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A 1957 Landmaster Taxi Still in Use

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I have often seen this Landmaster taxi MHG 99, parked at the Nagpur Railway Station premises since decades and have even been its passenger on some occasions. As an automobilist at heart, the car caught my attention many a time, but the rendezvous with the car and Mr Mohammed Sadiq, aged 73, its owner, is very recent.

The car, a 1957 Landmaster, is owned single-handedly by Mr Mohammed, since 1966. He bought it in a ramshackle condition in 1966 for Rs 6000=00, from the Kochar family of Kamptee (a town, 18 kms away from Nagpur), which owned two such cars BYJ 203 and BYJ 204.Yours truly owns a Landmaster that has the number BYJ 276. MHG 99 was earlier BYJ 203 and black in colour ("BY" stands for the erstwhile Bombay State and "J" a series for Nagpur). As it had to get a taxi number, the road transport authorities changed it to the MHG series in the transport category( "MH" for Maharashtra state).

Mr Mohammed has studied upto 7th standard at the St John

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I have travelled many times in Landmasters, when I was a kid. Your post brought back memories of those olden golden days. I distincly remember the dashboard and meters of Lamdmasters. The steering wheel has also been changed apart from the other items mentioned by you.

Kudos to Mohd. Sadiq who has maintained his car so lovingly.

Thanks to you for posting this nice story with pictures


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Also Anjan' date=' could you please resize the pictures. They're too big to be viewed comfortably.



Thanks AKJ53,Manish,Vijay and CC .

Manish I am posting the pictures again.Hope you will please delete all the older pictures.




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As friend AKJ 53 has rightly pointed out the steering is  from a new Amby

The interior light that is original


Original rear  bumper but taillights are from the Bajaj RE 3 wheeler


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The OHV Ambassador engine that powers the Landmaster



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The grille of an Amby Mark 3, parking lights and clear headlamp sealbeam of a new Amby, bumpers of a Mark 2 Amby. Its however creditable that Mohammed Sadiq has tried his level best to make the car look as good as possible.


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anjan_c20072009-03-22 11:31:18

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 I had thought about it seriously at one time. But some constraints like spare time to look after the car and maybe the fact that the car has an Amby's engine and very less original parts made me rethink. But AKJ 53,FRG, Vijay and archit (archit I already one Landmaster) now thought it better to publicise about Mohammed's predicament, so that any willing car lover can come forward to buy the car.

But I have yet to verify the laws which do not favour taxi to private RTO re-registrations. The government's logic is that since taxis and commercial vehicles attract less central and state taxes on the showroom price, people flout the laws , buy cars and commercial vehicles for public use and then changeover to private number plates thus duping the government.

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This Landmaster was a daily use car and was fitted with a diesel (guess

it was a Matador OM616) engine in the 1980's.The new silver paintwork

and the renovated woody dash with new plush interiors all done up in

the 1980's, made it appear dashing and its road presence then, in the

company of Premiers and Ambys was marked and felt.

But as they say all good things must come to an end, this car's

owner-driver passed away about five years back.His children love the

car very much and do not want to sell it at all. They have however not

been using it since their father passed away but have handed over this

car to a garage for repairs and restoration.Lets hope the car gets back

on the roads as a Queen Landmaster!









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Cyrus I was appalled to see that  even inside the bonnet there's nothing to remind that it is actually a Landmaster. The wiring, fuses, self, dynamo and almost everything else have been changed.The front parking lights are from the Jeep / Mahindra CJ series.The tail lights are perhaps from the Maruti Omni and so on.

But the car outwardly looked chic in the 1980's.

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