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Old 9th October 2020, 22:33   #1
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Default 1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration


This story dates back to Jan 1998, when I was in my late twenties, and bought my first car – a Premier Padmini AC with stereo !!!


A thread titled “Which of your cars do you love the most” on 06 Oct 2020 by bhpian @evil_grin re-kindled my memories of this car; hence decided to post a 20 reel movie on my experiences with my first car.

I would like to thank my automotive gurus for their support and guidance in helping me learn the ropes on automotive maintenance.

Why I needed a car?

I’d got my driving license in 1994, and every time I went home on a holiday, my Dad wouldn’t allow me to drive his Ambassador.

Reason? He had great affection for me and was just concerned that I shouldn’t try driving the car, end up in a situation, and spoiling my holiday.

I'd grown up never daring to counter his point of view, and thus this reluctance on his part became a routine every time I asked him for permission to drive the car.

So, I decided that the best way for me to become a driver was to buy my own car.

Those days, loans weren’t easy. Plus I anyways was loan-averse, and there was no way I was going in for a new car. Our “aukaad” those days was to have a two wheeler – that’s all.

Having decided to look for a used car for myself, I shortlisted a few options:

1. Premier Padmini - 1990 -91 models were typically available at 70k those days
2. Premier 118NE - older models retailed at around 85k then
3. Maruti 800 - a 1990 model would set me back by at least 1.05 lakh
4. Ambassador - not available at all in my work City, Surat.

Shortlisting and Preliminary Inspection

Since I was wary of dealers, the only other sources were

a) cars sold by fellow employees and
b) classifieds in the local newspapers Sandesh, Gujarat Samachar.

I knew to read a bit of Gujarati so decoding the script wasn’t difficult. These were some options I came across in the newspapers

• 1985 Premier Padmini non AC
• 1990 Premier Padmini AC “tip top condition”
• 1988 Contessa Classic

One manager in our company was leaving and he had a 1990 Padmini with a factory fitted AC for sale.

I saw all the three cars and first asked the owners to drive me around and then I took the wheel.

I wasn’t as much of a stud then as I am now at assessing and maintaining cars, but knew the basics, having done basic checks on a 1959 Standard Super 10 that my Dad once owned.

I was good at listening to the engine note to help me appreciate if the engine was healthy or worn.

Observations made on the above examples:

1. 1985 Premier Padmini – too old in the tooth and the engine was quite noisy. Expected price 50k

2. 1990 Premier Padmini “tip top condition” – was tastefully done up in Mughlai velvet. But the engine was weak. Expected price was 75k

3. 1990 Premier Padmini with the manager – engine was fantastic but there was too much corrosion on the body. AC wasn’t working. He was willing to part with it for 60k but I knew there was an expense of at least 20k in the car.

4. Contessa Classic 1988 – went and saw the car for whatever it was worth. It was a brilliant car to be in, but again, I wasn’t sure if I could afford to maintain it. The asking price was also way over my budget at 1.2lakh.

One day, I went to the local library to again scan for options, and that is when I saw another local newspaper, Gujarat Mitra, which I had never known of.

I looked at the editions of the last 2-3 days, and found one ad. of 3 Premier Padminis for sale by a Textile house.

I went to the PCO, rang the number and was given the address, which was behind the Surat Textile Market.

Inspection of More Examples

There were three Padminis there

• 1990 non AC
• 1993 AC with a simple console, factory seats plus AC
• 1993 AC with the LED cum clock console, wiper and headlight stalks like the Maruti, velvet seats, additional lights plus AC

The first one was rejected at first sight, the second looked too good but the engine sounded weird, while the third was the one I felt worth examining as a good option.

The driver there was kind enough to drive me around and then allowed me to take a test drive too without verifying if I was a bonafide driver. The car drove well.

Likes about the car

• The youngest example I saw in the market
• Excellent engine even though the car had done 92,000km
• Fitted with an alternator (all Padminis of that vintage used to be on dynamo by default)
• Beautifully done interiors with extra lights on the B pillars and the front footwells
• Sony Stereo
• Superking AC, larger radiator and a 6 blade fan
• Roots windtone horns with additional relay
• Stanlek relay with 90/100W lights
• Right shade of sun film
• Two front tyres were MRF Legend – in great shape

The Bad:

• Two rear tyres were bald
• The body had corroded at parts– at the bottom of the doors, plus at the body curve below the taillights
• Minor oil leaks from between the engine and the gearbox – common in Premiers.

