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silverado 23rd October 2010 22:23

1400 Kms in 18 yr old Premier Padmini
17 Attachment(s)
The Reason behind the trip
We have to visit the village god after marriage.
Ganapati festival is celebrated in my village.
We had not visited village this year.
Had to visit Mahalaxmi Temple in Kolhapur after marriage

The excuses i gave to everyone who thought i was crazy
Railway bookings are full
There will be no Taxis available to visit other places on intrest
Taxis will charge exorbitantantly
It will not be possible to travel in luxury buses since mom has issues with cramps on long journeys.

Remoulded Cross plies were replaced by an intresting combination of tyres
155/80 R 14 at front and 165/80 R 14 at rear.

All tyres are BRIDGESTONE S248 Tube type.
Got the TIN work done wherever it was necessary
Replaced Oil filter, Air Filter, all bulbs.

Got the doors serviced since it was rainy season
Purchased 1 Litre coolant + 50 ml Windsheild washer

Car had been services 3 months ago.

Day before the trip
Had planned to get 8 hours of sleep atleast since i would be driving almost 470 Kms in single day which i had never done earlier.

As is the case with all the road trips, i could barely sleep because of the Excitement, ended up sleeping only 4 hours.

Finally the Day arrives - 11th September 2010
Woke up early at 5am and got ready by 5.30am.
Started loading the car, and it loaded to the brim.
Had to carry the remaining stuff between the rear two passengers!

We started at 6.15am and hit the Vashi highway at first ray of light.
Car felt loaded and was slow to respond.
However i was looking forward to a good trip and was eager to hit expressway

We were doing good speeds till we reached Lonavla.
It was here that i felt the car struggle to climb the mild expressway inclines, but it was a small stretch and i ignored it.

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We stopped after lonavla for a 30 minute tea break.
We reached Karad by 12.30 and it was nice to stop for a hearty Lunch.

After Lunch at Hotel Sangam, we resumed our journey towards Kolhapur.
Car was struggling a bit and i could feel the clutch slipping.
Decided to visit a mech at kolhapur.

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On reaching Kolhapur, due to Ganpati festivities, all shops were closed!!
With no option we pushed ahead and reached my Village Karul by 5.30 Pm.

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My village is at the end of Gaganbavda Ghat while going towards Goa.

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Had to visit Malvan next day which is my wife's village.

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Car was doing OK since there were no inclines enroute and NH17 was in average shape.

Stayed at a relatives place overnight.

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Day 3
Visited Deobag , which is a beautifull place nearby the Famous Tarkarli beach.It was here that FUJI FILM batteries went Kaput.
It was back to my trusty old N73 to capture some scenes.

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Had good lunch at Hotel SWAMI in Malvan and then we headed back to my village.

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Had a memorable Wada-Pav + Bhaji Pav and hot Tea at one of the Dhabas.

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Meanwhile my search for a Premier Padmini clutch plate was Futile.
The only place where i could get it was Kolhapur.

We reached the base of my Village at 7.30pm when it was Dark.
The road leading to my house is a 2 km narrow stretch with a very steep incline upfront.

Inspite of carrying decent speed the car got stuck in middle of the incline with 5 people on board!

Here i was in my native place with my Mom, dad, My wife and her Mom! stuck on a steep incline in pitch dark conditions.

All of them had to get down and after few attempts she climbed on top!
It was very exhausting mentally and i was in a really bad mood.
With myself to blame for not checking this crucial part for such a long journey, i managed to overcome those tense moments.

All of them were lucky to get a Lift from the only Jeep in our village which came as soon i left.

Day 4

Padmini was rested and we visited the remaining nearby villages by that commander.

Day 5
We rested and enjoyed the Ganpati festival.

Day 6

Padmini had to climb the Gaganbavda Ghat , all of 9kms with a faulty clutch plate.
We hired that commander and everyone else , alongwith the luggage was in commander.

Had carried 30 ft of Nylon rope just in case.
Gunned the car furiously at the start and then managed to climb the Ghat with relative ease albeit only in the 1st GEAR!
Car did not overheat a bit thanks to coolant and large radiator.

Yes , my heart pained for those 30 minutes when i had to drive in 1st gear for the fear of losing momentum.

Rested for 15 - 20 minutes at Gaganbavda top.

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Luckily since traffic was sparse, i made it to top and celebrated!!
After that it was normal ride to Kolhapur.

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As soon as we reached kolhapur , we stayed at one of the relatives place.
After having some tea and Snacks , we took padmini to a Mech who was well known to them and was very trusty.

I spent nearly 2 hours chatting with them and was amazed by the few cars that they had.

3 Peuguot 307, 2 118 NE , 2 Toyota Corolla Automatics to name a few.

Day 7
Our relatives OMNI served us well for local sight seeing in Kolhapur.
We visted Mahalaxmi temple and the nearby Siddhagiri Museum on Belgaum road.

Day 8

This day was reserved for a visit for Narsobachi Wadi which was 50 kms from Kolhapur.Visited few relatives on the return journey.

