When we examine the history of automobiles in India, we find several brands that introduced unique-looking models. While many were well-received by the public, some were discontinued after a few years. One such innovative manufacturer was Sipani, which developed a distinctive vehicle called the Badal. The Badal was India’s first three-wheeled car. In this video, we can see this 3-wheeler car from the 80s, and the remarkable part is that it is still operational.
The video has been uploaded by the Wheels on Road YouTube channel. The Sipani Badal was initially launched in 1975 by Sipani, formerly known as Sunrise Automotive Industries Ltd. During that time, popular manufacturers like Hindustan Motors, Premier, Standard, and Fiat were present in the Indian market. Sipani aimed to create a product that differed from these models and was more affordable.
For obvious reasons, it became known as India’s Reliant Robin. Sipani obtained a license to manufacture small cars and partnered with the UK-based manufacturer Reliant. After observing the Robin, Sipani drew inspiration and began developing a similar model. The Sipani Badal was an indigenous vehicle, with none of its parts shared with the Reliant Robin.
The Sipani Badal featured in the video appears to be in less-than-ideal condition. As the car’s body was constructed from fiberglass, there are no issues with rust. However, this also created a problem as it didn’t provide a clean appearance. The car’s frame was made of metal, but the rest was composed of fiberglass. The car’s windows were of the flap type, allowing occupants to push and fold the window glass to let air into the cabin.
Based on the video, it seems that the car was parked in a garage specializing in the restoration of old or vintage cars. This particular model was not widely popular among people due to several reasons. One of these reasons was its design, and another was its build quality. The car’s proportions were not well-balanced, and there were cases where the front wheel broke when subjected to excessive weight.
The car had two front doors, and the interior was very basic. The front had regular seats with a floor-mounted gear lever. The rear had bench seats capable of accommodating up to four passengers, according to the vlogger. The engine of this car was positioned at the rear, and there were clamps holding the cover over the engine in place.
The video also captures the sound of the car. It utilizes a 200-cc, 2-stroke engine that was once used in scooters during that era. It does not produce significant power or torque (around 12 Bhp). it is paired with a 3-speed manual gearbox. Additionally, the video showcases the car in motion. Due to its design, the Sipani Badal cannot be turned as easily as conventional cars. If turned too quickly, there is a risk of flipping the car. The driver cautiously maneuvers the car out of the garage, takes it outside, and then executes a turn to return.