The car that was not mine | Forum

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hari1941
hari1941 Dec 5

The car that was not mine.

 

I do not know about others but I used to have a strange feeling about a car that was not mine but likely to be mine some day.

Well we never had a family car. Not even a two wheeler. Couldn't afford one. My father, single earner, meager salary, family of five, rented house and other contingencies made it impossible and socially laughable to think of a car or a two wheeler as far as he was concerned.

But I had musings which reflected in my holding the steering wheel of my driver uncle's truck and pretending to drive the only car we had in the neighborhood. I still remember- it was Morris Minor, dark tan with navy blue upholstery.

Well time moves and after some 10 years of hard work in the field on a two wheeler provided by my generous employer to save money on third party service providers- rickshaw, auto or taxi, I was promoted to the position of Regional Manager and entitled to a second hand car which was in use of one of the high ranking employee for 5 years and prior to that was in the use of one of members of the founder of the company. Traditionally, new cars were purchased for the founder or his family member and after few years passed on to some high ranking employee and then to another not so high ranking employee.

Those of my time at work during seventies and eighties will remember how difficult it was to own a car or for that matter even a scooter.  There was a long waiting period after formal registration and those would or could not wait purchased at premium in the open market. Thus Standard Herald, Ambassador and Padmini cars were sold immediately after allotment at double the purchase price in the black market. Same for Bajaj and Lambretta  scooters.

These cars were for life, unlike today when cars are replaced faster than suits.

So it is understandable why there were few cars and long waiting list and that is one of the reasons I got it after 10 years of waiting, notwithstanding my love for cars.

Maruti changed everything. Thanks to Sanjay Gandhi and his mechanic friend Bansi. Their car project did not take off but it did flare the imagination of many. The project was taken over by Suzuki who entered hungry Indian car market with Maruti 800 in 1983. By 1990 more companies entered and test is history.

To be honest I was looking forward to it. 10 years is a long period in the life of a car lover, particularly when he had none. I was expecting this promotion because our Regional Manager had resigned and I was next in the line. The car he was using was old enough to be discarded and moreover one of the founder's family members needed a new car and as I said tradition prevailed.

Therefore, I had already started to what they say refreshing up myself on my driving skills which were lying dormant for some years now after I learnt driving and obtained a driving license in the hope that one day I will drive my own car. I learnt my driving holding the steering wheel of Ambassador Car.

Needless to say that my first car was Ambassador 10 years old, still young with minor tantrums, white, grey upholstery. It needed some touch ups here and there and since it was company maintained, that was not an issue. Another advantage was that car mechanics were available at every nook and corner not only in the city but all over India. Yet how grudgingly I envied my boss who was now allotted a blue Contessa.

One advantage of being allotted with used cars was every time I got a different model. So for next 10 years I drove Fiat, Maruti 800, Maruti Zen, Baleno, Wagon R. Every time I had a change, it was all excitement and eagerness to touch and feel the sensation of taking it on the high way all by and for myself.

If that was the excitement and feeling for a used car one can imagine the high pitch for a new one!  It was only on April 14, 1995 that I got car of my choice Maruti Esteem, brand new, sleek, navy blue and golden brown upholstery. I do not know much about the machine except the steering, gears, accelerator, break, lights and of course starting switch. I don’t own a car now because I do not drive anymore.

There are around 10 car manufacturers in the country now each having 5 to 10 models. Added to that are easily available imported cars. I have since travelled in many of them. That strange feeling no more exists. Why? May be I cannot drive them? Or because too many of anything make it monotonous? 

But that Moriss Minor still has a special place.

