Hey guys!!! This is my first article on MotorBeam and I’ve just got into this battle field of cars, engines, rocketing fuel price’s and the increasing fans of cars either of the “petrol heads” or few may even refer to this as “gear heads” ! First things first, a couple of my posts would be completely focused on Indian Cars, because I’d like to dig out the automobile background of India, and this article is on Amby’s!
“Ambassador” the car which literally has seen all of India, used by many, liked by all is a car from Hindustan Motors. Hindustan Motors was set up in India during the Second World War era. The first car which rolled out from Hindustan Motor’s stable was the replica of British made Morris Oxford which was called the Landmaster. This marked the beginning of a long-lasting and fruitful relationship between Morris Motors and Hindustan.
Amby as I call with love was the car to be produced in India. Hindustan Motors started production in 1958 and went on from 1964 with the Ambassador Mark 1, this was a sedan which had 4 doors powered by a gasoline engine of 1498cc with claimed power of 50 PS (max) at 4200 rpm and 104 Nm / 77 lb-ft of torque at 2000 RPM and it was a rear wheel drive. This car had a company claim of 113 kmph, It did 0 to 60 kmph in 28.6 seconds. This car got its appreciation from the wealthy part of the Indian society, rich bureaucrat’s got a taste of this amazing piece of magnificence auto-mobile back then. Though sales figures of mark one Amby was not officially available, by the immense significance it has till now we can predict the car was produced in respectable numbers.
The mark 1 Ambassador was graceful in looks this was a car which got respect from people. The car had fair amount of chrome bits on its front end. This was just pure definition of royalty. The car on the whole had something in it called “life”. It was pure passion and the engine too had soul. The inside however had two rows of comfortable bench seats. It had speedo dials made by “smiths” made in England which read in miles per hour. This was an amazing car and till this time it still remains as one.
The Ambassador mark 1 was produced for 6 years between 1958 to 1964.
In 1964 Hindustan rolled out the mark II Ambassador, this was in production in the years 1964 to 1975. This had few minor additions.
Later on in 1964 the mark two rolled out of Hindustan Motors, this had a very significant change it was “elegant” the front chrome fascia of the mark 1 was completely replaced in the mark two. Chrome pulled out and with a new front end the car was a delight to look at, the sides however remained unchanged.
Mark II Ambassador was faster, it had a claimed top speed of 119 kmph and 51 PS of power. This Ambassador mark II had the same layout as the mark I, the same two row bench seat arrangements, the same hand operated gear system and the same very comfortable rear seats. This mark II was much longer when compared to the mark I.
The year 1975 saw the ambassador mark III. The same design philosophy continued all through the car, up in the front the chrome was reduced and spotted a round indicator lamp, at the rear the bumpers were a bit modified which made it even more noticeable. The interiors had the same bench seat layout, 3 gauges in the dashboard. Hindustan Motors marketed the mark III amby as the ideal family car back then, sources say way back then the Amby mark III was just sold for Rs. 18,000/-.
1979 was the year when the mark 4 rolled out. And this is my favorite since we owned one. It was produced between the years 1979 to 1990. This car was refreshing, while major engine specs remained the same, the looks got even better. The mark IV spotted a front new bumper with turn indicators. The car was simply fresh and good looking. The interiors remained the same as well.
In 1990 Hindustan bought out the new Ambassador Nova, well this was a mile stone for Hindustan Motors, this Amby Nova had a new engine, the old engine was replaced by a 1800cc engine. Well, Hindustan Motors also introduced a diesel version in the Nova variants. Even though Hindustan offered two variants that was the old 1400 cc engine and the new 1.8-liter Isuzu engine. This was a straight-4, 1817cc engine which had 2-valves per cylinder. The Isuzu engine was the mail development found in the nova series of cars produced. It was efficient and modern. The new engine was efficient too with topping 140 km.
Ambassador Avigo was introduced in 2003 after the Ambassador Grand. Avigo had three variants which included one CNG variant, the 1.8-liter MPFI and 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter variants.
Through the years we saw many new variants from Hindustan motors, Ambassadors in India is a sign of status, how much ever rich you might be, you’d prefer to step out of this car!!! Yes it does not have a million miles per hour top speed and yes it does not have a massage seat in the rear. But this car makes you smile, and this is what matters.
The taxi badge Ambys are disappearing due to the roll out of less expensive cars. Ambassadors in one word can even be mended with a hammer. It’s reliable. People now have started restoring them. DC has come up with a unique “Ambierod” concept. Blogs are written on restoration projects and this is a good sign.