A Tribute to the Cars of the 80s & 90s in India

Fiat Padmini

We all love cars don’t we? Cars are not only an essential part of our life nowadays, they are much more than that. But in India, we are not very good at keeping our history alive in terms of the automobile industry. Very few people in India have the craze for older cars which were once a part of our everyday life.

It’s not that the cars we used in India were not good… It’s just that most of the people here want to get rid of the old scrap and get a new shiny toy for themselves. I agree with the fact that we need to grow but without realizing (which is actually not our fault) we are throwing away the most beautiful memories and wheels of all time. I get it, not everyone is rich, but even people who can afford our old beauties won’t care for the same and trust me; these old vehicles are not that expensive… YET. We all are following western culture in one way or other in terms of food, fashion, and lifestyle, and eventually we’ll also start caring for the cars which once use to live in all our hearts. When that time comes, it will be too late for many people to realize the true value of India’s historic wheels.

But let’s hope for the best. I am from a middle-class family and the reason I am writing this blog is that I wish to sit in these old time good looking vehicles once again and feel nostalgic about the time when I was little, when backseats of these cars used to be my playground, when families were united and used to travel in the same car no matter what the family size was. 80s and early 90s people will surely understand my point of view.

It’s time now to re-live the moments of our childhood days and I just wish I could see these vintages on Indian roads in the near future.

Fiat Premier Padmini: 1964 to 2000 

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Luckily, this beauty has still maintained its place in many hearts. I make sure every time I go to Mumbai I travel in a Fiat Padmini; hats-off to the taxi-drivers in Mumbai for still keeping the Fiat legacy alive and keeping a beautiful old time family car alive.

HM Contessa: 1983-2002 

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It’s one of my personal favourites. Contessa was also known as the muscle car of India. It was beautifully designed, comfortable and spacious. If ever given a chance, I will buy this car for sure.

Maruti 800 DX: 1983 – 1990 

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Not only was this our beloved Maruti 800’s first generation but also Suzuki’s first step in India. No doubt its the first car for many Indians including my Dad.

Maruti 1000: 1984 – 1990

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This car ruled the roads of India. One of the sexiest looking sedans of 80s and 90s, I’m sure many people still drive the much-much updated version of the Maruti 1000 – the Maruti Esteem.

Daewoo Cielo: 1994–1997

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Daewoo Motors launched Cielo in India in 1994 and it became the choice of every man who could afford it at that time. Cielo was all about perfect luxury; it was doing well in India but not in the other parts of the world. Daewoo Motors was sold to GM Motors in 2001 after bankruptcy, but the Cielo still rules our hearts.

Daewoo Matiz: 1998-2001

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Daewoo Motors ‘Matiz’ was on the verge of becoming one of the most popular choices for small cars after Maruti800 but then came the Hyundai Santro which became so popular that people started saying it’s the doom of Maruti in India now. So Matiz remained the underdog.

Did You Know:
Chevrolet Beat is from the bloodline of Matiz.

Premiere NE: 1985 – 1966

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I never liked this one, but i don’t know why people were crazy about the NE. At one time Premiere NE was one of the best selling cars in India. It was because of its powerful engine and solid body.

Other mentionable entries are:
• Ford Escort
• Opel Astra
• Tata Sierra

My list ends here, but I would love to know the cars you loved in the comments. Also, feel free to subscribe to A2W Newsletter which is 100% Spam Free.

Vroom Vroom
Ankit Malik (aKi)