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Old 13th March 2011, 08:52   #1
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Default Bombay's Scammel Scarab Articulated Refuse Transporter

Friends:

I feel like something of a relic for submitting this here, but I may be one of the scarce Team-BHPians, old enough to remember, some unusual urban motorized transportation in India (and specifically Bombay) of the mid 1960s.

The Bombay Municipal Corporation had imported British three-wheeled tractors which pulled a fifth (in this case third) wheel trailer, for transport of refuse. They were stone grey in color. The engine was a 2 litre flathead petrol engine.

If one of you have an ancient photo of one of these, or have spotted one of these in some old Hindi or other language movie, please contribute a screen shot.

Here is one of my drawings.

Name:  BMCGarbagetruck1960s600.jpg
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Ram

OT: BMC’s olive color scheme came as late as 2006-07. And the Army forced them to paint the cabs orange to distinguish the vehicles clearly from Army vehicles.
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Old 13th March 2011, 08:55   #2
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Default Re: Bombay's Scammel Scarab Articulated Refuse Transporter

Found an interesting wiki link: Scammell Scarab - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 13th March 2011, 09:00   #3
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Default Re: Bombay's Scammel Scarab Articulated Refuse Transporter

Ram, your drawing is so good and I think you should still have the visual of this vehicle in your mind, so that you could put it down as a drawing. I am sure you should be a good artist and can try drawing cartoons, etc as a hobby atleast.
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Old 13th March 2011, 09:07   #4
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Default Re: Bombay's Scammel Scarab Articulated Refuse Transporter

Super drawing Ram! But is this something we knew as Tempo?
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Old 13th March 2011, 09:14   #5
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Default Re: Bombay's Scammel Scarab Articulated Refuse Transporter

Few of them which i found in internet, BTW that was a awesome drawing
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Old 13th March 2011, 09:40   #6
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Default Re: Bombay's Scammel Scarab Articulated Refuse Transporter

Ram,

Your drawing is more aesthetic than the vehicle itself! You ought to open a vintage automobile museum with your knowledge; or atleast consult for one.
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Old 13th March 2011, 14:30   #7
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Default Re: Bombay's Scammel Scarab Articulated Refuse Transporter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudra Sen View Post
Super drawing Ram! But is this something we knew as Tempo?
Thank you for appreciating my drawing, @goldsun, @Rudra Sen, @camchennai, @theMAG.

@Rudra. Actually the Tempo you allude to, was something else.
It originated in Germany, while the Scammell Scarab is from England.

About the Tempo
The brand "Tempo" belonged to Oscar Vidal und Sohn Tempo-Werk GmbH of Harburg, Germany.

They struggled to survive by tying up with Hanomag in 1955. However even Tempo-Hanomag sold out to the Rheinstahl group in 1959. Bajaj-Tempo mfd. them under license at Akurdi, Pune from 1960 until 2000.

These were ragtop Tempos used as taxis in MP, affectionately called a bhatsuar (भटसुअर) a "stuttering mechanical pig". Here is a pic of a भटसुअर used as a Gwalior shared taxi from Gwalior Fort Gate to Morar cantonment.
Beyond the Auto Rickshaw | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Pre-1978 Hanseats had a two-cylinder two-stroke 400 cc, 12 bhp Heinkel petrol engine that put out 14 bhp. The engine had a characteristic baritone buzz that throbbed in amplitude 3-4 times every second.

After 1986, they got a single-cylinder 500 cc Greaves-Lombardini diesel engine, that put out a reluctant 9 bhp.

The engine and gearbox sat over the single front wheel and drove it via a chain drive. Naturally, when the front wheel was steered, the engine and gearbox would swivel with it.

The name Tempo has since, disappeared in Germany, but is still a generic term in India, for small transport vehicle.

About the Scammell Scarab
I seek information about how it came to be imported into India, including, how many units ended up here. However like many of our contemporaries, I carry around memories of them in my head.

Ram
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Old 13th March 2011, 14:57   #8
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Default Re: Bombay's Scammel Scarab Articulated Refuse Transporter

Ram, the gems you bring out from memories of yesteryears. Thanks !

