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Old 26th April 2013, 13:50   #136
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Default re: Daily Mumbai traffic in a classic? - Yes! Ambassador bought and restored.

Ladies and gentleman...His Majesty the Dashboard :-)
And as behind every great man there is a great mess (ehm), I'll show you what WAS behind the dashboard too. Re-cabling, de-rusting and re-painting. A step by step restoration, with some driving to the bank in between, hehe.
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Old 26th April 2013, 19:40   #137
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Default re: Daily Mumbai traffic in a classic? - Yes! Ambassador bought and restored.

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Originally Posted by Philedonos View Post
Ladies and gentleman...His Majesty the Dashboard :-)
And as behind every great man there is a great mess (ehm), I'll show you what WAS behind the dashboard too. Re-cabling, de-rusting and re-painting. A step by step restoration, with some driving to the bank in between, hehe.

Attachment 1077597
Thanks for the two pictures Philedonos. The second picture wherein the dash is dismantled, shows the original body layout behind the dash.This matches with the dashboard of the Morris Oxford Series II/ Our Landmaster sans the meter and the switch console.
So its in the genes!

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Old 20th May 2013, 14:19   #138
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Default re: Daily Mumbai traffic in a classic? - Yes! Ambassador bought and restored.

We are almost there, here is a picture of the painted and fitted dashboard. The central parts look pale blue in this pictures, but are actually grey. I didn't have a sample of the original colour/finish, so this has to do for the moment. We still need to de-rust and paint the metal under and behind it and cover the lower console with the rexine clad padding like the top rim on the dash. The buttons are of course not the correct ones, so if you have ANY, please drop me a line :-)
Yes, and I do know the fan is not quite right, but it prevents my body from melting while I drive to work...

Now we'll mount the correct thin black gearlever knob, the corrrect red "H" button on the steering wheel, the two chromed windshield wipers, the period correct hood ornament and badges, the correct rear number plate light and hopefully we'll finally get rid of the levers on the steering wheel column, as all the comands (indicators, beams, lights) are back to their original position.
Does anyone have a pair of correct complete front lights? Karl kindly gave me two original chromed thick rims, but my lamps are not original (too small).

Also, does anyone out there have the rear-light chromed lampcovers? I have the holders, the lenses but still need the chromed parts (with the two big holes for the orange/red lenses). HEEEEELP

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Last edited by Philedonos : 20th May 2013 at 14:24.
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Old 25th May 2013, 13:18   #139
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Default re: Daily Mumbai traffic in a classic? - Yes! Ambassador bought and restored.

Experts needed!
As Harit wrote in a previous post, the tricky part of the Ambassador's steering wheel mounted indicators is that they easily stop working when the cables get entangled during manouvres.
To prevent this, the car had a metal tube which went from the centre of the steering wheel (inside the steering column) right down in direction engine bay. Within that tube the cables, tightly covered in a slippery coating, could stay still, while the steering turned.
NOW, my problem is that this metal tube was modified and hence the cables of course get stuck. Does anyone have one of these tubes somewhere? I can have it reproduced but I need to know its exact size. Harit?
Also, I repeat the appeal: does your attic/cellar/closet/bathroom/garden hide two chromed surrounds for the Mark II rear lights? I have the lenses and base, but need the chromed covers with big holes.
Grazie, help the Italian to make your roads unsafe :-)

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Old 25th May 2013, 20:25   #140
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Default re: Daily Mumbai traffic in a classic? - Yes! Ambassador bought and restored.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philedonos View Post
Dear fellow enthusiasts,

I haven't updated this thread in over a month, sorry.
In the meantime the Ambassador has been thoroughly cleaned, inside, underside and outside. It is astounding how everyday movements (shutting doors, steering, surviving potholes) get easier just with a good clean and a bit of grease!
I have been able to find (and polish) two tail lamps and a front grille; not perfect you will point out, but at least they are period correct. They should be in their original place by mid next week and I'll post new pictures.
The indicators are migrating back to their place, the horn works, later exterior additions have been removed.

