The Maruti 800 is a legendary vehicle that transformed the automotive industry by introducing affordable cars, enabling Maruti Suzuki to capture a significant market share. To this day, Maruti Suzuki remains the market leader. The inaugural Maruti 800 was manufactured in 1983, and nearly four decades later, it continues to hold a special place in the hearts of many. In a recent gesture of respect, Maruti Suzuki India paid homage to the model by refurbishing and exhibiting the very first model produced. The completely restored car now proudly stands on exhibit at Maruti Suzuki’s headquarters in Delhi. Here, we have a set of images that show how the small hatchback looks after restoration work.
The first car was delivered to Mr. Harpal Singh, an Indian Airlines employee. The keys to India’s first Maruti 800 were handed over by the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, herself. Harpal used the car for years, even when other options became available in the market. Mr. Harpal Singh passed away in 2010, and his wife passed away in 2012. After the couple’s deaths, their children did not use the car, and it was abandoned. A few pictures of this car in an abandoned state started surfacing on the internet, which caught the attention of many people. Maruti also came across the pictures and then decided to buy the car back from the then-owners. Maruti Suzuki got the car back to its original form with all the genuine spare parts and components.
As seen in the pictures, here the metal parts that were used on the car were all restored to its original state. As the car was abandoned for years, we expect that the metal parts on the car had rust issues, and some of these panels were replaced instead of being repaired. The bumper, bonnet, headlamps, and turn indicators were all replaced as part of the project. Even the interior of this small family hatchback has been completely restored.
The car came with a basic interior. The starting price for a brand new Maruti 800 back in 1983 was around Rs 48,000. The 800 was available in three variants: Standard, AC, and Deluxe. The basic interior on the Maruti 800 seen here in the pictures looks good even today. It gives you a retro and clean look. Although the car is quite old, the interior does look charming. Even the instrument cluster has been restored. Would we like to drive a basic car like this today? I don’t think so. Most modern cars that are available in the market have a variety of features like an infotainment screen, electronic safety aids, and so on.
The upholstery on the seats has been redone too. The seats, both at the front and rear, get leatherette or rexin material with a fabric portion in the middle. The fabric has check design elements, and it is differentiated using a red piping. Just like the exterior, this combination also gives a retro vibe. The manual lever to roll up and down the window is also seen here in the pictures. Maruti 800 was offered with a 796-cc, 3-cylinder petrol engine that generated 39.5 Ps and 59 Nm of peak torque.