The Bhatsuar in the link you have provided looks like a stretched version. Also, the bonnet seems modified is now a little more up in the air. The ones I remember were of shorter length, and also a lower positioned bonnet without showing so much of the silencer.
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Old 14th March 2011, 09:11   #9
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Default Re: Bombay's Scammel Scarab Articulated Refuse Transporter

@ Ram.

I must congratulate you for the superb drawing. You should make use of your excellent skill more often. Drawing cartoons, as suggested by Goldsun, will be an excellent idea.

Tempos or Bhatsuars are very common in rural North India all over. They suffer poorest of maintenance, poorest of road conditions and still haul about 10-15 people relentlessly. So their life is more similar to a Donkey. But still their ruggedness is amazing and it is one of unsung Heroes of the Indian auto industry.
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Old 14th March 2011, 10:00   #10
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Default Re: Bombay's Scammel Scarab Articulated Refuse Transporter

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
...the bonnet seems modified is now a little more up in the air. The ones I remember were of shorter length,
The bonnet is definitely partially open. I've highlighed the edges in white to clarify. However I do believe the bonnet is just the standard length. And the louvres on the side (there were two kinds of louvres) have been removed.

Name:  Hanseatpartlyopenbonnet.jpg
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...without showing so much of the silencer.
Interesting! Here are a handful of different specimens, all showing the silencer and exhaust pipe, clamped to the front-wheel transmission, albeit with slight variations. My guess is, the Hanseat's exhaust system begged frequent repairs, and home-made alterations were typical. The pics speak for themselves.

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Old 14th March 2011, 11:58   #11
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Default Re: Bombay's Scammel Scarab Articulated Refuse Transporter

This isn't the first time you've impressed us with your drawing skills. I had no knowledge about the existence of these vehicles in Bombay. I am quite sure you have a few pictures of these as well?
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Old 14th March 2011, 13:42   #12
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Default Re: Bombay's Scammel Scarab Articulated Refuse Transporter

Superb sketch Ram! From the drawing, it feels as if you saw the vehicle a day or two ago. Lovely article as well.

I had no clue of such a vehicle in existance in Bombay circa 1960. Also, was there a specific purpose to have those exhausts up in the front, rather than the standard rear or side exhausts?
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Old 14th March 2011, 15:12   #13
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Default Re: Bombay's Scammel Scarab Articulated Refuse Transporter

Quote:
Originally Posted by moralfibre View Post
I am quite sure you have a few pictures of these as well?
No, unfortunately not @moralfibre !

Can you unearth some pics with your network ?
Hoping we meet a retired BMC employee who can point us at more data on this Scammell Scarab three-wheeled tractor.

Feature films made in India afford excellent video clips of life in those days. Also hoping one of our Team-BHPians discovers this vehicle in some movie scene shot in the Bombay of those times.
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Old 14th March 2011, 19:24   #14
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Default Re: Bombay's Scammel Scarab Articulated Refuse Transporter

This brings back memories.
First of all, I saw this because I was pointed here.
I remember seeing these little garbage trucks, specially their trailers. These trailers were kept parked at designated spots. The cover was this push type moving in a semicircular movement from the top. They were indeed grey, and for many years the garbage trucks were grey, except those open 1947ish Chevy trucks which they hired out.
It is not that in the 1960's import of everything was banned. Vehicles did come in, like Pune had busses from Thornycroft which were bodied in India. Similarly the municipal corporation could buy garbage trucks. Dennis fire engines came in the same manner. Heavy haulers came in with project imports, for a project in north east India they had Scammel tug machines.
Regarding Tempo, have a look at Adil Darukhanawallas new book, there is a whole story there with pictures.
Probably no Scammel tug would survive, Government always sells these things in scrap.
Nice sketch, memory brought back.

Cheers harit

Last edited by harit : 14th March 2011 at 19:26.
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Old 14th March 2011, 23:45   #15
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Default Re: Bombay's Scammel Scarab Articulated Refuse Transporter

Hey Ram, I remember seeing one like this standing in Pudhupet, Chennai in 1993 or 1994 for a long time.
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