Please note that there were two things I didn’t bother about at all during inspection – the odo reading, and taking a mechanic along.

There was no concept of service history then, and perhaps that is why, even today, I don't look at history but rather go by the As-Is assessment.

The odo reading is invariably tampered with except in the case of an employees car, plus I knew NO MECHANICS, so decided to do the due-diligence myself.

Decision Making

1. I was then led to the Sethji, who was extremely cordial
2. I asked him what he was expecting, and this is what he had to say, “ See, you’re not going to offer me what I quote, so give me your price”. This foxed me.
3. Meanwhile I asked to see the documents and they were all neatly tucked away in a plastic folder, with a spare set of keys visible too.
4. I asked for 2 mins, did a quick calculation as follows:

having seen examples and done an initial surgery of the market, I felt that 70k is the rock bottom market price of a 1993 AC plus I estimated an expense of 15k on the car, so decided to offer 55k.
5. Sethji then said it was 20k below what they had expected, but then I gave my reasoning for my quote.
6. The back and forth went on for almost 30 mins , but I knew they’d settle for 60-65k. I then finally quoted 57k, and stuck there. Sethji came down to 60k, but I still reasoned out with him, and he finally said OK.
7. I was asked to pay a token advance and I was like taken aback because I hadn’t ever done a negotiation, and didn’t know the rules of the game.
8. I had only Rs.500 in my pocket, told Sethji I am committed to the deal, and said that I am giving him all that I have on my person. He seemed convinced and accepted the token.
9. I promised him that I'd collect the car the next day after discussing the “best time” with my better half.
10. Sethji meanwhile told his accountant and the driver, “ Bhai, 831 ki sagai ho gayi hai. Abhi se use karna bund” (831 is engaged; not to be used from now)

When I left their premises, I couldn’t believe I had just sealed a sweet deal !!!


1. Those were the non-ATM days; and cheques would mean delivery after realization of the credit. Cash was the preferred mode in Surat in all businesses.
2. I went to the bank, withdrew 60k in 100s (06 bundles), made a belt of the bundles and strapped them around my waist; no bags, no pouch, no brief case
3. Took an autorickshaw, went to the seller’s place, and delivery was super smooth. The car hadn’t been used since the earlier day and was delivered with 3/4th tank full of petrol.
4. Since I hadn’t driven much post getting my license, I requested Sethji to allow his driver to drive me home. He gladly agreed but asked me to release him in one hour.
5. The driver, Tiwari Ji, took me out of the congested roads and once traffic was sparse, I took the wheel. It was an amazing feeling to be driving one’s own car !!!
6. When I brought it in to our company owned apartment, I was already feeling like a king – the first air-conditioned car in the apartment !!!
7. Took Tiwari Ji home, treated him to some biscuits and tea, gave him a small token of Rs.500 and then dropped him an an intermediate point. He was happy !!!
8. Took my better half and our boy for a joy ride after a brief pooja. Note the way all painted portions in the cabin have been masked by use of rich upholstery.

1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration-padmini_5_1.jpg

1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration-padmini_2.jpg

1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration-padmini_3.jpg

1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration-padmini_4.jpg

9. By around 6pm, people had started realising that the new arrival was mine; some congralulations and many long faces were experienced !!!

Last edited by vigsom : 10th October 2020 at 07:13.
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Old 9th October 2020, 22:43   #2
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Default re: 1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration

