anjan_c2007

WORLD RECORD for the Queen of the Indian Roads!

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Dudes,its time for celebrations by Brand India.The Ambassador is the longest running production car anywhere

in the world- 50 long years since 1958! Classics Monthly, UK (May 2007)

featured this car on its cover page story recording this feat of the

GREAT OL' QUEEN OF THE INDIAN ROADS!! ( I have this issue right here with me)

I felt ecstatic and soon upon my contacting Respected Chandrakantji, I have received a communication from Mr

Chandrakant Birla, Chairman, HM, that they are planning to put this

on record. I suggested him to get released a commemorative stamp on

this great and auspicious occasion. He said he will look into the

matter.

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Back in '88 I learnt to drive in my dad's Amby. He was the one who taught me. He had immense patience and put up with all the things I did to his ride. It served our family for almost 30 long years. It was bought for Rs25000 and was sold 30 years later for the almost the same amount!!! We sold it and then our testing times started when we bought a Sipani D-1 diesel: Lemon of a car. I have never liked a diesel after that: now you know why. Durango Dude2008-02-19 16:25:59

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I love its rear sofa like seat.

 

I'm not soo sure of that: all the taxis I rode had the rear sofa edges near the doors curve upward so always tend to lean towards the middle passenger and that can be uncomfortable during long rides. The great Amby rear seat is more hype, there are more comfortable cars now than that.

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THE AMBASSADOR - THE FIRST AMONG INDIAN CARS

Ambassador - the first car to be manufactured in India, has been ruling

the Indian roads ever since its inception in 1948. Originally based on

Morris Oxford (United Kingdom, 1948), the Ambassador has been

undergoing a series of changes, adapting to customer expectations. 

With upgraded manufacturing facilities in Uttarpara, West Bengal,

Hindustan Motors Limited is geared for production of a more

contemporary version of the Ambassador, with features catering to the

needs of the present generation. 

Ambassador, the only automobile to ply Indian roads for more than five

decades now, has carved a special niche for itself in the passenger car

segment. It's dependability, spaciousness and comfort factor have made

it the most preferred car for generations of Indians. The Ambassador's

time-tested, tough, accommodating and practical characteristics make it

a truly Indianised car.

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uttarpara.jpg

< id="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" code="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,0,0" id="uttarpara" align="" height="70" width="416"> < name="movie" value="swf/uttarpara.swf"> < name="quality" value="high"> < name="" value="#FFFFFF">

>Source Website of Hindustan Motors

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Press Shop Forge and Foundry Body Shop Engine Manufacturing Paint Shop Car Assembly

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amby2zi5.jpg





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A review of the Ambassador in Classics monthly, UK May 2007
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An Ad in Readers Digest 1960
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Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's last remains draped in the tricolour leave his residence, Trimurti House, in May 1964. Note the black Ambassador OHV parked nearby. Incidentally HM gifted the first Ambassador Mark 2 to roll off their assembly line(also black in colour) to Mr Nehru in Feb 1964.
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An Ad in Readers Digest 1970
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An Amby Mark 3 Ad in Readers Digest 1975
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An Amby Mark 4 Ad (introduced new in Feb 1979)
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An Amby Porter Ad in The Statesman, Kolkata, 1984
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Indian Auto 1988 Car Buyer's Guide
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An Amby being checked by the security in Hyderabad:source The Hindu
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A Brand New Amby Nova in 1990 Source Indian Auto 1990
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An Amby Nova Ad in Times of India, 1990
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Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao arriving at a function. Photo by anjan_c2007
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Prime Minister Late P.V. Narasimha Rao, just getting seated in his bullet proof Ambassador ISZ 1800  in 1996. Note the fact that the bullet proof ISZ1800's don't have rear or front window quarter glasses.Photo by anjan_c2007
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Endless Amby's parked in New Market, Kolkata (1999)
photo by anjan_c2007
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  Yellow Amby taxis waiting at a traffic junction in Kolkata for the lights to turn from red to yellow to green. photo by anjan-c2007
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An Amby waiting at a Delhi workshop to upgrade itself to a limo.Quiz: Will it go for the Oscars next time?
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A Morris Oxford (Hindusthan 14 to us)Ad of 1953 in Illustrated Weekly, UK
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Hindustan Motors assembly line in the early 1950's(the Hindusthan 14 being assembled)

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We visit Europe as it has a lot of documented and interesting history, apart from the other factors for which it attracts the tourists.

Similarly the Ambassador is a car with history on its side. The Johnny come lately's  from japan and S. Korea are chic and quite contemporary, but are like today's Hindi songs- only remembered till they are hits and then forgotten. Maybe in future some of them will create history like our great Amby!!

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India's Amby' Notches half- a century by Chris Duggan,  The Independent , London Aug 15, 2006

With 150 million nou-veaux middle-class Indians opting for the

latest Suzu-ki-Marutis, Tata Sumos and Hyundai Zips and Zings, what

chance do Contessas and Padminis have? But, impressively, the

Ambassador survives, like a living fossil. As the motoring journalist

Hormzad Sorabjee says: "A half century on, and it is still the best car

to see India on the move."

Indian state and central government account for a quarter of sales,

although production is down to 15,000 Ambassadors a year. Now, heavily

polluting older models of the car are being banned from Indian cities.

To maintain its taxi dominance, HM has fitted Ambassadors with optional

LPG and CNG fuel systems.

Bucket or bench seats are options. Choose the bench, Shrivastav

says, "and if the driver isn't too fat, you can squeeze four people in

front." The Amby still uses the robust 1949 Morris rear axle, giving it

great rough-road stamina and supporting the heavy armour often required

in (M government models. Hindustanmotors. com proudly recounts the

attempted assassination of Andhra Pradesh state chief minister N

Chandra Babu Naidu in his Ambassador: "The blast was so powerful that

the chief minister's car was thrown several feet in the air and fell

off the road after overturning. Clearly, the chief minister escaped

because of the sturdy protection his car offered him." Wretched build

quality at one point nearly finished the HM Ambassador. Lore has it

that before HM underwent its 1998 "millennium modernisation", the

carmaker was still stamping out Ambassadors using badly deformed 1957

panel dies' new cars often had to be stripped and rebuilt.

HM's production-line modernisation spawned the popular Ambassador

Classic 1800 ISZ model, powered by an EU emissionscompliant Isuzu

engine. In India, a top of the range Ambassador Grand 1800 ISZ goes for

about 500,000 rupees, while a Classic 1800 ISZ is a hefty 820,000

rupees - pounds 9,500 - at Britain's only HM dealership, Merlin Garage

in South Wales. Merlin's owner David Dar-rel has sold Ambassadors to

Karma Kabs in London. In the photographer Raghubir Singh's foreword to

A Way into India, his Phaidonbookof Ambassador photos, he writes:

"Lizard-like, it has shed its colonial coating of Morris Oxford to don

Hindustani colours. If one thing can be singled out to stand for the

past 50 years of India and its closed economy, now open and moving into

the new millennium, it has to be the Ambassador. It is the solid part

of that India that moves on, even as it falls apart, or lags behind."

Let's hope the HM Ambassador notches up another 50 years. It is the

world's oldest surviving mass-produced car and -Hero bicycle and

Enfield Bullet motorcycle aside -it's the last great set of Indian

wheels still rolling.

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