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Old 28th January 2013, 13:47   #91
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Hi Daniel, I got a glimpse of you driving your Amby this morning on Pedder road. Brought back memories of our own MRZ 5783, also a 1966 model which came by wagon from Calcutta after which Dad and I went to National Garage to bring her home. [...]
Buongiorno!
Looking forward to finally meet while both of us are driving old metal.
My car is actually still 1965, I guess the 1400 numbers between the two number plates are enough to cover a few months distance in the registrations.
Dove grey, what a lovely colour. I think pastels suit this sort of Pontoons very well, have you any idea what else was available in those years? Some light green maybe?
Interesting to know that the interior was one tone and not two tone in your car, wonder if one had a choice at the time?
I will join you on a drive but as I work on weekends for me taking off three days is very hard...
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Old 29th January 2013, 18:39   #92
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Originally Posted by the mole View Post
Another iconic image of the MK 2 amby is by the famous indian photographer Raghu Rai ................
If I am not mistaken, this was a Sadhus car at some Kumbh Mela.

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Originally Posted by Philedonos View Post
First of all, thank you for the advice!
To your points:
1. .......planning to put an original Mk.II instrument cluster there, ......
4. Should I move to Bangalore or add insulation, hehe?
5. The indicator switch on the steering boss and the dipper switch next to the clutch pedal are still there but have to be "reactivated". Do you know where on the dash the headlight switch was? I am trying to figure out the use of the four switches next to the ignition key hole, as their use has been modified.
7. Looking for tail lights from the Mk II. HELP!!
As for the old cotton T-shirt and 2-litre bottle filled with water, I found them in the booot already;-) The original radiator was removed, cleaned and sealed and seems fine now, but the car overheats too quickly, have to understand why soon, considering the coil has been replaced by a new one.
Having used an Amby for almost 30 years, a humble suggestion: Don't fiddle with the car if she runs. No need to change anything and bring back to original. For example, in my car the direction indicator on steering wheel was changed to the stick mounted on the side of the steering column because the indicator started to rotate after a while fouling the horn wires and they would honk while turning the steering. Similarly, do keep insulation on both sides of the firewall, we are still in winter.. Leave the cluster alone if anything fitted now works.
The original 4 switches were for lights, wiper, choke, and maybe highbeam, I forgot. If existing arrangement works, leave it as is.

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Originally Posted by rajeev k View Post
I see two ignition coils out there, perhaps one as a standby for emergency use. The engine bay is as good as vintage except for the firewall cladding. Usually these insulation was done along with retro-fitment of diesel engines.
Your car has an alternator which may be a later day change from the original dynamo.
Insulation was also put on petrol engined cars. Alternator is a good thing. I wonder if it is really worthwhile to bring back the car to original, it only decreases the pleasure of driving around. You could try to revert back to the original suspension bushes, that way you will have to replace them every 6 months. And anyway, you will certainly be allowed to participate in VCCCI rallies, last rally had completely modified Ambys with old numbers and new bodies, so you will definitely be in.

Maybe you could try to source this grill

Cheers harit
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Old 31st January 2013, 14:19   #93
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[...]
Having used an Amby for almost 30 years, a humble suggestion: Don't fiddle with the car if she runs. No need to change anything and bring back to original. For example, in my car the direction indicator on steering wheel was changed to the stick mounted on the side of the steering column because the indicator started to rotate after a while fouling the horn wires and they would honk while turning the steering. Similarly, do keep insulation on both sides of the firewall, we are still in winter.. Leave the cluster alone if anything fitted now works.
The original 4 switches were for lights, wiper, choke, and maybe highbeam, I forgot. If existing arrangement works, leave it as is.
Insulation was also put on petrol engined cars. Alternator is a good thing. I wonder if it is really worthwhile to bring back the car to original, it only decreases the pleasure of driving around. You could try to revert back to the original suspension bushes, that way you will have to replace them every 6 months. And anyway, you will certainly be allowed to participate in VCCCI rallies, last rally had completely modified Ambys with old numbers and new bodies, so you will definitely be in.[...]
Hello Harit!
I noticed you have moved your green Ambassador a couple of times, will try to take a picture of the two cars next to each other soon.
Your suggestions are very wise but do come one day late: yesterday was my (only) weekly off, so the re-1965-ization has begun.
Off with those 4 foglights, the rubber guards on the bumbers, the wooden shelving inside the car, off with the combo on the steering wheel column and yes to the reinstalling of indicators on the steering wheel while the other functions will be operated form the dashboard as in the past.

You are a wise person to suggest not to touch what works, but I am so in love with (some) original features of the Ambassador, that I just want to give it a try. If they don't work, I can still put the pieces back which I removed.
I will try to come back to the orginal looks step by step but leave the mechanical improvements in place, as a compromise.
You see, I have been driving my 1937 model Citroen Traction Avant for the past 16 years as my only car in Italy. It has all the original features and is certainly less comfortable that my friends', who have all modified some bits and pieces (additional fans, homocinetic trasmission, headrests ecc). But it is a Traction Avant and not a fake.

