Friday, May 27, 2005

The joy rides

In the 1980s, cars in India were made of hardcore steel, no airconditioning and started cracking up after clocking 100km/h. But these are some classic cars that deserve tribute. One car still remains, the Ambassador, which I think is still sold in the UK as a "classic car".

Our first car was a Fiat, officially called Premier Padmini. which was conceived in 1962. It can still be seen as cabs only in Bombay, or with an old Parsi couple who still live in the 1970s. It provided some amazing value for money and can be bought for Rs. 40,000 on an online auction site.

Our second car was a Contessa, a pretty roomy gas guzzler. In our second Conty, an electronic window upper got busted in a few months, which ensured we didn't buy a third one. In Bollywood action movies the villain cars being destroyed are mainly Contys, and that may have been the fate to both of our cars -- which were bought by a dude named Dimple. Good purchases, failed by attempted tweaks.

In the middle, we reserved the Standard 2000, a mammoth gas guzzler. The queue behind it was so long, it frustrated us and we chopped the order. Current status? Only available in a picture on the Web. Read that article on the link too.

Then we started getting techno, and purchased the erratic Fiat Uno. It was derived from a ten-year old Fiat model, and was one of the first legit cars to have a diesel engine, after the Fiat 118NE. It was good, it was bad, it got towed. It just wasn't reliable enough. Soon somebody overpaid us for it, and probably had it destroyed without the help of a Bollywood movie. That model can be seen if you rent a car in Rajasthan.

(to be continued...)


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