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The Full Story of the Hindustan Ambassador

10 November 2014
Hindustan Ambassador

We were sad when we saw that the great Indian Ambassador car ceased production earlier this year, which is one of the reasons we feel we’d like to pay tribute to India’s motoring past with this leisurely cultural road trip across India.

If you haven’t been to India, chances are you don’t know much about the Ambassador car. On the India’s Cup, it’s one of the rally vehicle’s we’re going to use, so here are some fun facts about this classic car!

A British model that became a symbol for India

The Ambassador had its roots in the British Morris Oxford III, but even with its Anglo origin, the car evolved over the decades to become India’s totem car.

The Hindustan Motors of India, the factory built just outside Kolkata, manufactured the iconic car from 1958 to 2014, making the Ambassador the first car to be made in India. Back in the day, having an Ambassador was a status symbol. But it’s not just the legend that makes the Ambassador so quintessentially Indian, but the fact the car was designed specifically for Indian roads, makes it the best choice to drive over the bumpy stretches all over the country. With that many years under its belt, what better car is there for the India’s Cup?

A happy nickname

Being India’s proudest car, it’s natural that the Ambassador has earned a few nicknames or two. It’s known most affectionately as the “Amby” across India, but its pedigree and long history navigating the country, it’s also dubbed as the “Grand Old Lady of Indian Roads”.

Generations of Cars

The Ambassador has seen a transformation over the years from the original 1950s model to the current generation of cars: the Ambassador Classic, Ambassador Grand, Ambassador Avigo and Ambassador Encore.

The World’s Best Taxi

The famous motor show Top Gear praised the Ambassador in its function as a taxi – awarding the Ambassador with the title of “Best Taxi in the World”. This is probably attributed to the Ambassador’s roomy interior in the back, making it a very comfortable passenger car… or simply a car to haul a lot of luggage in.

End of an era

In 2014, only 2200 Ambassadors were sold, and the factory in Kolkata closed down in March, making it a sad end to the reign of India’s iconic car. Once a status symbol in India as one of the country’s must have cars, today it’s decline in popularity meant the end for the Ambassador. One reason behind the downward spiral of the Ambassador is the minimal customisation carried out on the vehicle. With more popular and fancy makes of cars coming to India, it seems the old fashioned charm of the Ambassador no longer carried weight in India.

We’re sad to see the demise of India’s sturdiest car, which is why we want to give the Ambassador back its glory on the India’s Cup as our flagship vehicle. One of the options for your rally vehicle on the India’s Cup is the Ambassador, so even though they’re no longer being made, you can still get to have the true Indian experience navigating the local roads in what we believe is the county’s most iconic car!

Hindustan Ambassador