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Old 16th April 2014, 20:43   #1021
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Default Re: Landmaster And Ambassador Picture Gallery

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Originally Posted by samish_g View Post
WNC means circa 1987 (may be June-July).

But why was it difficult to buy a diesel Ambassador for private use? Rule by Government of Bengal or Tax issues?

Regards

Samish
Diesel car and jeep (rather any automobile ) ownership for private use was totally disallowed by the Union government till the 1990's.

Diesel Ambassadors were introduced sometime in 1980 but only for taxi and government use. Diesel jeeps were introduced in 1977 by M&M and the ownership was again for commercial use (taxi or even government deptts).

Even conversion of a petrol engined car /MUV (Willys/ Jeep/ Mahindra/ older Land Rovers) into diesel was banned by state governments like Maharashtra, West Bengal and some more. At the same time A.P., Kerala, M.P., probably Tamil Nadu and many more state governments allowed petrol- diesel conversions. Thus Bajaj Tempo (the Matador diesel) and Kirloskar (RET 4) after market diesel engines were the commonly sought after engines, by private car owners. Once the Govt of Maharashtra in the 1980's ordered its departments to go in for petrol- diesel engine conversions to save on fuel bills.

There were certain flaws however as it always happens. Imported diesels from car makers like Mercedes Benz, Peugeot and other makes were registered by the RTO's. Imported petrol and diesel cars were sold through the State Trading Corporation (STC), New Delhi and these were once used cars by foreign missions here.There used to be dog-fights to get an imported car sometimes and buyers (bidders at the STC auctions) would go and get high level influences to get hold of a car of their choice.

Another flaw was that if a car was owned by a person in Maharashtra he could go to M.P. or A.P. across the border, fit a diesel and get his car re-registered in M.P. or A.P. and come back to use it in Maharashtra. Ambassadors and Landmasters got converted by the hundreds into diesels.

It was however a surprise that neither HM nor M&M sold their new diesel engines in the market freely, to aid conversions. So the 1500 DSL (HM) and the MD 2350 International engines and later their 2112cc Peugeot 540 DP (M&M) were never freely available in the market for diesel conversions, whereas the Matador and Kirloskar engines were available.

I know a person whose children learnt driving on the family car viz. a Landmaster and the 1476 cc side valve engine lost its compression moving nearer to getting seized. The owner found many used Ambassador OHV engines in a garage, as left overs from diesel conversions. He bought the best one for Rs 2500/- and this engine still runs his car till today.

Apart from Ambassadors and Jeeps, dieselisation was also rampantly done in older American gas guzzlers (cars and station wagons) for both private and taxi use. I had been to a small town called Vinukonda in Guntur dist. (A.P.), about three decades ago and could spot tens of dieselised taxis (yellow and black) made out from beautiful American cars, imported in the 1940's and 1950's.What a pity ? In the Nasik - Trimbakeshwar route (Mah) Chevrolet Fleetmaster diesel taxis were common till the 1990's and so also Ford Deluxe taxis were common in Girnar, Gujarat.

Premier and Fiat car dieselisation had not caught on till the early 1990's, as no smaller engine was available. The 137 D came as a boon. Also, hundreds of battered, highly polluting, doddering and boat powering Japanese diesel engines (1000- 1300 cc mostly) came through the Bombay shores in the mid 1990's. These were bought at scrap prices and were once fitted to thousands of Premier taxis of Mumbai.

The "ban diesel car policy" paid dividends for the exchequer, as fuel subsidy bills at the national level were manageable. But the flaws saw to it that those who could circumvent rules went Scot free and got their choice.

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 16th April 2014 at 20:51.
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Old 16th April 2014, 22:16   #1022
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Default Re: Landmaster And Ambassador Picture Gallery

Some old Ambassador pictures. The first one is the famous Malayalam film director Bharathan (late) and Jayaram.

Name:  Legend Padmarajan.jpg
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The second one shows actress Ann Augustine and her late dad Augustine.

Name:  Ann Augustine.jpg
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Old 17th April 2014, 12:05   #1023
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Default Re: Landmaster And Ambassador Picture Gallery

Quote:
Originally Posted by anjan_c2007 View Post
Diesel car and jeep (rather any automobile ) ownership for private use was totally disallowed by the Union government till the 1990's.

Diesel Ambassadors were introduced sometime in 1980 but only for taxi and government use.
That was truly informative. I remember in my childhood days in Kolkata in the 80s, that ALL the taxis were running on diesel. The WMTs were factory fitted diesel, while the WBTs were the converted ones. But they were fitted with HM 1500 diesel ones (not the Matador 307 ones). I do not how they could manage to get hold of the HM 1500 diesel engines if it were not sold as after market? May be some connections!!!

