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Old 29th May 2008, 10:05   #91
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Default Premier (Fiat) Long Lived Memories

My Dad bought our first car a Premier President 73 Model # DEC5491 for 36000 in 1990. The car was old and we painted it first thing. I learnt to drive in this car by just observing our driver.

Though the car gave us lot of trouble, atleast it was a Course for me in Auto Engineering.
In the 8 years we owned it, almost every part of the car gave us trouble.
  • The Brake Master Cylinder and the Carb was something which never stopped leaking.
  • The cars timing chain always made noise a week after I changed it.
  • I used to get 12kmpl.
  • Whenever I crossed 90 kmph, I had to get my dynamo repaired.
In 1990s I remember how prestigious it was to own a fiat still, though the M800 was in large numbers by then. It was a pride to get ones fiat painted every 2 years then. And I longed to own the Deluxe BU with A/c then. I was wishing to fit my fiat with a Gypsy engine too or atleast the M800 Carb.

Back then, I also believed that 118NEs donot heat as they use coolant untill I put my hand on some 118NEs bonnet and realised.

In the last year of its ownership, It got so rusted that the wiring got stuck in the body and melted. I literary jumped out of the car and came back to see locals watering my car. I still managed to bypass the wiring with extra wires and fed the ignition coil with the battery and drive back home.

I had also myself made a switch for ignition by inspiration from Kinetic Honda.
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Old 30th May 2008, 00:04   #92
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Originally Posted by karlosdeville View Post
The 124, from which the 118NE was derived, was launched as a replacement to the long line of the 1100 series, the last of which was the 1100R in 67.
Hi Karlos,
as far as I can rememberthe Fiat 128 was the successore to the 11ooR which was an updatred more boxy 11ooD. Personally felt the 11ooD our Premiere Padmini was better looking than it's boxy and more anonymous 11ooR.

The 124 is actually a class bigger than the 11ooR and both were in production in 1966 when the 124 was introduced to much acclaim as the Car of The Year in Europe.

The 124 was ground breaking then and this I suppose induced Fiat to contemporize the 11ooD into the 11ooR which finally gave way to another CoTY winner the Fiat 128 in 1969. Fiat were really flying then with world beating smaller cars for the masses.

Photos from the Wiki Link ...

1954 11oo - My Goan Uncle had this - thick solid guage and handled really nice on turns.

11oo 103 (there is another one inbetween this and the previous with the greenhouse of the above and the front and rear of the 103c/ Special of 1960)

Harama Padmini 11ooD inspired (to the core) - Our first familycar looked like this - It was a 58 model purchased in 1976 - Its body colour was blue like the car behind this one. It has full wheel fancy(didn't particularilly like them) wheel covers and the grille and bumpers were the original slimmer ones with longer steel bumper guards... The number plate location was the same too - liked that as were the side rubbing strips with a depression in the centre unlike the reverse for he Padmini. Of course it was Rhd

The last of the series from 1966 - 69 the 11ooR

This was replaced by the handsome 128 CoTY 170 - advanced for it's day it was one of Fiat's first front wheel drive transverse engined car - we had an off white example in Zambia - it had a reputation for being troublesome to maintain...but nice to drive...

The larger 1300/1500 seen here was the predecessor to the Fiat 124/125 line made from 61-67. So you see - tt belonged to the next bigger range of cars than the 11oo range...

The Fiat 125 succeeded the 1500 and was basically the 124 body - same doors and passenger cell but longer underpan from the 1500 - longer bonnet

The 124 (This is the 124 Special a near identical example of which we had in Zambia)-body press donor for our 118NE - came in 1966 CoTY winner

The Fiat 131 Mirafiori succeeded the 124 in 74 - We had an off white 1.3 l example in Zambia - was a very comfy car - loved the earliest version's looks seen here...It was bigger than the 124 it replaced - the typical tendency of most models to slowly grow in size over the years.

And finally this is the Fiat 132 I mentioned earlier. My favourite flagship Fiat that we had - This was the successor to the Fiat 125 (the more powerful 124)...We had an off white example again - nice balanced looks - nice face but conservative.

We really were a FIAT family for a while before we finally shifter to Toyotas n other Japmobiles - Hope you all find this informative and as enjoyable as I felt putting it together...

Cheers !

Note from Mod : Please see the ANNOUCEMENTS section for the instructions on how to upload pictures to Team-BHP correctly as per the rules.

Last edited by Rehaan : 30th May 2008 at 03:11. Reason: Please see note in post.
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Old 30th May 2008, 02:57   #93
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Fiat is a very special car for me.
The car i learnt driving in.

