C is not used, as at about 90k we had a blown gasket because of the load. My location doesn’t need it too.

The suspension is ‘tough’. Front Wishbone and rear leaf, with anti-roll bar at both. The front suspension is quite sturdy-does its duty but reminds its presence (unlike the Amby: You’ll feel nothing). Rear leaf-behaves as if there’s no suspension. Yet one can feel that the suspension is going to last for ever. This coil-leaf combination gives you a weird way of handling and ride(rear) for this car. The weight of the diesel engine makes the front dip.

Unlike the ambassador the fiat needs expertise hands to maintain. In that way, it is reliable to the core. Else it will give you niggling problems all the time. Common problem areas are the dynamo and self-starter. The self-starter has to be protected from water or else it slips. Body is prone to rust.

The car gives good mileage. Even now I am getting 20+ on mixed city(coimbatore) and rural roads. Regular service (it drinks 5 litre oil) costs under 1000 rs.

With its excellent front and back visibility (the RVM shows both the back ends) one can easily take pestering bikers for a ride. I use cross-ply tyres. Radial tyres may give better grip, handling and mileage but the front dip causes GC problems. Cross-ply tyres also make the Worm and roller steering smoother. Despite drums at both ends, brake bite is pretty good. You can bring it to a dead stop where you want.


One of my relative had installed a Mazda mated to a isuzu 5 speed box. But getting an RTO endorsement is a problem nowadays.

A mini Ambassador-actually a tamed version with a ‘roar’ing exhaust. But less crude and much more reliable.
Attached Thumbnails
Fiat a.k.a Premier Padmini 137D-1-22.jpg  

Fiat a.k.a Premier Padmini 137D-1-61.jpg  

Fiat a.k.a Premier Padmini 137D-100_2331.jpg  

Fiat a.k.a Premier Padmini 137D-111.jpg  

Fiat a.k.a Premier Padmini 137D-100_2977.jpg  


Last edited by ramzsys : 9th September 2008 at 11:13.
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Old 9th September 2008, 11:18   #2
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superbly maintained car dude. i envy you.

check out my gallery. i own a '88 petrol padmini.
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Old 9th September 2008, 11:38   #3
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Man..What a Fiat !! Very well maintained indeed.Im searching for one like this.
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Old 9th September 2008, 13:16   #4
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Clean Car. And i assume it is in original paint as well!!
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Old 9th September 2008, 13:41   #5
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Awesome car maintained with a lot of a care. The picture of the underside says it all..
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Old 9th September 2008, 13:47   #6
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Awesome car. Been a while since a beautiful Fiat. The chain flaps (i do not know is they have a specific name), are not around now-a-days i think.
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Old 9th September 2008, 14:05   #7
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A very well maintained ride you have got there. The underbody looks very neat and clean as well. Hard to find Fiats in this condition today! Keep up the good work bro!
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Old 9th September 2008, 14:17   #8
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Hey thats one very well maintained padmini dude! And the floor beneath is as good as new
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Old 9th September 2008, 14:30   #9
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Wow! that's one of the best Padminis I have seen in recent times. Great colour choice.

Is your's a S1? I had one untill 2002 and finally gave it away because the engine could not handle the load of the A/C (I was in Chennai then).

This car commanded a premium of 1Lac when it was introduced (even with the likes of Maruthi 800, Zen etc available).
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Old 9th September 2008, 17:54   #10
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Quote:
(but still preferable over the matador powered amby’s then). 1366cc(hence 137D) mated to a Nissan floor shift. I haven’t ever felt such an assured smooth shift.
You are LUCKY to have gotten that combination. I have only good memories of my 137D floorshift. We even preferred it over the more expensive 118NE. Our '93 137D served us for 1.5+ lakh kms (with one top engine job) and was reliable as hell...simple mechanicals and a truly robust diesel engine. In fact, this was the first diesel car that my family owned. Maybe it started the trend; today we own 3 diesels and only one petrol.

Due to a severely restricted budget, the only mods my 137D saw were black tints + black painted wheels + goodyear radials (white lettered et all ) on a white body. Looked pretty damn good for the time.

Thanks for the review and making us walk down memory lane.

Last edited by GTO : 9th September 2008 at 17:55.
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Old 9th September 2008, 18:41   #11
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'charcoal gray' is the shade(original).

The RC book says the engine has 15 HP. I cant believe this.
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Old 9th September 2008, 20:03   #12
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It was heartening to see a long term review of a car like this. There are people who will feel it and there are the others.

Kudo's to you. Is the car leaking any oil, the exhaust front pipe seems to have a drip.
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Old 10th September 2008, 15:41   #13
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In one of recent trips, the diesel overflow tube ruptured in the highroad. It was noticed from the diesel smell. The windshield washer tube served as a replacement.

It is clean now.
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Old 11th September 2008, 23:55   #14
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Beautifully maintained fiat you have there.

I think you need to fix the logo on the front grille.
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Old 12th September 2008, 04:05   #15
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Yes my fathers old 83 model Padmini's R/C book said 12 HP. I don't know what was wrong with the 1980's.
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