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Old 17th October 2012, 23:46   #1
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Default Daily Mumbai traffic in a classic? - Yes! Ambassador bought and restored.

Dear fellow vintage car lovers,

I have just moved back to Bombay for another period of work and have to get a car to travel to Lower Parel every day (very few miles each day). My budget is limited, as I won't be able to take the car back with me to Italy.
However, I have never had, and don't intend to have, a car conceived after the 1960ies.
Dilemma.
What do you think about the Ambassador; it is the only one around that seems pretty cheap, repairable, looks vintage enough even when of a younger year and still keeps close to the original Morris form. Will you endorse my choice? Any other suggestions? Any car looking for a short term owner you know about?
Shall I ship my 1923 Citroen too Bombay? :-)
Citroenly yours, Daniel
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Old 18th October 2012, 06:44   #2
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Default re: Daily Mumbai traffic in a classic? - Yes! Ambassador bought and restored.

Well an Amby is a good choice as a daily driver. Our friend Harit has a daily driver Amby. They run well.

However I would suggest FIAT since this car was produced in Mumbai. You have the FIAT Car Club to join etc. The FIAT Club guys can surely help you find a low budget FIAT, not necessarily old.

Would not suggest that you get your Citroen as you may have trouble with import/re-export. Just too many hassles if you are in short term assignment in India.

Cheers

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Old 18th October 2012, 10:58   #3
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Dear Daniel - It's a FIAT 1100D anyday. As you must have observed the ubiquitous cabs going all over the city, it is easier to drive, park and all said and done, parts and service is still available. Please PM me if you need any more details.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 18th October 2012, 11:15   #4
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Hi Daniel, I would also endorse Behram's choice. Get yourself a decent Fiat, add on an electronic fuel pump, alternator and an air conditioner, and you have a delightful and reliable daily runner.
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Old 18th October 2012, 11:30   #5
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Welcome back Daniel, and may I say I am delighted to hear of your request. Its reassuring to know there are more of us out there

An Amby is a living legend as you know. Truly iconic, and the best representative of Indian motoring history. You can even buy one brand new, or few years old, with Isuzu powertrains and all the comforts. But then where's the fun? If you buy an older Amby, well I must warn you, they are HORRIBLE to drive. Very comfortable to be driven in, mind you.

I too would vote wholeheartedly for a Fiat/Padmini. They can still be had cheap (though more and more difficult to find a good car, try out of Bombay). They are peppy, quick in traffic, handle superbly, and generally are just so much more fun and nimble. Sporty Italian DNA, or podgy British stiff upper lip - you be the judge. Its a no brainer.
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Old 18th October 2012, 12:54   #6
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Dear Daniel ,

As the majority suggested. I back the opinion of getting a Fiat as it gives you fewer hazzeles and peace of mind.

If Amby specific look out for good petrol Ambys

See you around ,

Foby Sebastian
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Old 18th October 2012, 16:40   #7
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Ha ha, dear friends, how good to hear your opinions. Was quite surprised, as an Italian, to hear that you'd all favour the Millecento over the Morris. Karlos: although both my parents were Italian Rally Drivers I have studied in England long enough to have developend that stiff upper lip, hence the choice is not that easy :-) And I have a thirties Citroen as a daily driver in Italy, so I am used to "vintage driving behaviour".
I have driven the 1100 in Italy, great little car but maybe too Itallian for an Italian in Bombay? I have a n English greyhound as a dog, surely he would endorse the Ambassador (which was the career I was trained for, on top of it all). Hmmmm. I guess fate will decide, the better car of any two makes that'll come up will be the right one.

How can I find one, can anyone help? (Am already looking for a flat with at least 1 window, a bank that accepts ubiquitous Italians and a mobile phone provider. Plus I should earn my salalry...) Ciao ciao to all, Daniel
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Old 18th October 2012, 17:24   #8
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Default re: Daily Mumbai traffic in a classic? - Yes! Ambassador bought and restored.

On seeing the title of this thread, i thought you had spotted Bulldogji on his way to work (as i did this morning, in a green vintage car at Mahalaxmi).

