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Old 12th June 2020, 18:41   #16
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The Presidential Pullman and Chevrolet Caprice ! I own their w123, w116 and Chevrolet Caprice , (but they are unfortunately not in a good shape)Name:  Screenshot_20200612 A1HVX2kSRqncWEILAj0yA WEBP Image 700  418 pixels.png
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Old 12th June 2020, 20:15   #17
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Wow! That's a wonderful collection!

I have always wondered about the vehicles that the PM/ President use when they travel out of the capital. For instance, when PM makes an emergency (for example: TN CM's death) visit to Chennai from Delhi, do they carry the entire fleet along? Is the protocol different for pre planned meets like the visit of PM during the Indo - China summit in Chennai during October 2019, which would have been planned months ahead?

What about the visit to places outside India?

Last edited by Warwithwheels : 12th June 2020 at 20:17.
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Old 12th June 2020, 20:45   #18
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There used to be an cream colour
Ambulance based on Mercedes W 124 chassis which used to part of PM convoy in early 1990s. Any idea what happened to it?

Not many know that Lal Bahadur Shastri also had a Mark 2 lime green Ambassador. If you were lucky to visit shastri family's home in 1990s in Delhi one would be suprised with sheer number of cars the family had ranging from latest Astra to BMW 3 series.

Strangely I have never seen Fiat 1100 in shastri family's residence in Delhi only Mark 2 Ambassador parked whenever we visited shastri family's residence in in 1990s
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Old 12th June 2020, 21:46   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ron_9191 View Post
What happens to the older cars? Particularly the Mercedes Grosser. Do they return it back to the manufacturer or auction it off?
The Grosser is now with the Poonawala's. Zail Singh used to be driven in a W116 and his successors in the W126. As for the W140 onwards, I have no idea where they are, they might be part of the government protocol fleet for visiting dignitaries
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Old 12th June 2020, 21:54   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maverick5490 View Post

Land Cruisers having better reliability are a safer option compared to the Range Rovers, all in all, seeing the motorcade waft by is a sight to behold!
LC is also preferred due to huge sunroof, making it suitable for rallies
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Old 13th June 2020, 10:09   #21
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Rajeev Gandhi was different in character from all other Indian leaders. Before he became PM he lived his own life although the son of the then PM.

Initially in late 1960s he had an old Lambretta scooter that frequently broke down. Rajiv Sanjay and Amitabh Bacchan would ride on it to India gate for an ice cream if they had enough money.

Later when he had a job and a salary with Indian Airlines he bough a Jawa Motorcycle and he took Sonia Gandhi to India gate for Ice creams on it.

Later that Jawa was sold and he bought a second hand Premier Padmini which was his personal car till he became PM of India in November 1984.

Source - Rajiv by Sonia Gandhi
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Old 13th June 2020, 10:49   #22
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How can we forget the humble Tata Safari which is still being used by PM and Gandhi family.
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Old 13th June 2020, 16:15   #23
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Here is a recent pic of the same Mercedes-Benz 300D Adenauer Cabriolet which is currently in the UAE.

Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-mercedesbenz-300d-adenauer-cabriolet.jpeg
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Old 13th June 2020, 19:04   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinay kamath View Post
The Presidential Pullman and Chevrolet Caprice ! I own their w123, w116 and Chevrolet Caprice , (but they are unfortunately not in a good shape)
Thank you for the info.

Always thought I may have been daydreaming seeing those Caprice Classics in an R-day parade in the early 2000s, or that it may have been of the guests/consulates.

Great to know you got hold of one.

Please do post pics or start a thread on your collection!!
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Old 16th June 2020, 02:27   #25
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Hello everybody
I recently joined this team, and right before joining, I came across the presidential cars thread.
I feel I am equipped to answer some of your questions there, as my father, he works for the president. At occasions, I have had a few interactions with the Superintendent of the Motor Garage (aka the person responsible for the whole presidential convoy).
Of course, some of the info is confidential, and I may or may not have knowledge about those.
I will try my level best to answer almost all of the questions from here, plus I will include a few facts as well, and maybe some additional trivia along with the pre-mentioned facts.
Since there are multiple comments on this thread, and I am new here, I couldn’t exactly figure out how the quote system works, so I will be copy-pasting your comments, along with your handles, and I will provide my views under those.