I think the car we had was a 82 model or something like that, this was the car i saw and traveled in as a kid.

The hill drives would cause the car to heat up, put water in the radiator and the lid would be boiling hot untouchable by hands.

The car was repainted a lot of times and yes the gear shift was so peculiar the reverse gear in front used to cry out loud as if someone had squeaked the life out of it. A lot of the time it would spend just at the garage.

The ignition key placed right at the center that beautiful oval dash and extra large steering
The metal clamp of the dashboard huge switches for the head lights and the indicators were not self stop.

Things were so simple with these cars. Pop the lid and claim you knew what was wrong with it.
Thats where my love affair with cars started, first crush definately.
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Old 30th May 2008, 12:53   #94
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even i have some fond memories of PAL.

I was a kid when we used to ride Padmini and always called it a Fiat.

we had the one with the 'Floor Gear'

last month i was in Mumbai and was taken by surprise to know that the Padmini 1984 models ae doing perfectly fine in mumbai traffic conditions.
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Old 30th May 2008, 23:37   #95
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Originally Posted by gods-envy View Post
I too am in the same frame of mind
Want to buy a Premier Padmini and make it into a convertible, work a little on the looks etc etc....

Vitamin -M is the inhibiting factor here.
Not sure when I would be able to sorth that....Let's see time will only tell..

When Vitamin M is your problem - the Premier Padmini is a good option. It is ideal for driving in traffic - you can see the four corners - very easy to reverse in small spaces. I have a 1974 Padmini which I purchased in '95. Two years back I fitted it with a 118NE engine and gearbox. It is so much more enjoyable - smooth gears. The car also has twin master cylinders - taken from a newer model and also twin wiper speed motor. Also fitted electronic engine taken from a Contessa. Had to do some machine shop job on the distributor since the direction is opposite. I have a 60 amps alternator and halogen bulbs - good lights considering the cost. New light domes are very cheap compared to the new cars. I am very particular on having the ammeter and battery meter - they give me a lot of comfort - to know the electricals are in order. I also fitted the S1 seats - but found them very uncomfortable - so decided to put back the original seats with springs - best for our roads. For those with Vitamin M issues - the Padmini with modifications is a good option especially for city driving. Mohaan
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Old 3rd June 2008, 16:30   #96
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Dear Cyrus

Very good pictures of !18 ne.
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Old 5th June 2008, 11:16   #97
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Stunning thread! I learned to drive on a Premier Padmini (floor shifter) back in 7th standard. It was a company car which my Father drove and he was unfortunately not the first to use that car ;-). Behram Sir, I don't know if you have come across such a problem on Padminis, but my Father and I were pretty curious as to why we kept having a flat tire on the car. Pretty much the rear left tire which would get punctured at the worst of situations!

He used that car for a couple of years, it wasn't a particularly trouble-free experience and yes, it did give up on us at the awkwardest of times. I can't forget this one time - my parents were dropping me off on my first day in a boarding school. The road leading to the hospital was totally slushy and it had been raining like nobody's business. As my parents were driving off, the rear wheels dug into the ground. Suddenly 20 students were trying to push the car ahead while my Father smothered us with slush flying off the rear tires only to find the car not moving ahead. We finally had to get a bunch of construction workers working near by who literally lifted it out of the holes it made in the ground. So I definitely wasn't making a pleasant appearance on my first day in a hostel, what with mud covered hostelmates showing me their teeth which was more out of anger rather than the timid smile that I presented ;-).

But the Padmini had some charm and my father remembers that car even today with a smile (even though it made him pull out his already scarce hair). And I sure do remember that car too, and I absolutely loved the sound of it, the characteristic whine that it made. And I would love to own one today, for many years now I have wondered at the idea of buying a 20k Padmini and turning it into a bit of a hot rod. I know, the purists will gawk, but the Padmini will still be alive...
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Old 6th June 2008, 19:02   #98
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In the PAL factory in Kurla/Vidyavihar, I remember (in 1993-94) seeing quite a few Plymouth Belvederes of 55,56 and 57 models. The cars looked in good condition. PAL used to manufacture these cars in India till 1957 methinks. I had tried to find out what if any were for sale but was met with the usual bureaucratic response and gave up. Any Idea what happened to those cars after the property was sold? Perhaps Mr.Behram Dhabhar can enlighten us.
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Old 7th June 2008, 17:41   #99
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Originally Posted by ramzsys View Post
just happened to see the RC book of a premier padmini 137D, 1997 model.

