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Old 11th April 2011, 12:01   #136
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Default Re: The Premier Automobiles Ltd - The Remembrances Thread

Thanks ACM! Yes, I did read about the "Kohinoor City" coming up in place of the PAL plant.

BTW, slightly nice avtaar you've got there- the car appears to be a Fiat 1100- possibly a dukkar?

Do feel free to share the actual pic. if feasible (or any pics. of this car) in this thread:
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Old 18th April 2011, 11:10   #137
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Default Re: The Premier Automobiles Ltd - The Remembrances Thread


Yep that is a 1956

Will lookup and share a few pics of the car in the nostalgic pictures thread later.

I still have it with me and will have it for life, but presently it is not in great shape and have not been able to find the time to get it to a state that I can live with, in the meanwhile it lies in a closed covered garage since the last few years all by itself.

Hope to get cracking on that soon.
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Old 1st May 2011, 17:26   #138
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Default Re: The Premier Automobiles Ltd - The Remembrances Thread

Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Dear all - in order to keep this thread active (sorry, work does not permit me to do it but I don't want it to die), as per recent queries raised by the users of 118NE cars on the forum, I'll use this thread to give complete answers.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
Dear Behrambhai,
I have certain questions pertaining to my '89 118NE:
1. Around 1992-93, the exhaust pipe was shifted from right to left. Can we know what exactly was modified?
2. What are you suggestions on polishing the cylinder heads? Does it make a noticable difference in the 118NE?
3. You have mentioned about a rally prepared 1988 model which was done in England. Can you describe a short review on the driving expericne compared.
4. My car has done 52,000kms & i am hell bent on solving this problem of rear differential noise. There is a humming noise heard at speeds above 50 & becomes too intrusive. I tried changed the differential from a scrap dealer but the problem started at speeds above 60km. What is your advice >>

Last edited by Technocrat : 19th January 2012 at 00:39. Reason: Fixed quotes
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Old 30th May 2011, 17:44   #139
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Default Re: The Premier Automobiles Ltd - The Remembrances Thread

Behram Sir, Thank You very much for this wonderful thread it brought back a lot of magnificent memories. I consider myself fortunate to have used a host of Premier vehicles over the years. Back in those days we were Parts & Accessories Suppliers for M/s Bombay Cycle & Motor Agency Ltd. One can say I grew up surrounded by Fiat’s & Peugeot’s, though only a few were meant for our own private most were refurbished & sold. Of the cars the family had over the years I distinctly remember a few, first was the Black Fiat 1100 Select (MRF 4573) bought in the min 80’s from a family and was sparingly used for quite a few years. It was eventually replaced by a Grey Premier Padmini (MAM 9898) we used to travel a lot in this car and was the first Fiat I drove, ironically I didn’t learn driving on the Padmini but on my Mahindra Commander 750 DP when I was in the 6th standard. This car was sold and was replaced by a completely rusted Imperial Red (Maroon) Premier 118 NE (MFC 7553), the NE was used for few weeks and was sent to Bombay Cycle for a body shell swap and the colour changed to White as even if Imperial Red was a very good colour it would fade to Pink in a few years. The NE was sold & then came my Black Dukkar Fiat (MMB 2176), when bought the car was not in a very good shape and was sent to Bombay Cycle for repairs. I distinctly remember the car was in the workshop for about 6 months & when it came from the workshop it was hard to believe it was the same car that had been sent there. Back then (1995-96) we had it converted to floor gear, it sported a Panchal exhaust (now Automech), Sun Roof, White wall tyres & lots more. The Dukkar was used regularly over the next few years. In the early 2000’s my Uncle bought it from us, used it for a few months & was left to rust. Finally in 2006, post the 26 July deluge the car was sent to the scrap yard. In 2002 we bought 2 Taxi registered Premier 118 NE’s for Rs. 7000/- each. One for a friend & one for us, mine was registered as (MH-01-U-8580). The sole reason for buying the cars was that, we had a lot of 118 NE spares with us which were now reduced to as dead stock as the demand had evaporated & we didn’t want to sell the spares as scrap. Hence in a bid to utilise all the resources we had both the cars were built from ground at friend’s garage. This car was with us till early 2005 and was bought from us by a friend who’s old NE had sunk in the ground, sadly even this car suffered the same fate with him.