Also, this is going to be a long post, so please read along.

Quote:
BHPian ChiragM - June 11, 2020 - 10:52

“The President and Governor's cars also do not have a number plate for security reasons. Instead, they have the State Emblem of India in place of the number plate.”
This used to be a thing. After Hon’ble President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind Ji took office, soon after it was decided that the number plates would be put up on the VIP vehicles, including those of the Governor's, along with the emblem.

Earlier, it was just the emblem in the place of the number plate, therefore, technicians from Mercedes were specially called so that both, number plate and the emblem can be easily fixed up, as none of the bodywork is touched upon locally within the motor garage. A special assembly was made up, wherein the emblem and the number plate are made up of one single piece. Also, it was designed in a manner, so that none of the protrusions hampers the functionality of any of the sensors.

Quote:
“One of the most ubiquitous cars used by the heads of state in India, including various prime ministers. The humble Ambassador remained the choice of wheels for decades.”
It was the president’s emergency vehicle of choice too and was included in the team till Former President of India Shri A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Ji's office. So basically, what is an emergency vehicle? After all, there are backup vehicles already moving in the convoy, right? No. There is always a set of cars, present nearby, in a separate location, for an emergency case, considering that the primary vehicles might not be able to serve, and this is when the other set is rushed in for duty. As for the current times, I don’t exactly know which vehicle is used for this purpose. Earlier, it was a low key ambassador, bulletproof.



This limo is still parked in the motor garage. Talks are going on to shift this into the Presidential Museum. The entrance of the museum is not wide enough to get this inside, and therefore some edits might be performed on the entry.



This still exists as a part of active cars and is used less often. This becomes a part of the convoy when there is a state guest. If I am not wrong, this car can be seen rolling on Rajpath from Republic Day 2020.
She has got an all grey interior inside, which I am not mainly a fan of. Also, in terms of tech, she was way ahead of its time.

Quote:
“The president wanted to replace it with the W222 version, but shelved the plan after the Covid-19 outbreak and resulting economic slowdown.”
I don’t know the source of this, but as far as I know, an order is already given to Mercedes as of almost one year back. There is a limited time cycle the company recommends for the use of a Presidential car. Typically they recommend a change every 6-7 years. We keep our vehicles for ten years minimum. I was informed that Mercedes takes around 2-3 years for the completion of these orders, as the whole car is custom built from the ground up, and there is no standard version which is modified. Also, extensive testing and training of the chauffeur are done abroad.

I don’t know for sure, but we might see a new car in the motorcade??? I can’t say for sure.
Mercedes also recommends a new tyre whenever there is a puncture and not a repair.
President’s car gets puncture a lot, because, you guessed it… President’s Bodyguard (PBG) Horses, who march alongside the car often… they have these nails which are used to attach horseshoes, and when they are running on the road, they sometimes get off and punctures the tyre.
As of now, there is one limo, and two standard S600 Pullman in the arsenal.

Quote:
“Just like the Vogue, this Mercedes 500 SEL was also gifted to Rajiv Gandhi by the King of Jordan. The car served five presidents between 1990 - 2012 and now resides in the Rashtrapati Bhavan museum.”
Trivia: This car was originally silver in colour. When Shri Rajiv Gandhi gave this car for the President’s duty, it was sent to an authorised service centre, painted black, and various other customisations were done.



Trivia: The area this car is parked at currently, this is the area between the current Cabinet Secretariat building, and the guest wing of Rashtrapati Bhavan. Various state heads of different countries use the guest wing. In the picture, you can spot a fountain behind the car, it has two outlets, in the shape of a snake, where the water comes out of the snake’s mouth.

Quote:
“This gold-plated buggy was used by the Viceroy of India. Post-independence, it came to India's hands and was used by our Presidents. But the buggy was kept away due to security reasons after Indira Gandhi's assassination. It is now back in duty during ceremonies.”
Precisely. Also, there exists many other buggy’s like this, including horse training buggy, and luggage coach buggy.