 

 

 

 

The car that was not mine.I do not know about others but I used to have a strange feeling about a car that was not mine but likely to be mine some day. Well we never had a family car. Not even a two wheeler. Couldn't afford one. My father, single earner, meager salary, family of five, rented house and other contingencies made it impossible and socially laughable to think of a car or a two wheeler as far as he was concerned.But I had musings which reflected in my holding the steering wheel of my driver uncle's truck and pretending to drive the only car we had in the neighborhood. I still remember- it was Morris Minor, dark tan with navy blue upholstery.Well time moves and after some 10 years of hard work in the field on a two wheeler provided by my generous employer to save money on third party service providers- rickshaw, auto or taxi, I was promoted to the position of Regional Manager and entitled to a second hand car which was in use of one of the high ranking employee for 5 years and prior to that was in the use of one of members of the founder of the company. Traditionally, new cars were purchased for the founder or his family member and after few years passed on to some high ranking employee and then to another not so high ranking employee. Those of my time at work during seventies and eighties will remember how difficult it was to own a car or for that matter even a scooter.  There was a long waiting period after formal registration and those would or could not wait purchased at premium in the open market. Thus Standard Herald, Ambassador and Padmini cars were sold immediately after allotment at double the purchase price in the black market. Same for Bajaj and Lambretta scooters.These cars were for life, unlike today when cars are replaced faster than suits. So it is understandable why there were few cars and long waiting list and that is one of the reasons I got it after 10 years of waiting, notwithstanding my love for cars.Maruti changed everything. Thanks to Sanjay Gandhi and his mechanic friend Bansi. Their car project did not take off but it did flare the imagination of many. The project was taken over by Suzuki who entered hungry Indian car market with Maruti 800 in 1983. By 1990 more companies entered and test is history. To be honest I was looking forward to it. 10 years is a long period in the life of a car lover, particularly when he had none. I was expecting this promotion because our Regional Manager had resigned and I was next in the line. The car he was using was old enough to be discarded and moreover one of the founder's family members needed a new car and as I said tradition prevailed. Therefore, I had already started to what they say refreshing up myself on my driving skills which were lying dormant for some years now after I learnt driving and obtained a driving license in the hope that one day I will drive my own car. I learnt my driving holding the steering wheel of Ambassador Car.Needless to say that my first car was Ambassador 10 years old, still young with minor tantrums, white, grey upholstery. It needed some touch ups here and there and since it was company maintained, that was not an issue. Another advantage was that car mechanics were available at every nook and corner not only in the city but all over India. Yet how grudgingly I envied my boss who was now allotted a blue Contessa. One advantage of being allotted with used cars was every time I got a different model. So next 10 years I drove Fiat, Maruti 800, Maruti Zen, Baleno, Wagon R. Every time I had a change, it was all excitement and eagerness to touch and feel the sensation of taking it on the high way all by and for myself. If that was the excitement and feeling for a used car one can imagine the high pitch for a new one!  It was only on April 14, 1995 that I got car of my choice Maruti Esteem, brand new, sleek, navy blue and golden brown upholstery. I do not know much about the machine except the steering, gears, accelerator, break, lights and of course starting switch. I don’t own a car now because I do not drive anymore. There are around 10 car manufacturers in the country now each having 5 to 10 models. Added to that are easily available imported cars. I have since travelled in many of them. That strange feeling no more exists. Why? May be I cannot drive them? Or because too many of anything make it monotonous? 
But that Morris Minor still has a special place.





