This Premier Padmini is based out of Mumbai and the restoration job on this car has won our hearts. Keeping it as original as possible, it looks delightfully neo-retro.
The Premier Padmini is another icon in the Indian automotive scene that was right up there with the Hindustan Ambassador. We have brought you stories on several modified Hindustan Ambassadors over the past few weeks but this time, we have a very fine example of a Premier Padmini. But first, a little bit of history lesson about the Padmini. The Premier Padmini was produced in India bewteen 1964 and 2000. It was initially sold in India as the Fiat 1100 Delight but after a decade, its name was changed to Premier Padmini after a certain Rajput Princess from India.
This classic four-door sedan was originally based on the Fiat 1200 GranLuce Berlina and it rivaled the Hindustan Ambassador and the Standard Herald (google this car if you do not remember). The Padmini rose to great popularity in the 1970s and 1980s and was owned by a lot of celebrities of the time as well. However, the Premier brand soon ran out of its fortunes and the Padmini had to see its inevitable demise. Premier even tried to revive the brand by a sub-compact SUV called the Rio in 2009 but that failed too. The Rio was in fact India’s first sub-compact SUV. The Padmini still lives on, on the streets of Mumbai and is fondly referred to as the ‘kali-pili’.
The car is still hugely adored by enthusiasts, particularly for its design. A classic car does not get more Italian than this. And then we found this tastefully modified example of the Padmini on the internet. This Padmini is based out of Mumbai and been modified by MKRAFT Design and how! Minimalism and subtlety are the key words when restoring classic cars and that’s exactly what has been done here. The only exterior modification here has been the paint job. Mind you, all the body panels on this Padmini are completely original and stock parts.
The satin grey body color along with the blacked-out elements work really well on the car. All the original chrome parts have been blacked-out and then some more. The black grille, the headlamps and turn indicator surrounds, the front and rear bumpers, the glass-section surrounds and even the rear license plate holder, all beautifully contrast with the car’s paint job. Even the belt line on the car gets the black treatment. Lastly the wheels – and that’s another area where people usually go wrong with classic cars – look delightfully retro with the multi-spoke element and silver rims.
The interiors have been kept original as well. Just like the exteriors, the interior gets an all-black treatment for the upholstery and interior trim panels and nothing else has been tampered with. Okay, the steering wheel is not so original. The original car came with a beautiful slim wooden rim but it still does not look out of place. We are not sure if this Padmini has received any mechanical updates under the hood. The original car came powered by a 1.1-liter petrol engine which produced 47hp and 71Nm of torque. This according to us, is the perfect example of how one should restore such icons for modern times. Really tasteful!