Iconic cars. In the global perspective they include the likes of the Ford Mustang, Mclaren F1 GTR, Jaguar E-type, Porsche 911 to name a few. These cars all turned into legends for different reasons. Whether it was their peculiar engine, their performance or what they brought to their buyers. For India that car was the Maruti 800. The car that revolutionized motoring in India long before Audi could even think of selling over 10000 cars here, has finally been laid to rest as MSIL has stopped its production. The model that is now over three decades old will no longer be Maruti’s entry level vehicle.
Harpal Singh is the proud owner of the very first Maruti 800 in the country
The very first Maruti 800 came out back in 1983. Now after sales of over 2.5 million units, the car will walk out a legend that started it all. The first Maruti 800s were sold initially for a price of Rs 48,000. Now, after the same 800 costs around Rs 2 lakh. The Maruti 800 is the second longest running car in production in India after Hindustan Motors’ Ambassador. Since its launch in 1983, the Maruti 800 has undergone a handful of alterations. The first facelift came through in 1986. The car then got the addition of an air-conditioner and a music system.
An emotional moment for many as the last Maruti 800 rolls out of the Gurgaon plant
Then came the second facelift that showed up after a long gap directly in 1997. What never changed in the car was the 796cc engine that kept the car true to its name. Maruti has had to discontinue the car primarily because of the new and updated norms that make the car outdated. It was over 2 years ago that MSIL declared that it had no intentions of bringing the car up to BS4 norms as the model itself was far too old and not worth the additional development. BS4 regulations kicked in around 2010 which made the car stop sales in major cities and metros.
The Maruti 800
However, even in its last year, the 800 outsold the world’s cheapest car i.e. the Tata Nano with sales coming in at 20,754 units. The Maruti Suzuki Alto which ate into the 800’s market when it arrived has now become the entry level vehicle of the country’s largest car maker. Now that the first legend of Indian motoring is no more, a new classic is born. For existing owners there is no need to worry as spare parts will be made available for the next 10 years.