I guess it is a point of view. I always detested the idea of living in a Victorian house with double glazed PVC windows and fake wood on the floors. If you want that, move to a 1970ies building. I think that the beauty lies in the originality, you wouldn't cut the legs off an antique Goan four poster bed just to make it easier to climb on, would you? And if I wanted a more "modern" Ambassador I could have bought it factory new.
I really believe that any vintage car should be brought back to as many original features as possible, if the cars are to be seen as cultural history and if it is to be accepted at "Concours" or VCCCI events. Especially in a country like India where you have the import/export ban which has a consequence that even "popular" cars life Fiats or Ambassadors are becoming scarcer in their original coniguration.
As I said, it is a point of view and also depends on finances, the number of cars on posseses (if you have many you can work only at one at the time), type and rarity of car (and pieces!) and many other factors. Especially on an Ambassador, for which you can still find almost everything (thanks for the grille, haha), I would be in favour - if just to distinguish it from a shabby daily runner.
If I had the money and time I would bring the car back to its original pastel colour and interiors, but that will become the joy of my successor ;-)
Looking forward to our next meet!
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Old 31st January 2013, 20:27   #94
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Originally Posted by Philedonos View Post
yesterday was my (only) weekly off, so the re-1965-ization has begun.
Off with those 4 foglights, the rubber guards on the bumbers, the wooden shelving inside the car, off with the combo on the steering wheel column and yes to the reinstalling of indicators on the steering wheel while the other functions will be operated form the dashboard as in the past.
Hi Phil, this would be the first time I'm posting in your thread though I have been visiting it sporadically. Glad to note your enthusiasm in bringing back the 'virginity' of your car! While you're at it, I would add (IF you havent done it as yet) taking off those ugly non-period black wing mirrors as well! And for good! Not worth keeping them aside for an afterthought, unlike the other pieces you've taken off! Try getting a hold of some period 'chrome finish' ones. These were very common on many 'old-time' cars here, especially Ambys, although not sure if they can still be had new. They do tarnish with age, but are still better any day than the ones fitted on your car! Here's a pic. of what the mirrors look like:

Daily Mumbai traffic in a classic? - Yes! Ambassador bought and restored.-hermirror.jpg

Good luck with finding these, as well as the original grille!

Last edited by Stanher : 31st January 2013 at 20:48.
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Old 1st February 2013, 11:47   #95
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Phil hi,

I really admire your passion to drive a classic car daily. I too try and use my cars 3/4 times a week but would love to move up to daily driver levels. I guess the solution is to make sure there's no 'modern' car available to tempt laziness.
What have you done with your '37 Traction Avant now that you are in Bombay?
Please post some photographs of the Traction Avant when you can !
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Old 1st February 2013, 13:16   #96
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Phil hi,