Experiences after the 3 month honeymoon

1. After a honeymoon of 3 months, I faced the first jhatka sometime on 12th April.
2. Cranked the car for a few seconds and then stopped ; started cranking again and the dash lights went off
3. My heart missed a beat, because then I knew very little technical about cars, except being able to judge car engines by their noise.
4. I locked the door, took my scooter, and went to the seller’s premises asking Tiwari Ji for an electrician’s help
5. He contacted the electrician, who was based close to their premises, but he said they have a branch that is very close to where I was staying; and that is how I met my trusted electrician, Jayesh Patel, who is my go to man even today.
6. Jayesh sent his guy to my place and the issue turned out to be just a simple case of the negative terminal clamp being loose.
7. Tightened the clamp, took the car out and it stalled a few metres out of the apartment gate. Started again, stopped, to which the guy said I’d need to show the car to Chacha. I was like, “Who is Chacha?”.
8. This is how I got led to my guru of automotive, Chacha, who actually set up a garage after returning from Shell, Oman. He was a triple diploma – Diploma Mech., Diploma Elec., and PG Diploma in Instrumentation and Control.
9. With Chacha it was respect at first sight; after I explained the issue to him, he asked me if I was an engineer, and I said yes.
10. He asked me if the car had a stereo and I said yes
11. He pulled the plug wires out, unscrewed something from on top of each plug, and pulled out 4 black finger length attachments, which he said were noise interference suppressors used in older cars that had stereos.
12. He asked me to keep my palms outstretched, and placed the 4 suppressors one after the other, two on each palm, and asked me to feel the temperature difference. There was a difference and I was zapped.
13. The car started up without fuss after the suppressors were removed; in fact there was no whine in the stereo after the suppressors were removed. Just as a preventive, he got the carburetor top opened and inspected the barrel for any muck – it was fine. He had it cleaned, nevertheless, and charged me a mere 40 bucks.
14. Jayeshbhai took nothing since he said it was just tightening of a clamp that his guy did.
15. This should give you all an idea of how great natured these people were, in stark contrast to the service center sharks of today.

Other Maintenance carried out in my ownership period

By the second or the third visit, I had hit it off very well with Chacha and team, since they were kind of impressed with my passion in maintaining the car myself.

Here are some maintenance/improvements that I did in the rest of my ownership period

1. Installed an aftermarket ORVM on the right door(refer the picture below)

1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration-frontview.jpg

2. Whenever the car was driven past 55kmph, it would start vibrating; on inspection, observed that the propeller shaft UJ cross had play; a new UJ cross made by Hindustan Hardy Spicer was installed.
3. Both the rear tyres were bald at purchase. As an experiment, re-treaded one tyre through Elgi Tread and found the work good. The cost was Rs.700 for the re-tread against Rs.1550 for a new tyre. Repeated the job for the second bald tyre
4. The reason I went in for a re-tread was I was primarily using the car in city only and even on outskirts, would never cross 70kmph.
5. Got all 4 wheels balanced and aligned. Alignment cost me Rs.150 and balancing @Rs.25 per wheel plus weights @Rs.0.40 per gram. For both A and B, I paid approx. Rs.300.
6. Replaced the water pump as its seal had started leaking. Cost Rs.400 approx. I fitted the pump myself.
7. The car came with a provision to pre-heat the intake before moving to the intake valves. The normal location of the temperature switch is in the head as shown.

1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration-padmini_intake.jpg

The water pump comes with a small sealed nipple at its discharge. I created a hole, got 2 manifold ˝ in. hoses with clamps and one threaded nipple, and created the heating circuit.

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I didn’t observe significant improvement in performance of the car, although I believe combustion was marginally better.
8. Replacement of speedometer cable and speedo cable gear at the gear box – to replace the gear, there is a small opening in the metal frame over the gear box which can be accessed from inside the car on the left side. Two bolts removed and the speedo gear was off. Used an Original PAL PAR gear which cost me Rs.120. The speedo cable was from Pricol which also was Rs.110.
9. The gear linkage bushes were replaced – I had to go under the car to do this. Also, the vertical play in the gear lever was rectified by tightening the nut shown in the picture. The bushes with washers and split pins cost just Rs.60.

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10. To reduce start up time after keeping the car idle for say 7 days, I'd pull the air filter assembly off, and spray some petrol in the mouth of the carb. This would help the car start up in a flash.

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11. One day, approx. 7 months into ownership in Aug 1998, the AC stopped cooling. On reference from Chacha, took it to one Sunderlal, who said that gas has been lost due to a leak either from the compressor seal or from the evaporator coil. Those were the days of the R-12 refrigerant system.
The car was left with Sunderlal from 9am, and when I went to collect the car at 7:30pm, he reported that the seal was changed as a preventive but he found three leaks in the evaporator coil . These were Al -welded and all was fine. Damages Rs.1800 for the welding, service, and fresh refrigerant charge
12. Somewhere in 1999, I set the tappet clearances myself as I observed a little excess tappet noise. The impact of this on performance of the car was mind blowing; engine went silent, performance sky rocketed but fuel efficiency dropped.

