• Login / Register

Top 5 Iconic Indian Cars That Should Make A Comeback

Published On Jan 26, 2021 08:00 AM By Dhruv for Mahindra Thar

  • Write a comment

India’s long automotive history has awarded some of these nameplates a legendary status!

The recent resurgence of nameplates from another era of India’s automotive history has led to a strong sense of nostalgia. After all, we are talking about cars that have been around for decades, often handed down from one generation to the other, and in that time, built a legacy that will last a lifetime. Some of these have returned to the market, some are planned to make a comeback, while some are still lurking in the shadows, waiting for the right time. Here are five names that we think fit the bill:

Mahindra Thar

  • Mahindra’s older Thar could trace its roots all the way back to 1949.

  • It was built to be robust with a go-anywhere attitude.

  • New Thar makes up with a much more premium interior and creature comforts.

  • It commands a waiting period of up to 6 to 9 months.

Alright, so the Thar is already back in a new avatar and it’s breaking records as we speak. While this new-generation model has been fully redeveloped, the older-gen car could trace its roots all the way back to 1949! It’s jeep-like design and robust build quality made it an instant hit with the masses. It was the perfect way to travel on broken Indian roads or no roads at all. A 4x4 system meant you wouldn’t need an army of people to pull you out when you got stuck.

However, over the years, as road infrastructure improved and cars moved from being utilitarian to more premium, the Mahindra jeep began to lose ground. The new Thar aims to change that. With the new Thar, Mahindra has married that robust build quality and go-anywhere attitude, with creature comforts, so you don’t feel like you are driving a tank. This change means the demand for the Thar has seen a massive surge, with Mahindra struggling to keep up with demand. The waiting period in most places is 6-9 months!

Tata Safari

  • Tata’s Safari first made an appearance in 1998.

  • It became popular due to its robust build quality.

  • The Indian Army ordered over 3,000 units of the Safari Storme.

  • The Safari name has been revived for its second inning.

The Safari was the SUV of choice back when SUVs were big large boxes with a 4x4 system underneath, meant to ferry you to the ends of the world. Nowadays, they’re more of jacked up hatchbacks meant to ferry you to the office and back. It’s gone through several changes since 1998, which is when it was first unleashed on Indian roads, with the promise that it could help you reclaim your life.

It was big, brash, could seat seven, and move people out of your way with a single appearance in the rearview mirror. Best of all, it was solidly built to last a long time. In fact, the Safari Storme did the job so well that the Indian Army put in an order for more than 3,000 units of this SUV. Tata, however, put the name to end in 2019 due to ageing product as well as new emission and safety norms, before reviving it once again in 2021. The new Safari promises to be different from the original formula but it remains to be seen if it will be worthy of the Safari badge. 

Maruti Gypsy

  • Gypsy was initially meant to traverse the unpaved roads in India.

  • The Gypsy has been used by government officials, defence officials, police officials, and even rallying enthusiasts over the years.

  • Gypsy was a long-wheelbase version of the second-gen Jimny sold outside of India.

  • New fourth-gen Jimny could be here with a Gypsy badge and a longer wheelbase by 2022.

Maruti’s Gypsy can trace its origins back to 1985, which is when the first of these off-road machines was introduced in India. Based on the long-wheelbase second-gen Jimny of the time, the Gypsy was introduced as an off-road vehicle to be driven primarily on the unpaved roads of the time. This was evident by the fact that it got zero creature comforts, live axles, and leaf spring suspension all around. Despite that, the Gypsy went on to become quite a popular car. It was used by government officials, police workers, defence officials and even rallying enthusiasts.

With the last of the civilian deliveries made in 2019, India truly lost an automotive icon. However, Auto Expo 2020 had a surprise in store for us. Maruti Suzuki showcased the fourth-gen Jimny with a promise to bring it to showrooms in a couple of years. Once that happens, we have a feeling it will be called the Gypsy once again, and not the Jimny. Of course, Maruti plans to bring the long-wheelbase version of the Jimny to India just like last time, but it will be sometime before we get to see even the prototypes on Indian roads.

Tata Sierra

  • Tata’s Sierra had power windows, adjustable steering and power steering, something unheard of in its time.

  • The curved glass rear window of the Sierra made for many memorable camping moments.

  • The Sierra’s run lasted just over a decade.

  • It was back in the news after Tata showed the Sierra EV concept at Auto Expo 2020.

Back in 1991, when we had no idea what to expect from cars, the Tata Sierra arrived with features such as power steering, power windows, and a LARGE curved fixed rear window. Its wow factor simply couldn’t be measured at the time. Tata kept it around for just over a decade but in that time, the Sierra managed to carve out a niche for itself. Owning a Sierra at the time meant you were doing something right with your life.

The Sierra for all its worth wouldn’t be a part of this list if Tata hadn’t showcased the Sierra EV concept at Auto Expo 2020. It was with this concept that memories of the Sierra with its trademarks glass window came flooding back. While Tata hasn’t given an official word on what the Sierra EV concept will lead to, we’ve seen wacky Tata concepts making it to production and retaining quite a few design bits. Besides, what better time than now, when the world is reeling from automotive nostalgia? We hope you are listening, Tata Motors.

Hindustan Ambassador

  • The Ambassador first came out in 1958.

  • It was based on the Morris Oxford model.

  • It has the longest production run of any car in the Indian market.

  • The PSA Groupe (Peugeot-Citroën) purchased the Ambassador name from CK Birla Group for Rs 80 crore.

  • No plans of a comeback just yet.

The Ambassador. If I were to end this article here, it would seem alright. After all, what can be said about the Ambassador that hasn’t been said before. It’s run lasted more than 50 years! Let that sink in, and that too with only minor modifications over time. The last Ambassador rolled off the assembly line in 2014. In the decades before that, the Ambassador had kind of taken over the mantle of being the ‘sarkari’ car, but before that, Indian roads were littered with them. Taxis, personal cars, government cars, defence cars and what not... the Ambassador has seen it all.

Now, back in 2017, the PSA Groupe (Peugeot-Citroën) from France bought the rights to the Ambassador name from the CK Birla Group for Rs 80 crore. Now you don’t spend money like that if you don’t plan on doing something with it. But it’s been three years since then and there has been no further word on the Ambassador. All we can say is if it does make a comeback, the Ambassador name has the potential to be the launch of the decade, or even the century as it carries the weight of India's automotive legacy of the last 60 years on its back. So take your time, PSA. No pressure.

Read More on : Thar on road price

Published by
Was this article helpful ?

2 out of 2 found this helpful

Write your Comment on Mahindra Thar

Read Full News
  • Mahindra Thar
  • Tata Safari
  • Tata Sierra
  • Maruti Jimny
Big Saving !!
Save upto 36% ! Find best deals on Used Mahindra Cars

Similar cars to compare & consider

Ex-showroom Price New Delhi
Which is your city ?