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Thread: The Story of my Amby

  1. #1
    Moderator cvanandh's Avatar
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    Red face The Story of my Amby

    Just wanted to share with you all about my Amby. Many would be knowing about my Select and Super Select but not many know that my passion for FIAT started very late only in 1998. Before that, my interests were only in Amby's and Jeeps.

    To start off, it is a 1964 Mark II which was bought by my Grand Father in 1966. It was registered in my Dad's name and he was the 3rd owner at that time.

    The car then served its purpose very well without any problems what so ever. I've heard some very interesting experiences of our family with this car. I've used the word 'heard' just because the car was bought about 19 years before I was born.

    Since my early childhood days, I was very fond of this car and it was almost like a member in our family.

    It was in 92 that the car really showed its age and broke down near Bhavani while traveling back to Coimbatore from Bangalore.

    All these years from 1964 to 1992 it has been serving on the original OHV petrol motor and was flawless. Investigations after the break-down revealed that the engine main bearing had cracked and hence had to get the car towed back to Coimbatore to attend to it.

    This is where the problem really started. Now since the engine had almost come to the end of its life, we started to think of converting it to Diesel.

    Everyone at home were totally against putting in the Matador since it was too noisy and we really had no other choice since Isuzu’s were never heard or available at that time. At the same time, some people who had started a new workshop especially to convert Ambassadors into Diesel using the 1.9 TATA engine were really getting famous and hence we too thought about it and finally after much thought, it was decided that our Amby had do undergo a major transformation to bear the 1.9 TATA diesel heart borrowed from the TATA Sierra.

    So, the work started and the Amby was installed with a brand new 1.9 TATA motor. The engine came at a whopping Rs. 75,000. This engine was mated to the same HM petrol gear box with column shift.

    So after staying in the workshop for quite a while for the conversion process then for the AC, the car finally arrived.

    The engine was really silent and powerful for the Amby.

    Now, the car was back to normal but slowly and steadily problems seemed to arise one after another.

    Some of the problems were:
    1. Engine Over heating.
    2. Uneven tire wear.
    3. Clutch wearing out pretty quickly.
    4. Low ground clearance.

    The ground clearance was fixed pretty quickly by chopping off the oil sump. The original was with a capacity of 7litres and was now chopped off to a capacity of about 4 to 4.5litres.

    Though we had installed an extra fan on the grille the overheating was always a case to be worried about especially on ghat sections. Modifications to the radiator and others lead to marginal improvement but was never solved.

    The chassis was changed during the engine conversion and since then the front tires never lasted more than 25,000 kms. Also, after this conversion the weight of the car increased by about 100 kgs than it was with the petrol motor.

    Coming to the clutch, it was a niggling problem and never got settled. By this time, few years had passed and the car had run more that 70,000 kms despite these issues. Now, some friend of my uncle had also converted to the same TATA engine but with a TATA gearbox borrowed from the Sumo. They had covered more than 90,000 kms and had decided to get rid of the engine and gearbox due to the arrival of the ISUZU engines in the market and they offered us the TATA Gearbox which we readily accepted.

    Now, it was Transformation part II for our Amby. So out went the column shift HM gearbox and in came the Sumo box along with a hydraulic clutch. Changes were also made to the interior with a new dashboard with a console box and the car also made its way to Koyas for new Upholstery.

    So after these changes, the car was back to duty serving tirelessly and at the same time frequenting to the workshop for some problem or the other and expenses were mounting and by this time my dad was almost fed-up with the expenses and they decided to sell off the car.

    I was heart broken. I was asking him and others at home not to sell it off but my request was turned down and finally the car was sold in 2002 and was replaced with a Palio 1.2 Sport.

    I was in Class XI at that time but was never happy about the car being sold though I was madly in love with the Palio.

    It was 8 years since the car was sold but I was never able to get it out of my mind and was always thinking of somehow buying it back and know what? It happened! Yes, I've bought back the same car on the 15th of March 2010.

    The car was still running on the same engine and nothing much had changed mechanically. The buyers had corrected the tire wear problem by correcting the chaises and also the overheating, but the gearbox and the body were out of shape.

    So, I've achieved in buying back the car in 2010, but its more than 3 yrs now and the car is finally road worthy. I has been a very slow re-build process.

    Clicked in 1988 when I was 3 yrs old


    Clicked in 2002 when the car was sold



    Clicked in 2010 after buying it back



    Present state in 2013 after the re-build



    More to follow
    Anandh

    1960 FIAT Select | 1962 FIAT Super Select | 1964 Ambassador | 2003 FIAT Palio S10 |2011 FIAT Linea 1.3 E+ | 2015 FIAT Linea Dynamic

  2. #2
    Moderator dhans4all's Avatar
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    congrats... wonderful thread. waiting for more pictures Anandh

    Sent from my GT-S5300 using Tapatalk 2
    Dhans
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    Respected Member manikandan's Avatar
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    Really Nostalgic Annandh. Wish you could have gone for Izusu engine instead of Tata but then you have mentioned it was not available at that time.
    Cheers,
    Manikandan


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    Respected Member V Sunilkumar's Avatar
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    Amby and Fiats were two classic cars. Very nice to float in your nostalgic description of the car and the little boy who sit on the car looks cute. It is still a wonder nowdays how this car can accommodate tw three families in those days and still able to pull?
    GP 1.4E (2010 October)
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  5. #5
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    You are very luck to have the car back. And its still in great shape. waiting for more.
    Thank you,
    Babu.

    Current - Palio 1.9 D ELX (Red). Done 46k
    Sold - Palio 1.2 NV ELX (Silver).

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    Wow Anandh! I only knew you had an Amby, but never knew the full story. Congrats and you are super lucky to find it back. Not all can be this lucky. What all you plan to do? Do you intend to put the petrol heart back?

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    Respected Member bharathj85's Avatar
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    Anand what a beautiful write up. Want to hear more about your Amby.
    2011 BNW PUNTO MJD Active aka RUSTY

  8. #8
    Moderator cvanandh's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone.

    Actually I got the car back in 2010 and after lot of difficulties, made it road worthy last week.

    So all works are completed now. Will post the full story tonight.

    Sent from my CanvasHD
    Anandh

    1960 FIAT Select | 1962 FIAT Super Select | 1964 Ambassador | 2003 FIAT Palio S10 |2011 FIAT Linea 1.3 E+ | 2015 FIAT Linea Dynamic

  9. #9
    Respected Member manikandan's Avatar
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    Anandh - Please don't forgot include more pictures of your AMBY and especially we love to see the engine bay.
    Cheers,
    Manikandan


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  10. #10
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    Anandh,

    I have always dreamed of owning an AMBY myself. A Whilte color with 195 rubbers, an old alloy wheel which is still very fresh in my memory; (Let me see if get a picture of those alloys) with 2 esteem-type ORVMS, and windshield-cap with the modern type seats and the center-gear console.. Should be fitted with Isuzu as i have traveled in Isuzu fitted AMBY that once touched about 145 KMPH on a trip and it showed no hesitation going further; The driver of the car slowed down when my father insisted so; We did this trip between Nagercoil-Erode (I was on my 2nd year then); Those were days when a 100KPH was considered excellent;

    The seats, man man man!!! You could never feel more comfortable than when you're in AMBY's rear; Not to mention the GC and the ventilation it offers; No match for AMBY in a family; You're very very very lucky guy to have a 1960s' model; I heard they are very heavy in terms of build and can any day offer safety while inside;

    Keep the story coming; drooled over your thread when I saw the word AMBY (although I have no idea what it means to own ONE)
    There's no such thing as a bad car; Only bad drivers.
    - Sundar

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