Last edited by vigsom : 10th October 2020 at 09:15.
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Old 9th October 2020, 23:05   #3
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Devastating Flood and the restoration thereafter

1. Sometime in Sep1998, there was a flood warning issued by the authorities due to release of water from the Ukai reservoir, but people were quite confident that it would all be within manageable limits.
2. As a precaution, I plugged the air filter box inlet, sealed the tail pipe, disconnected the battery, and covered the car with tarpaulin.
3. However, the release of water had to be increased, and this went beyond limits that the river could handle (if I remember right, it was 6 lakh cusecs against the river’s capacity of 3.5lakh cusecs)

1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration-flood_1.jpg

4. By that night, there was 1.5 feet of standing water in our apartment which was expected to go up.
5. Early next morning, I got an SOS from one of my colleagues in the apartment to save his battery which was still connected in his grey Padmini.

Since we spotted snakes in the water, I approached the car from the first flight of stairs onto the roof of the car, opened the door, got in, opened the bonnet, moved along the fender top, and disconnected the battery .

You’ll see the roof of the grey car crumpled, courtesy me. It was rectified post flood by removing the roof liner and getting it back to shape from inside for free.

Note in one picture how engine oil is moving out of one of the cars

1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration-flood_2.jpg

1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration-flood_3.jpg

6. The peak water level seen was approx. 4.5 feet, and that is just 5 inches below the top of the car.
7. Flood waters receded on day3 evening, by when two 800s, the maroon Padmini in the pic, and another white Padmini’s lights had come on and horns started blaring. This sound and light show went on for sometime and then stopped.
8. On Day4, I approached my car, and took the cover off.
9. On opening the door, it was as if all hell had been let loose. There was engine oil inside the cabin, and I found two small frogs dead inside. One of the frogs was stuck to the inside of the windscreen.

It was heartbreaking to see the car like this but there was a job to do.

Water had displaced engine oil in the engine, and the oil being lighter flowed out. Since the cover was on, the oil came inwards instead of moving out.
10. For starters, I took the seats out and took them via the stairs, five floors up home to be scrubbed and cleaned in the balcony. There was no power, so no lift.
11. Next, I removed the door panels. Pretty easy as the inside door and window handles just need to be pressed to release a small pin, and the handles would be off. Then removed the screws holding the door panels to remove them all.
12. I had absolutely no idea on how to proceed with restoration so waited for Chacha to come to his garage; he came to the garage after 4 days. His house across the river was ravaged, he lost all the food grains he’d stored for a year.
13. Chacha already had a long line of cars waiting for attention, and he told me, “ I know you can do the restoration yourself. Do it yourself, and if you’re stuck, I’m anyways here”. I agreed and he gave me all the steps.
14. Based on his advice, I went about as follows:

a. Got Jayesh Patel to have the starter and the alternator removed for service – this got done in one day.
b. Meanwhile, drained the engine oil out . It was emulsion, not oil.
c. Removed the spark plugs, cleaned and kept them on standby
d. Removed, cleaned and kept the tappet cover on standby
e. Bought agricultural pump set oil @Rs.25 a litre ( those days, regular Bharat Automol Gold 20W40 was Rs.40 a litre) and filled approx. 3 liters in the engine. This oil was going to be used only to flush the emulsion out
f. Disconnected the main power cable to the ignition coil, and taped it off.
g. Replaced the soggy air filter with a new one
h. Cleaned the carburetor and kept it ready
i. Cleaned and fitted the point, condenser and the rotor in the delco; cleaned out the inside of the delco to the max.
j. Opened the drain bolt on the petrol tank (yes, this car came with a drain bolt on the petrol tank). The first several litres was water, post which one could see a separation of water and petrol.
k. Since there was approx. 10 liters of petrol in the tank at the time of flooding, I recovered all the petrol by allowing the layer to settle and then decant the petrol out (Water is heavier). I could recover some 6 liters of petrol, and kept this in a can to be used to start the car up when that happened.
l. Removed the petrol tank by opening the two mounting straps, then disconnected the fuel hose at the tank outlet
m. Removed the fuel gauge, cleaned that with petrol, and kept on standby
n. The tank had separator baffles inside; took the tank up home to be cleaned out using fuel, which I did at ease over the next few days.
o. Opened the instrument console, cleaned it with IPA, and used the opportunity to see why the clock wasn’t working. There was a break in the clock circuit. That was fixed using a jump-over wire. This circuit board wasn’t the insulated green type.

