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Old 21st February 2009, 21:09   #1441
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You forgot me Rudy???
Just Kidding, I have to make an urgent trip to Delhi tomorrow morning so will have to give this one a miss. While im there, I will be attending the Vintage Carnival. Sorry Ill be there next time surely. Have fun guys and post lots of pics.
Oye!! The Drive is Next Sunday!! Not tomorrow. So you damn well come!!
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Old 21st February 2009, 23:20   #1442
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Oye!! The Drive is Next Sunday!! Not tomorrow. So you damn well come!!
Oooops!! then im in if next sunday.
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Old 22nd February 2009, 11:15   #1443
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okay guys change in plans, i will be joining you from pune as my elegant is there, will meet you guys at Khandala at the designated time and then drive back with you to bombay
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Old 22nd February 2009, 14:09   #1444
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Saw this at Mira Road the Other Day!!!
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Fiat Classic Car Club - Mumbai-image00001.jpg  

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Old 22nd February 2009, 15:27   #1445
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'been meaning to post this since long!

'saw this nice fiat with an "other state" regn. at a local workshop recently....and I've seen it on the road even later.

Fiat Classic Car Club - Mumbai-pad.jpg

Fiat Classic Car Club - Mumbai-img_2382.jpg

What caught my attention is the hubcaps, which seem to be president ones. But there is NO other feature on this car which could relate to presidents, except maybe the lack of reverse lights.

Could this indeed be an original President?
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Old 22nd February 2009, 16:02   #1446
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'been meaning to post this since long!

Could this indeed be an original President?
It is possible that the car is a President, yet it is also possible that the wheelcaps were fitted later. We cant say at all. What year did the regn number date to?

The car looks to be in great shape though.
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Old 22nd February 2009, 16:18   #1447
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Guys

Sorry for going OT, but did the Millecento EVER come with a factory fitted a/c?

If yes, what are the chances of sourcing one? I did trawl the net for it but ended up browing a bunch of american spare parts traders.

I want to turn my '55 into a daily drive when am back in India. An a/c (if original) would be a welcome addition, even if its a bit feeble.
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Old 22nd February 2009, 16:33   #1448
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Guys

Sorry for going OT, but did the Millecento EVER come with a factory fitted a/c?

If yes, what are the chances of sourcing one? I did trawl the net for it but ended up browing a bunch of american spare parts traders.

I want to turn my '55 into a daily drive when am back in India. An a/c (if original) would be a welcome addition, even if its a bit feeble.
Nope, never offered with AC anywhere. Your best bet is to adapt a unit fitted to later Padminis. I have a National unit fitted in my 73, but somehow I've never used it, so can't comment on it.

In 1978 a Padmini was delivered to a well known industrialist, made to order in two tone paint and "Vornado" AC fitted. Ironically the car came out of turn from taxi quota. The car survives beautifully preserved, and is probably the first instance of an AC offered by Premier.
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Old 22nd February 2009, 16:36   #1449
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Is this the Orange Special that is in Pune by any chance??
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Old 22nd February 2009, 16:46   #1450
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Is this the Orange Special that is in Pune by any chance??
Well done Sherlock!

When you drove the car less than a month ago how can there be any doubt?
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Old 22nd February 2009, 22:03   #1451
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What year did the regn number date to?
Well, it was an Orissa state regn....so I can't really figure out but I suspect it was from the 70s.
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Old 23rd February 2009, 09:06   #1452
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Dear Karl - the first Padmini cars to be airconditioned in 1977 that I know of were as follows:

First car - MMD2979 - dark blue with white top, belonging to Mr.P.N.Venkatesan, VC&MD of PAL. Was fitted with a reciprocating compressor in place of the red / yellow oil filter with a huge bracket. Mr.Arun Oka who was the customer care manager used to work on it.

Second car - MMD3232 - chassis no X Premier X PA X 222870 X - a Tartar Red Padmini Deluxe with 8:1 compression ratio engine and floor shift gears used by Mr.J.M.vakil, MD of PAL in 1977. It was fitted with a rotary compressor which was distinctly superior. The oil filter was moved to the RH fender. This was the car I used to see and admire everyday and dream of having my own car in red colour but with black top which is today BLL4919 which you know so well.

Both cars were fitted with narrow whitewall Ceat tyres but they were not safety drive and not C800. They were Ceat something else. Can you recall? The tread pattern was not so good.

I worked on both these cars from December 1976 to May 1977. MMD2979 had a lot of power drop. MMD3232 had a small jewel light fitted on the dashboard which would glow when the compressor cut in. It was a novelty those days. My teachers Mr.Nariman and Mr.Anil Patel used to drive these cars on the small test track which was there inside Kurla plant for testing them and I used to sit next to them. Going for these test drives with them was indeed a privilege.

