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Old 18th July 2021, 18:11   #1
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Default A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly

Visiting the HM plant was a long time wish, but unfortunately by the time I grew up production stopped still the wish remained. And when a friend and a fellow owner of a Mark II Ambassador said he also wanted to visit the plant I jumped at the opportunity and made plans to visit this weekend only.A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly-img_20210718_071423.jpg
A quick stop for a photo in front of town hall
A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly-img20210718wa0007.jpeg
Yellow cabs and white Ambassadors still a familiar site on Calcutta roads.

A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly-img_20210718_180247.jpg
Hindustan Motors Ltd sign in Bengali

A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly-img20210718wa0085.jpg
Security outpost outside a gate
A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly-img20210718wa0083.jpg
Glimpse of the plant inside ( The chimneys and shed visible belong to Titagarh wagons)
A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly-img20210718wa0054.jpg
Mark 1 and 2 parked inside the premises

A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly-img20210718wa0079.jpg
Security Barrack and drivers rest house

A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly-img20210718wa0093.jpg
A round of photoshoot after parking in front of a gate of Titagarh wagons
A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly-img20210718wa0095.jpg

A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly-img20210718wa0017.jpeg
Signboard outside disposal gate, for gaining entry into the plant this gate was mainly used as the Hind motor station is located opposite to it.
A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly-img20210718wa0060.jpg
HM property sign put up in front of Titagarh wagons plant
A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly-img20210718wa0061.jpg
Union room, one of the main reason leading to shut down of the plant.
A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly-img20210718wa0057.jpg
While standing outside the disposal gate and enquiring if any spares are available, the person on the cycle stopped and told to look in Mullickbazar. He is an employee at HM, worked as a tester of the manufactured cars. The day before work was suspended, the last batch of 14 cars were made and he inspected them doing overtime, but unfortunately he didn't receive that payment also.
A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly-img20210718wa0053.jpg
Another Union room
A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly-img20210718wa0065.jpg
Group-fie is a must
A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly-img20210718wa0021.jpeg
Notice at the disposal gate
A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly-img20210718wa0084.jpg
The disposal gate itself
A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly-img20210718wa0050.jpg
Greenery abundant inside
A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly-img20210718wa0097.jpg
Posing with the Mark 1 in front of the security barrack.
A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly-img20210718wa0009.jpeg
Union rooms

The total land of the factory is 1000 acres of which 300 acres have been leased to Shreeram group, a portion is Titagarh wagons and likely the plant will be broken down and made an IT hub. We weren't allowed to go much further inside, although locals are being allowed probably due to the security guard present at the gate was ill tempered. Inside the premises no cars are left, all being sold out through back gates. Learned from the tester that there was a prototype of HM Veer pickup truck kept in a showcase inside the plant that too was taken out after closure of the plant. Overnight 22000 people lost their jobs, and the people who live in the quarters are without electricity or water.

Last edited by Babyhindusthan : 18th July 2021 at 23:26.
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Old 18th July 2021, 23:35   #2
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Default re: A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly

A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly-img20210718wa0043.jpg
While returning had to make a couple of stops, due to the Mark 1 stalling and make some adjustments.

A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly-img20210718wa0047.jpg

A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly-img20210718wa0062.jpg

A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly-img20210718wa0037.jpg
Trying to fix the issue.

A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly-img20210718wa0038.jpg
Our photographer Deepanjan Sarkar making us pose with the cars, not forgetting to grab every opportunity he can to capture the moment.
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Old 19th July 2021, 07:17   #3
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Default re: A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 19th July 2021, 07:48   #4
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Default Re: A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly

Wow.. That is really good. Nice to see (at least in pics) the old glory of HM. I have always felt that such places should have been made into a museum to host the old glory. Being from Chennai, I am missing the Standard 2000 factory - now it is an IT hub housing a good number of companies.
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Old 19th July 2021, 08:05   #5
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Default Re: A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly

Thanks for posting this! The history of the advent and growth of the motor car in post-independence India is closely linked with Hindustan Motors. Government cars allotted to officials in Delhi were mostly Ambassador cars, some even built to bullet proofing specs!


In the UK, car manufacturers like Jaguar Land Rover (now Tata Owned) have a display of their vehicles at their plant at Rugby. Likewise I have seen at least two private museums housing automobiles and transport vehicles. These museums serve to inspire and educate youngsters.

How I wish there was an auto museum to showcase the inception and growth of the India-manufactured automobile scenario in our country! The Walchand group in Bombay launched Premier in Kurla and that was a flourishing manufacturing unit for many years. Sadly, the factory went to seed and one could see rusted hulks of the once proud Premier Padmini.
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Old 19th July 2021, 11:33   #6
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Default Re: A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly

Thanks for posting this!

Boat like handling be damned - but I think the Ambassador still had one of the plushest city rides in the back seat for a very long time. The sofa-like springy lounge cushions (usually stinking, if you travelled in a taxi in a rainy place ) softened the worst of the roads and potholes.

And ofcourse, who can forget the Contessa - the richer sibling with a top speed of around 120Kmph! Ofcourse, there were few roads that could safely handle this speed.