Now I still have to buy the instruments, which I found, but which my bank manager doesn't allow me to buy :-)
White walls should be on soon, but I am still looking for at least two correct Mark II wheels. Also, the Mark II emblems are missing, as are the chromed wipers, the thick front lamp chrome rings ecc ecc ecc. If you happen to have any of the above, I'd gladly hear from you

I drive the car to and from work every single day and often bump into Bulldogji on the way (not literally, fortunately). Of course I sweat. Sometimes a lot. But I LOVE this car, it makes my comute fun!
In finis, please enjoy a picture of George the greyhound, who so loves the old Ambassador that he can't wait to get in, sometimes he gets his position wrong though...
I am on this thread after a long time. The car as a daily driver must be taking the Mumbai traffic by pleasant surprises.
The newer pictures show that beautification is a continuous process and does not stop for a genuine car lover.Among the many spares, the rear view mirror also needs to be replaced with the original.
You can try these links for Ambassador spares. They have advertised their wares on quickr.com, but I have not had any transactions with them. Please check out for their reliability and whether they are into genuine deals:

http://hyderabad.quikr.com/1958-to-1...QAdIdZ88806946


http://hyderabad.quikr.com/Ambassado...QAdIdZ88067069


Please also contact:
Piyush Shah (Opera House) (m) 9757017220 (he is a teambhpian)

and A.R.Mansuri, Chor Bazar (m) 9892966066 ( I am sure every Mumbaiite who has something or the other to do with old cars swears by him and by now you might have gone to him at least a few times!! )

Both are Mumbai based old car spare dealers.I can guarantee about the latter two as I have been dealing with them from time to time.

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 25th May 2013 at 20:40.
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Old 26th May 2013, 11:35   #141
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Default re: Daily Mumbai traffic in a classic? - Yes! Ambassador bought and restored.

Thank you, how very kind! I will go to see the two gents on my next day off (sometime in June, haha). Not being a local, I appreciate these hints which might be obvious to everyone who lives here but are so useful for me.
Yes, the rearview mirror, one more part I need. We'll get there, and by the time we'll get there, both the car and I will be vintage :-)

I really enjoy doing this bit by bit restoration: of course the costs are by far exceeding the commercial value of the car but I don't mind (still far less than the new Nano I had briefly considered).
I think that too many popular cars got destroyed (both in Italy and in India) and one day it will be harder to find an original Mark II than one of the many Royces which of course have been mantained/restored. Most people laugh at this; India is full of original early Ambassadors they say. Really? I can count the cars on this Forum that are entirely original (right down to the correct choice of upholstery) on one hand! Mine will never be perfect, I am aware of that. But at least I try to get it as close to original as possible.
In Italy you'd find an original early Fiat 127 Saloon harder to buy than a pre war Alfa Romeo... And we all used to say: Ugly. Popular. Mass-produced. But it marked an era and the young generations will miss out on it, just because of our snobbishness....
I hope India will not make the same mistake.
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Old 28th May 2013, 20:13   #142
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Default re: Daily Mumbai traffic in a classic? - Yes! Ambassador bought and restored.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philedonos View Post
I think that too many popular cars got destroyed (both in Italy and in India) and one day it will be harder to find an original Mark II than one of the many Royces which of course have been mantained/restored. Most people laugh at this; India is full of original early Ambassadors they say. Really? I can count the cars on this Forum that are entirely original (right down to the correct choice of upholstery) on one hand! Mine will never be perfect, I am aware of that. But at least I try to get it as close to original as possible.
In Italy you'd find an original early Fiat 127 Saloon harder to buy than a pre war Alfa Romeo... And we all used to say: Ugly. Popular. Mass-produced. But it marked an era and the young generations will miss out on it, just because of our snobbishness....
I hope India will not make the same mistake.
You've summed it up correctly. So many people have mocked me (mostly behind my back) for 'wasting time' on Fiats and Ambys because they are 'so common'. With more and more awareness, the trend is definitely changing. I'm sure Austins and Morris would have recieved similar stepmotherly treatment in the 1980s. The point is, when someone absolutely enjoys his old car (I'm hesitant at this point to say classic/collectible etc), why discourage him? Your Amby is an inspiration to many of us, can't wait to see the next phase of restoration.
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Old 28th May 2013, 20:13   #143
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Default re: Daily Mumbai traffic in a classic? - Yes! Ambassador bought and restored.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philedonos View Post
Experts needed!
As Harit wrote in a previous post, the tricky part of the Ambassador's steering wheel mounted indicators is that they easily stop working when the cables get entangled during manouvres.
To prevent this, the car had a metal tube which went from the centre of the steering wheel (inside the steering column) right down in direction engine bay. Within that tube the cables, tightly covered in a slippery coating, could stay still, while the steering turned.
NOW, my problem is that this metal tube was modified and hence the cables of course get stuck. Does anyone have one of these tubes somewhere? I can have it reproduced but I need to know its exact size. Harit?
Also, I repeat the appeal: does your attic/cellar/closet/bathroom/garden hide two chromed surrounds for the Mark II rear lights? I have the lenses and base, but need the chromed covers with big holes.
Grazie, help the Italian to make your roads unsafe :-)

