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Old 5th April 2008, 00:21   #1
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Default History of Cars in India

I run a web site called carhistory4u.com and Iím keen to expand/improve the sections that cover the history of Indian cars. Iím currently seeking info on when the first car was driven in India plus info on any cars manufactured in India prior to 1950. Can anyone help me?.

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Old 5th April 2008, 16:38   #2
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The first car was driven in INDIA in 1901 by an European.
Car manufacturing started in INDIA in 1946 by BIRLA at the HOOGHLY plant (HINDUSTAN MOTORS) .
The first car model assembled here was HINDUSTAN 10
in 1947 CHRYSLER/DODGE MODELS were assembled here .
More info later


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I run a web site called carhistory4u.com and Iím keen to expand/improve the sections that cover the history of Indian cars. Iím currently seeking info on when the first car was driven in India plus info on any cars manufactured in India prior to 1950. Can anyone help me?.

Historyman


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Old 5th April 2008, 17:39   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajay99 View Post
The first car was driven in INDIA in 1901 by an European.
Car manufacturing started in INDIA in 1946 by BIRLA at the HOOGHLY plant (HINDUSTAN MOTORS) .
The first car model assembled here was HINDUSTAN 10
in 1947 CHRYSLER/DODGE MODELS were assembled here .
More info later
If im not mistaken, GM was assembling cars and trucks in Bombay in the 30s.
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Old 5th April 2008, 21:05   #4
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Ajay99 and karlosdeville – thanks for the info. In Part 2, Section 8.9 (India) of my Car History 4U - History of the Automobile, History of the Motor Car, Car Clubs & Car Museums web site I’ve mentioned Hindustan Motors starting in 1942 but I didn’t know what models they had produced up to 1958. I’ll try to follow up on the Hindustan 10 info. In Part 2 Section 9.1 (India) I’ve recorded that the first car to be driven by an Indian took place in 1901 (Jamsheti Tata). The earliest record I have for the first car is 1897 (Mr Foster) in Bombay. I’ve not yet found out what car was driven by either of them. I suspect that a car was imported into India prior to 1897. Maybe I’m wrong.

Last edited by Rehaan : 5th April 2008 at 22:49. Reason: [font] tags removed. Please click the "switch editor mode" button on the top left of your reply box, or preview your post b4.
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Old 5th April 2008, 23:01   #5
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Check out this link. It has some info which u could use.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/vintag...-classics.html
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Old 6th April 2008, 21:38   #6
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Thanks for the GM info karlosdeville. Iíve found out that Chevrolet(GM) set up an assembly plant in Sewree in 1928, the first automobile assembly plant in India.

The first car produced was the 24.7 hp National Series AB Touring model. Production in Sewree ended in 1954. Can anyone tell me what other GM models were made between 1928 and 1954?
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Old 6th April 2008, 23:55   #7
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Also take a look at this thread which should help you out a bit

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...-timeline.html (Indian Auto Industry Timeline)
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Old 7th April 2008, 15:58   #8
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As a result of the feedback from khanak, JayD, karlosdeville and ajay 99 Iíve managed to track down the following information. Thanks guys! Great start

Hindustan Motors was formed in 1942 and the first car produced in 1949. What took place between 1942 and 1949?

The first car in 1949 was the Hindustan 10 and it was based on the Morris 10. In 1950 the Baby Hindustan was produced, which was based on the Morris Minor. Another model launched in 1950 was the Hindustan 14 which was based on the Morris 14. I believe the Landmaster was first produced in 1954.

In 1957 the entire tool line of the Series 3 Morris Oxford was transferred to India and production of the Ambassador started in 1958.

Note: The Times of India (15 Aug 2007) stated that the Landmaster was the companyís first car and that Hindustan Motors went on to produce the Austin A40 and the Austin A70. I believe Ashok Motors produced the A40 and A70 and that the Landmaster was not Hindustan Motors first car. Who is right?

Does anyone know how many of the following were built and in what year production ended: Model 10, Baby Hindustan, Model 14 and the Landmaster?
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Old 7th April 2008, 19:13   #9
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Hindustan Motors was formed in 1942 and the first car produced in 1949. What took place between 1942 and 1949?
We got our independence in 1947 so I guess thats why things were moving slowly. The IInd World War was also on at the time which could have further affected things

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Old 7th April 2008, 22:41   #10
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Nice thread! Incidentally I recall reading in an article on the oldsmobile by Manvendra Singh (forgot the name of the mag, it was way back in 1998/99) that the first car brought into India was an Oldsmobile by a European.
Also reg. Baby Hindustan, wasnt that introduced post Morris Minor?
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Old 8th April 2008, 15:00   #11
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Hi Historyman,

I am also looking for correct information about early cars production in India. Some time back I read in articles, please correct me if I am wrong.

PAL : Premier Automobiles Ltd. they started importing kits and assembled
Plymouth, Dodge, some American cars. Karl & other senior BHP team
members can give more specific cars produced & assemble here.
Sir Walchand went to US to have some agreement with Ford USA,
with negative response, they went to Chryssler Corp. Canada. started, assembling & producing: Dodge, Desoto, Plymouth, Fargo.