As of now the only Premier vehicle with us is actually not a Premier it’s a Nautilius Blue Peugoet 309 GLD (MH-08-C-700); the first 309 GLD to be delivered in India, with us for about 15 years now (was delivered to us on 25 December 1996) and has clocked more than 5,00,000 till now. But going through this thread has made a want a Premier once again. Please let me know if someone has a PPL Viceroy for sale.
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Old 30th May 2011, 21:05   #140
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Default Re: The Premier Automobiles Ltd - The Remembrances Thread

Originally Posted by madhokritesh View Post
DHABHAR.BEHRAM - Sir can you tell us more about the Viceroy which was introduced in the 90s i guess, like to add here that I was going thru this thread and found it as one of the best on TBHP very nostalgic, We are very proud to have you Sir among us here on this Forum.
The Viceroy was a 118 NE with the Peugeot touch.It had front bucket seats from the 309 & Peugeot re designed rear seats.Also the Viceroy was never available in Non A/C.External visual differences were a PPL logo on the bonet & Viceroy badging in place of 118 NE.Post the formation of Pal Peugeot; 118 NE,1.38 D & Viceroy were a part of it,while the Premier Padmini & 137 D were a part of the Pal Fiat JV later known as IND Auto.The 118 NE's , 1.38 D's & Viceroy's built by PPL had high corrosion resistance.Viceroy was more of a trim upgrade & mechanicals were untouched. PPL had also built a Viceroy Diesel prototype with a Peugeot TUD5 engine but before it could be launched the strike broke out & the plant was closed down forever.

Pal Peugeot Viceroy Brochure

The Premier Automobiles Ltd - The Remembrances Thread-viceroy-front.jpg
The Premier Automobiles Ltd - The Remembrances Thread-viceroy-back.jpg

Pal Peugeot 118 NE Brochure
The Premier Automobiles Ltd - The Remembrances Thread-ne-front.jpg
The Premier Automobiles Ltd - The Remembrances Thread-ne-back.jpg
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Old 30th May 2011, 23:29   #141
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Default Re: The Premier Automobiles Ltd - The Remembrances Thread

Hello All,

This is an excellent thread. Many people have stories to tell about their experience with Fiats / Premiers.

In my school days, we had a 1961 Fiat 1100. This was a car in which we traveled a lot. Multiple trips from Hyderabad to Pune / Mumbai / Aurangabad were a breeze. We used to frequently go to Srisailam (about 220 kms from Hyderabad) in the car. We had been from Hyderabad to Goa three times in this car. Each trip was a great experience. The longest trip in this car was from Hyderabad -> Pune -> Mumbai -> Baroda -> Ahmedabad and back via the same route. In the mid 90s, the car's body had reached such a stage that the effort to rebuild it completely was not worth it. Hence it was sold to my father's friend who used it for two more years. Not sure about the fate of the car now.

We also had a 1957 Fiat 1100 Elegant for nearly 15 years. This car was and still is one of the best Elegants in Hyderabad with all the original parts. Although the present owner is not maintaining the car up to mark that it deserves, it still is the best. We had also done trips to Pune and Aurangabad in this car and it was a great experience! We had to sell the car due to personal reasons but we sold it only when we got a good offer.

In 1995, we brought a white 1989 Premier 118 NE. This was an excellent car mechanically. The longest trip done in this car was Hyderabad -> Bangalore -> Mysore -> Ooty -> Coimbatore -> Polachi -> Palani -> Kodaikanal -> Madurai and back!! This trip was done with 4 adults and 3 kids in the car!! The car ran perfectly well. The only problem was an issue with the silencer which was partially damaged when the car was taken through a field as there was an accident of a truck near a railway crossing on the Bangalore highway. This was way back in 1996. Before we got this car, it was being used at Hyderabad as well as Mumbai, hence the body had started deteriorating faster in the Mumbai weather. Hence after an year plus few months with us, the car was sold.