Everything else about this company was a negative, right from reliability, to fit and finish. I guess this company did deserve to go into the sunset -it simply doesn't deserve to survive in that form in the modern world.
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Old 19th July 2021, 11:59   #7
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Default Re: A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly

Thanks for posting this. It brought back so many of childhood memories.

I was born and brought up in Calcutta, and the yellow taxi is part of your life. We had an Ambassador in the early 90's in our family. We were not rich enough to own a car, hence the idea of sitting in a car or taxi was quite special for me for large part of my school days.

Thought I left the city for good in 2003, I would always go back during holidays at least once a year and get to enjoy the ride in yellow Ambassador.

It is sad that the legacy of this company and car has been reduced to this. This is also in a way synonymous with what happened to the city through the 90's.

Wonder if there was a possibility to preserve the external looks of this car while the interiors being modern and if it could have remained as the official taxi of the city.
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Old 19th July 2021, 12:17   #8
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Default Re: A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly

Lovely writeup and insights into the condition of the Uttarpara plant. Amby was, is and will be a part of life for Indians. Really sad to see the state of the company but they did not upgrade themselves as well. Also these pictures show the true colours of politics mixing with industries and the ill effects of it.

When I used to work in Mumbai/Pune as soon as I got to see a Ambassador it used to bring a smile on my face because the car represented the state from where I belong

Not sure for how much more years we will get to ride the yellow taxis in Kolkata as the number of cars crossing the 15 years of age are increasing and taxis are getting scrapped so I tend to use the Yellow Taxi of Kolkata for getting the charm of Old Calcutta every now and then when I am not in self driving mood. They are Old no doubt but the comfort of the back seat of the Amby and the basic leaf spring suspension underneath absorbing all the bumps gives you a feeling that this car can take on any roads.

Hope AMBASSADOR finds a fresh lease of life and comes back in a new avatar, it indeed has become a cult classic.
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Old 19th July 2021, 12:21   #9
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Default Re: A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly

Thanks Souryadeep for the wonderful thread with great pics. HM's legacy Ambassador might have been aged product, but there are few of us, who cherished Ambassador of all generations. Wish the legacy had continued like the RE.

Here are two iconic Indian cars at home.
A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly-6.jpg
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Old 19th July 2021, 12:21   #10
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Default Re: A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly

Nostalgic. Sad that the legacy doesn't exist anymore. It is true that HM could not keep pace with time. But the reliability & low running costs cannot be overlooked. How else could it find substantial acceptance across the country in various use categories? Ambassador was for all reasons & seasons!
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Old 19th July 2021, 12:27   #11
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Default Re: A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly

Such a wonderful write-up and pictures. Perfect outing for the two iconic cars you guys possess.

For me, growing up, Premier Padminis ("Fiats") were home cars and Ambassadors were office cars.

I remember being particularly amused by the adjustable reading lights and the small fans at the back in my first trip in the Ambassador. I know - no biggie, but hey, i was a kid.

An Avigo was also briefly assigned too, and I so loved the looks!

Thanks for sharing!

Regards,
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Old 19th July 2021, 12:35   #12
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Default Re: A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkw View Post
But the reliability & low running costs cannot be overlooked.
IMHO, the reason for continued acceptance is the mechanical simplicity and lack of electronics rather than reliability. We've seen newer cars which were much cheaper to run, maintain and undeniably far more reliable.
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Old 19th July 2021, 13:41   #13
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Default Re: A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly

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Originally Posted by rkw View Post
But the reliability & low running costs cannot be overlooked
Absolutely. It was a no-nonsense car. Petrol Ambassadors have never seen workshops for months and it was a workhorse.

In the late '80s and '90s, I have seen people queuing up in Alagendra Auto Parts, Coimbatore to get their huge list of spares for converting into diesel including a new engine (Matador 305).

HM should have capitalized on this market, but they failed to do so. No words to describe their Unions.
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Old 19th July 2021, 13:44   #14
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Default Re: A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly

Thank you babyhindusthan for taking us down memory lane. Have fond memories of being ferried-around in Ambassadors in my childhood. Grandfather served as an IAS officer and Dad served with Air India; both had the glorious White Ambassadors as their official cars. Nostalgia swept over me as I read your post; so many wonderful memories attached to this car. Personally believe that the Ambassador seats were one of the best and most comfortable in the entire car space; could give today's cars a run for their money! Had spotted a DC-modified Ambassador recently on Mumbai roads, and it looked like an absolute stunner! Unfortunately couldn't click a photo as I was driving myself.
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Old 19th July 2021, 13:44   #15
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Default Re: A visit to the now defunct Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarpara, Hooghly

Brings back childhood memories. Ambassador Mark 4 was one of the most prestigious items of wealth to acquire and show off in the early 80s. It cost over a lakh of rupees and had waiting periods of many months! A friends' family had one and we have made many road trips of 6+ hours across the length and breadth of Kerala in that car. We would not even have second thoughts about fitting in 7-8 people in the car, sometimes even more with kids sitting on laps. We kids would watch the speedometer like a hawk and holler when the car finally crossed 100 KPH on some long straight stretches of road. For many of us this car was what sowed the seeds of life long love for cars.
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