Quote:
BHPian libranof1987 - June 11, 2020 - 20:20

“What vehicles do the PM and President use when they travel within the country? Do they borrow the respective CM's vehicle or do they rely only on helicopter travel or does Raj Bhavan have a spare lying around.”
The answer to this is… depends.
See, President’s security and the Prime Minister’s Security, and Governors etc… they are quite a bit different from each other.
Yes, both have Z+ cover. President is provided security by Delhi Police, and subsequent state police whenever he travels, and if he is abroad, the Delhi Police work in conjunction with their counterparts abroad.
On the other hand, Prime Minister is purely the responsibility of SPG, and hence the differences.
So, when the Prime Minister travels within the country, yes the car cache you are talking about exists, and cars travel around. SPG is essentially army.
Whereas whenever the President travels, the convoy is arranged by the state. Every state has this system in place for dignitaries. This provision can be by anybody of the higher offices. What happens is, whenever a tour is planned, the designated car is inspected thoroughly, (it being bulletproof is a compulsion), and is kept with the security teams 24 hours before his arrival so that no tampering is possible. After the President leaves, again that car goes in security compound, and then finally handed over to the concerned office of the state.

Quote:
“Do these vehicles travel abroad with the dignitaries, as the American does.”
In the case of President, no.
Prime Minister, maybe.
Again, this is something which is not definitive. Anything can be done.
A fundamental notion is, don’t waste resources in carrying motorcade to a place, where security resources are already available in plenty.
Example, USA. Secret Service provides plenty of resources for our head of states.
We provided our motorcade to South African President in his latest visit.
We also provided our S600 limo to Putin once.
So this is kind of a thing which is mutual. Depends on the country head’s wishes.

Quote:
“Do they have protocol on ferrying foreign dignitaries, esp. when the dignitary is traveling with a spouse.”
Yes. Why wouldn’t they? Every security detail assigned to any of the head of state is responsible for the security and safety of the head, as well as his/her’s family. So spouse, children, parents, they all are covered under the umbrella.

Quote:
“The PM/President cars have a lot of tech in them; wonder how easy it was for them to strip all the attack/defence equipment. This would be mostly classified technology so I'd imagine they can't just sell the car as-is to civilians.”
After the retirement of a car, either it is archived, or it is auctioned off, or it is sent back to the manufacturer. Nowadays I am not sure if these are auctioned off or no, because none of the vehicles got retired. One did, it’s going in the museum. But yes, these cars are all stripped off and are converted into a normal version before doing any of this. Sometimes, they might even remove the engine and the suspension off of the car and put it on the blocks. The Merc currently in the museum, it is held up on blocks.

Quote:
BHPian DicKy - June 11, 2020 - 22:15

“Not that I want an Audi to ferry the President, but pretty curious about who decides the cars. Yes, the SPG ofcourse, but who?
A person or a committee?
Do they just look up brochures, or do they have any specific tests or parameters?”
As for the President, the President’s Secretariat takes this decision. This includes President’s Secretary, Military Secretary to the President, Jt. Sec, Jt. CP etc etc. They do consider spec sheets, and they’ve got security advisors and experts. They serve at the pleasure of the President. Hence, he is always kept in the loop for spec ups (interior trims, etc.).
Same goes for SPG; they serve at the pleasure of the PM. Hence, he is the one who decides and specs his car and offices and what not according to personal tastes. Security personals are there for advice and assurance.

I think, President and Prime Minister are not very considered as to what vehicle to use, and they just follow what is recommended to them. Minor tweaks are done according to their liking, for example, interior colours, or some gizmos.

Quote:
BHPian Mik - June 12, 2020 - 13:42

“Would be surprising if protocol allows for the dignitary to sit in the front seat though.”
I think this has got something to do with these cars having more area in the back, as they are required to carry a head of state. Also, more area = more ducking space beneath those thick solid steel plates in case something goes wrong.

