What comes into existence, takes the road to extinction. The world is running on this law and no one is spared, be it humans or vehicles. Once known as the pride of Mumbai, the Premier Padmini taxis, will soon take on their final journey. Named after the queen of Chittor, the dual-tone taxis with black and yellow colour scheme are modelled on the defunct Fiat car. Interestingly, these taxis have featured in several Bollywood movies like Taxi No. 9211 and many others.
Sporting a dated design, these taxis still charm many tourists from outside the country. There was a time when Premier Padmini could easily be spotted on the roads of Mumbai. That said, it will always be revered for its retro looks and remembered for serving the people across the city in the last half-century. With the onset of new cab service providers in India, the yesteryear Premier Padmini is largely overlooked by the users. Read – Iconic Hindustan Ambassador Brand Sold To Peugeot
The first fleet of Padminis were produced at the premier Automobiles Limited factory in Mumbai back in 1964. Based on the Fiat 1100 Delight, the Padmini taxis were manufactured under a licensing agreement with Fiat. Initially, it was known as Fiat taxis before it was named after the legendary queen Padmini in 1973.
In the 1960s, Padmini was chosen over the Ambassador model by the Mumbai authorities as the preferred taxis in the city and this is what makes it synonymous with Mumbai. While it looked leaner than Ambassador back then, the contemporary models from the current lot with improved styling, better looks new features and more spacious cabin easily overshadow the iconic model. Photo Gallery – Cars That Changed India
Besides, the new-age models are more fuel efficient and comply with the current emission norms. With these roadblocks, sale of Padmini slipped sharply and was taken off production 17 years ago. However, the Padminis were still seen manoeuvring around the city in the last decade and now the iconic model is on the verge to breath its last as it nears extinction.