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Old 17th May 2021, 20:11   #406
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Default Re: Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene

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Well said ! The Armada plastic fairings appeared to be all like after-thoughts on the bodyshell and on that old CJ 4A chassis. While new, these remained intact, but pity those old ones where the fairings either fell off in part or were shattered or had fissures and cracks or else even if intact had faded in colour from black to shades of grey or greyish white. And in its later years, by the late 1990's many Armadas were bought by our defence forces. Those in the Army were painted in the olive green shade.
I remember that my old school used to have an Armada, and so did my college. Both these vehicles had the front bumper replaced from the MM540, and one was later stripped of the grille altogether and made into a Marshal lookalike for re-registration purposes. The plastics rattled like hell and the less remained the better, the driver 'Josettan' used to say.

Armada was surprisingly common among missionaries, churches, convents etc, especially for ones based in "high-range" areas etc, due to their ability to reach places only Jeeps could reach, in much better comfort than the old Willys Wagons or crude Jeep CJ4 Wagons that used to do the job. I used to admire the custom, plush "Koyas" seats some of these vehicles had. Here's a CJ4 Wagon in case you haven't seen one. ISRO and several other government departments used own a ton of these full metal bodied brutes.

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Anyone remember Koyas seats? They deserve a post on their own. You used to see ads in papers that said that the Amby/Fiat on sale had Koyas seats. Koyas was a reputed upholstery firm in Coimbatore, well known for their custom, supremely comfy Bucket seats for Ambys' Fiats, and Jeeps. The firm is still operating, and still making seats..

The Armada grille was fitted right above the old 540 7 slat grille. The headlamps came off the Omni, but the entire rear end was new. The tail lamps weren't off-the shelf, and the rear end finally got a proper bumper. The styling was also much more proportional compared to the Wagonette, and still looks good on the Bolero. In fact, the shortened bumpers on the new sub 4m Bolero don't look as good. If you get your hands on an old Armada, a Commander 750DP hard top, or a Marshal, it is possible to transplant a lot of the aggregates from a new Bolero and make it look brand spanking new.

Here are pics of an MM540 Wagonette an Armada and a Commander 750DP HT, just for comparison.

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The 2112 cc, 65 bhp, Peugeot XD90 engine, with the 4-speed Kia BA-10 gearbox used in the earlier Mahindras since the early 1980's (incl the 540 DP) was a very tough workhorse and a very welcome change for regular Mahindra users, from the rattling MD 2350, 38 bhp, International tractor engine, with its antique Willys, three speed gearbox (first gear was non-synchromesh), that propelled the first generation, diesel Mahindras.
Whenever I used to visit my Dad's homestead in Thodupuzha, Idukki in the 80s thru the early 90s, the thing I looked forward to the most was the Jeep Taxi ride from the Bus Stop to home. The line of gleaming old Jeeps, most of them Ex-Military (some of the drivers as well) was a sight for sore eyes. You can still see Jeep Taxis in Wayanad and Malappuram, but they're usually monochromatic greys, while the Idukki Jeeps came in all bright hues, and polished, gleaming black, with bright aluminium painted wheels. Drivers loved them more than their own children, and every part was painted, silver painted or chromed.
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As a kid attending my uncles's wedding, the most exciting thing for me was the large number of Jeep taxis hired, and I remember that by the time we reached the wedding venue, all of us cousins were nearly deaf from the racket from the Intl' diesel.

Hard to believe that this tractor mill still lives on in the Mahindra ROXOR, and used to be in the Scorpio M2DICR and Thar M2DICR as late as 2020 till BSVI killed it. Ironically, it outlived both the 'modern' Peugeot mills that had replaced it, and even went back home to the US, where modders extracted upto 100 bhp out of it. Guess you can teach an old dog some new tricks.

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The engine noise was though quite high, in fact NVH levels were on the higher side, but the gem of an engine could cruise all day long at 70-80 kmph for days together, during long journeys.
I remember that the Grand got rave reviews in Car & Bike International, and IAJ for its highway manners compared to the Armada. The Grand's XD3P+BA10 added a whole new dimension to the Armada by giving it borderline cruising ability.
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The dash plastics and interior door upholstery looked very cheap though.
Koyas to the rescue!!!

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Instrumentation on the meter console was spartan. Due to the BS II norms getting into plce, M&M had to abandon the engine. But I believe they developed the 2.6 L Scorpio (1st generation) engine with the help of AVL Austria from the XD3P engine, readying for the Scorpio's 2003 launch.
I read somewhere here that the 2.6 Turbo in the Scorpio was a derivative of the XD3P, converted to DI and turbocharged for better low end and mileage. I remember that it ran rings around Tata's 483DL in performance, but coudn't match its refinement.

Due credit to Team Roxor forum for these gorgeous schematics.

Last edited by vivekgk : 17th May 2021 at 20:25. Reason: Adding more trivia
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Old 18th May 2021, 09:55   #407
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Anyone remember Koyas seats?