Quote:
BHPian Warwithwheels - June 12, 2020 - 20:15

“I have always wondered about the vehicles that the PM/ President use when they travel out of the capital. For instance, when PM makes an emergency (for example: TN CM's death) visit to Chennai from Delhi, do they carry the entire fleet along? Is the protocol different for pre planned meets like the visit of PM during the Indo - China summit in Chennai during October 2019, which would have been planned months ahead?

What about the visit to places outside India?”
Vehicle aspect I think I have already clarified, as to what measures are taken for emergency visits like these. Well, everything is coordinated by the local police and the military ofcourse. Every wing of the armed forces are well aware of the Prime Minister’s movements, and hence, these capped resources are always present within a minute’s time frame. Same protocols are followed. Just that, the planning phase of everything is switched more towards a security aspect, as compared to the comfort aspect. By this, I mean, a lot of hustling is done by SPG personals, after all, this is what they train for before joining SPG right? Improvise, adapt to these kind of emergent situations!


A few extras:
1. The current Limo for the president features a sheet covering between the frontal drive bay and the rear passenger area. There is an inbuilt projector for him to project TV or any other media on it.
2. The chauffer trained at Merc is specifically asked not to engage sports mode, or disable anything from the car. Everything is kept at auto within these cars. Sports mode is reserved just for emergencies (god forbid) if this ever happens.
3. Every car is thoroughly cleaned after every trip with high-pressure air.
4. Detailing and polishing of cars are done exclusively by the Mercedes people regularly, in house. That is, Merc people come up to the motor garage, and the cars don't go anywhere.
5. Same goes for car servicing. If there is nothing major, the servicing is done in the motor garage.
6. These cars run very less, and therefore maintenance is a difficult task. I am talking about <40k in a span of 10 years.
7. These cars are not moved from there place until the engine reaches it's optimum running temp. This means, the cars remain covered in their garages and warmed up idling, with all the exhaust fans running.
8. The keys are often left inside the ignition of these cars, so that all the electricals are always working, for safety monitoring ofcourse. Therefore, these are always left in a plugged-in mode, so that the batteries do not die off.
9. These cars are sealed off within their respective garages as soon as they are done with their duty after thorough inspections. To open the garage, the presence of the head of security, superintendent of the motor garage, and the chauffeur is a must.
10. The chauffeur has a particular uniform, and it is different for winters and summers.
11. The internals, for example, music eq, and ambient lighting, these are all sett to their default settings. I think the seat massagers and heating and cooling has never been used. But who cares what I think
12. First Lady uses a black Toyota Corolla with emblem on it.

I think that's it. I will update if I remember something else, or if I get some more info.
We should remember, all of this is not in public knowledge. Also, all of the info I presented here, it's accurate but is bound to change at any point of time. It's relative to the people in the command's wishes.

Do revert back if you have some more questions. I will gladly answer those.

Last edited by GTO : 17th June 2020 at 07:31. Reason: Added quote tags to post. Please look up the use of the QUOTE functionality to quote member posts. Also helps with navigating.
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Old 16th June 2020, 08:05   #26
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This community doesn't cease to amaze me.
This post is like the 'all in all' answer for this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by utkarshbansal View Post
I have had a few interactions with the Superintendent of the Motor Garage (aka the person responsible for the whole presidential convoy).
Of course, some of the info is confidential, and I may..
I will try my level best to answer almost all of the questions from here, plus I will include a few facts as well, and maybe some additional trivia along with the pre-
We should remember, all of this is not in public knowledge. Also, all of the info I presented here, it's accurate but is bound to change at any point of time. It's relative to the people in the command's wishes.

Do revert back if you have some more questions. I will gladly answer those.
Motor Garage.
Has a definite old school British feel to the name. Almost James Bond novel like.