As per people's suggestions, here's a nice looking one in Pune for sale: LINK
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cya
R
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Old 18th October 2012, 17:55   #9
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Originally Posted by Philedonos View Post
I have driven the 1100 in Italy, great little car but maybe too Itallian for an Italian in Bombay? I have a n English greyhound as a dog, surely he would endorse the Ambassador (which was the career I was trained for, on top of it all)...How can I find one, can anyone help? (Am already looking for a flat with at least 1 window...)
Greetings Daniel!

Coming to real dogs now and cars, your English Greyhound would love the acres of space in an Amby, and he might initially also enjoy the workout both of you shall occasionally get pushing it!

It has already been established that the Fiat is a better driver, and a native of Mumbai (in automotive terms that might result in more empathy from/familiarity with local mechanics). Regular parts of the Amby would be more available even in Bombay though, given that she's continuing in production, more than 70% as she was conceived and born, over the iterative models! How easily Fiat parts are available can be established from talking to the cabbies!

Finally, do not buy anything without cross-checking with at least three or four people separately, Karl can guide you on that, also Amol and Rony. Amby, or Fiat, post 1965 examples shouldn't cost as much as some folks think their car should fetch them, positioning their car by demography as they do! Check for the handiwork of tin weevils if buying one that has lived in coastal places, including Bombay.

Happy hunting!

Prabal

Last edited by Samurai : 25th November 2012 at 19:25. Reason: Rule #13
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Old 18th October 2012, 18:19   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
On seeing the title of this thread, i thought you had spotted Bulldogji on his way to work (as i did this morning, in a green vintage car at Mahalaxmi).

cya
R
Rehaan, I would love to see a gentleman commuting in a green vintage car! What make is it?
As for the link to the FIAT, it looks very good indeed. I have never owned a 1989 vintage car (!!). Does that mean I become Elisabethan, since I was born under H.M.'s Reign, before 1989?
Also, being Indian you surely can tell me what "plush Interiors made to maharaja extent" are? I feel so ignorant when abroad, will I need to wear special Kurtas to drive it?
Joking apart thanks a lot for your help, what do the others think about that FIAT?

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Originally Posted by Prabal View Post
There's an Italian VVIP in Delhi who wears a saree, speaks Hindi and is driven around in an Ambassador. In fact had you been in Delhi, her VVIP son-in-law could've had leads for that flat too, since he's apparently dabbled a fair bit in real estate, as we've come to know recently. They are well acquainted with banks too, but you're obviously not looking for a Swiss banker!

Coming to real dogs now and cars, your English Greyhound would love the acres of space in an Amby, and he might initially also enjoy the workout both of you shall occasionally get pushing it!

It has already been established that the Fiat is a better driver, and a native of Mumbai (in automotive terms that might result in more empathy from/familiarity with local mechanics). Regular parts of the Amby would be more available even in Bombay though, given that she's continuing in production, more than 70% as she was conceived and born, over the iterative models! How easily Fiat parts are available can be established from talking to the cabbies!

Finally, do not buy anything without cross-checking with at least three or four people separately, Karl can guide you on that, also Amol and Rony. Amby, or Fiat, post 1965 examples shouldn't cost as much as some folks think their car should fetch them, positioning their car by demography as they do! Check for the handiwork of tin weevils if buying one that has lived in coastal places, including Bombay.

Happy hunting!

Prabal
As for the VVIP Italian lady, how nice of you to compare me to her. Alas, my skills at draping a saree around my body still need refining, my hindi is only of use when swearing to Taxi drivers but YES, I'd love to be be driven around in an Ambassador. As for the real estate: I work for the biggest constructor in town, but in Italy we say "the shoemaker always has broken shoes", so I haven't got a house yet. As for the Swiss Banker: no, I would prefer some other form of human when I'll date in Bombay.

As for Ambassador pushing: isn't that what a chauffeur is for, I drive, he pushes? I'm actually quite used to pushing, my Citroen has no fuel gauge...