Attachment 1087578

Attachment 1087579
Philedonos, below the steering wheel there is a brass nut and sleeve locks (enclosed) that aid in keeping the indicator cable enclosing metal tubes in place. If these two are not in place the metal tubes are bound to rock'n roll sans any rock tunes.
I believe you can check up with spare part dealer (less hope) or an old Ambassador car and get these fabricated to size, if not available.
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Old 28th May 2013, 21:50   #144
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Default re: Daily Mumbai traffic in a classic? - Yes! Ambassador bought and restored.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philedonos View Post
I think that too many popular cars got destroyed (both in Italy and in India)
In Italy you'd find an original early Fiat 127 Saloon harder to buy than a pre war Alfa Romeo... And we all used to say: Ugly. Popular. Mass-produced. But it marked an era and the young generations will miss out on it, just because of our snobbishness....
I hope India will not make the same mistake.
AFAIK India HAS already made the same mistake and people mostly regret having neglected the 'common' cars now!

Quote:
Originally Posted by karlosdeville View Post
You've summed it up correctly. I'm sure Austins and Morris would have recieved similar stepmotherly treatment in the 1980s.
And, I might add, Heralds as well!
And now, you hardly find any of those cars on the roads either! Ironically more people want them now!
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Old 11th June 2013, 14:17   #145
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Default re: Daily Mumbai traffic in a classic? - Yes! Ambassador bought and restored.

Yet another few steps are done:
- the freshly painted, new rims
- the whitewalls, with many many thanks to Amal and also Karl and Aniruddh who helped me to get them
- the lateral Mark II and rear Ambassador badges
- the rear number plate light.
- the bonnet adornment of the correct shape, thank you Venkatesh! (still missing the detailing in red...)
Now I need the straight Ambassador badge for the front of the bonnet and the windshield joints with the metal surround but seem to have found the correct rearview mirror, gearlever knob and chromed rear lights supports (let's see if the guy wants to part with them at a reasonable cost). I will also need two correct headlights, Karl parted with two fat rims which I'll have to rechrome.
In the meantime one of the two chromed wipers has been mounted after I have braved the monsoons in the Bombay taxi driver's way...using my hand as a wiper :-)

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Old 11th June 2013, 22:54   #146
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Default re: Daily Mumbai traffic in a classic? - Yes! Ambassador bought and restored.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philedonos View Post
Yet another few steps are done:
- the freshly painted, new rims
- the whitewalls, with many many thanks to Amal and also Karl and Aniruddh who helped me to get them
- the lateral Mark II and rear Ambassador badges
- the rear number plate light.
- the bonnet adornment of the correct shape, thank you Venkatesh! (still missing the detailing in red...)
Hey - the ol' girl is looking gorgeous, with every step of the resto
Keep up the good work, and hope to see her zooming down Mumbai's streets soon.