In 1996, we got another maroon 1989 Premier 118 NE which we still have. This car was purchased by the first owner in Hyderabad, hence the condition of the body was comparatively better than the previous car. This car has a lot of DIY stuff done by my father. This car has also done long trips. Pictures can be found at this link :

In March 2011, we became the owners of a 1997 PPL Viceroy. The car was in an OK condition when got it and is being refined now. This car will not be modded as our 1989 118 NE and will be kept as original as possible. I had been to Horsley Hills (a hill station 550 kms from Hyderabad) last week in the Viceroy and the performance was awesome! The details of this car can be found at this link :

The Viceroy will be used for long trips while the NE will be used for city use and short trips outside the city limits.

Originally Posted by SwapnilNalavade View Post
Please let me know if someone has a PPL Viceroy for sale.
Hi Swapnil! A PPL Viceroy is rare to find and the people who already own one will not part with unless they are unaware about its advantages. Anyway don't lose hope and keep trying. I am sure you will find one. All the Best!

Regards and Keep Revving,

Rahul Waghmare.
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Old 29th June 2011, 13:09   #142
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Default Re: The FIAT 1100/Premier Padmini Technical Information thread.

I came across this short film on FB and thought it was a great one. Moved me to tears. It cuts through language barriers. So I thought I must share this with all Premier Padmini/Fiat1100 lovers.

REQ. TO MODERATORS. I do not own the above content or stake any ownership to it. If you think this is a copyright violation or if you find the content off-topic, please feel free to do as you may deem fit.



Last edited by benbsb29 : 1st July 2011 at 00:24. Reason: Fixed broken video embed link.
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Old 17th January 2012, 15:10   #143
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Default Story of 2 friends - Fiat and Premier


I was just going through the thread on “Premier RiO @ Auto Expo 2012”.

An interesting point comes to my mind...

Premier - Fiat collaboration in India came to an end a decade ago.
  • Fiat India, back then, which was left to fend for itself, tried to resurrect the brand through a joint venture (JV) with Tata Automobiles. Fiat Siena, Fiat Palio were the prominent models that were released in the next decade. However the JV was never able to do justice to these models in India and sadly these models are not sold anymore. With the introduction of Punto and Linea, things started to look better, but still a far cry from what these models were actually capable of.
Better late than never, better sense seems to be prevailing and Fiat India has finally decided to be on its own in India from 2012 onwards.
  • Premier Automobiles Ltd (PAL), on the other hand, stopped dealing with Automobiles except for a thing or two in between. Almost after a decade, in 2009, they re-entered the Indian passenger vehicle market with a compact SUV named RiO (CKD Kits of Nomad sourced from Zoyte China), whose face lifted version was displayed in the recently concluded 2012 Auto Expo.
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2 groups which “once upon a time” spent formative years together, could have possibly built on the early momentum back then, but that was not to be. Today they are on their own. Hope they have learnt their lessons this time around and would be more than anxious to gain some foothold in the Indian Automotive Scene which once upon a time could have been their “own sweet home”!

Just imagine what the PAL – Fiat India JV could have done, had it been intact!

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Old 18th January 2012, 05:36   #144
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Default Re: Story of 2 friends - Fiat and Premier

Ahhh, if only.

In my youngster days we had a Premier Padmini and at approximately same time Premier released 118NE. Folks at home do not believe that it was a luxury car at that time. I once had a opportunity to sit in one she would run flat on the road (glued to the tarmac) and touched speeds of ~80-100 effortlessly (That itself was an achievement then).

Me as a child thought one car like this and life is all set . Changing times.
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Old 18th January 2012, 08:09   #145
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Default Re: Story of 2 friends - Fiat and Premier

IIRC, FIAT and PAL parted ways not a decade ago but in 1972/73!

In 1973 came the Premier President and in 1974 came the Premier Padmini. The Padmini was copy of the original FIAT 1100 Delight(sold in India from 1965 to 1972) with few cosmetic changes.