The car that was not mine.I do not know about others but I used to have a strange feeling about a car that was not mine but likely to be mine some day. Well we never had a family car. Not even a two wheeler. Couldn't afford one. My father, single earner, meager salary, family of five, rented house and other contingencies made it impossible and socially laughable to think of a car or a two wheeler as far as he was concerned.But I had musings which reflected in my holding the steering wheel of my driver uncle's truck and pretending to drive the only car we had in the neighborhood. I still remember- it was Morris Minor, dark tan with navy blue upholstery.Well time moves and after some 10 years of hard work in the field on a two wheeler provided by my generous employer to save money on third party service providers- rickshaw, auto or taxi, I was promoted to the position of Regional Manager and entitled to a second hand car which was in use of one of the high ranking employee for 5 years and prior to that was in the use of one of members of the founder of the company. Traditionally, new cars were purchased for the founder or his family member and after few years passed on to some high ranking employee and then to another not so high ranking employee. Those of my time at work during seventies and eighties will remember how difficult it was to own a car or for that matter even a scooter.  There was a long waiting period after formal registration and those would or could not wait purchased at premium in the open market. Thus Standard Herald, Ambassador and Padmini cars were sold immediately after allotment at double the purchase price in the black market. Same for Bajaj and Lambretta scooters.These cars were for life, unlike today when cars are replaced faster than suits. So it is understandable why there were few cars and long waiting list and that is one of the reasons I got it after 10 years of waiting, notwithstanding my love for cars.Maruti changed everything. Thanks to Sanjay Gandhi and his mechanic friend Bansi. Their car project did not take off but it did flare the imagination of many. The project was taken over by Suzuki who entered hungry Indian car market with Maruti 800 in 1983. By 1990 more companies entered and test is history. To be honest I was looking forward to it. 10 years is a long period in the life of a car lover, particularly when he had none. I was expecting this promotion because our Regional Manager had resigned and I was next in the line. The car he was using was old enough to be discarded and moreover one of the founder's family members needed a new car and as I said tradition prevailed. Therefore, I had already started to what they say refreshing up myself on my driving skills which were lying dormant for some years now after I learnt driving and obtained a driving license in the hope that one day I will drive my own car. I learnt my driving holding the steering wheel of Ambassador Car.Needless to say that my first car was Ambassador 10 years old, still young with minor tantrums, white, grey upholstery. It needed some touch ups here and there and since it was company maintained, that was not an issue. Another advantage was that car mechanics were available at every nook and corner not only in the city but all over India. Yet how grudgingly I envied my boss who was now allotted a blue Contessa. One advantage of being allotted with used cars was every time I got a different model. So next 10 years I drove Fiat, Maruti 800, Maruti Zen, Baleno, Wagon R. Every time I had a change, it was all excitement and eagerness to touch and feel the sensation of taking it on the high way all by and for myself. If that was the excitement and feeling for a used car one can imagine the high pitch for a new one!  It was only on April 14, 1995 that I got car of my choice Maruti Esteem, brand new, sleek, navy blue and golden brown upholstery. I do not know much about the machine except the steering, gears, accelerator, break, lights and of course starting switch. I don’t own a car now because I do not drive anymore. There are around 10 car manufacturers in the country now each having 5 to 10 models. Added to that are easily available imported cars. I have since travelled in many of them. That strange feeling no more exists. Why? May be I cannot drive them? Or because too many of anything make it monotonous? 
But that Morris Minor still has a special place.





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VAS
VAS Yesterday, 07:29

My dear Cowboy,

  Very interesting memories indeed. My father was a small agriculturist & je used to buy second bi cycles & we all learned to drive bi cycle.At the age of 16  i got a bi cycle for me to go to school that was 7KM from our house. I was tempted to drive tractor but they never allowed me in our village.While studying in Polytechnic 2nd year in 1970 our Automobile dept bought a 2nd hand Jeep.One day when i was in Auto lab our HOD asked that any one drive Jeep.I told i can & i took him to university.While returning he asked me when i learned driving?,i told him that day only.He first shouted then praised my confidence.1972 when i was working in Chennai my friend took me in his elder brother Lamby scooter. I requested him to give me a chance to drive in Thousand light area in Chennai.With hesitation he gave me & i have driven 2 wheeler 1st time successfully in the heart of Chennai city.

 in 1982 when i was in Assam/Gwahati working in TELCO as manager service i bought the new Lamby scooter & all my family in native place so happy to hear that news.I came to Chennai in 1984 & one day i traveled 180KM from Chennai to my native place with my wife & 2 kids.I drove with all my family members.My mother & sister enjoyed the small distance ride so happily.

 1984 i joined AshokLeyland & used my scooter extensively.

 1980 to 84 i was posted in Delhi & i was given a jeep from office.Used it to see almost all North India officially & personally with family by filling diesel from my pocket.

 !984 to 89 i was posted as Regional Service Engineer in Madurai & given a Jeep.Used it extensively officially & personally with colleague families get together very often. Even now many of them remembering & praising us that wonderful family get together in various sight seeing places in TN,Kerala.

 1995 i too bought a 2 Yr used Maruthi Esteem when my boss used Zen car given by company.Traveled & enjoyed a lot to many places with family.I was the first person to buy a car among my all relations.

 2005 i bought a 1 Yr used Honda City ZX grey color & still using/driving.Used this Honda city too extensively to see many sight seeing places in Southern states.