1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration-padmini_instrumentcluster.jpg

p. Serviced the ignition switch using WD-40.It was badly jammed.
q. Removed all lights – front, rear, reverse, license plate and front footwell.
r. Cleaned the bulbs with IPA and kept them on standby
s. Removed, serviced and fitted back the headlight and horn relays
t. Removed, serviced and fitted back the Roots Windtone horns. The trumpets were full of water since the horns were installed with the trumpets pointing up.
u. Removed the stereo console below the AC assembly and that console contained the AC control switch with all the associated wiring.
v. Got the starter and the alternator installed . Remember, the battery was disconnected and so it held up well. Gravity was measured to be 1.2 which was good enough.
w. Remember – the positive lead to the ignition coil was disconnected and the plugs were also out .
x. Disconnected the exhaust from the manifold by loosening the three bolts and disconnecting the exhaust to the extent possible. I could create a gap of approx. 1 inch. This was to offer low resistance to exhaust when the engine started (as the exhaust was full of water)

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y. In this state, cranked the car and boy, water shot out of the cylinders like cannonballs.
z. Once water was confirmed out, I installed the plugs.
aa. The six litres of fuel in a can was connected to the fuel pump; created a hole in the tank cap to act as a breather.
bb. Displaced water in the small line from the pump to the carburetor inlet by disconnecting the carb inlet hose, cranking a few times, then fitted the carb inlet hose back.
cc. Connected the ignition positive lead
dd. Connected the battery negative
ee. The car started on the first crank and, despite the exhaust remaining disconnected from the manifold, there was a straight path for part of the exhaust gases to go through the silencer and that resulted in a jet of water from the tail pipe. The jet stopped after some 2 minutes.
ff. I held my head high, as my car was the only one that eventually left the apartment on its own steam. All other cars were towed away for repairs.
gg. I allowed the engine to run, and since the tappet cover was off, could observe the emulsion being displaced from all oil ports.
hh. Repeated this exercise for 20 minutes a day for the next 4 days.
ii. In the interim, I lowered the AC inside assembly, removed the blower, cleaned the lobes and serviced the motor, reinstalled the assembly back
jj. Serviced the pot meter that cuts the AC compressor off if sudden acceleration is needed
kk. Wired the switches back.
ll. The evaporator was clean since the entire unit had been serviced just 15 days before flood struck. Did a quick spray using clean water. The AC worked perfect.
mm. Ran the car via fuel from the can for almost a month after that, while the tank was under cleaning/drying.
nn. One issue that I faced was that the clutch was stuck, and that didn’t allow me to put the car in gear.
oo. Pushed the car out of the parking bay, then got 2 guys to push it and while in motion, slotted in 2nd, started the car and moved out of the apartment
pp. I tried the trick of braking and clutching but the clutch wouldn’t free itself from the flywheel.
qq. Eventually got the engine removed. The API clutch plate was stuck to the flywheel and just wouldn’t come off. It was made of asbestos and eventually sheared off when it was attempted to pull it off.
rr. Finally had to put a new clutch set ( not sure if the new one was a CeeKay, but it sure was non-asbestos).
ss. Changed engine oil using Bharat Automol Gold and changed transmission and differential oils
tt. Got two new sealed beams for the front headlights
uu. Cleaned and re-used the tail lamps and reverse lamps.
vv. After cleaning the inside out, used silver hammertone to coat the inside floor.
ww. Re-installed the seats
xx. Fitted the fuel gauge back into the tank once the tank was confirmed dry and clean
yy. Fitted the fuel tank back - here I needed expert help as I wasn't able to fit it back myself.
zz. Got the wiper motor serviced as a preventive

Last edited by vigsom : 10th October 2020 at 00:35.
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Old 9th October 2020, 23:38   #4
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Default re: 1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration

Surprises in the six months post flood restoration

1. The starter solenoid engaged one day with the engine in operation; has to rush out, disconnect the battery, and then replace the solenoid, If I had delayed in disconnecting the battery, the starter would have run engaged with the engine and would have burnt out

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2. Another day, the car stalled in traffic and wouldn’t start; I knew this must be something to do with the carb. Pushed the car to one side, opened the carb top, and found the barrel full of muck. Cleaned, fitted and was back on the road in 15 minutes. This car is that easy to work on.


1. New corrosion spots on the body were seen; sometime in early 2000, I spent 7k to repair all corroded parts, and do an overcoat.

The car was gleaming thereafter. Unfortunately, my camera had packed up so couldn’t take any pics post restoration.