What road do you travel by? I would really like to catch a glimpse of your bellissima....
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Old 12th June 2013, 09:33   #147
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Default re: Daily Mumbai traffic in a classic? - Yes! Ambassador bought and restored.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philedonos View Post
Yet another few steps are done:
She looks great. I am so happy the car is getting the treatment she deserves. Its amazing how a couple of small cosmetic upgrades make the car look so much more pleasing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philedonos View Post
- the bonnet adornment of the correct shape, thank you Venkatesh! (still missing the detailing in red...)
You know I have my reservations on the red detailing (its more vermillion actually). Now all Hindustan products of the time were Morris - and all the equivalent Morris models had blue detailing. Oxford blue if you will. This was seen on Hindustan 14s (I have an NOS badge with the blue colour) and Landmasters too (I still haven't painted the blue on my car regrettably). Perhaps Ambys too had the blue detailing. Worth investigating.

The Indian market has always loved extra adornment, and we see this red detailing popularly added to the side trims and wheelcaps of dukkar Fiats too. It was never factory.
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Old 12th June 2013, 12:05   #148
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Default re: Daily Mumbai traffic in a classic? - Yes! Ambassador bought and restored.

This car was seen on Mumbai streets a few days ago. Love the number plate light, colour red is correct here?
I think that the same car was at a petrol pump yesterday evening on Peddar Road with the owner cleaning the windshield himself, and then squeezing into the car as he parked too close to the wall. That car is just too noticable.

Cheers harit
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Old 12th June 2013, 13:44   #149
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Default re: Daily Mumbai traffic in a classic? - Yes! Ambassador bought and restored.

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What road do you travel by? I would really like to catch a glimpse of your bellissima....
La Bellissima and I travel the same route evey morning: starting from the Ambani skyscraper along Altamount and Carmichael Rd, Pedder Rd, Haji Ali, Racecourse Rd, Mahalaxmi, and finally up Tulsi Pipe Rd to the Lodha World Towers. Leave home at 9:30- 9:45. In the eve, at 6:30pm, the inverse route.
If you want to know my exact position, please ask Harit :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by karlosdeville View Post
You know I have my reservations on the red detailing (its more vermillion actually). Now all Hindustan products of the time were Morris - and all the equivalent Morris models had blue detailing. Oxford blue if you will. This was seen on Hindustan 14s (I have an NOS badge with the blue colour) and Landmasters too (I still haven't painted the blue on my car regrettably). Perhaps Ambys too had the blue detailing. Worth investigating.
Oh, I didn't know about the blue. I have seen only two original Mark IIs and both had red detailing. My parts have small traces of red too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harit View Post
This car was seen on Mumbai streets a few days ago. Love the number plate light, colour red is correct here?
I think that the same car was at a petrol pump yesterday evening on Peddar Road with the owner cleaning the windshield himself, and then squeezing into the car as he parked too close to the wall. That car is just too noticable.Cheers harit
Haha, got me there! Rear numberpllate light changed by now, see pictures above, but squeezing into the car all the time: it is my way of testing if I am developing an Indian belly too :-) You have just seen me washing the windshield, you should see me wash the car on my own in front of the Ambani guards..they never quite know how to tell me off. Rebel.

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Old 16th October 2013, 16:51   #150
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Default re: Daily Mumbai traffic in a classic? - Yes! Ambassador bought and restored.

Hey boys!

Haven't updated you in a long time...but I have good reasons: the MarkII is being restored!
We are already at the painting stage, so you'll get a short pictorial summary of what happened until now:-)


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Last edited by Philedonos : 16th October 2013 at 17:03.
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