I really admire your passion to drive a classic car daily. I too try and use my cars 3/4 times a week but would love to move up to daily driver levels. I guess the solution is to make sure there's no 'modern' car available to tempt laziness.
What have you done with your '37 Traction Avant now that you are in Bombay?
Please post some photographs of the Traction Avant when you can !
Also just scrolled all the way up and saw that you're name is Daniel, so pardon my ignorance in the post above!
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Old 1st February 2013, 14:30   #97
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Hi Phil, this would be the first time I'm posting in your thread though I have been visiting it sporadically. Glad to note your enthusiasm in bringing back the 'virginity' of your car! While you're at it, I would add (IF you havent done it as yet) taking off those ugly non-period black wing mirrors as well! And for good! [...]
Hello!
You are right and I had forgotten to mention that the two rear view mirrors on the wings are the first ones to leave in the "revirgination" process :-)
Not too sure about replacing them with period fare though, I would prefere something on the driver's side door, as it looks more period to me plus...I am short sighted, haha.
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Old 4th February 2013, 13:58   #98
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Hi Daniel, The four switches, ivory coloured on the dash were, starting from the left, manual choke, wiper, panel light and starter. In the centre was the black combination switch for ignition, parking lights and main beam, the dipper being on the left of the clutch pedal, on the floor. Your wheels are from a mark 4 or later, with slats for better cooling of the drums to prevent brake fade, a common occurence with drum brakes, on repeated applications. The rear view mirror also is incorrect, this model came with quite an elegant , small sized one. The steering wheel is correct, but the central plastic cover is not. The engine bay is a mess, I would discard all the extra stuff and re wire the car to prevent fires. Some mechanics have a very casual, and extremely dangerous attitude where electricals are concerned, cutting and taping joints. New wiring is a must, as also a fire extinguisher. These cars rarely heat up. Check for possible causes such as a chocked radiator, faulty pressure cap, collapsed hoses, loose fan belt, in correct ignition timing, binding brakes,weak compression, slipping clutch,also ask the previous owner about possible engine overhaul with oversized pistons. A stop gap solution of course is to fit a large Bosch electric fan between the grill and the radiator, till you find and eliminate the cause, activated by a thermo electric coupling programmed to activate the fan whenever the temperature reaches a pre determined figure, say 90 degrees celsius. Remember these engines must run at operating temperatures of 80 to 85 degrees celsius, running cooler has its own problems in the long run.
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Old 4th February 2013, 14:19   #99
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Here is a quick update on the work undertaken until now:
other than the aesthetic differences you can spot in the picture below, we have removed unnecessary additions form the dashboard, got the horn ring to work again and are now fiddling with the indicators on the steering wheel. A burst oil pipe had to be replaced and the fuel pump is presently causing some trouble, but I am very happy how work is proceeding!
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Old 4th February 2013, 14:25   #100
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Hi Daniel, you had earlier mentioned that the car was overheating. That would at times cause a fuel vapour lock. Often this problem was blamed on a faulty fuel pump. In any case , if you can get a fresh kit, overhaul the pump. If you cant, fit an electric pump. The Mark 1 came with a SU pump fitted in the dickey.
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Old 4th February 2013, 14:27   #101
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Hi Daniel, The four switches, ivory coloured on the dash were, starting from the left, manual choke, wiper, panel light and starter. In the centre was the black combination switch for ignition, parking lights and main beam, the dipper being on the left of the clutch pedal, on the floor. Your wheels are from a mark 4 or later, with slats for better cooling of the drums to prevent brake fade, a common occurence with drum brakes, on repeated applications. The rear view mirror also is incorrect, this model came with quite an elegant , small sized one. The steering wheel is correct, but the central plastic cover is not. The engine bay is a mess, I would discard all the extra stuff and re wire the car to prevent fires. Some mechanics have a very casual, and extremely dangerous attitude where electricals are concerned, cutting and taping joints. New wiring is a must, as also a fire extinguisher. These cars rarely heat up. [...]
Buongiorno!
Thank you or the information on the dashboard switches, they are the next step to tackle and should be of the colour you state, not black as the ones I currently have. The combination switch for ignition, parking lights and main beam still works, the dipper remains on the left of the clutch pedal and will work soon I hope! We seem to have resolved the overheating problem but the wiring is a big work to be done, you are right. You see, the car would need some welding and a respray in its original sandy beige, and at that point it would make sense to rewire it all. Alas, considering that I don't know if my contract will be renewed from July onwards (and I hence get kicked out of the country), I will wait for these jobs until further notice :-)
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Old 4th February 2013, 15:20   #102
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Hi Daniel, The four switches, ivory coloured on the dash were, starting from the left, manual choke, wiper, panel light and starter.
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Buongiorno!
Thank you or the information on the dashboard switches, they are the next step to tackle and should be of the colour you state, not black as the ones I currently have.
Actually as far as I know, Ambys had black switches on the dash - ivory would have been for Landmasters. Either ways the design itself is incorrect in Daniel's car.
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Old 4th February 2013, 15:30   #103
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Our mark 2 Karl had ivory coloured switches, with C, W, P and S, representing choke, wiper, panel lights and starter respectively, neatly etched in black. Looked smart and matched the steering gear lever knob which was also ivory coloured with a chrome ring. The ivory coloured switches in the landmaster were of a different shape, though similar in colour .Having said that, ambassadors being ambassadors, maybe they just had an old stock of switches which they used up on early cars??
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Old 4th February 2013, 16:28   #104
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Our mark 2 Karl had ivory coloured switches, with C, W, P and S, representing choke, wiper, panel lights and starter respectively, neatly etched in black. Looked smart and matched the steering gear lever knob which was also ivory coloured with a chrome ring. The ivory coloured switches in the landmaster were of a different shape, though similar in colour .Having said that, ambassadors being ambassadors, maybe they just had an old stock of switches which they used up on early cars??
Thats really interesting - I never came across these in Ambys, not even in very original cars or literature. But exactly like you said, old stock could have been used in run-outs. It still happens in my line of work

I also remember you mentioning the bumper guards on your Mk 2 were the tall ones carried over - possibly the same reason.
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Old 4th February 2013, 16:47   #105
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Thats really interesting - I never came across these in Ambys, not even in very original cars or literature. But exactly like you said, old stock could have been used in run-outs. It still happens in my line of work

I also remember you mentioning the bumper guards on your Mk 2 were the tall ones carried over - possibly the same reason.
Hmmm, I just got a picture from a higly original Mark II interior which has black switches with ivory letters on them and a black gearlever knob. Bulldog's car was 1966, mine is 1965, so it sounds strange that Hindustan Motors would have used the old switches in 1966 but not 1964/5. Unless my liftboy used to work for Hindustan, it takes him two years flat every time I ask him to fetch something for me :-)
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