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Old 7th January 2020, 07:56   #166
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Originally Posted by karlosdeville View Post
An interesting newspaper clipping from my dad's files, which he cut out as a young boy in the 1960s.
Little did the author of the article know that:

1. The Ambassador would continue for another 40 years

2. Chevrolet would finally arrive 4 decades later...only to leave eventually!
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Old 7th January 2020, 11:17   #167
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Originally Posted by karlosdeville View Post
An interesting newspaper clipping from my dad's files, which he cut out as a young boy in the 1960s.

The plant will assemble 200 cars a month, 150 of which will be exported to the middle east.

Can't help but smile at the scales and numbers of that time.
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Old 11th March 2020, 16:19   #168
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In a 1948 newspaper I was going through the classifieds, this Buick advertised caught my eye. Description states that it was assembled in America, and uncreated here. This corroborates earlier speculation that Buicks too had some degree of local assembly by General Motors in Bombay.

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Last edited by karlosdeville : 11th March 2020 at 16:20.
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Old 11th March 2020, 16:57   #169
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We don't have an exact date so far for the launch of the Standard Herald in India. I've assumed it to be around 1961/62, here we have a car being advertised in the 1960s, mentioned as a late 1961 registered model. So that narrows it down a bit

History of Cars in India-heral.jpg
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Old 11th March 2020, 18:05   #170
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We don't have an exact date so far for the launch of the Standard Herald in India. I've assumed it to be around 1961/62, here we have a car being advertised in the 1960s, mentioned as a late 1961 registered model. So that narrows it down a bit

Attachment 1979028
I have photos of my Uncle's Standard Herald dated 1961 or 1962. It had the red and white combination colour. When I visit my aunt I can take a snap of those old photos.
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Old 12th March 2020, 10:09   #171
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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
I have photos of my Uncle's Standard Herald dated 1961 or 1962. It had the red and white combination colour. When I visit my aunt I can take a snap of those old photos.
Please do, looking forward. The two tone options I think went away by 63.


Here's an interesting article on the commercial vehicle manufacturing industry from the 1950s.
History of Cars in India-commer.jpg
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Old 31st May 2020, 16:24   #172
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I recently found a 1966 issue of the Illustrated weekly of India, and came across this neat article on the Arvind car (mentioned earlier elsewhere on the forum, though I cannot recall where).
Thanks to Jeevan Thomas for sending this article in. Heartfelt gratitude for sharing it with other enthusiasts via this Team-BHP page!

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The story is set in the 1960s. The king of Thiruvithamkoor, Sree Chithira Thirunal, wanted to have a car of his liking. It was 1962, when the Portuguese had been driven out of Goa. A visit to Goa would would help procure elegant European and American cars, the king was informed. The king's private secP V Thampi and a well-known automobile engineer of that time A K Balakrishna Menon set off to Goa. They returned with the concept of Aravind, the first-ever car to be built in Kerala.
History of Cars in India-arvindcar.jpg

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It was basically an amalgamation of all the features and design elements from the cars that they saw in Goa.
History of Cars in India-arvindcar8.jpg

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Here is the story of Aravind that ought to find a place in the history of the automobile industry in India, courtesy the report that appeared in the Illustrated Weekly without a by-line.
History of Cars in India-arvindcar9.jpg

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When they returned to Thiruvananthapuram, Menon prepared a detailed sketch and blueprint and presented before the king. A contract was drawn up, which said that if the king doesn't like the end-product, Menon was to bear all the expenses.
History of Cars in India-arvindcar7.jpg

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Six blacksmiths at Menon's workshop worked as his assistants on the project. There was no mechanised equipment then, and everything was done by bare hands. Besides, funds were also hard to come by.
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even the officials of the palace did not have much faith in Menon.
History of Cars in India-arvindcar2.jpg

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But Menon didn't give up, and in 10 months his baby was born. It was a large car. It was not named Aravind but Palace Special.
History of Cars in India-arvindcar3.jpg

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The king came out and was surprised to see the car of his dreams parked in front of him. He showered praises on Menon and was ready to get behind the wheels.
History of Cars in India-arvindcar1.jpg

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Menonís fame reached foreign shores and even the US. Media hailed him; even Automobile International magazine carried stories about him.
History of Cars in India-arvindcar6.jpg

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The prototype of the car was made using the engine and other mechanicals that were taken from a dumped car (records show that that the engine was Fiat made). It had a 22-gauge steel platform and a box chassis that used 18-gauge steel plates. Doors, fenders, bonnet, dash and steering wheel were built in-house.
History of Cars in India-arvindcar4.jpg

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The plan was to sell the car for Rs 5,000. For that, work on a manufacturing unit had also started. However, after the death of Menon, it is said that the unit was handed over to a cooperative of his workers. The car, a testament to the ingenuity of the country, was the only thing left behind.
History of Cars in India-arvindcar10.jpg

Source
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Old 6th August 2020, 13:51   #173
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In 1953 the Morris Minor convertible was advertised as built in India by the French Motor Car Co. Ltd.

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Old 24th August 2020, 20:44   #174
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Though not technically an Indian enterprise, here is a nice piece on the Tandon Motorcycle set up in England by an Indian. Found in a July 1993 issue of Auto India, authored by Gautam Sen.

History of Cars in India-tandon01.jpg

History of Cars in India-tandon02.jpg
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Old 27th August 2020, 15:23   #175
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An image of the Yenkay factory in Bangalore - in collaboration with VDO, Yenkay gauges were seen on pretty much every Indian car and bike for decades.

