Nostalgia Notes – 5 Vintage Cars
My brother and I used to have a contest on who saw the most number of Toyotas or any other foreign cars in a day, back in the 80s when all we saw were Premier Padminis, Ambassadors and the small Maruti 800s. Today’s kids are excited, bizarrely, when they spot a Herald or a Plymouth. Vintage Cars theyÂ are called! Sighting one of these old cars instantly brings back memories – the Fiat that always broke down on the hills to Tirupati, the Standard 10 that frequently had us getting down and pushing it while our father steered it, hanging our heads out of the Premier PadminiÂ on a chilly night when we returned home after catching a night show, Â squeezing more than 10 passengers into the Ambassador and going for ourÂ cousin’s wedding!!
We present to you 5 vintage cars from the 50s – 90s that strike a chord in us. Share with us your memories of these cars.
The Ambassador evokes many wonderful memories and is reminiscent of an era bygone. The vehicle of choice for the Babus of yesteryears, this ageless beauty was also the go to vehicle for long drives and up hill journeys. It was indeed a truly Indian and a complete family car. The car was very distinct with its bulbous, sturdy body and was in production for over 50 years. Went out of production only recently in 2014.
Standard Herald was a popular car in the 1960s and 70s in India and perhaps was the first car owned by many of the Baby Boomers generation. One of the first things movie makers do, while shooting a period film, is to populate a scene with vintage cars to lend authenticity to the time period that is depicted. Recently, spotted a Standard Herald in the tamil movie Urumeen. Please comment if you remember other movie scenes with the Standard Herald featured.
If you have watched Kaadhalikka NaeramillaiÂ you would remember the Blue & White Plymouth that Muthuraman drives. The car represented the rich boy status of Muthuraman’s character in that movie. A very popular car in the 50s and 60s, the car remains a collector’s delight.
The Standard 10 was produced by Standard Motors in the 50s prior to the Herald. This car was hailed for being nimble and economical when it was launched. This car was named Pennant by the British Standard Motors Company but was launched as Standard 10 in India.
Named after an African antelope, the Impala is one of the most famous and long running brand from the Chevrolet family. The vintage 1960s Impala was popular in India and was the limousine of those days to announce power and position. In later years, the convertible Impala became the vehicle of choice for wedding celebrations. If you got married in the 70s and 80s in South India, you most likely rode the Impala for the “maappillai azhaippu”.
Some of these cars can be still spotted on the streets and some others only in vintage car rallies but wherever we spot them, it is for sure that they evoke fond memories of long drives on the empty highways (sigh!) of those childhood years.