I installed a new set of reverse lights for Rs.80 and a new set of chequered mud flaps for Rs.80 (sample attached)

1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration-padmini_chequeredflaps.jpg

Money Matters

1. Expenses on maintenance

a. Aftermarket ORVM INR 60
b. UJ Cross plus labour INR 300
c. Brakes service with new kits INR 200
d. Rear tyres re-tread INR1400
e. Alignment plus Balancing INR 300
f. Water Pump INR 400
g. Hoses and nipple for manifold INR 100
h. Speedo cable and worm gear INR 220
i. Gear linkage bush set INR 60
j. AC service plus evap leak fix INR1800

Sub-Total 1 INR 4840

2. Expenses on Flood Restoration

a. Headlights (sealed beam) INR 330
b. Air filter INR 80
c. Oil Filter INR 150
d. Flushing Oil INR 75
e. Engine Oil Automol Gold 5L INR 200
f. Starter and Alternator service INR 230
g. Fuel Filter INR 60
h. Wiper motor service INR 80
i. Clutch Set plus labour INR1950
j. Solenoid Switch INR 100
k. Reverse lamp set INR 80
l. Transmission and diff Oil INR 200

Sub-Total 2 INR 3535

3.Expenses on Rust Repair
and Overcoat INR 7000

Total of 1,2 and 3 INR 15,400 approx.


The procedure for flood restoration outlined here can be used as a guideline on all cars. The basic mantra of keeping the battery disconnected can save you thousands in expenses if one decides to do the restoration oneself.

As an example, I was able to clean and make 3 ECMs work on MPFI cars post the 2006 floods; those days, ECMs would cost INR 8000 each.

Yes, modern cars are full of electronics, but remember - electronics that aren't energised can be restored if acted on immediately after inundation.


All good things have to come to an end.

The car had served me for 3 years, laid the foundation for a great innings for me in automotive, led me to cement a permanent bond with some noble people in the automotive business.

She left me for her new home in Akola one day in November 2000.

Some more pics of the car

1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration-padmini_6.jpg

1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration-padmini_7.jpg

1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration-padmini_1.jpg

Would I love to own a Padmini again?

Of course yes.

I’ve come full circle moving from a Premier to Marutis to Toyotas to Suzukis.

Given an opportunity, I’d love to own a Padmini again if spares are easy to get. This is one machine that one can rectify oneself and keep for ever !!!!

Last edited by vigsom : 9th October 2020 at 23:57.
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Old 10th October 2020, 10:43   #5
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Default Re: 1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!

Going to our homepage today
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Old 10th October 2020, 14:55   #6
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Default Re: 1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration

I loved the journey you took from "sethji get someone to drop me" to doing a full flood restoration in 2 years flat
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Old 10th October 2020, 15:11   #7
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Default Re: 1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration

What a thread !

This is like you wrote the whole thread in 2000s.

All the details, the pricing of parts, how does one even remember ?

You documented the whole thread back in 2000s that too with so detailed pictures.

Well, I haven't met you in person but have heard so much about you from fellow GJ Members. Would love to meet you someday !
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Old 10th October 2020, 15:14   #8
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Default Re: 1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration

This thread finally made me login after perhaps 5 years. The Premier Padmini is one that is very close to heart. The first car that my dad purchased after a small accident on a 2 wheeler when I was 1 year old convinced him that he needs 4 wheels. We got one in 1985 .Black in colour. Registration GBL 8507. Another one in 1990. Since then we have purchased several vehicles and while I continue to love all my cars, I scarcely remember their number plates. This one though I will never forget. Its the only one that I cried when we sold - I believe I was 12 years old when she left. I could not bring myself to seeing her being driven away. Many a fond memories of long drives, A/C that would have to be switched off on ghats and using the home stereo on batteries since the car stereo would almost always never work.

Excellent thread. Loved reading it.
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Old 10th October 2020, 15:29   #9
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Default Re: 1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration

That was very entertaining and insightful to read, in three years you went from novice to expert, but you should have kept the car for more years, it still had a lot of life left.

500rs tip to the driver when the whole car costed 60k was very generous though
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Old 10th October 2020, 15:32   #10
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Default Re: 1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration

This thread reminds me of my own Premier Padmini that my parents owned for almost 30 years. The car was sold off with a very heavy heart and i even tried to find it back a few years ago but itll always be in my heart and memories. Settled with finding a replacement Padmini to be with me forever.

