A Tribute to India's Iconic Car – The Ambassador

August 27, 2014

At Car Leasing Made Simple, we would like to tribute India’s most loved iconic car – The Ambassador. Falling demand of Ambassador, this year might going to be the last as its manufacturer have decided to shut down.

Morris Oxford III model

Morris Oxford III Model

The Ambassador is manufactured by Hindustan Motors of India since 1958 following the few improvements based on Morris Oxford III model which was made by Morris Motors Limited in Oxford, UK from 1956 to 1959. However despite its British Origins, the car become very famous and we can say “The king of India Roads.”

In last 56 years, there are many models were released in different versions – Classic, Grand, Avigo and Encore. From politicians, celebrities to taxi drivers, the Ambassador was driven in its 56 years.

The Ambassador have won best Taxi award in the world by Top Gear(2002 TV series). If you have travelled to India then might sure you have taken Ambassador ride as this is one of the most popular car in India.

Here are some finest and most frustrating Ambassador memories :

The Ambassador

The Ambassador

  1. My dad, who is in India, lovingly maintains a 1967 model Ambassador which his dad bought new. This car was among the first handful of cars in my hometown in Kerala. Everyone in our family learned to drive in that car. My dad spends more money maintaining that car every year than it is actually worth, and I must say it’s beautifully maintained and has all the original parts including a new SU carburettor from the UK. It’s a treat to drive it, especially through our town where everyone knows the car.   – Roshan Mani, London, UK
  2. While studying in India, the Ambassador was the first car I learned to drive in. The car was so heavy, and engaging the gears was a Herculean task – literally. I shall never forget the experience. Nitin Chibber, Virginia, US
  3. I have hair-raising memories of travelling by Ambassador taxi late at night in Kerala between towns. For some unfathomable reason drivers turned their headlights off when they felt there was nothing else on the road. The problem was that there was never nothing on the road and it was either cows, carts, unlit lorries, pedestrians – my friend in the front seat needed a very stiff drink once we reached our destination unscathed. – Helen Close, Wallingford, UK
  4. I had the pleasure and pain of travelling in Ambassadors in the 1980s. I remember one journey when the glove box kept on falling open, and while still driving along (at speed) the driver took the keys out of the ignition, leaned over and locked the glove box. – Jamie, St Albans, UK

Here is a BBC Video – 

Due to its weak demand and strong competition Ambassador demand fallen down and Hindustan motors have ended with 2,200 Ambassadors sold down in March 2014 financial year.

Source : Memories from BBC News