Regards

Samish
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Old 17th April 2014, 18:58   #1024
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Originally Posted by josejoseph View Post
Some old Ambassador pictures. The first one is the famous Malayalam film director Bharathan (late) and Jayaram.

Attachment 1230873
]
That is not Bharathan but looks like cine director Padmarajan,
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Old 17th April 2014, 20:51   #1025
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Quote:
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That is not Bharathan but looks like cine director Padmarajan,
That is indeed the late Padmarajan referred lovingly as 'Pappettan'.
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Old 17th April 2014, 21:56   #1026
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That is not Bharathan but looks like cine director Padmarajan,
Sorry for the mistake . Thanks for correcting.

Mods - Could you please correct the content?
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Old 21st April 2014, 07:15   #1027
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The Pic of the ambassador looks like a classic car photoshoot. Properly tlced
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Old 21st April 2014, 10:52   #1028
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Spotted this car at a distance . Nice colour and looked very complete

Cheers Landmaster And Ambassador Picture Gallery-imageuploadedbyteambhp1398057765.559813.jpg
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Old 22nd April 2014, 22:37   #1029
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A 1970 example spotted in Kolkata. The car has been given a facelift to look like a Mark 4, whereas its a Mark II.

On a closer look, the bodyshell appeared to have been entirely changed. A number of ambassadors in kolkata with older numbers have newer body shells perhaps due to the harsh and humid climate conducive to rusting.

Earlier the number plate of this car was painted in Bengali (pictures already posted on this thread) and now the painting is done in English.

Landmaster And Ambassador Picture Gallery-a2014-044.jpg

Landmaster And Ambassador Picture Gallery-a2014-032.jpg
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Old 24th April 2014, 13:28   #1030
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Default Re: Landmaster And Ambassador Picture Gallery

Anjan,

Can you throw some light on the unique bonnet lock seen in the pictures posted by you please?
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Old 24th April 2014, 16:04   #1031
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Default Re: Landmaster And Ambassador Picture Gallery

Quote:
Originally Posted by samish_g View Post
That was truly informative. I remember in my childhood days in Kolkata in the 80s, that ALL the taxis were running on diesel. The WMTs were factory fitted diesel, while the WBTs were the converted ones. But they were fitted with HM 1500 diesel ones (not the Matador 307 ones). I do not how they could manage to get hold of the HM 1500 diesel engines if it were not sold as after market? May be some connections!!!

Regards

Samish
In the early 1980s, you could buy a Diesel Engine from HM, if you owned a vehicle which had taxi permit (RTO also allowed such conversion with a NEW engine). So it was all legal and straight. Early 80s I was working in Calcutta and was with a company that insured the HM and we had insurance claims for engines "missing in transit" whilst on its way to such owners (through local HM dealer)

Best Regards & Drive Safe

Ram
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Old 24th April 2014, 21:22   #1032
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Anjan,

Can you throw some light on the unique bonnet lock seen in the pictures posted by you please?
Thats a welded bracket pair to aid fitment of an additional lock to the bonnet. Presumably its meant to prevent theft of the car battery, as this car is parked out in the open, on a public street.

The luggage boot to has an additional lock in many Ambassadors to prevent theft of the stepney and jack/ jack handle.Even the driver's side door had an additional lock just below the door handle to make entry slightly difficult for intruders.

Its a sad plight that petty thieves are too active in some localities in Kolkata. I had been to a relative's house in an Ambassador and we had parked the car in a lane in the dark. After returning, to my dismay, I found the tailfin ribs and the fender ribs (totalling four) stolen. Luckily, the hub caps were intact.
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Old 25th April 2014, 20:58   #1033
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Default Re: Landmaster And Ambassador Picture Gallery

Poster of the film Bhoothnath Returns, uses an Ambassador. The Aamir Khan and Karishma Kapoor starrer, Raja Hindustani also used an Ambassador throughout the film, that was almost given a cult status.
This is an older Mark 4 with the square front parking lights.

Name:  bhootnathreturns 1.jpg
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Old 26th April 2014, 16:40   #1034
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This Ambassador, (1.8 D Isuzu engine with 5 speed gearbox) had come to my friendís workshop for some mechanical check up. Itís a mark III. Nothing much on outer body.
The Modified Dash Design & the sheet metal craftsmanship made me to have a second look.
Bit of cleaning & polishing can match any Modern car Dash.
I felt like sharing this with you all.

Snap taken from my HTC windows. Please Excuse for low quality.
Landmaster And Ambassador Picture Gallery-wp_20140425_004.jpg

Hope, I am in the right thread.
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Old 27th April 2014, 15:01   #1035
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Default Re: Landmaster And Ambassador Picture Gallery

Quote:
Originally Posted by josejoseph View Post
The second one shows actress Ann Augustine and her late dad Augustine.

Attachment 1230874
Did the Mark 4s come with the 'Deluxe' badge as standard equipment?
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