Everyone loves a bit of nostalgia. Starting from old featurephones like the Nokia 3310, to our eternal love for songs by RD Burman, we all love a slice of the past. The same is true for cars. Every day while commuting to the office, we come across spanking new hatchbacks, sedans, SUVs, and whatnot. But then, seeing a vintage Vauxhall, or a Morris Minor is something that leaves a lasting impression. Cars in Bangalore, like any other big city, are mostly modern machines with the latest gadgetry. But then there are the ones we wished, they hadn’t stopped making at all. Here’s our personal wish list with cars we believe, should just make a comeback, and let us relive the glory of a bygone era.
This one’s a no-brainer. The Hindustan Ambassador is literally the first car that comes to your mind, when you say the word ‘India’, or even ‘car’ for that matter. It was in production for more than 55 years and following less demand and maybe even some other production reasons, the company decided to call it quits on the model in 2014. Three years down the line, we just can’t help but say out loud that ‘Amby we miss you. And we want you to come back.’ During my childhood, I can’t remember going to the city in any other car. Whether it was a picnic, the grocery run, or an emergency dash to the hospital, this car was there for it all. The latest development has been that the PSA Group, which owns Peugeot and many other iconic car brands, has purchased the Ambassador brand. We are keeping our fingers crossed for a new version of the ambassador that can come back to grace the Indian roads soon.
2014 seems to be the year that can be termed as the ‘classic killer.’ Another classic which died out this year was the Maruti 800. After being the car that put India on wheels, Maruti 800 was removed from the production lines due to declining sales. It is also the car in which the millennial and most of the pre-millennial generation started taking their driving lessons. The staple for the much dreaded ‘H’ test, the Maruti 800, was sold in India since 1983. In fact, the car was so successful that at one point Maruti and Maruti 800 meant the same. Most people might not know that it was once even exported to countries like Morocco and some European countries. In 2014, the newspaper reports said that the production was stopped after a 3% sales decline. Oh, come on Maruti Suzuki, we love this car more than that. Please, please, please bring it back. And while you are at it, soup it up with some great alloys will you?
Named after the legendary Indian princess, Premier Padmini was an Indian heartthrob for no less than 25 years since 1973. It was licensed from Fiat, and 99.99% of the times when you saw someone getting into a taxi in any Bollywood movie of the 90s, chances are he/she was getting into a Padmini. The yellow and black taxis of Mumbai may be the biggest shot of nostalgia that hits you when you see this car. Even for driving schoolers, the famous saying went like ‘if you can learn to drive a Padmini, you can drive almost anything.’ Not known for the best of safety features, or maneuverability, or even space for that matter, the Padmini was still loved by one and all. By all, I mean a list that once included stars like Rajinikanth and Aamir Khan. I still dream of the day when Padmini will make a comeback as a modern version with ABS, power steering, alloy wheels, and of course a 1.2 litre engine to give the Maruti Swift a run for its money.
Mere sapnon ki rani kab aayegi tu. Instead of singing the song, we are referring to the vehicle that appeared in the song. Who can forget Rajesh Khanna on the topless Willys Jeep singing and trying to impress Sharmila Tagore? In love for sure, but the ‘Jeep’ as it was popularly known, was one of the most reliable vehicles used in war times too. It got its name from ‘Eugene the Jeep’, a character from the Popeye comic strip. Manufactured in India by Mahindra, the Willys Jeep is still the modification nuts’ ultimate muse. From thoroughly off-road versions to the hardtop versions with 2-DIN music players and air conditioning, the possibilities are in fact infinite when it comes to restoring or modifying the Jeep. We just wished that Mahindra saved us all the trouble, and brought it back to life with some new age specs thrown in. Hope you’re listening Mahindra.
We know we’ve missed a few other masterpieces. Let us know in the comments section if you would like us to add more such classics to the list.