India's first Maruti 800 gathers rust unattended

India's first Maruti 800 gathers rust unattended New Maruti Suzuki 800
author image Nikhil Puthran
Saturday 18 April 2015, 08:35 AM

Indian car fanatics would never forget the era when the first lot of Maruti 800 was rolled out from the company's production facility in Gurgaon. One such proud owner Harpal Singh, Indian Airline employee had been the center of attraction for being the first owner of a white colored Maruti 800 that was rolled out from the plant. Harpal Singh drove the historic car home on 14th December, 1983 post hand-over ceremony honored by the presence of Indira Gandhi.

Harpal Singh with his car

The vehicle drew a lot of attention wherever it was driven to. Given the fact that the vehicle was sold for Rs. 47,500 interested buyers were indeed, willing to pay more than Rs. 1 Lakhs for the vehicle received by Harpal Singh as the vehicle was being handed over on basis of lucky draw system.

Handing over ceremony

Post Harpal and his wife's death the vehicle has reportedly been left unattended and has been left to rust and has weeds growing all around it. Speaking more on the occasion, Harpal Singh’s elder son-in-law Tejinder Ahluwalia, now aged 65, said to Hindusthan Times, “Rajiv Gandhi was also present there. He knew my father-in-law as they both worked in Indian Airlines. The moment it was announced through the lottery that he will get the first car, Rajiv ji jumped with excitement and hugged him.”

Historic car gathering rust
Historic car gathering rust

Commenting on its current state, Sunita Walia Harpal Singh’s younger daughter, now aged 50, said, “It is sad to see the car in this state now, as it was very close to my father, secondly it has a history behind it, since we cannot drive this car anymore due to environmental norms in force, Maruti must come forward and keep it in a museum or any other place as a showpiece.”

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