An interesting thread from Behram Dhabhar who was previously n PAL, then M&M and now in TML.

Had PAL and FIAT been together still, Alto Dzire i10 would have been rare breeds! lol

Last edited by ruthvikmagal : 18th January 2012 at 08:12.
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Old 18th January 2012, 10:49   #146
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Default Re: Story of 2 friends - Fiat and Premier

Similar thought always cloud my mind....

Had the British never left India....
What if Shankaracharya was never born! would we all be Buddists now?
What if the earth was a little closer to Sun, and there was no life here!!

Very few Family run businesses have survived for more than one generation.....The younger gen is never interested in what their fathers did. So I guess, PAL/FIAT was one such generation, and we have all moved on.....Too Far
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Old 18th January 2012, 11:46   #147
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Default Re: Story of 2 friends - Fiat and Premier

Originally Posted by ruthvikmagal View Post
IIRC, FIAT and PAL parted ways not a decade ago but in 1972/73!

In 1973 came the Premier President and in 1974 came the Premier Padmini. The Padmini was copy of the original FIAT 1100 Delight(sold in India from 1965 to 1972) with few cosmetic changes.

An interesting thread from Behram Dhabhar who was previously n PAL, then M&M and now in TML.

Had PAL and FIAT been together still, Alto Dzire i10 would have been rare breeds! lol

Thanks Ruthvikmagal for writing in.

ALL - I thought, PAL continued to produce the Padmini till the mid-nineties (1996/97) and their association with Fiat saw the Uno in India in the mid/late nineties. For all this to have happened PAL must have had some sort of a tie-up with Fiat and the last remaining ties were severed off only around 2000 or so.

PAL has had other tie-ups with Peugeot in between and in the late nineties Fiat initiated a tie-up with Tata Automobiles.

Folks, please correct if this is not right!
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Old 18th January 2012, 15:52   #148
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Default Re: Story of 2 friends - Fiat and Premier

Oh Please, What PAL and Fiat achieved together was primarily because we Indians at the time had no other choice!!! You either bought an Ambassador, Fiat or a Maruti. Make a diesel engined bullock cart under 5 lacs during the license Raj days and even that would have a 6 month waiting period!!

The present state of affairs at both PAL and Fiat are desrvedly so!! PAL never recovered from a demand led market to a consumer led one. Their interest was never in making cars but simply making money from cars. Another two quarters and the Rio will join a museum belonging to the likes of Dolphins, Rovers etc....

The less said about Fiat the better. Other than Maruti no other company had everything going for them in India, a very early entry into the market, a big service and sales network, strong brand presence, manufacturing facilities, diesel engines, small car expertise, a huge start with their next gen car i.e. the Uno etc..etc...

Fiat....let me reiterate this, Only Fiat can screw things up so badly from such an enviable position. Firstly, they could never instill service standards within themselves let alone their extensive dealer network. Second, their product placement was pathetic, how else could they sit back and watch as the Indica ruled the diesel hatchback segment for almost a decade.

Strangely most of the blame for Fiat's continuing debacle in the Indian market seems to be directed at Tata in this forum. How is this possible when Fiat did such a shoddy job of its original sales and service network in the first place?!! Down south the legendary tales of TVS's (responsible for Fiat sales/service in southern states) appaling attiuide towards customers are known by one and all. Most of its original dealer network just gave up on their struggling business and Fiat simply had to disband its own sales operation.

When no one would touch TVS even with a barge pole piggybacking on Tata's network was the only option they had. If it wasnt for this Fiat would have shut shop in India a couple of years back. At least now a days they sell two dozen odd cars compared to the 4 - 4.5 cars they used to sell prior to that. Fiat India is an excellent case study as to how a decent product alone will not suffice but you also need to have the grey matter to know what to do with it!!

Kindly note I have not meant any disrespect to the original thread started by Mr.Behram, its only my reaction to the new one questioning the possibilities had the Fiat - PAL JV still been intact. Apologies in advance if I have offended anyone.

