The Hindustan Motors Ambassador – A Brief Walk Through History !
The year 2014 saw the ending of an Era in the Indian Automobile Industry , where two of its most popular and trusted cars were put to rest-The HM Ambassador and the Maruti Suzuki 800.These cars were so pivotal in the long history of Indian automobiles ,that most people in the country wept as they heard the parting news. Of them ,the Hindustan Motors Ambassador or as we so caringly call the ‘ Amby’ held a position that no car, past , present or future could ever dream to possess.
The Ambassador was always a car for the masses,pleasing the rich and the poor equally, and almost seemed like it was Made For India. With a built that sees even the sturdiest of SUV’s put to shame, It could trounce any condition that India threw at it. This sturdiness is what made it one of the best taxi -Cabs in the world and one of the most popular cars to have ever hit the Indian roads.
HOW IT BEGAN
The long history of The Hindustan Motors Ambassador , started from a little town in England known by the name Cowley. In 1956 , Morris Motors which had Headquarters there ,brought out a car named the Oxford Mark II, which in the course of 2 years would be launched in India as the first Ambassador ( Mark I).Infact the car was initially named the Land Master , but as the Mark series of Ambassadors were introduced , it became popular under the Mark I monicker.
The Ambassador Mark I came with many features that were up until then alien to most Indians.Everyone was amazed by the build and ride quality of the car , and how well it fitted with the Indian road conditions.The car had a ladder frame chassis , mounted by a monocoque body shell and the Engine was of overhead valve type instead of the conventional side-valved ones seen until then.Making life in India easier ,was the 15″ wheels , aided by front torsion bar suspension and rear leaf springs.
Another interesting feature of the Mark I was the amount of space it provided in the Interior.The front and rear came with bench seats , making comfortable room for at least 6 people.Further , the seats were spring loaded and wrapped in foam making it extra comfy.Mechanically , this car came with a 1489cc powertrain producing a maximum of 55bhp of power.
All these features combined, made the Ambassador Mark I an irresistible choice for any well-to-do Indian at the time. With the success of this car , In 1963 Hindustan Motors decided to bring an upgrade to the Mark I, titled the Ambassador Mark II . The Mark II was mostly distinguished by its new front grilles.