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India’s First Maruti 800 is Getting Restored, Indira Gandhi Handed the Keys 36 Years Ago

Owned by Harpal Singh, the white coloured hatchback was the first Maruti 800 to roll-out of the production line of the largest car manufacturer in India.

Arjit Garg | News18.comArjit_Garg

Updated:February 19, 2019, 3:06 PM IST
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India’s First Maruti 800 is Getting Restored, Indira Gandhi Handed the Keys 36 Years Ago
India's 1st Maruti 800 getting restored. (Source - Team BHP)
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India, often called the ‘Land of Maharajas’ is no alien to vintage restored cars. India is home to a large number of perfectly restored vintage cars, some of them as old as early 1900’s. But there’s one car bearing a number plate DIA 6479 that’s not vintage, yet holds an utmost significance to the growth in the Indian automobile industry. Owned by Harpal Singh, the white coloured hatchback was the first Maruti 800 to roll-out of the production line of the largest car manufacturer in India.

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Also called the SS80, the Maruti 800 was the first mass produced affordable family car in India and Harpal Singh won the car in a lucky draw. The keys were handed by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to Delhi-based Harpal Singh himself.

Harpal Singh with his Maruti 800. (Source - Team BHP) Harpal Singh with his Maruti 800. (Source - Team BHP)

Launched under the collaboration of Indian Government’s Maruti Udyog Ltd. and Japanese Suzuki Motor Corp, the 800 went onto become a massive success, making Maruti Suzuki the household name in India. However, this particular unit remained a legend for long, before ending up in the streets of Delhi, after Harpal Singh’s death.

The good news though is, a Maruti Suzuki service center is restoring the India’s first Maruti 800 as some images have surfaced online. There’s no detail on who is getting the car restored or where will it end up after restoration is over. But we’ll bring you more details after the restoration job is done.

Maruti 800 in Green Park, Delhi. (Source - Team BHP) Maruti 800 in Green Park, Delhi. (Source - Team BHP)

The Maruti 800 was powered by a 796cc, 3 cylinder F8D petrol engine producing 35 Bhp on the first generation 800. It was later raised to 45 Bhp on the 5-speed MPFI model. The present Alto 800 uses the same reworked version of the F8D engine producing 47 Bhp and 69 Nm.

Source - Team BHP
| Edited by: Arjit Garg
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