Drivers loved them more than their own children, and every part was painted, silver painted or chromed.
Oh, yes I remember the supremely comfortable Koyas bucket seats of the Ambassador, it still remains the best seat by far!

And you forgot to mention, the KL drivers drove these Jeeps outstandingly? pun intended, they literally would be sitting almost outside the Jeep and holding on to their dear lives thru the steering
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Old 20th May 2021, 19:00   #408
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The Bayers Blue Shade

By 1989, Maruti had unvieled this new shade of blue for the M 800, Gypsy as well as the van. It was new, eyecatching and an instant hit with buyers. Seen in the Maruti showrooms and very soon on the roads, the Bayers Blue shade became a darling for all eyes, when in a "Wagle Ki Duniya" TV serial episode featured young, dashing and arrogant Shahrukh Khan mildly knocking Wagle (Anjan Shrivastava) on a Mumbai street. Other than Doordarshan, there were no other TV channels then and its viewership was in the crores.

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Very soon by 1989, a slew of automakers including Premier Automobiles (for the Premier Padmini and 118 NE), Mahindra (for the Commander (incl 650 DI) and the 540 DP), Hindustan Motors (for the Ambassador and Contessa), Bajaj Auto (for the Super and Chetak), LML Vespa (for the Vespa NV 150) and may be some more, immediately started offering the similar Bayers Blue shade. These too were instant hits with the respective buyers. Perhaps, Mahindra would have thought then that this God send shade was a true successor for their uniquitous "grey" shade, that they were tagged with since the 1940's till the late 1970's.

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Not to be outdone, those with older cars and scooters also while repainting, chose this shade for the job. The Indian streets had the "Bayers Blue Bug" infection growing on a large scale from the early till the mid 1990's. Seen below are a 1954 Landmaster BYJ 18 from Nagpur (then), repainted in the early 1990's and a 1972 Premier President from Kolkata, also in the same shade

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Old 21st May 2021, 01:54   #409
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How's this for trivia? The only anagram in India! From the Taigun thread:
Hyundai EON and Force ONE.

Tata ZICA's name got changed otherwise it was anagram of CIAZ

Last edited by fazayal : 21st May 2021 at 02:03. Reason: Addition
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Old 23rd May 2021, 10:34   #410
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Not to forget the ray blue of Baleno
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Old 23rd May 2021, 19:28   #411
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Originally Posted by anjan_c2007 View Post
The Bayers Blue Shade

By 1989, Maruti had unvieled this new shade of blue for the M 800, Gypsy as well as the van. It was new, eyecatching and an instant hit with buyers. Seen in the Maruti showrooms and very soon on the roads, the Bayers Blue shade became a darling for all eyes...

Attachment 2158779
This particular blue shade takes me back into childhood. We had booked a white M 800 in 1990 and after a year waiting time, the dealer in Vijayawada called mentioning that there is a blue car ready for immediate delivery.

We had gone by train to take a look at this car. On placing the hand on the blue bonnet, it was quite hot to which the dealer/staff replied 'It has taken a short drive from their yard to showroom. Take a long 100 km drive and the bonnet shall be cool"

Anyway we had waited so long and decided we might as well wait some more for our 'white' car Phew, what a wait it was those days.
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Old 23rd May 2021, 22:05   #412
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Default Re: Fun & Interesting Trivia on the Indian Car Scene

Blue,somehow, was never a very popular colour amongst Indian car buyers.
Most manufacturers dabbled in blue but poor sales of "blue" made the OEM's see blue (pun intended), so much so that they usually pulled the plug on the blue shade. The latest victim being the facelifted Tiago whose vivid blue shade has been dropped as of 2021 April.

Some of the more successful blue offerings, as far as I remember were:
The "Powder Blue" of the first generation Maruti 800(SS-80), and the Maruti Van duo (high roof and flat roof vans)

The Ionian Blue in the Maruti 1000. The Bayer Blue of the SB-308 Maruti 800 was also popular. Briefly a shade called "Racing Blue" had also made a fleeting appearance in the SB-308.

Recently the "Nexa Blue" in the Ciaz / Baleno / S-Cross / Ignis / XL6 seems popular.

Hyundai had a deep blue for their first generation Accent which again didn't sell much. The Skoda Octavia RS's blue looked a million dollars and found quite a few admirers to take it home.

Tata had a "Noble Blue" for their Indica Vista which never sold. However the new Safari's blue seems to have caught the fancy of buyers.

Volkswagen India had lovely shades of blue for their Vento and Polo. One was a dark, midnight blue and the other a sort of teal blue. Neither did well.

Ford's EcoSport had a Kinetic Blue version. The global Fiesta also had a similar offering. Neither sold many copies in that shade.

