Affectionately known as the Amby, Ambassador is certainly the most loved car in India and with no doubts is considered as the motor icon of Indian roads. Recently, in a world taxi shootout organized by Top Gear’s executive director Richard Hammond, Hindustan Ambassador emerged as the Top Taxi Car beating the top manufacturing rivals from all corners of the world. Undeniably, from decades the car is widely appreciated for its sturdy body, powerful engine and reliable safety. However, there are certain facts that are still unknown. It will be quite interesting to learn facts we didn’t know previously, take a look:
7. Ambassador – The Heritage of Hindustan Motor
The origin to the famous Hindustan Ambassador car began as replacement of the old Morris Oxford Series II with the new Morris Oxford Series III. Prior to the Indian independence, Hindustan Motors Limited began assembling the car as Hindustan 10 in a plant in Port Okha near Gujarat. It’s production continued till 1954 and in 1957 Ambassador took on the Indian roads with 1478 cc side valve engine, which was taken from the earlier Hindustan 14 model. In a short period of time, the car brought great income returns to Hindustan Motors and raised their productions with vehicles like Contessa, Trekker, Porter and Pushpak.
6. The Perfect Engine for Demanding Indian Roads
Right from its earliest productions in 1957 to the Ambassador Encore model of 2013, the classy motor icon of Indian roads has undergone several changes, but the one thing manufactures never compromised on was the reliable engine. Early models of the car had a 1,476 cc side-valve petrol engine, which was replaced by a 1,489 cc, 55 bhp overhead-valve BMC B-series petrol engine in 1959 and were patent under the Mark I versions.
After four more years the car was introduced as Ambassador Nova, which was powered by a 1,489 cc, 37 bhp BMC B-series diesel engine and was the first diesel car in India. This was the Mark -IV version of Ambassador and by the year 1989 the car was available in a 55 bhp petrol-powered Deluxe version and a 37 bhp diesel-powered Diesel DX variant. In 1992 another version of Ambassador had an Isuzu 1.8 litre engine with a 4 in-line cylinders producing a max torque of 13.8 Kgm.
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5. Mesmerizing Features of the King of Indian Roads
The biggest factor that outclasses Ambassador car as the King of Indian Roads is the unmatched safety feature with a robust masculine body. Ambassador has a servo assisted front disc brakes with drum brakes at rear and ensures the safety to the passengers and driver with a protective impact beam. Moreover, with that robust masculine body, the car strides through the Indian traffic filled roads like a majestic king. The car has the most comfortable seating facility with spacious ends that go perfectly well for the big Indian family perspective.
4. A Vintage Car with Fifty Years of Consistent Service
Running almost parallel to India’s maturity after independence, Ambassador has always been the favorite car for every Indian. After its production was shifted to India in 1957, the car was renamed as Ambassador the styles were changed from Morris II to Morris III. The car had gone under significant changes with flat plane steering wheel to redesigned dashboard and lights. Over the years, the car underwent several minor face lifts and noticeable changes with dashboards, tail lights and parking lights. These changes were seen in Mark II and III versions till 1975. In 1975, the car was launched as Ambassador IV, which had square park lamp, separate blinker lamps and smaller grills with the bumpers. The car was released as the Deluxe version and later renamed as Ambassador Nova. By the year 1989, Ambassador Nova was re-launched in two variants, petrol-powered Deluxe version and a Diesel DX version. With the increasing demands in the Indian motor market, the car was dubbed as Ambassador 1800 ISZ in 1992 and the pride drive to the Indian Parliament.
3. The Contemporary Approach Of Classical Ambassador
Ever since the first Ambassador took on the road in 1957, the car has seen numerous changes from Morris Oxford to Ambassador Encore. The current generation of Ambassador had Ambassador Classic as the first model and several designed features from had a power assisted TRW steering with servo assisted disc brakes. The car was surnamed Classic as a symbol to the achievements of fifty celebrated years of company in India. In 2003, Ambassador launched as Ambassador Grand and had 2.0L and 1.8L engines. In the same year, Ambassador Avigo was introduced and much classier interiors than any previous model. By the mid of year 2013, the company launched Ambassador Encore and has a BS III 1.5-litre diesel engine to complete with the BS IV standards.
2. The World Famous Taxi of Mumbai Coming to an End
Recently, at the Beaulieu’s World of Top Gear motorsport show, the Indian Ambassador Taxi was crowned as the best taxi in world as the Indian taxi outclassed the big rivals like Russian limousine, Mexican Volkswagen Beetle, Black London Cab and many others. Indian taxis are the black and yellow lifelines of most Indian cities and in Mumbai only the numbers can count up to nearly 75,000. However, as per the new mandates by the Government of India, taxis that are more than 20 years old will be taken off the streets due to safety reasons. The decision will lower the taxi count in Mumbai up to forty percent and the animated snake line of yellow-black cabs will surely be missed by every Indian.
1. From Record Setters To Declining Markets
Based on the Morris Oxford, Ambassador has gradually urbanized as the best car for Indian roads over a stretch of more than sixty years. The car was a huge success in Indian as well as global market and in a time span of forty years Ambassador made Hindustan Motors the leading car sellers in the Indian car market. To add more to the surprise, till the year 1980 every car sold in India was an Ambassador and the company was the major profits in the Indian economy. From a production of nearly 100000 in 1984 the company made a record-breaking production of more than 90,0000 in 2004. However, with more motor companies focusing the developing Indian market, the sales for ambassador has seen an instant decline in the recent times.