Continued: 10 ”Unusual’ cars of India

Sipani Badal


The company, which started off as Sunrise Auto Industries in 1973 later became Sipani Limited in the 1980’s. The USP of the company was that they made cars out of fibreglass. The Badal is India’s answer to the Reliant Robin (sold in UK). So what is special about it? It had only 3 wheels, two at the back and one upfront, just like an auto. The other unique thing is that it had only 3 doors. Powering it was a 198cc 2 stroke petrol engine mated to a 4 speed manual transmission powering only the rear wheels. The rear wheels only had the brakes & the front wheel was only used for steering. The car wasn’t very successful.

HM Trekker

TrekkerThe Trekker is a unique people mover which was designed by Hindustan Motors. That makes it unique is the fact that they designed this product with left over parts they had from the Ambassador.

The Trekker has a ladder frame chassis. The engine, lights, steering & suspension was borrowed from the Amby. The engine is also the same 1.5 liter on the Amby but this had a 4 speed manual transmission which was floor mounted.



Trishul is one car manufacturer about which there is not much information. What we do know however is that the company was based out of Patna, Bihar and the company put together a Jeep like 4 wheeled vehicle that didn’t have any doors. Powering it was a 500cc single cylinder Lombardini diesel motor. Given its origin, the car was more popular only in the Eastern part of the country.

Tata Spacio


The Spacio is the soft top version of the Tata Sumo. This is a more people carrier oriented vehicle as it has better accessibility, not having any doors. Where the normal Sumo got a 2.0 liter engine, the Spacio borrowed its engine from the Tata 407 truck. It was a 3.0 DI which made 70 bhp. 



India’s Caterham, the Chinkara was powered by an 1800cc Isuzu engine making 90 Bhp. The engine came mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. The car had a space frame chassis & a custom made fibre glass body designed by Guido Bothe from Germany. The car also had many customization options on offer. Because the car was very light, it was capable of doing 0-100 in under 8 seconds and had a top speed of 190 kmph.