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Lot 011: Hindustan Ambassador Classic

Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles, Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers (2 March 2011)

The Hindustan Ambassador has been in continuous production since 1958 and perpetuates a tradition that started just after the end of the Second World War when Hindustan Motors began to produce Morris cars under licence from their factory in Calcutta. In 1957 they acquired all the tooling for the contemporary Morris Oxford MkIII and it quickly became the most popular car in India, its simple design, robust construction and high ground clearance making it ideal for the harsh Indian terrain. Painted bright yellow it became the ubiquitous Indian taxi and in white it was the preferred transport for government ministers until just a few years ago.

Although the basic design remained fundamentally unaltered, it was periodically updated and in 1992 gained a powerful 75bhp Isuzu 1.8-litre engine and five-speed gearbox. In 2000 it was updated yet again as the Ambassador Classic with an improved interior, uprated suspension, front disc brakes and various other tweaks.

Dating from 2003, this particular Ambassador Classic has had just one owner from new and has always been looked after by David Darrell of Merlin Garages, the official UK importer. In almost daily use, it has covered around 125,000km (78,000 miles) and has been serviced no fewer than 17 times to date, giving an average service interval of just 4,500 miles. It is said to drive very well and to cruise comfortably at 70mph in fifth.

Originally dark green all over, the car was treated to a lower half respray in light green about five years ago to produce a pleasing two-tone effect more in keeping with the Fifties styling. A Morris mascot has also been added to the bonnet and proper Morris hubcaps fitted. The eagle-eyed among you may spot that it also has an appropriate HA number plate (for Hindustan Ambassador).

The car was featured in 'Practical Classics' magazine in August 2004 and also in 'Classics Monthly' in May 2007 when, after a group test, it was chosen as the car that journalist Andrew Roberts would most like to take home with him  drives with real verve and aplomb& an absolute winner, he wrote. It also features in the video 'Morris Cowley & Oxford 50th Anniversary' which was filmed at Gaydon Motor Museum in May 2004 when a large collection of Morris cars gathered to celebrate the half-century of this famous BMC design. Copies of all these publications are included in the sale, as is the owner's handbook and stamped up service record.

Clearly a much loved example, it comes with a current MOT and tax and is ready to for immediate use.

Lot Details
Auction Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles
Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers, Herefordshire
TypeCar
Lot Number011
Estimate£3000-£4000
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price£2100
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year2003
Condition rating0
Registration numberHA04 MAX
Mileage-
Chassis numberACC863717
Engine number3ELBC076760
Engine capacity (cc)1800
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2