Sanjay Gandhi had ordered three units of this car in India, out of which two vehicles were ruined in designing according to India and one car still exists.
Who does not know about the Maruti 800, it was the first affordable car that people showed great interest in buying and this is the reason why this car remained the best selling car for many years. Maruti kept the price of this car lower than its rival as it was the first front wheel drive car in India. The Maruti 800 car was a partnership between the government and the company. But do you know that other car makers had also approached the government and they wanted the government to see their car as a possible candidate to become India’s first car. One such car was the Lloyd LP 250 which was being tried for launch in India.
The Lloyd LP 250 hails from Germany and was also made to meet similar requirements. It was designed to be a people’s first car inspired by the Lloyd LP400. But while the Lloyd LP400 was a 4-seater sedan, the Lloyd LP 250 was a two-door car measuring 3.4 metres. For example, you can think of it as the size of Maruti Suzuki Alto which is 3,495 mm.
This car was first made in 1956
According to the information given on Cartoq, this car was designed for personal transport and was first made in 1956. From its name, you can guess that it was given a 250cc air-cooled, two-stroke, parallel-twin engine that generated a maximum power of 11bhp, which is not better as of now. With this, a three-speed manual transmission was given in the engine.
This was the price of Lloyd LP 250
To keep the cost of the car down, very basic features were given in it. In this, backrest and air conditioning were given for the rear seat occupants. Apart from this, suicide doors were given in it, which we get to see in Rolls Royce now. Due to less features, the weight of this vehicle was only 500 kg. If we talk about the price, then the price of Lloyd LP 250 in Germany was 3000 Deutsche (Rs 1.3 lakh according to the current exchange rate). It was designed keeping young people in mind and could be driven without a driving license.
A Lloyd LP 250 still available in India
The Lloyd LP 250 entered the country despite not becoming the first car of the people in India. Sanjay Gandhi had ordered three units of the Lloyd LP 250 in India, out of which two vehicles got wasted in India’s design. However, this project got closed midway due to unknown reasons. Of these, the last car still exists. It was auctioned by the State Trading Corporation to the then World Tamil Congress President Janardhanam. Presently this car is with GD Gopal who has restored it and kept it. You can see this car at the Gee Car Museum in Coimbatore. Llyod has produced only 4000 units of this car out of which some still exist.
Apart from Llyod, other companies were keen to make the first car for the people in India but for this Maruti 800 got approval. At that time the price of this car was Rs 50,000 and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi herself gave the first car to the customer. The first owner of Maruti 800 was Harpal Singh.
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