Honestly, can't think of any questions to ask, you have given more than enough info/trivia.
Any further info would be of security concern

From video footages it seems, the PM takes along the motorcade atleast to the neighbouring countries.
Any further and it would be a waste on national resources, unless you want to flex muscles/project power like the USA does, or even China is doing right now

Again, thanks for the info, and am pretty sure a TeamBHPian will come up with a doubt.
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Old 16th June 2020, 08:22   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utkarshbansal View Post
Hello everybody
I recently joined this team, and right before joining, I came across the presidential cars thread.
I feel I am equipped to answer some of your questions there, as my father, he works for the president. At occasions, I have had a few interactions with the Superintendent of the Motor Garage (aka the person responsible for the whole presidential convoy).
Of course, some of the info is confidential, and I may or may not have knowledge about those.
I will try my level best to answer almost all of the questions from here, plus I will include a few facts as well, and maybe some additional trivia along with the pre-mentioned facts.
........Unbelievable!!?! What will you not find on Team BHP. What a diversity of members. Thank you for sharing these facts. Most interesting. I suspect these are all low mileage cars. So it seems to be Tata-JLR cum BMW for the PM and Mercs for the President.

Last edited by V.Narayan : 16th June 2020 at 08:24.
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Old 16th June 2020, 12:39   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SJM1214 View Post
…I don't see anything wrong in PM using a local car, provided that vehicle fulfils the security norms and requirements.
I too, feel exactly the same. But we should also understand that the PM's safety/security is of utmost importance and so any decision-making influencing that, which would include selecting the PM's official vehicle, is given to the SPG, Govt. of India.

Quote:
The Special Protection Group (SPG) was raised in 1985 with the intention to provide proximate security cover to the Prime Minister, former Prime Ministers and their immediate family members.
Source: http://spg.nic.in/aboutus.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maverick5490 View Post
The decision of selecting the cars is completely in SPG's hands. They do proper product testing at respective manufacturers' locations and undergo extensive training as well.
I understand it is the SPG which decides the safety/specifications of our PMs’ cars.

Similarly, it would be their ‘SPG’ who decides that in Czechoslovakia. Still, their then President demanded that he be built a President-worthy car by a Czechoslovakian company itself. And that was what done by Laurin & Clement, merged with Skoda, which was then, under licence from a French company, Hispano Suiza, manufacturing cars for that company. In 1926, their President received the first stately Hispano-Suiza (then the top of the line model from Skoda, and now which is the Superb) and all their later Presidents have been following that tradition till this day!

Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-260509skodahispanosuizamasarykcspresident1440x995.jpg

If that Czechoslovakian President had thought like our recent PMs, to get his state car imported, there might not have been a Skoda Superb car model today!

Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-150605skodasuperbforczechpresident00511440x960.jpg

More details about the Czechoslovakian President and their state cars @ https://www.skoda-storyboard.com/en/...ents-90-years/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mik View Post
…Considering the push for more 'Indian' stuff, it would be great PR to take Mr Mahindra up on his offer.
Precisely!

I had seen a bullet-proof Scorpio - Rakshak (this one is built for the Army) in Pune early this year. Personally, as many others before me here felt, I also feel, an XUV500 or an Alturas G4 would be able to do that job better.

And had our PM demanded Mr. Anand Mahindra to make a new ‘PM-worthy’ car, he would have been more than happy/honoured to do so and he would have made a car befitting our PM (the below image is just a conceptual rendering of a probable sedan from Mahindra), considering the cutting-edge technologies that Mahindra has under its hood/has access to, these days. That might have even triggered the entry of Mahindra into luxury vehicles, and with the PM himself using it, many other top officials and organization heads would have aspirationally bought the civilian version of that car.

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Similarly, the PM could have asked Mr. Ratan Tata also, and with JLR under its umbrella now, it would have been easier for them to build a custom-made bullet-proof car for him. Better still, the PM could have ordered one each of such cars from both Tata and Mahindra.

I think making a state car fulfilling the SPG's conditions is not a big challenge for the present gen Tata or Mahindra. More than the technical capability of the manufacturer, it requires guts and glory by the PMO and/or SPG to put forward such a demand/requirement! I also realize, for me to sit here and say that is easy, to take such a decision after analyzing each and every step is another matter altogether.

Some examples of what Tata and Mahindra are capable of in the defence/armouring domain are given at their respective websites:

https://www.tatamotors.com/products/defence/

Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister-tata-combatsupport8x805.jpg

https://www.mahindraarmored.com/defence.asp

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If they are able to make the above vehicles, then I think, they would be able to step up and make a luxury armoured passenger car too, provided they have the requirement.

