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WHAT A GREAT RIDE, GIRL

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DAILY DOSE BY Bikram Vohra for Asian Lite, the best newspaper for NRIs and the Indian diaspora

Car 1

The Ambassador has come to a standstill. No more production. Officially the end of an era.
What a car, what a magnificent history. All you needed was a wet cloth, a piece of sand paper and some string with a little bit of chewing gum to block little leaks and she would make it up to Shimla at 7000 feet without a murmer, ten people inside. Sitting on each other’s knees was a given and many a romance was begun in the back seats of this great car. No pick up, no doodahs, nothing, just so damn functional. Even the mechanic could do nothing to mess you with the simple overhead valve engine, about as simple as a lego set.
Based on the British Morris the ‘Amby’ brings us great memories. Of holidays, of cavalcades and shopping sprees. Of after party parties and gang drives, of space and ten suitcases on the rack. The only car which allowed you to enter it with dignity and you did not have to fold up like an accordion to get into it. 


Those days there was the Fiat and the Standard Herald and nothing else. The Amby ruled.
Then came the invasion and the old girl struggled along as her turf was invaded. Those of us who grew up with her still retained that affection. To the next generation she was a dinosaur, so déclassé but no one knew how awesome she had been in her prime.
We bought our first new car for Rs 10,000.
And now she has been consigned to the pages of history. All these little upstart vehicles pushing and shoving her off like ill-bred nephews snubbing an old aunt, what do they know of the Ambassador and her glory days, when she was queen and as loyal as the king’s courtier. 


Goodbye old girl, you gave us a heck of a ride.