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Old 29th June 2010, 01:45   #1
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Default Let's talk about our parents' vehicles!

Notes to mod:
- Sorry if a thread already exists, I searched but couldn't find any.
- Not sure if this should be in "Shifting gears", but I thought its more appropriate to place this under Indian car scene, as it will throw light on our previous generation vehicles especially cars. Please move it if you feel fit.

So we are discussing a lot about the cars and bikes we like, what we call "drivers car", we do a lot of research on which one to buy, and when we finally do buy a car we proudly share our happiness with fellow bhpians. And we painstakingly note down every detail about the car - good and bad - and sit down and write detailed reviews. Thats because we are bhpians.

Now for a moment, I had a thought: why don't we go back down memory lane and think about our dads' vehicle choice? Their choices and priorities were very different from what we have today, but thinking back can reveal how much of a bhpian our dads were.

My dad was a bhpian to the core. He always believed in driving safe, used to drive fast more often than not, and he used to talk for hours about how important it is to "be in control" of the vehicle. Looking back, his taste in vehicles has been superb, and I must say better than mine today.

So I would like to share which vehicles my dad chose in his lifetime, with some pictures taken from google image search. Unfortunately my dad passed away before I bought my first bike, but I remember in detail every vehicle he drove.

1. Standard Herald:
This was my father's first car! Now known as "kalyaana car" (marriage procession car), this car was old even then. This was the car he used to go around in before marriage just after finishing college, and he always had fond memories of it. My mom has some very fond memories of this car too. Dad sold it soon after he got married. (I dont know why! but he kept selling vehicles and buying other vehicles)

A pic of Herald:
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2. Landmaster
After selling the Herald, appa was car-less for some time, and then after a few years he bought an old n-th hand Landmaster. Mom says this was about the time my elder sister was born. Again for mysterious reasons, he sold the car. He had a way of suddenly appearing and saying that "I bought a car" just like that without any warning, and another day he would equally suddenly say "I sold the car!".
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I remember dad recalling incidents of wading through flooded streets, in the Landmaster.

3. Enfield Mini Bullet
This was the only bike my father ever owned. He did own a Lambretta scooter for a few weeks before that, and he used to ride my chittappa's (his brother's) Yezdi Classic a lot, but this was the only bike he really owned over a period of time. I still(!) remember its distinctive 2-stroke note. Something like a Yezdi note but not quite. Appa used to drop us in school, and I would ride sitting on the petrol tank pretending that I am riding it!
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4. Ambassador
I CANNOT FORGET THIS DAY! I think I was 5 or 6 years old then. It was a Sunday, I got up and found dad and mom sitting in the kitchen talking very excited. I thought, what are they up to? Any outing planned? I asked mom whats happening. She said, go to the balcony and look. I peeped out from the balcony and quickly understood! Appa had bought that white Ambassador standing outside. I dont know how I understood. Our own car, my dad's own car, for the first time I knew of! I was ecstatic. I dont remember what we did that day, we went out for sure but it was pure joy and I dont remember much else.

This car (I think a Mark 2 or Mark 3) had that horizontal steering-mounted gear shift lever. The steering wheel had a smaller metal ring inside, and this was the horn "ring". Powerful horn. Dad took us out on innumerable drives in this car, including a trip to Ooty.
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I think this Ambassador is the car my dad loved the most in his life. He later had to sell it due to financial reasons.

5. Hindustan
I know this is wierd, but dad bought an old Hindustan (it was old even then), after the Ambassador! It used to look like a vintage car even back then. It was black and lovely, very comfortable, and I dont remember much else about this car. A few trips to school and back, beach, shopping and stuff. Dad didnt keep this car vey long. But the whole family loved it. I remember I kept trying to climb on the "dicky" but kept falling off as it didnt protrude so much as the Ambassador.
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As usual, he suddenly sold the car. Again, financial reasons.

Then for a long time my dad did not have a vehicle of his own. Commutes by bus became the norm in the family, autorickshaws a luxury. Then much later, when I was about 11 years old Appa did it again - only, this time he bought two cars on the same day! A Sipani Dolphin and a Mahindra Commander!

6. Dolphin
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I kept thinking this car is a Maruti, but appa would correct me every time and say it is a Dolphin. He loved the fiber glass body and boy would he drive it fast! He would chuck it around the city as if it were a bike. I remember my mom sitting next to him and saying "slow down slow down" but my sister and me sitting behind and saying "faster appa faster!",

The end of this car came about when one of his employees crashed it!

