The newly restored Maruti 800 is currently being showcased at Maruti Suzuki Headquarters in New Delhi
Maruti Suzuki India Limited, formerly known as Maruti Udyog Limited had introduced the Maruti 800 way back in 1983, that is a good 39 years ago. Its first owner was Mr Harpal Singh from New Delhi and the keys to this brand new vehicle were officially handed over to him by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on 14th December 1983.
Mr Singh purchased this car for a princely sum of Rs 47,500 back in the day. Its ownership was a matter of great pride for Mr Harpal Singh and family, and it was this small hatchback that was the start in making Maruti Suzuki the best-selling automaker in India today.
The first unit was produced at the Maruti Udyog Limited (as the company was known back then) production facility in Haryana. The handing over ceremony was conducted during the PMs visit to this plant. It sported registration number DIA 6479.
1st Ever Maruti 800 Restored
Over the years of ownership, Mr Singh treasured his Maruti 800, looking after it with care. However, after Mr Harpal Singh passed away in 2010, the Maruti 800 lay in a neglected state. It lay outside the owner’s house in Green Park, Delhi and continued to be weathered by rains and strong sunlight.
Passersby took out photos of this first Maruti 800 model which found their way onto the internet which later drew the attention of the parent company. The other members of Mr Singh’s household took the car to Maruti service dealers for repair but showed no interest in selling the unit.
This drew the attention of Maruti Suzuki who decided to help in its complete restoration. It was fitted with spare parts and other components – restored piece by piece. It was finally given a fresh coat of paint in the same white colour as its original.
1st Maruti 800 showcased
Following its complete restoration, the Maruti 800 is now showcased at the Maruti Suzuki Headquarters as a special tribute of having completed 39 years. It has been given a fresh lease of life but is not roadworthy as due to its age it is not eligible to be driven on the roads.
Maruti 800 was powered by a 796cc, 3 cylinder engine. It was later updated with fuel injection technology while it got further updates till the company decided to finally pull it out of production in 2010. Maruti 800 was succeeded by the Alto. The Alto took off as the company’s best-selling car, a status that had been enjoyed by the Maruti 800 through all its years of production. Maruti Suzuki now has the new Alto K10 in its portfolio. Bookings have been opened at all Maruti Suzuki ARENA dealerships in India with deliveries to commence soon.