Last edited by shortbread : 18th January 2012 at 15:59.
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Old 18th January 2012, 19:37   #149
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Default Re: The Premier Automobiles Ltd - The Remembrances Thread

I guess anyone born after 1980 has no affection at all for Premier. Can't say I blame them!

In my case...I loved the look of the "Fiat" (it was never called a Padmini by anyone other than the company!) and we were fortunate enough to own 2 of these. The first, a lovely green-grey shade described by PAL as "Albina" was earned by my Dad when he was promoted to Manager at the PSU where he worked in 1986.

I loved that car.

I wasn't allowed to drive that car

Can't really blame my Dad- I was all of 14 when we had to return it (Dad quit his job and went abroad for a few years and along with that went the car). But all the theory that eventually went into my driving style I picked up when driving alongside my Dad in that car. He was in his fifties when he learned to drive and that fact, coupled with his native risk-aversion, made him one of the safest (and in my then-adolescent mind, BORING) drivers I had ever encountered. I remember the day I accompanied him to his office and we took the car: he actually touched 80 on the Western Express Highway ( a lovely place to drive in those days!) and very sheepishly apologised to my glowering Mom, saying that on the highway you would be at risk if you were slower than other vehicles (which is true!)

My cousin who lived with us at the time was the lucky one and did a lot of driving on that car. He was the exact opposite of my Dad: scatter-brained and utterly oblivious to everything around him when he drove (and NOT in a good way!). One time he almost drove into a truck carrying "salliyas" (think long iron rods used in construction). I still remember those nasty things poking in through the window- luckily nobody was hurt.

The second car was bought by Dad for me around 1993 just after I secured my driving license. We had a choice between the Padmini BE at 1.67 lac and a Maruti 800 at about 15K more, and I urged Dad to get the Fiat. "Pale Lilac" was the only shade that Spectra Motors in Malad West had in stock and my fears of riding around in a purple monstrosity were put to rest when we found out it was just a fancy way of saying "off-white". I drove that car almost exclusively- Dad had given up driving by that thanks to his deteriorating eyesight and the maddening traffic in Bombay- took it with me when I moved to Hyderabad for my first job but for some reason it never quite had the charm of that 1986 albina beauty. It returned an FE of about 10 kmpl, but with petrol prices around 17/- a litre when I started driving, that wasn't much of a worry!

For some reason we hardly did any long-distance driving with either of our cars: my family held this belief that highways were a dangerous place to be and so we missed out on the roadtrips that I got into only after I got my Hyundai Accent in late 2000. I can only imagine what a laugh riot those would have been, with my Mom ever on alert as the passenger-seat driver, me pestering Dad to let me have a go at the wheel, sis throwing up out of the rear window etc.

I learned to drive on a Fiat and that has held me in good stead since driving any other car seems a breeze in comparison! In fact there is a Padmini in my parents' apartment complex (the place I grew up) and my friend's Dad who owns it once asked me to move it since some construction work was on: I was pleased to find that I am still able to drive it without stalling it.

Thanks Mr. Behram Dhabar for this wonderful thread. There is a lot of sentiment associated with the cars of my childhood and this was a nice trip down memory lane.
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Old 18th January 2012, 20:30   #150
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Default Re: The Premier Automobiles Ltd - The Remembrances Thread

This is a wonderful thread with so many BHPians sharing the wonderful experiences that you all have had with this iconic Italian brand called 'Fiat'. For all you Fiat-lovers out there, I have an eye-candy here. I saw this immaculately maintained Premier Padmini in Trichy when I visited there last October. It was in a pristine condition with absolutely no rust spots, all original fittings and shining chrome parts. There was an old man driving it and the sporty exhaust note was sheer music to the ears. It had covered less than 15,000 km in its life span of over 15 years. How I wish I could own one of these now!

The Premier Automobiles Ltd - The Remembrances Thread-premier-padmini.jpg

I can't help but feel for the sorry state of affairs of Fiat in India right now. They have completely lost the plot despite having two brilliant and stunning models.
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