7. Mahindra Commander
At the same time he also had a Mahindra "jeep" Commander. This was more for business purpose and wasnt around the house so much, but he did take us on a few highway trips on it. Eventually it turned out to be too expensive to maintain, so he sold it. The biggest vehicle anyone has had in our family so far, and my chittappas used to call it "the bus".
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8. Premier 118 NE
Again an n-th hand car, dad got a chocolate-brown Premier 118NE more for office work than for home. He liked it very much, but this car like the Dolphin lived a very short life. Again, one of his employees crashed the car completely swerving from a bridge, luckily everyone escaped safe. Two people had fractures. The car was totally gone.
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9. Maruti Gypsy softtop
When I first saw this vehicle standing outside our home (dad's office actually), I thought it is some kind of foreign car. Was wondering what it is. Then later found out that dad's office had acquired this car. Curiously peeped inside, and was surprised to find two wierd benches at the rear - but the best part, you can roll the rear flap and peep outside directly! What joy! I had never seen this "feature" in any car.

Boy, how dad ripped this car in both the city and the highways! No car could overtake him. Looking back maybe he was driving too fast. I'm not sure. But he was totally taken over by the charm of Gypsy. I do remember he used to take us to the beach in the Gypsy. At that time I didnt understand why other cars never used to drive all the way to the waterfront.
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10. Maruti Zen MH410
This was dad's last car, and probably the best and most advanced. He used to go ga-ga over this car, and even every short drive used to be very fast. I remember him doing 140kmph on the highways. He used to say its the best car he had ever driven. At that time, Zen was a flop. I used to keep telling him he should have bought an Esteem instead. But he was 100% convinced Zen was better. A few times he allowed me to sit in his lap and drive! Not only handle the steering, but everything - and I went up to 3rd gear! I think I was 11 or 12 at that time.
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Looking back, my dad was one true car enthusiast. He has never had a single accident - minor or major - in his driving career at all. He used to drive from Madras to Bombay even back in those days when there was no GQ. Trips to Ooty were regular. But ironically, he had all these vehicles only in short stretches and most of his daily commute was by bus and autorickshaws.

Vehicles he always *wanted* to buy, but never did: Enfield Bullet, Daewoo Cielo, Tata Sumo(! )

Oh and he also held a valid glider pilot's licence. But he never got a car or bike driving license ever

So what were your father's favorite vehicles?

Last edited by rajushank84 : 29th June 2010 at 01:48.
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Old 29th June 2010, 03:08   #2
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My dad owned a Yezdi
Then a bullet.
Then the FIAT (Premier Padmini) with front doors opening backwards.
The FIAT (1100/Premier Padmini/PAL), the next version which became a popular taxi vehicle.
Then the M800 and finally stopped at the esteem. Amazingly the TATA vetran did not choose to buy one from the stable inspite of discounts.

His son currently has a Zen and a Lancer.
His other son is planning to by a Scorpio and currently thrashing my Lancer in my absence.

Hope his grandson owns a private jet someday.

Last edited by prince_pervez : 29th June 2010 at 03:17.
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Old 29th June 2010, 07:25   #3
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haha, that is a great list of cars! my dad started with a Permire Padmini followed by a M800 (1996-97) model, then a Santro LE and right now he is without a car (carless *not careless*). He feels car should do what it is supposed to, which is commute people from one place to another and nothing more than that. Now he is hunting a car. He has zeroed in on A*, estilo, Alto & Santro Xing! (or may be the H800)

He TD'ed A* and Alto, was dissapointed. He was saying that these cars never matched the EPS and engine quality of the i10 Kappa! *ofcourse his personal feedback* Let me wait to see what he decides on this 4th car
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Old 29th June 2010, 07:31   #4
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The one and only vehicle my father ever owned was a "Robin hood" bicycle!
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Old 29th June 2010, 07:40   #5
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1980's - Rajdoot
1990's - Bajaj Chetak
Late 90's - Kawasaki 4S, Bajaj Sunny, Fiat 1100 (1970 model)
Early 2000 - Maruti 800 5S, Kinetic Honda Y2K
2005 - Esteem VXi
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Old 29th June 2010, 08:15   #6
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its a nice coincidence,my dad's first vehicle was a 1978 RE350 when he was in college.
His first car was a Standard Herald.
and We had Premier Padmini's and a Gypsy too.
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Old 29th June 2010, 10:24   #7
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My father first bought an n-th hand white Ambassador petrol car. Those were the days when people would install Matador diesel engines in their petrol Ambassador cars. So we got a reputed diesel engine mechanic to build(!) a Matador diesel engine using the engine from a scrapped vehicle + new spare parts. And thus we had our diesel Ambassador (which sounded like a lorry) and we changed its color to blue.

He sold that car after a while and bought a 2nd hand white diesel Ambassador. We had it for 3 years, then he sold it and bought another white diesel Ambassador from the same guy who sold us the earlier car (he had company lease or something like that).