See full details: Premier (car) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

PAL: In 60's started producing Fiats, again Karl can give best info.
about it. My uncle used to have Fiat Central light 1958, Fiat 1100
and Fiat 1963 (last model from Italy). I used to have Fiat 1990 model
earlier.

HM: Hindustan Motors, started with Morris-10 design: Hindustan-48
Before starting Landmaster and Ambassdor cars. Contesa (Vauxhall in
Britain), Lancer, etc. You already listed in details about Morris various
models.

One company in Madras started assembling Morris Minor, but it receive
notice from HM, they stop Morris production this is for brief period.

M&M: Mahindra & Mahindra: Original started by name Mahindra & Mohammed two gentlemen form the company to produce Jeeps. But
during partition Mr. Mohammed moved to Pakistan. So it was renamed
as M&M and produced Jeeps with USA and later on with Peugo, etc.
Jeeps, Willy's, etc. Latest successful cars:Scorpio, Bollero, Jeeps,
Axe, etc.

Standard Motor Co. Ltd. Madras: Started producing Standard cars, Heralds, again our friend Stanher is best person to give excellent details about Standard cars. Vanguard also produced here. Gazel, Standard 2000 which is Rover in Great Britain.

Ashok Leyland: This company actually established to produce Austin cars
but in the beginnning they might have assemble Austin cars. I am also
looking exactly which Austin car were assembled. But it never gone
in production, instead it started collobrotion with British Leyland and
started Truck production.


Regards,
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Old 8th April 2008, 15:29   #12
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Stanher - Thanks for the info about Oldsmobile. Iíve tracked down the following data:

In 1893 the Olds Motor Works first export order (a 4 wheeled steam car) was despatched by ship to India Ė but it didnít arrive. The ship sank on the way there! I wonder who placed the order?

In 1898 a car was brought into India by H Hewitt (model not known, maybe an Oldsmobile) and by 1900 three Oldsmobile were imported into the country (by Mr.Jamshedji Tata, founder of the Tata Group of Industries, Rustom Cama, an attorney and Kavasji Wadia of Bombay Garage).

Researching the Olds story led me to a report about the Phulkian Dynasty. It included a statement that the Maharaja of Patiala (Punjab) imported the first motor car to India in 1892, a French De Dion Bouton Steam Powered two cylinder tricar.

I also discovered that a car was first driven in Calcutta in 1896. I'd like to find out which model. Does anyone know?

Iíll try to check out your comment about the Baby Hindustan/Morris Minor. I got the info from the Times of India Report of 15 Aug 2007 (ďThe Baby Hindustan which was in reality the hugely popular Morris MinorĒ). Can anyone help? Was it based on the Morris Minor?
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Old 8th April 2008, 16:48   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by historyman View Post
Iíll try to check out your comment about the Baby Hindustan/Morris Minor. I got the info from the Times of India Report of 15 Aug 2007 (ďThe Baby Hindustan which was in reality the hugely popular Morris MinorĒ). Can anyone help? Was it based on the Morris Minor?
The Baby Hindustan was in essence the Morris Minor. I not sure if it was ever badged a "baby hindustan" as Ive never seen one. I have seen many Morris Minors with Indian dealer plates though.
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Old 8th April 2008, 20:12   #14
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Thanks to all the info I received I've just producd a new draft of Hindustan's history for my carhistory4u.com web site. Comments please!

The company was formed in 1942 by Mr B M Birla but production of the first car, the Hindustan 10 which was based on the British Morris 10, did not start until 1949. Q. How many made and until when?

This was followed in 1950 by the ďBaby HindustanĒ, a car based on the Morris Minor and the Hindustan 14, which was based on the Morris 14. Q. How many of each made and until when?

Production of the Landmaster, a car based on the Morris Oxford, started in 1954. Q. Was it based on the Oxford MO model? Q. Could the Landmaster have been produced prior to 1949?

In 1957 a tool line of the Series 3 Morris Oxford was transferred to India and production of the Ambassador car started in 1958. Models produced include the Mark 1 to 1V range, Nova, 1800 1SZ and the Avigo.

From 1958 to 1993 the Ambassador (ďAmbyĒ) was fitted with a 1,489 cc engine. In 1993, as a result of emission regulations, a 1,800 cc Isuzu engine was fitted to the 1800 1SZ model. In 1978 a diesel engined version became available.

By 2004 nearly four million Ambassador cars had been sold. The car was still being produced in 2008.

Between 1982 and 2002 the company produced the Contessa, a car based on the British Vauxhall Victor VX FE Series. Q. How many made and until when? It was one of Indiaís first rear wheel drive cars.

1.817 cc 88 hp petrol and 2 litre diesel engined versions were produced.
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Old 8th April 2008, 20:48   #15
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Quote:
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It was one of Indiaís first rear wheel drive cars.
I don't think so. Every Indian car was probably rear wheel drive until the arrival of the Maruti.

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