These were also the starting days of PAE (Premier Auto Electric) in Tardeo, there used to be a Parsi gentleman (Rusi something) in PAE who used to wear a big round horse racing type hat and had an "all knowing" air about him, the last word in ACs, not to be questioned, you know how it is with our community. There used to be a mike to call mechanics and I remember a "Prabhakar" being called all the time. The name used to be announced twice. It was all very funny.

All gone except for memories. Sad but true. At least BLL4919, MRY3112, MH01YA3238 and MRF6466 will always remain.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 23rd February 2009, 10:13   #1453
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Dear Karl - the first Padmini cars to be airconditioned in 1977 that I know of were as follows:
Fascinating narration Behram, thank you. Can you tell us all you know about the orange and white car in question pictured above? What was the trim level called (Special?), what features were extra, etc etc.

Any chance of pictures of the 2 Premier cars you mentioned? Do they survive?

Can you also advise Steeroid on his AC queries?
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Old 23rd February 2009, 11:26   #1454
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Dear Karl - I do not know anything more about this particular orange "special" because in 1978 I went back to college. I was in PAL in 1977 as a trainee as part of my engineering course. As far as I can remember, this special always had Goodyear Power Cushion whitewall tyres and was always immaculately maintained but I was a trifle disappointed seeing it on 26 January during the rally. The specials were built in 2 colours, orange with arctic white top and pale lilac (white for all practical purposes) with tartar red top (derived from MMD3232). The paint shop would not paint the tops, the car would be rolled down and then the second colour was applied in the final paint touch up area next to the canteen, dried out by heater lamps. I do not have any photographs of either car but PAL used to have these hanging boards with MMD3232's photographs on them. There is an army establishment in Vikhroli where they were still hanging when I last went there.

Let me give you more information. Some more cars.

MRA8473 - In 1977 February, we (Anil Patel and I) completely overhauled MRA8473, a 1967 fiat in the service station inside the company. The old corroded body was thrown out and replaced by a brand new tartar red coloured body with trim, seats and bumpers. This car had an absolutely unique feature which I have never seen on any other car. On the inlet manifold there was a tapping on which a small red coloured trumpet was fitted, its rear was actuated by a cable assembled next to the choke cable. It was actually a whistle. When you pull the cable, it would give a perfect whistle sound. Mr.Nariman got me to clean the body as it was jammed with petrol gum and he would use it during testing. People were absolutely amazed. Do you recall something like this? Any data? I have given up, there is no drawing of such a system but the part's appearance indicated best quality. Maybe it was imported from Italy.

MRZ3866 - this was a 1965 car which passed through Mr.Nariman's capable hands and was completely made new in the service station in 1976, one year before I came there. It was owned by Justice Vimadalal who used to stay in Cuffe Parade. The car was in his closed garage. I purchased it from him in 1984 for my father-in-law who used it upto 1986. Then I bought it, fitted a brand new S1 engine in it with 3.9:1 axle ratio. It used to fly but it was badly corroded. I used it for many years, going to Udwada, Panhgani and Lonavla many times. I removed the 3.9 and finally sold it to my mechanic in 2001. The same 3.9 is in BLL4919 now. Recently I wanted to re-acquire it but my mechanic has deregistered it.

MRH8996 - an immaculate Premier President (with the "President" badge) also belonging to Justice Vimadalal, standing in his second closed garage in Cuffe Parade. I bought it from him in 1983, went to Udwada in November 1983 with my parents, there was unexpected rainfall and the lane outside our Atash Behram was flooded, I remember driving through the floods. Sold it a year later.

As I have worked on the cars which always went out of our hands as new, I strive to achieve the same in all my cars. That is the difference. I have seen MRA8473 go out of the gate absolutely brand new. Only the wheel rims (super select), tyres (Ceat Safety Drive) and number plates (the thick riveted ones) were retained. It must have been the same for MRZ3866.

This leads me to ask - is there a difference between "best maintained" and "best restored" categories in vintage contests? Please do let me know.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar

Last edited by DHABHAR.BEHRAM : 23rd February 2009 at 11:28. Reason: add info
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Old 23rd February 2009, 12:40   #1455
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Quote:
On the inlet manifold there was a tapping on which a small red coloured trumpet was fitted, its rear was actuated by a cable assembled next to the choke cable. It was actually a whistle. When you pull the cable, it would give a perfect whistle sound. Mr.Nariman got me to clean the body as it was jammed with petrol gum and he would use it during testing. People were absolutely amazed. Do you recall something like this? Any data? I have given up, there is no drawing of such a system but the part's appearance indicated best quality. Maybe it was imported from Italy.
It is known as vacuum operated "Wolf" whistle. It works on vacuum generated in the intake manifold. It is very common on American hotrods like Chevrolets. It is basically a ~1"-diameter siren with a tin horn to amplify the sound, and a valve that you tied a cable to so you could control it from inside the car. It hooked to the intake manifold & sucked air through the siren.

Still available in the international markets. And by the way donít our cars have enough sources of vacuum leaks to add this one to them??

Regards,
Adheesh Parelkar

Last edited by adheesh : 23rd February 2009 at 12:43.
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