In addition to being an awesomely long-lived machine, the Ambassador has the honor of being the subject of my very first Jalopnik post. Back in 1993, when Hindustan Motors was looking to move diesel-powered Ambassador Novas out the showroom doors, this brochure helped sell Amby shoppers on the latest and greatest version. Thanks to SlaveToAnMG for scanning these pages and sending 'em in; here's what he has to say:
- Price sheet is of course in Rupees...at that time it was 35 rupees to the dollar
- Color shifts, etc on the brochure are from crappy printing, not crappy scanning :)
- When you rented a car in India, it came with a driver.
I rode in these cars a lot during the half dozen trips I made over there between 1993 and 1996. Always an experience...the nicer ones were, well, pretty nice. They'd have air conditioners that would cool a gymnasium. But a lot of them didn't have A/C and it was hot dirty traveling...we flew into Hyderabad one morning and the car service sent around 'the nice car', a thoroughly decrepit Ambassador diesel. To start the car the driver would open the hood and whack on one of the battery posts with a hammer. At 40 mph - full speed in the traffic and crap roads - the thing vibrated, shook and rattled like mad.
Other cars - Suzuki Maruti 800; Premier Padmini (warmed over Fiat 1100); Tata Estate (home grown but looks like a 3/4 scale Benz 124 wagon) and Hindustan Contessa (warmed over Vauxhall Victor). Imported cars were essentially prohibited but by 1996 a joint venture was underway between Tata and Daimler Benz to build 124 bodied Mercedes...I have an Indian auto magazine around here with the first review of one.