After another 3 years, he sold it and bought a new M800. I think he had it for about 5 years. After he sold it, he bought a new Wagon-R and he has been using it for about 5 years now. When I came across a sweet deal for used Honda Jazz, I tried to convince him to get it, but he is not yet ready to let go of his beloved Wagon-R.
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Old 29th June 2010, 10:31   #8
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My dad owned a Suvega, a Jawa and some Austin, before I was born. After my birth the only vehicle he owned and rode was Bajaj Chetak. I still have it with me and can still very clearly remember him judiciously cleaning the air filter, the sparkplug and the carburettor every weekend with me beside him. He would keep it in ship shape at all times. Sigh....
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Old 29th June 2010, 10:47   #9
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the list goes somewhat like this --->

Beginning of 80s - BMW bike ( dont know the model name,will ask him and enter )

Late 80s - New Red Maruti 800 ( he did more than 200,000 KMS )

Mid 90s - New White Maruti 800 ( did more than 100,000 KMS )

Mid 90s - Silver Maruti 1000 ( again, more than 140,000 KMS )

Late 90s (sep 98) - Adriatic Blue Honda City ( just above 100,000 KMS )

Year 2000 - Silver Santro (clocked not more than 70,000 KMS )

March 2005 - Red Hyundai Getz ( clocked more around 100,000 KMS )

Mid 2006 - Silver Indica ( Sent to Kakinada, AP to a factory for rough and extensive usage )

August 2006 - Tafeta White Honda Civic ( still here, at 45,000 KMS )

July 2009 - Red Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Emotion Pack ( given to a colleague after a months usage )

October 2009 - White Hyundai i20 1.4 Auto ( Still here, 13,000 KMS )

April 2010 - White Audi A4 3.0 TDi ( 5000 odd KMS done so far )
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Old 29th June 2010, 11:01   #10
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That was a very nice read rajushank.

My dad initially had a second hand Ambassador Mark IV (1985 model). I learnt driving in this (even he learnt driving in this car) - it was quite a handful. Had to hang on to the steering wheel to get it to turn, but on the highways it was stable and relaxed even at speeds of 100-110 kph. But it had a tendency to bob uncomortably when the road was a bit wavy, while driving alone. And finally it reached the end of its life in 2002, Dad sold it and bought an Indica which he is driving now.

He also had a Vespa, which used to take off in first gear. People would feel like riding a horse for the first few metres. Sold off, since he was not comfortable on two wheels.
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Old 29th June 2010, 11:16   #11
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Nice thread, let me hop in as well
1980's : lambretta (i was born is 83, so could not appreciate it at that time)
late 80's - 2001 : bajaj super (very awesomely maintained)
2001 - 2008 : M800 (got a second hand M800 mint condition)
2009 : swift vxi
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Old 29th June 2010, 12:07   #12
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Really nice thread. Brings some old fond memories. Even my dad was a real enthusiast, spending most of his weekend time under his '90 Mk4 Ambassador.
His list went like :
1: '84 350cc Enfield Bullet : 2nd hand bought from an police officer.
2: '89 Mk4 Ambassador :he bought it second hand in '92. This was the car in which I spent most of my childhood. I remember going for long inter state highway drives from Cal to Patna every year to visit my uncle. This was the car I learnt driving and this makes me feel that how is easy it is in today's world. When you turned the steering in that car, you were not sure that the car will actually go where you want it to go.
3: '00 Daewoo Matiz SD : This was the car which my dad loved to the core as it was his first 'hassle-free' car. He used to get really angry if someone compared it to the Santro. (A hot discussion topic in those times).
4: '09 Swift Dzire Vxi : He likes this one, but somehow I feel he's not so passionate about it as it was with the earlier machines.

His son drives a Figo 1.2 Exi as he didn't have the money for that 1.4.
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Old 29th June 2010, 12:19   #13
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It was Fiat and only Fiat for my father right until he died in 1985.

He booked a Standard Pennant and by the time his booking was due, that model was stopped and Herald came. So he did not take it.

The last Fiat that he used was a Premier Safari.
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Old 29th June 2010, 12:49   #14
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1983 - 1988 - FIAT 1100D (2nd hand)
1988 - till date - Premier Padmini - handed over to me
1992 - 2009 - M800 AC
2009 - till date - Hyundai Getz 1.1 GVS

Last edited by planet_rocker : 29th June 2010 at 13:08.
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Old 29th June 2010, 12:49   #15
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Interesting thread !!

My dad kicked off with his father's Ambassador...

Attachment 377264

...followed by a Jeep from which my brother (when a kid) has fallen out the doorless side when my dad cornered hard once so he had to sell it !!

Attachment 377265

That was followed by a couple of Maruti 800's...

Attachment 377266

And then came the Esteem VX in 1996 which changed it all. This was our first car with power windows etc. It was very fascinating at the time.

Attachment 377267

Then the Accent, '05 Corolla and a '06 Indica for office use.

Let's talk about our parents' vehicles!-garage.jpg

Now '09 i20, '10 CE.

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Come a loooooong way.

*Some images are from Google.

Last edited by Rehaan : 30th June 2010 at 17:43. Reason: A few attachments seem to have timed out. You could re-upload & report, and we will merge posts/images.
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