I feel a huge opportunity being wasted for the company(s) as well as the country to advance even further, in the Automobile domain.

All is not lost yet, let us hope the PMO/SPG is able to successfully turn around such a demand sooner or later!

With best regards.

Last edited by Aditya : 17th June 2020 at 08:48. Reason: Political reference under review
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Old 16th June 2020, 13:11   #29
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Default Re: Pics: Cars of the Indian President & Prime Minister

Quote:
Originally Posted by utkarshbansal View Post
Hello everybody
I recently joined this team, and right before joining, I came across the presidential cars thread.
I feel I am equipped to answer some of your questions there, as my father, he works for the president.
Wow.
Your post is simply amazing. We got some amazing information which can not be obtained even at google. I am going to use this information to brag in front of my friends and family. Thanks, utkarshbansal.

And yes, Welcome to Team-BHP.
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Old 16th June 2020, 18:33   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utkarshbansal View Post
Hello everybody
I recently joined this team, and right before joining, I came across the presidential cars thread.
I feel I am equipped to answer some of your questions there, as my father, he works for the president. At occasions, I have had a few interactions with the Superintendent of the Motor Garage (aka the person responsible for the whole presidential convoy).
Amazing how we can connect to such brilliant sources of information!


Quote:
I don’t know the source of this, but as far as I know, an order is already given to Mercedes as of almost one year back. There is a limited time cycle the company recommends for the use of a Presidential car. Typically they recommend a change every 6-7 years. We keep our vehicles for ten years minimum. I was informed that Mercedes takes around 2-3 years for the completion of these orders, as the whole car is custom built from the ground up, and there is no standard version which is modified. Also, extensive testing and training of the chauffeur are done abroad.

I don’t know for sure, but we might see a new car in the motorcade??? I can’t say for sure.
My guess is that delivery of the car will happen in time but there will be a delay in inducting it into service


Quote:
Mercedes also recommends a new tyre whenever there is a puncture and not a repair.
Considering the weight and load that these tyres bear, am not surprised!
Quote:
What happens is, whenever a tour is planned, the designated car is inspected thoroughly, (it being bulletproof is a compulsion), and is kept with the security teams 24 hours before his arrival so that no tampering is possible. After the President leaves, again that car goes in security compound, and then finally handed over to the concerned office of the state.
As I mentioned earlier, Karnataka has an E350 Guard (w212) for this purpose

Quote:
We also provided our S600 limo to Putin once.
Putin also brought his own to Bangalore once and he had a token Zil in the convoy. Guess it was to reduce logistics. All transported in huge AN47 aircraft.. Hence, he is always kept in the loop for spec ups (interior trims, etc.).

Quote:
Same goes for SPG; they serve at the pleasure of the PM. Hence, he is the one who decides and specs his car and offices and what not according to personal tastes. Security personals are there for advice and assurance
.

So we know who chose those dull grey interiors for the W220 limo!
Quote:
2. The chauffer trained at Merc is specifically asked not to engage sports mode, or disable anything from the car. Everything is kept at auto within these cars. Sports mode is reserved just for emergencies (god forbid) if this ever happens.

6. These cars run very less, and therefore maintenance is a difficult task. I am talking about <40k in a span of 10 years.

7. These cars are not moved from there place until the engine reaches it's optimum running temp. This means, the cars remain covered in their garages and warmed up idling, with all the exhaust fans running.
I guess Sport Mode would not be very comfortable and not in line with the stately wafting.

As for the low mileage, if I am right, the cars are kept idling while on duty in order to be deployed at a moments notice during a situation. Hence 40k km might look low but hours idling might be higher than normal.

Does the President use a "normal" car for any personal use. i.e if he wants to visit someone on a night off without the pomp, how does he travel discreetly. He cannot lose the security no doubt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zaheermk View Post
I too, feel exactly the same. But we should also understand that the PM's safety/security is of utmost importance and so any decision-making influencing that, which would include selecting the PM's official vehicle, is given to the SPG, Govt. of India.
Due to indirect ownership, maybe that why the PM uses a Range Rover, its too late to use a Ssangyong now
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