The Morris Motors sent Morris Oxford as an ambassador to India. But it soon became a permanent representative in the country, and the symbolic car of India — the Hindustan Ambassador was born. Once the king of Indian roads, an Ambassador is the adaptation of UK manufactured Morris Oxford III or the Hindustan Landmaster. Owning this UK imported car is Pradeep Bindiganavile Achuth, an employee of Lufthansa.
It was in 2000 that Pradeep cast his eye on the English beauty. “I had just began working then and I used to travel in a bus. While in the bus, I used to see a Hindustan Landmaster parked every day near Cunningham Road. I fell in love with this car,” says Pradeep. Love was definitely in the air as Pradeep got a chance to see the car closely once at Rajajinagar. “The car was parked and I wasn’t sure if it was the same car. Either ways, I went and spoke to the owner and learnt that he was ready to sell the car for Rs 90,000,” he says.
Not wasting much time, Pradeep worked towards getting his love and he applied for an immediate loan. “But the car did not have the paper work from 1970 cleared. I did not want to be stopped by any cop and hence I had to let go of it. But I requested the owner to keep the advance money and get the paper work done,” he explains. However, the advance money was returned and Pradeep left disappointed. But he was soon united with his love as the owner of the Landmaster got back to Pradeep with up-to-date paper work in the next three months.
Becoming its new owner, Pradeep took the car to an old service station at Cantonment circle, filled fuel and took to the roads. “I drove to Mysuru as I am from there, and took the car to a service station and restored it,” he informs. The metal work was done, the car was painted...the king of roads was back to grab the attention and it has remained a loyal friend to Pradeep ever since.
So ask Pradeep how the passion bug for cars bit him and he says, “I grew up in a farm in Mysuru. There were many equipment in the farm and I used to fix anything that was available. I was aware of the technology and the passion grew stronger as my father had an interest towards motorcycles and cars,” he says.
Owning the classic car, Pradeep became a member of KVCC and it was here that he learnt about keeping the machines alive. He says that the technology in these cars is old, but very reliable. “They were manufactured during the 1950s. But they are way ahead of time. They are strong and are much secure than the present day cars.” Pradeep drove the Landmaster regularly for five years. He says that the car could take over any uphill or downhill with ease.
Also a participant in the rallies, “a little care and nurture was all that was required for its maintenance”.
The car was perfect on the roads, but Pradeep once again gave it a makeover as he wanted to restore its original paints. He says, “It is the passion for these cars that helps one maintain them in top-notch condition.”
An enthusiast of antique cars, he has a liking towards the motorcycles too including the Java Road King. He also owned the classic Mercedes for five years. “I want to own the Chevrolet Impala. Another car that I would love to own is the car my granddad once owned — Bullet Nose Studebaker,” he adds.