India has played host to many cars that were lesser known, and some completely unknown. Here are some such cars.
The 2+2 convertible car has been the most successful car from the British manufacturer till date but not so successful in the market. There are 431 units of the car ever made and it came to mass market as an alternative to high-end Mazda MX-5. Quantum came to India and the cars were sold through a dealership in Mumbai in 1997.
The car came with a very attractive offer in India. If 9 Quantums were booked at once, the 10th Quantum booking amount would be waived off. Sadly, there is not a single car to find on the Indian roads or on the Internet.
The Mahindra Legend is an SUV based on the 1953 model of Willys MD-M38A1. The Willys was primarily used during the USA-Korean war. The SUV came with the body of MM-540/550 and a big moniker on the fender.
The Legend was powered by 2,523cc direct injection diesel engine that was also available with the Bolero Camper at that time. It featured 16-inch wheels, roll cage, 4 auxiliary lights on the roof, manual steering without any power-assist. Only 60 examples of the car were made and it came with a price tag of Rs. 6 lakh in 2006. The car literally does not exist on modern Indian roads.
Tata made the Nano as India’s cheapest car. Much before the Nano, Tata started working on a concept microcar known as Zing. The car was conceptualised after the success of Tata Indica, which was Tata’s first small car.
The Zing came to light in 2000 when Tata said that the company is studying the market for launching the car. This car can be termed as the inspiration behind Tata Nano. The car was never launched because the market studies did not respond well to the microcar at that time.
Tata Aria coupe
We may know the Aria as a Tata MUV but long before this, the name was reserved for a Tata sports car. It was a convertible that was showcased at Geneva Motor Show in 2001.
The car was a serious project at that time and the Tata boss, Mr Ratan Tata said that the company is searching for locations to produce this car. Tata was planning to sell the Aria coupe mostly in the international markets but the car never rolled out of Tata’s production line.
Hindustan Mini Ambassador
The growing unpopularity of the Hindustan Ambassador forced the company to take many desperate steps. One of them was the sub 4 metre Ambassador. The smaller car would have attracted a lower excise duty and the price of the car would have fallen substantially.
The car with a shorter rear boot was even caught testing on the Indian roads. Hindustan motor was very near to the launch of the car but finally decided to go against it.