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Old 7th February 2014, 12:59   #1
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Default The Journey with our Premier Padmini

It was a long and tedious search to find a good condition Premier Padmini with steering mounted gear lever and the old fashioned steering wheel with horn ring. Lots of padminis are available for sale, but one with a column mounted gear shifter was rare, at least in my part of the country. I think, when floor shifter became the trend most of the cars were converted that way. Finally after a few months of search, I got hold of a cream colour 1978 model car which met my expectations. It might be the halo effect in the first photograph I saw of her which attracted me or may be the registration number KRF 1224.

The first drive was scary. The evening traffic of Cochin town felt like hell. It took me a while to get adjusted to the controls. Once settled, she felt smooth like butter. I wouldn't say that she was in pristine condition. A little bit of body work and interior refurbishment was needed. The mechanicals were in perfect order. Only a greasing was needed. Loved the 60km ride home from Cochin. I felt that the Padmini was the perfect car to have a relaxed 'windows down' Sunday drive.
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Old 7th February 2014, 13:57   #2
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Default re: The Journey with our Premier Padmini

Wonderful, Congrats on the car. Does this make a part of your collection for old cars or you bought one to start experimenting on?

Post more pictures of the seats, rear, boot, engine bay, the starting key. I remember, we use to have a different key for starting, another for door lock and another for fuel tank.

Do keep updating. Also, what price did you pay?

Best Wishes
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Old 7th February 2014, 21:16   #3
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We (my brother and myself) had clear plans about the restoration of the car. A dual colour exterior and white/cream interior was the raw plan. After going through many of Fiat's original colour combinations, a Grey body - Black roof combination was finalised. I have seen many Fiats in my part of the country with dual colour exteriors, but none had this combination and many of them had a shabby appearance due to the low quality paint used. We wanted our car to stand out from the rest in terms of quality and finish and so we decided to use BASF Glasurit automobile paint which gives an extra, durable shine to the car. May be that is why even Chip Foose, the king of customisations, uses this brand.

One might wonder why we were so adamant on the classic style steering wheel and horn ring. We wanted something different and unique to our car, something elegant and attrative which others will want in their car too. Thus came the idea of a multi-coloured steering wheel which will add to the classic nature of the car. After browsing through many pictures of classic car steering wheels, this particular paint pattern was finalised. Pearl white and Black are the colours used. The gear lever and light controls were also painted to match the steering wheel’s colour pattern. The horn ring and the bob with Fiat logo in the centre are not standard fittings on this car. Both were sourced from Hyderabad. I still do not know which model that steering centre belongs to.

Parts sourcing was another tedious task. Some were available in my hometown; some at Coimbatore. But the Fiat style round side repeaters, and good quality rear view mirrors were not available in the country. One person at Hyderabad had a pair of side repeaters which were highly priced even though it was damaged. Thanks to eBay, both the repeaters and mirrors were available in their US website and the price was reasonable too. The white tyre side walls are from Mumbai and the Fiat 1100D decal was from Chandigargh. Thanks to Team BHP; helped contact many suppliers. A special mention of Mr. Xavier who did a spectacular job with the interiors of the car and also Intimate Automobiles who did the splendid body work and paint job.


The ride comfort is something that has to be experienced. I will not say that the car will pamper you on bad roads. But your back will not suffer no matter how bad the roads are; that is for sure. The leaf springs give a soft cushiony ride, something which even some of the new generation cars cannot provide. The bench type seats accommodates two in luxury and three pretty comfortably. The most surprising thing is that squeaks and rattles are not there even at the age of 35! Do not expect the vehicle of this age to take you above 60 km/hr. Let me tell you, the Padmini is pretty stable for the speeds that she can manage.

It is hard to believe that this car is under 4-metres in length. I wonder whether there is any hatchback available in the market which can give such a roomy interior and a large boot when the length is limited to under 4-metres. You will have to compromise on a stylish dashboard; but still you do get a decent glove box and a platform for the full width of the car, under the dashboard, to keep your belongings. The armrest provided on the rear seat, might have been a luxury in those times, is of real convenience. The front seat has a slider mechanism so that more room can be made available for the rear passengers. For a car of the late 1970′s these many features would have been more than enough to attract buyers

Many would say that this is not a true restoration. The car which was originally a Premier Padmini was rebadged to Fiat 1100D. The Fiat logo on the grille is the latest shape. The steering wheel is not a standard Fiat at all. Many many non-confirmances with the original car can be spotted. But this is ultimately what we wanted when we started thinking of purchasing such a car.