History of Cars in India-yenkay01.png
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Old 2nd September 2020, 14:27   #176
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An insightful first hand account of the Escorts - Citroen 2CV project, with some priceless archival images too.

History of Cars in India-01.jpg

History of Cars in India-02.jpg
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Old 1st October 2020, 19:07   #177
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More about the German Lloyd LP 250 that was supposed to make it's debut in India as a small, people's car. The 250 cc two cylinder, air cooled, two stroke, 11 hp engine powered car could have been our first people's car. The car sold well between 1953 till 1960. But the company filed for bankruptcy in 1961. Eyed by the Late Mr Sanjay Gandhi in the 1970's, this car with a then outdated 1950's technology could have been the one that Maruti Udyog (of Mr Sanjay Gandhi) would have zeroed upon for manufacturing. Three of these were imported by him and two were taken apart perhaps for reverse engineering to manufacture one. Its suitability to Indian conditions was also under study. The project was however shelved midway.

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The one car that survived was auctioned by the then mighty State Trading Corporation, New Delhi. Mighty, because the who's who from India would lobby with the STC to get imported cars mainly acquired by the the Corporation from foreign Embassies and High Commissions. These imports (used cars) would have to be sold only to the STC and no one else. The STC would in turn auction these cars to the desirous. Car dealers and representatives of the desirous would bid and buy cars there. Direct imports were very, very restricted.

Back to the topic, one Mr Janardhanam bought this car. It was sold to Mr G.D. Gopal in 1996 and survives till this day at the German car section of the Gedee Car Museum, in Coimbatore.

Incidentally, Mr Sanjay Gandhi had while launching brand Maruti at Gurgaon had remarked that the then Premier Padmini was using the same Fiat 1100 engine since 1953 and the Ambassador was using suspension of the 1920's. With his this kind of remarks in the background, his penchant for this 1953 Lloyd LP 250 even in the 1970's is perplexing, no doubt !

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But what if I told you there was a ‘before’ even before all these companies were approached? That there was another name – which you’ve probably never heard of – that was, at one point in time, viewed as a potential candidate for the title of India’s first people’s car? It was the car you see here – the Lloyd LP 250.

Borne out of post-war Germany’s need for small, inexpensive vehicles, the two-door LP 250 – which measures in at less than 3.4 m in length – was a derivative of the four-seat LP 400, which had a larger displacement engine.

‘LP’ denoted limousine or sedan, and the LP 400 was manufactured in the early 1950s, designed to be a fairly basic form of personal transport. In 1956, Lloyd introduced the LP 250, which was essentially the LP 400 with a smaller, 250 cc version of its air-cooled, two-stroke, two-cylinder engine. It made just 11 hp and, this being the most basic model on offer, didn’t even come with hub caps, bumpers or a back rest for the rear-seat passengers. It had a 3-speed manual gearbox, suicide doors, lacked an air-conditioner, weighed only a little over 500 kg owing to its bare bones construction and interior, and cost less than 3,000 Deutsche Marks – it was a car built to a purpose and cost.

It didn’t have any sort of link with our country, but the Lloyd LP 250 ended up coming to India thanks to the late Sanjay Gandhi. His passion for cars was well-known, and Gandhi – the son of former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi – was intent on giving India its first true people’s car. Having returned to the country after completing a three-year apprenticeship with Rolls-Royce, Gandhi shipped in three examples of the Lloyd LP 250 to see if it could be the right car for India. Two of those three examples are said to have been taken apart for design and development work for it to suit Indian conditions and tastes, but the project was shelved midway. The only surviving example was auctioned by the State Trading Corporation, sold to one Mr Janardhanam – the then-president of the World Tamil Congress. It may come as a surprise to many, but this very car exists even today, having been acquired in 1996 by G D Gopal – son of famous Indian inventor and engineer G D Naidu – when the significance of this car dawned on him. Post restoration, the LP 250 is on display in the German car section of the Gedee Car Museum, in Coimbatore, which also houses a variety of cars from different eras.
The news on this link:-

https://www.autocarindia.com/auto-fe...les-car-417773

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 2nd October 2020 at 01:53. Reason: Typo corrected as requested
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Old 17th November 2020, 13:18   #178
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An interesting story of an autonomously driven car in 1957 here

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1957 : The precursor to starting an engineering company. P.Murugamanickam was invited to develop a fitting demonstration of technology on the occasion of the Centenary celebration of UNIVERSITY OF MADRAS. He made something which was really futuristic that made people awestruck. A wireless operated car without a driver. It was a real full size car, a Morris Minor 1954 model with registration number MSZ 4216. In 1957, when the electronics of today was not available, he had to depend totally on available material. The wireless transmitter was a spark plug, the receiver was a radio set and the entire actuation systems were built using the mechano set (the build it yourself toy!) The University of Madras awarded a gold medal for his unique achievement.
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Old 26th November 2020, 17:41   #179
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Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
Thanks to Jeevan Thomas for sending this article in. Heartfelt gratitude for sharing it with other enthusiasts via this Team-BHP page!
I had the opportunity to check out the Aravind in detail recently and made a video regarding the same. It is in Malayalam, but gives a detailed look into the present state of the car .

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Old 29th January 2021, 16:23   #180
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A very interesting display of a staggering eighty Buick cars lined up in Madras at a garden party, presumably as a promotional activity.

History of Cars in India-buick30.png
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