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The Hindustan Ambassador is a car manufactured by Hindustan Motors of India.

It has
been in production since 1948 with few modifications or changes and is based on the
Morris Oxford III model first made by the Morris Motor Company at Cowley, Oxford in
the United Kingdom from 1946 to 1959.

Despite its British origins, the Ambassador is considered as a definitive Indian car and is
fondly called "The king of Indian roads". The automobile is manufactured by Hindustan
Motors at its Uttarpara plant[1] near Kolkata, West Bengal. It was the most popular car in
India and is perceived to be best suited to the harsh Indian terrain due to its very good
suspension.[citation needed] Its iconic status was helped by the fact that it was the preferred
means of conveyance of India's political leadership, including the Prime Minister of
India, before they moved on to other luxury cars and SUVs.[citation needed] In 2002, then-
Indian PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee started traveling in an armored BMW 7 Series for
security purposes. However, some prominent Indian politicians, such as Sonia Gandhi,
continue with their preference for the Hindustan Ambassador.[2]


• 1 Origins
• 2 Evolution
o 2.1 Ambassador Mark I to Mark IV
o 2.2 Ambassador Nova
o 2.3 Ambassador 1800 ISZ
o 2.4 Ambassador Classic
• 3 Avigo
• 4 Engines
• 5 Extended version
• 6 Customized version
• 7 UK imports
• 8 References

• 9 External links

[edit] Origins
When the Birlas wanted a new model to replace their already old Hindustan models based
on Morris Oxford Series II (Hindustan Landmaster), they scouted for the then-new
Morris Oxford Series III. The car initially came with a side-valve engine but was later
improved to an overhead-valve engine. Also the car at that point was quite an innovation
with a fully enclosed monocoque chassis, which is why it is spacious inside.

Hindustan Motors Limited (HM), India's pioneering automobile manufacturing company

and flagship company of the C.K. Birla Group, was established just before Indian
independence, in 1942 by B.M. Birla. They began operations in a small assembly plant in
Port Okha near Gujarat,

[edit] Evolution
The Amby, as it is affectionately called, has been in continuous production since its
inception, with very few changes to its frame.

In 1948, Hindustan Motors shifted its assembly plant from Port Okha in Gujarat to
Uttarpara in West Bengal's Hooghly district and strengthened its manufacturing capacity
in the automobile segment.

The 1954 Morris Oxford series II in India was licence-built at Uttarpara, (Hooghly dist.),
West Bengal, three years after its debut in England and labelled as the 1957 Hindustan
Landmaster. It had a rounded rear squab and a curvaceous sloping hood.

Engaged in the manufacture of the Ambassador, Contessa and utility vehicles like the
Trekker, Porter and Pushpak, the plant also has to its credit, many innovations and
improvements in the automobile industry in India. Hindustan Motors is the only
manufacturing facility in the world to manufacture parts for Bedford trucks currently.

[edit] Ambassador Mark I to Mark IV

In 1957 all the tooling of the British Morris Oxford Series III was transferred to India.
The car was renamed the Ambassador and series-production started in 1957.

Styling changes from the Morris Oxford series II (Landmaster) to Morris Oxford series
III (Ambassador) included deep headlamp cowls and small rear wing "tail fins" – all the
rage in 1956. The dashboard and steering wheel were completely redesigned. The
Landmaster's flat-plane two spoke steering wheel gave way to a stylish dished steering
wheel with three spokes made-up of four wires per spoke, for the Ambassador. Also a
new, dimpled hood made its debut. These models had a 1489 cc side-valve BMC B series
petrol engine. In 1959 the side-valve engine was replaced by a 1489 cc, 55 bhp overhead-
valve BMC B series petrol engine.

In 1963, it underwent a minor frontal facelift with a closely chequered grill and was
named as the Ambassador Mark II. Like with other British designed Mark cars, while
there was never really any Ambassador Mark I, the arrival of the Mark II got people
calling the older model, Mark I.

In 1975, another minor facelift to the same grille and a much bigger frontal facelift was
turned out as the Mark 3, the most popular face of the Ambassador.

In 1979, the Ambassador got another facelift with a smaller chequered grill and square
park lamps and separate blinker lamps. This model was named as Mark 4. In addition to
the existing petrol version, a diesel variant was launched which was powered by a 1500
cc, 37 bhp BMC B series diesel engine. It was the first diesel car in India and was well
received by the Indians. Mark 4 was the last of the Mark cars. Later it was renamed
Ambassador Nova. The Ambassador of 1990 was virtually identical to the original, with
most changes being cosmetic. This technological stagnation was mainly because of the
protectionistic policies being pursued by the Indian government at the time, and there was
little willingness on the part of Indian companies to innovate.

[edit] Ambassador Nova

The Ambassador Nova was launched in early the '90s in two variants – a 55 bhp petrol-
powered Deluxe version and a 37 bhp diesel-powered Diesel DX version. Ambassador
Nova had a newly designed steering wheel, new steering column, better brakes and
electricals. It also had some cosmetic changes which included a new radiator grill.

[edit] Ambassador 1800 ISZ

Ambassador White Classic on the roads of New Delhi

In an attempt to increase its appeal,in 1992 another version was released. Dubbed the
Ambassador 1800 ISZ, this model featured a 75 bhp 1800 cc Isuzu engine and a 5-speed
gearbox, and also had the option of bucket seats, as opposed to the earlier bench seats.
Also, the entire dashboard was redesigned. Instrumentation panels were shifted from the
centre of the dashboard to the right, behind the steering wheel. Seat belts became
mandatory. At that time no Indian car had such a powerful engine and it was the fastest
Indian car of its time[citation needed].

[edit] Ambassador Classic

After the millennium renovation project at the Uttarpara Plant, the Ambassador was re-
engineered and renamed the Ambassador Classic. The new model featured a redesigned
dashboard, polyurethane seats, pull type door handles and the steering column gear lever
was replaced by floor shift gears and had a tweaked up suspension. The higher end
models featured servo assisted disc brakes and power assisted TRW steering.

The Avigo is the most radical revision of the venerated Ambassador, a part of a brand
revitalization kicked off in the middle of 2003. The change of name, a break from the
Ambassador marque, indicated a different marketing strategy. The Avigo was launched
in the summer of 2004. The revitalized lineup consisted of the Ambassador Classic of
mid-2003, the Ambassador Grand of late-2003, and the aforementioned Avigo, designed
by Manvindra Singh. Car enthusiasts, however, see this merely as a desperate attempt to
claw back ever-dwindling market share. Notable influences on the new design include the
new Mini, and even the Porsche 356. However, the most overpowering influence on the
front and bonnet has been that of the original Landmaster series (also based on Morris
Oxford). The rear of the car has been left untouched, and this leads some to feel that the
car is not really different from an Ambassador. Retro-car enthusiasts would have
preferred a rounded back (without the small fins), while as a current car, the regular-look
Ambassador is very good itself.[citation needed] The Avigo, however, has much more classic-
touch internals, like a centrally mounted console (like the Mark IV models), beige-
colored seats and wood-grain interiors.