KARL and AMOL: I know you two in person, have you heard that you HAVE to help a stranded foreign pertolhead? GRAZIE Prabal

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Old 18th October 2012, 18:55   #11
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As for the link to the FIAT, it looks very good indeed.
Yup, its a nicely prepared Padmini, I have seen it upclose, though some points may be considered overdone by many. Nothing too big to reverse though - importantly the car has good bodyline, apparently no rust, good paint and chrome. Getting the interiors redone to something more sober (or louder?!) is quick and not too expensive. The car fits the bill rather well for you. Now there is that niggling nuisance of it being priced rather high - though I'm sure its negotiable.

Also DHABHAR.BEHRAM on the forum wants to sell his similar 67 model, also completely refurbished.
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Old 18th October 2012, 19:12   #12
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Yup, its a nicely prepared Padmini, I have seen it upclose, though some points may be considered overdone by many. Nothing too big to reverse though - importantly the car has good bodyline, apparently no rust, good paint and chrome. Getting the interiors redone to something more sober (or louder?!) is quick and not too expensive. The car fits the bill rather well for you. Now there is that niggling nuisance of it being priced rather high - though I'm sure its negotiable.

Also DHABHAR.BEHRAM on the forum wants to sell his similar 67 model, also completely refurbished.
Karlos, can you send me your phone number? I'd like to call you (from the office) tomorrow. Yes, the price is quite steep indeed, but I am Italian and have negotiation in my geenes.... And my dog will get his driver to bite unfair sellers.
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Old 18th October 2012, 20:02   #13
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what do the others think about that FIAT?
Karl has already approved of it. I thought it looked rather plum too when I first saw the ad, but I haven't seen it in person, which Karl has. Only thing is that it has the trappings of a 1100D, and the monogramme of one too at the back, but the ad says it's a 1989 - that's strange. I've also noticed that Karl said 'a similar '67 with DHABHAR.BEHRAM,' so is that what it is, a '67 1100D?

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As for the real estate: I work for the biggest constructor in town. As for the Swiss Banker: no, I would prefer some other form of human when I'll date in Bombay.
Interesting, which one? I interact with a few constructors/developers myself, professionally! As for not dating a Swiss banker, I shall zip up here, lest I be rapped on the knuckles by the masters!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philedonos View Post
As for Ambassador pushing...I'm actually quite used to pushing, my Citroen has no fuel gauge...
Oh yes, the Ambassador has always had a fuel gauge, but with mood swings! And, the Amby likes to be pushed with a full tank often as well, making you wish that it had run out of fuel at least, and were 55 kilos lighter!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philedonos View Post
GRAZIE Prabal
Oh no, not at all. Yet, you're welcome! Thank you, for letting me jabber on your thread!

Quote:
Originally Posted by karlosdeville View Post
Now there is that niggling nuisance of it being priced rather high - though I'm sure its negotiable. Also DHABHAR.BEHRAM on the forum wants to sell his similar 67 model, also completely refurbished.
Which of his wonderful Fiats is for sale? And, I'm sure he must be quoting a more reasonable price, than the black one in Poona - it should be worth checking out. What's he asking, if that can be disclosed here?
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Old 18th October 2012, 20:22   #14
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Philodenos
Hi.
Being an ex Fiat owner will strongly suggest it.
Easier to handle and in case of any problem help is nearby.
My preference would be a petrol one.Some may agree or some may disagree but I would prefer that.Specially as your run is not too many kms.
Do bear in mind that when you sell you may not get a good price.
Regards
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Old 18th October 2012, 21:59   #15
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Interesting, which one? I interact with a few constructors/developers myself, professionally! As for not dating a Swiss banker, I shall zip up here, lest I be rapped on the knuckles by the masters!
Prabal, I work at The Armani/Casa project for Lodha, it is in Lower Parel and called The World Towers. Just next to it another vintage car lover resides, I see his RR and another covered car (MG?) every day as I pass by.
Prabal, while you think I am lusting after Swiss bankers, Faustus77 makes me the Lover of Denos (ancient greek: Philo Denos) while I am simply "the one who loves beauty" (Phile-donos). Did you all know about my preferences even before I came to India?
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