At 7 pm it was time to collect my Padmini from the Mech.
Clutch plate and Pressure Plat ( MAHINDRA SONA ) were replaced.
The whole job cost me Rs 3400.

But what a feeling it was to ride with the Brand new clutch.
I also luckily got a sturdy Padmini carrier and got it re-painted for Rs 650

Day 9

Started early by 8am and reached Mumbai by 6pm.
Car performed exceptionally well for a Old and Fully loaded vehicle.
She had averaged a poor 11kmpl on day1, but gave a healthy 14 Kmpl after the clutch plate change!

It was a memorable Journey and let the pictures do the talking.
Padmini performed well and i enjoyed the remarkable scenary and superb roads due to new grippy tyres!

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All in all a DREAM COME TRUE!

PAVAN KADAM 24th October 2010 00:02

A very unique travelogue :)

I enjoyed each and every bit of your journey.

Your Padmini is really nice, do paint the rims silver and take good care of it :)

Those pics and the locations are amazing, especially those winding roads amidst the hills, wow..

predatorwheelz 24th October 2010 15:14

Very unique travelogue, good pics. You started off very well, but in the end it seemed you were in a hurry to finish off the narrative.

The Premier Padmini is a car very close to my heart as well. Had a white example for 3 years in Mumbai (1990-93), bought new from the showroom. Great to see the old girl going places!

kavesh55 24th October 2010 15:33

Dear Silverado- Kudos to you for undertaking this trip in a padmini, know this was normal many years ago, but now we want more reliablity, speed and comforts . Inspite of having Mr. Behram as company, (Dhabhar.Behram on the forum) i did not dare to take a trip, as long as this. But anyways will buy another one and take a trip like this. PM me your no. believe you stay in Mumbai and could meet.

FourWheelDrift 24th October 2010 16:24

Silverado, you are really brave ... and I envy you for taking the plunge, and completing this journey, so successfully.

Lovely pics !!!

EARTHed 24th October 2010 17:11

Whatta travelogue. Enjoyed reading it.

A Padmini is a really lovely car. Brings back my childhood memories.

samsag12 24th October 2010 19:09

A very nice travelogue indeed and that too in a Padmini. You must be one brave heart to use this vehicle for such a long trip.
BTW from where did you procured those grooved side pattis. Just curious to know as they are replaced with newer one even on the models which originally came with them.

V-16 25th October 2010 00:22

Great thread Silverado. Vrry good narration with some very well taken pics. I specially likes the ones of the pristine Tarkarli beach and Gaganbavda top. The flora of our country really comes out during the rains.

Its travelogues with pictures like these which enlighten us of how beautiful our country actually is, once we choose to explore it and what else better way to do that than by road.

I was touched by your decision to do this journey in the Fiat. I smiled when you posted, that the old lady was struggling to tackle the inclines of the expressway. It immediately takes me back to the good old times when there was no expressway and no other choice of car besides the Fiat and the Ambassador, not even the Contessa. In those days everyone went to Khandala. Lonavala was not so visited and the cars had to take a customary stop a t Khapoli, which actually drove the business of a few restaurants there. Some, who attempted to do the climb without the stop below would be often found stranded with their bonnets open somewhere during the climb. The days when there were no coolants and hardly any cars had an a/c. The days when climates were not so extreme and we were accustomed to drive with our windows rolled down. Where are those times now, where are those days now? What has happened to us? We have progresses. The Ozone layer has depleted many folds and the sun is harsher. In many ways we are responsible for this. Despite the availability of comforts and better engineering, we crave for the olden times.

Im getting nostalgic, not to mention off topic:D. I loved your thread mate. Keep it up.

silverado 25th October 2010 07:08

My Car was struggling on inclines since she had an issue with the Clutch plate while going towards village, else she has done Lonavla Ghat, Ekvira devi ghat , Malshej Ghat etc with ease.

silverado 25th October 2010 07:13

Sion Koliwada
You get those Pattis at SINGH AUTO SION Koliwada

silverado 25th October 2010 07:39


I have been to the first FCCCI Meet, have only been to the National park meet after that.Its due to odd weekly off's ( Tuesday - Wednesday ) that i have been unable to make to any of the meet's.

I stay at dadar.

jacs 25th October 2010 10:46

silverado, nice thread man! Its a legendary drive on the Padmini. Happy to hear that the car served well expcept for the minor clutch issues. I am a FIAT fan too having used 1100 and 118NE for long and now my Palio.

arnabchak 25th October 2010 13:36


Beautiful pics and the Padmini looks well maintained too.

What was your FE??stupid:

I guess the car would look really good with the wheel cover and a new set of wiper blades.

Slick 25th October 2010 13:49

Hey nice systematic writeup buddy and even better pictures though I wonder what happened on your return journey. You only mentioned your experiences up to Kolhapur and not upto Mumbai. Loved it
- Slick

1100D 25th October 2010 22:56

Nice and unique travelogue, the feeling of driving the Fiat through the country roads is incomparable. Had you not had the clutch problems on the upward journey, it would have been really great. The 1100D is great to punter around in the hills.

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