It seems, blue, for some unexplained reason doesn't appeal that much to Indian car buyers compared to other shades. Would be interesting to know why!
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Old 24th May 2021, 00:13   #413
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It seems, blue, for some unexplained reason doesn't appeal that much to Indian car buyers compared to other shades. Would be interesting to know why!
One key factor is in which colour the manufacturer promotes the car maximum at the beginning.

For eg: Tata Safari’s blue is popular because it is in all ads, media drives and the large banner on the expressway is also in the blue. Not to forget very few mainstream cars at this moment in India have two different shades of blue being sold together, the Safari is one of them with it’s Tropical Mist and Royale Blue. And it doesn’t have the common silver and black so these blues are bound to sell!

If the 2013 EcoSport is to be recalled, the Mars Red is the colour; ads, media drives were carried in. Initial batches sold were mostly Mars Red, later on the White, Silver, grey and Black picked up like always. When I bought mine, no dealer had the Kinetic Blue on display, all were Mars Red, white or chill metallic. It was my close friend who picked up the blue, that is when I realised how it really looked like!

Now in 2017 if we look at the facelifted EcoSport; all ads and to a certain extent media drives were carried in on the new Lightening Blue (other being Canyon Ridge). Even when bookings were opened on Amazon, maximum people selected blue without looking in real, because that was what people had seen the most online. Now it’s again the usual white, grey, silver and black that I see more often.

Also a lot depends on how the blue is suiting the car, maintenance and on people’s preferences!

Like white generally looks good in almost all cars, the same can’t be said about blue!

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Old 24th May 2021, 08:12   #414
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I wanted my first car to be a blue one. I loved the blue of the Ecosport and so when we were looking at the Creta, I wanted to see it in blue. Honestly, to me, the initial Mystic Blue Creta is the worst blue color that has come in the market. To say I was disappointed will be an understatement. It was the dullest blue and the car looked 10 years old right there. I have not seen many on the roads also, in fact, in all these years, the times I have seen one on road can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Last I heard, this colour Creta was made to order.

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Old 24th May 2021, 09:25   #415
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The Ionian Blue in the Maruti 1000.
This was popularly pronounced as "onion" blue
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Old 24th May 2021, 09:41   #416
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The Bayers Blue Shade
Wasnt this also called the Maruti Blue? Our neighbour bought a Chetak in that colour in late 80s and was really proud that he got the Maruti Blue.

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I wanted my first car to be a blue one. I loved the blue of the Ecosport and so when we were looking at the Creta, I wanted to see it in blue. Honestly, to me, the initial Mystic Blue Creta is the worst blue color that has come in the market. To say I was disappointed will be an understatement. It was the dullest blue and the car looked 10 years old right there. I have not seen many on the roads also, in fact, in all these years, the times I have seen one on road can be counted on the fingers of one hand.
Couldnt agree more. The Mystic Blue was the worst blue ever. If the Creta had a dark/navy blue ( similar to BMW )I would have picked it as a first preference. Finally ended up with Silver.
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Old 24th May 2021, 12:43   #417
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This was my blue Honda Amaze (the sole reason for picking the Blue was literally because my son's first 2 letter word was blu car) and we were tired of the white/ silver cars already in the garage. The blue was reasonably popular initially IMHO but was discontinued after a year or two.


Another was 1996 M. Zen which was Aquamarine (Now I always though this was more Green but for many it seemed a shade of blue). Would like to know your comments.

*note the Zen in this pic is not mine.
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Old 24th May 2021, 18:39   #418
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Wasnt this also called the Maruti Blue? Our neighbour bought a Chetak in that colour in late 80s and was really proud that he got the Maruti Blue.
Maruti during the late 1980's offered these shades of blue. Neptune Blue outlasted the other blue shades till even after the mid 1990s'.

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Old 24th May 2021, 20:11   #419
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That Maruti Omni and Dinky light blue shade reminds me of the baggy team India cricket jersey at the time. Definitely an iconic shade for 90s cricket lovers.
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Old 25th May 2021, 09:57   #420
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Many years ago when I was going to buy my first car in the year 2010 if I remember right, I had narrowed down on the Wagon R. The choice was between metallic and non metallic and metallic having a premium almost equal to a EMI or so, the decision hovered around the safe and classic White. Then Maruthi Suzuki launched a TVC for the Wagon R in bright blue that made me rush to the showroom and ask for a change in the colour in the booking. The sales man was confused and gave a long explanation about the demerits of the blue (did not realize that he had none available), it is possibly an one off colour for the ad, may never come for sale and convinced me to get the white car only.

I was naive and it was my first car so sentiments won. For various reasons the Blue eluded me till my fourth car where I finally managed to get the Tectonic Blue Tata Nexon. 2 years down the line, after the colour has become familiar on the roads, it still is a stand out and manages to catch a second glance on the roads. Though the better half feels that the white would have been better as it looks anonymous on the roads.

That is my blue story. The colour of the car has many sentiments and can be compex.
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