Last edited by M00M : 10th October 2020 at 15:45.
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Old 10th October 2020, 15:40   #11
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Default Re: 1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration

Voted a well deserved 5 star also! Got goosebumps reading it!

Thanks for sharing your lovely tryst with your Padmini, and it is nostalgic since that is the first car I remember my dad also owning (though he had other cars before my memory lol). KLV 6767 holds a very special place in my heart, and your beautiful thread brought back those memories.

Last edited by Jaggu : 10th October 2020 at 16:05.
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Old 10th October 2020, 15:54   #12
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Default Re: 1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration

Originally Posted by Stribog View Post
I loved the journey you took from "sethji get someone to drop me" to doing a full flood restoration in 2 years flat
Nice way of putting it @Stribog. Thanks.

"Sethji please help" to "Restoration Sethji" in 9 months, actually.

Originally Posted by AlphaPetrolhead View Post
This is like you wrote the whole thread in 2000s.

All the details, the pricing of parts, how does one even remember ?
Thank You @AlphaPetrolhead; humbled by your comments.

If you look at your own life, you'll remember dear things that happened even when you were 4.

Same here. I have vivid memories of things close to my heart, but ask me how many times I got a dressing down from my boss and I'd not remember.

I had some 5x7 photo prints; digitised them and used some of them in this thread. It took me 10 hours to create the thread.

Originally Posted by Takumi-san View Post
This thread finally made me login after perhaps 5 years.
Good that my thread got you back to the forum, @Takumi-San. Thank you !!!

Originally Posted by yesyeswe View Post
in three years you went from novice to expert, but you should have kept the car for more years
@yesyeswe, Yes, I was a novice but then graduated to an intermediate in those 3 years.

I will consider myself an expert only when I am able to solve EVERY automotive problem, without support, to the delight of the owner. Till then, it is a journey.

You're right about the car but unfortunately 2000 was when Padminis lost value big time and that is why I decided to part with the car, knowing that the body corrosion will keep troubling me if I'd retained the car.

Now, since it is a niche car, resale is quite good.

Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
Got goosebumps reading it!

Thanks for sharing your lovely tryst with your Padmini
Thank You, Jaggu.

I'm overwhelmed !!! Old sure is gold.

Last edited by vigsom : 10th October 2020 at 16:00. Reason: addition
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Old 10th October 2020, 16:07   #13
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Default Re: 1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration

I feel so happy to see a technical description by an enthusiast again... feels like what this forum used to be in the early days. Kudos to you for sharing this so eloquently.
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Old 10th October 2020, 16:48   #14
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Default Re: 1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration

Wonderful thread. Loved it, rated 5 stars. Working on a car on your own establishes a strong bond with the car and also let you know each and every minute detail about each and every part.

Behram Dhabhar sir would have had a great time and a big smile on his face while reading this thread if he is around. We really miss his contribution in Fiat threads.

There's lot of useful information on mechanicals of a premier padmini in your thread, this will help me and others who are planning to restore one. I have a 1990 Premier Padmini Deluxe BE which is awaiting restoration. I'm not able to find good restorer yet. I posted regarding the same here. (The FIAT 1100/Premier Padmini Technical Information thread)

While few garages are quoting exorbitant prices for restoration, few of their workmanship is very poor (seen other cars they worked on). Please keep the thread updated and give us more information with more technicalities.

I am used to the mechanicals and electricals of old and new diesel vehicles and modern petrol engines, but I'm unaware of few parts of old petrol vehicles especially servicing and working on the parts like distributor, distributor plugs, dynamo and carburetor. Can I replace the distributor with an electronic ignition system? I hope to bring back my Fiat to it's former glory one day! Thanks for sharing and your post helps a lot while working on my car.
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Old 10th October 2020, 17:22   #15
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Default Re: 1993 Premier Padmini - Ownership Experience & Flood Restoration

Originally Posted by vigsom View Post
This story dates back to Jan 1998, when I was in my late twenties, and bought my first car – a Premier Padmini AC with stereo !!!
This is an awesome thread loved reading it. Recovering the car from flood waters and reviving it was the absolute top. Rated 5 Star. My father in law sold of his 1988 Padmini last year after he found getting spares was getting more and more difficult. To add to his problems the RTO refused to re-register the vehicle. I believe it is doing duty somewhere in a small village in Karnataka.
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