the engine was mentioned as 137N. What does the N denote?
Where is this engine from?
Thanks in advance..
Found this query in another thread.
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Old 7th June 2008, 21:20   #100
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R K Ramesh great pictures man! draws way back to the golden days which Fiat enjoyed as a well established brand. Liked specially the 1954 11oo model. Still crave for that beauty.Good job
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Old 9th June 2008, 18:00   #101
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Some memories to share - there was a "service training school" inside the Kurla factory. It was one huge hall with all - I repeat - all special tools originally imported from Italy hanging on the walls in their designated places. On one side was the wheel alignment ramp and next to it was the wheel balancer - it was a unique machine, it would spark at the angle at which the weight was to be attached. The quantity in grams would be indicated on a rotating spindle. All model cut sections of the engine, transmission etc were also displayed. The jig for aligning the suspension geometry was also there (as per the procedure, the chassis was to be removed from the car to overhaul the front suspension. I am sure very few people must be knowing this. There was a classroom on a mezannine floor where original Italian films were shown. The differential principle was clarified showing the more / less distance travelled by people standing in a line and rotating. The films were all in 35 mm movie format. I still remember that the main bearing clearance was to be measured by using a "plastigage".

More soon.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 19th August 2008, 17:13   #102
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Dear Behram Sir,
I am from a small town in Kerala where rarely 10 % of the total car stock is FIAT/ Premier. I own a Premier Padmini of 1987. I use to take it for long drive and once I managed to drive around 400 KMs without a halt at least for a cup of tea. (Yes, certainly, that was the need for that long drive with very limited time to spare!) I remember the temperature didnot cross 80 all during the drive. It is a wonderful experience for me to take it for long drive with 4 others. In fact, my aged parents do require more leg space which is not available in my Maruti 800.
I had done a thorough welding and repainting last year spending nearly Rs 33000 for getting the RC renewed for a further period of 5 years. People around me used to make fun of my spending such a huge amount when a FIAT is available at Rs 10000!!! I am not bothered about it. Now I find that the mileage is very low. Even in my highway drive I get only 9 Kms/ L which is very low, I presume. I am planning to go for an engine reconditioning sothat I can get more fuel economy.
I shall be greatful, if you could advise me on what are the required steps to be followed to increase milage. I am prepared to spend for piston reconditioning etc. Recently after my mechanic who is a lover of vintage cars and who owns a Baleela suggested to change the carburator, I changed my Solex Crb to Pacco make one. But the desired economy is not gained. In Calicut which is around 90 Kms from my place, Kannur, a good mechanic, Mr. Marshal, is available. I propose to take my Little Gem, I have named my Premier Car as Little Gem, to him for further treatments.
In some of the postings in this site, I have come across to see that Esteem's Carborator or Mikuni's carb may be a subsitute. Shall I go for it? Please suggest. I want to keep it running at any cost but I am constrained not to compromise to fuel economy.


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Old 26th August 2008, 11:19   #103
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Dear Madhu.T.K,

I would like to refer you to the Fiat1100/Padmini Information thread where Mikuni conversion as well as the right tuning procedure has been given in detail by Mr. Dhabhar.
Reconditioning the engine is the last available option. Please try tuning the car correctly as well as please check the carburetor for any vaccum leaks.( More details are given in the thread mentioned above.) Mr. Dhabhar would surely agree with me regarding not opening up the engine.

Adheesh Parelkar
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Old 30th August 2008, 00:31   #104
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Default my dad still driving the 84 model original problem free patrol fiat premier padmini

dear all,

it was a very nice & emotional thread.

certainly for me also.

as it was our first car back in 1984. the pista colour (still it has the same colour) whole society came to see the first car in our area in Ahmadabad.

surprisingly, it doesn't have any problem up to now, its petrol engine still starts in one cell.!!!! running very smoothly, even in the long drive!

except few battery changes, there are hardy any repair work required.

my dad is caring it just like it is his baby, and really, dad is so emotional that he refuses to sold it many time a good offer come from enthusiastics.

i pass my childhood in it, and now i also proud of the car and my dad, for giving me everything in the life.

Premier padmini still going great. daily used, show room condition.!!!!!!!

thanks for starting such a great thread.

Note from the Team-BHP Support : Please take the time to use proper punctuation as per Team-BHP rules. Thanks.

Last edited by Jaggu : 30th August 2008 at 00:35. Reason: .... ....
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Old 25th September 2008, 17:55   #105
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118NE : Does the continuous blinking of the hand Brake light in the dash suggest something?

( the problem isn't with the wiring at the hand brake )
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