 

rameshsinghal
rameshsinghal Yesterday, 16:37
I Joined TELCO as Graduare trainee and was apoointed in april 1956.On getting first bonus in 1957,I took fancy to a

old BSA motorcycle and bargained for Rs.850/-and happily wrote to my father.back came the reply that my mother is against and to meet your requirements we shall buy a second hand car but you will have to maintain.Thus in 1957 I got an old Austin A40-car which I used till middle of 1968 when 

I got an Ambassador brand new from show room which I used till end 1987.Then I became entitle for a co.car with driver.In feb.I got a fiat 1100

and retired in 1992 and brought the car with me at Lucknow.I hardly have any adventure with a car.Of-course I never drove a two wheeler and 

have notallowed my sons also to have a two wheeler

The Forum post is edited by rameshsinghal Yesterday, 16:43
hari1941
hari1941 3 hours ago

Quote from VAS

My dear Cowboy,

  Very interesting memories indeed. My father was a small agriculturist & je used to buy second bi cycles & we all learned to drive bi cycle.At the age of 16  i got a bi cycle for me to go to school that was 7KM from our house. I was tempted to drive tractor but they never allowed me in our village.While studying in Polytechnic 2nd year in 1970 our Automobile dept bought a 2nd hand Jeep.One day when i was in Auto lab our HOD asked that any one drive Jeep.I told i can & i took him to university.While returning he asked me when i learned driving?,i told him that day only.He first shouted then praised my confidence.1972 when i was working in Chennai my friend took me in his elder brother Lamby scooter. I requested him to give me a chance to drive in Thousand light area in Chennai.With hesitation he gave me & i have driven 2 wheeler 1st time successfully in the heart of Chennai city.

 in 1982 when i was in Assam/Gwahati working in TELCO as manager service i bought the new Lamby scooter & all my family in native place so happy to hear that news.I came to Chennai in 1984 & one day i traveled 180KM from Chennai to my native place with my wife & 2 kids.I drove with all my family members.My mother & sister enjoyed the small distance ride so happily.

 1984 i joined AshokLeyland & used my scooter extensively.

 1980 to 84 i was posted in Delhi & i was given a jeep from office.Used it to see almost all North India officially & personally with family by filling diesel from my pocket.

 !984 to 89 i was posted as Regional Service Engineer in Madurai & given a Jeep.Used it extensively officially & personally with colleague families get together very often. Even now many of them remembering & praising us that wonderful family get together in various sight seeing places in TN,Kerala.

 1995 i too bought a 2 Yr used Maruthi Esteem when my boss used Zen car given by company.Traveled & enjoyed a lot to many places with family.I was the first person to buy a car among my all relations.

 2005 i bought a 1 Yr used Honda City ZX grey color & still using/driving.Used this Honda city too extensively to see many sight seeing places in Southern states.

 


VAS,

Most of us have similar story. I also come from a farming family but my father had a Government job and therefore mostly lived in town. School was on walking distance. The town itself was small, may be just five kilometer then. Hired cycle for an hour for an anna to learn cycling, I Had to buy a cycle when I joined college in another big city and college was some four miles from the place I lived at. After two years in job, purchased one Vespa, second hand for personal use, as for official use company provided a scooter. Rest is history.

hari1941
hari1941 3 hours ago

Quote from rameshsinghal I Joined TELCO as Graduare trainee and was apoointed in april 1956.On getting first bonus in 1957,I took fancy to a

old BSA motorcycle and bargained for Rs.850/-and happily wrote to my father.back came the reply that my mother is against and to meet your requirements we shall buy a second hand car but you will have to maintain.Thus in 1957 I got an old Austin A40-car which I used till middle of 1968 when 

I got an Ambassador brand new from show room which I used till end 1987.Then I became entitle for a co.car with driver.In feb.I got a fiat 1100

and retired in 1992 and brought the car with me at Lucknow.I hardly have any adventure with a car.Of-course I never drove a two wheeler and 

have notallowed my sons also to have a two wheeler


Good. I drove two wheelers for almost 10 years. It included scooters, Vespa, Bajaj, Lambretta, Lamby, Bobby, Rajdoot Motor cycle and enjoyed. It was easy to drive on busy roads, narrow roads, park anywhere. In those days there was no rule for helmet also but I used one. Met two minor accidents also. All in the game.