The journey has just started. Thanks for reading.
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Last edited by GTO : 12th February 2014 at 14:23. Reason: Removing FONT tags
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Old 12th February 2014, 14:23   #4
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Default Re: The Journey with our Premier Padmini

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 12th February 2014, 14:47   #5
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Default Re: The Journey with our Premier Padmini

One word - fabulous. You might have gone the different route in some areas, but you have gone for good. The paint finish is amazing and the seats look elegant. One thing that stands out in the interior is the steering wheel. Looks like a piece of art.

Please give details on mechanical work done.
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Old 12th February 2014, 15:24   #6
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Nostalgia! I still remember my dad first car was the fiat & so was my first car! Its a brilliant car and never lets you down! The paint, steering & interiors are excellent! Congratulations
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Old 12th February 2014, 16:27   #7
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Default Re: The Journey with our Premier Padmini

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnson D3A View Post
The horn ring and the bob with Fiat logo in the centre are not standard fittings on this car.
A special mention of Mr. Xavier who did a spectacular job with the interiors of the car and also Intimate Automobiles who did the splendid body work and paint job.

.

The car looks really nice. I liked the steering wheel. Was the restoration done at Kottayam? Please share more details of the car -year of manufacture etc and more details of the restoration. Please post WIP pictures if you have.
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Old 12th February 2014, 16:44   #8
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Default Re: The Journey with our Premier Padmini

Wow!!! Loved the paint job and ORVMs. The steering wheel and gear knobs are just amazing!!
No seat belts? If not can't they be installed?
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Old 12th February 2014, 22:32   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blow Horn Ok View Post
One word - fabulous. You might have gone the different route in some areas, but you have gone for good. The paint finish is amazing and the seats look elegant. One thing that stands out in the interior is the steering wheel. Looks like a piece of art.

Please give details on mechanical work done.
Thanks for the good words. No major mechanical repairs were needed. Overhauled the carburettor, changed oils and filters, flushed the radiator, new master cylinder kits, brakes overhaul etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pramodpk View Post
The car looks really nice. I liked the steering wheel. Was the restoration done at Kottayam? Please share more details of the car -year of manufacture etc and more details of the restoration. Please post WIP pictures if you have.
The restoration work was done at Intimate Automobiles, Changanachery. The car is 1978 model. It took almost 8 months to restore. Took so long mainly because of the rush in the workshop and they could not do work on the car for many days.

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Old 12th February 2014, 23:00   #10
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A very nice effort at restoration; it reminded me of our own Premier Padmini MVL 3852. Your car looks really nice; the only thing out of place is the dashboard with PAL logo and the Fiat logo on the grille. If you can get an original Fiat dashboard, and an original square Fiat logo, then it would look even nicer! All the best with your Padmini!
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Old 12th February 2014, 23:18   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W.A.G.7 View Post
A very nice effort at restoration; it reminded me of our own Premier Padmini MVL 3852. Your car looks really nice; the only thing out of place is the dashboard with PAL logo and the Fiat logo on the grille. If you can get an original Fiat dashboard, and an original square Fiat logo, then it would look even nicer! All the best with your Padmini!


Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I hadn't notices that PAL logo in the instrument cluster till now.
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Old 13th February 2014, 11:39   #12
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Default Re: The Journey with our Premier Padmini

Wow! Nice work done there. It was good choice of yours to go for a car with the old steering wheel - no need to mention this is the most 'classic-looking' part of all. The grey and black colour choice is very apt for the car - and so is the white colour on the tires. Altogether, a wonderful restoration work!
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Old 13th February 2014, 11:44   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe M View Post
Wow! Nice work done there. It was good choice of yours to go for a car with the old steering wheel - no need to mention this is the most 'classic-looking' part of all. The grey and black colour choice is very apt for the car - and so is the white colour on the tires. Altogether, a wonderful restoration work!
Joe. Actually those are white sidewall inserts and not paint.
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Old 13th February 2014, 11:47   #14
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Default Re: The Journey with our Premier Padmini

Superb rebuild job. I should be joining the club soon with my 72 Fiat.

Are the auto cancels still functioning on the indicator stalks?
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Old 13th February 2014, 12:53   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnson D3A View Post

Thanks to Team BHP; helped contact many suppliers. A special mention of Mr. Xavier who did a spectacular job with the interiors of the car and also Intimate Automobiles who did the splendid body work and paint job.
Why don't you install the front number plate under the bumper instead of on top? The correct position was below the bumper.
Also the seats look a little beefed up - seems like the guy has put more pads while making those seats.
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