A little white car covered with garlands came out from a factory in Gurgaon on December 14, 1983, and at the wheel of India’s first Maruti 800 was Indian Airline employee Harpal Singh heading towards his Green Park residence.
The next day Harpal planned the first trip in his car to Meerut along his wife Gulshanbeer Kaur, elder daughter Govinder Pal Kaur, her husband Tejinder Ahluwalia and younger daughter Sunita Walia.
“We halted at two places on the way and at both the places huge crowds gathered to catch a glimpse of it,” said Ahluwalia, 65.
In those days, many people had applied for Maruti 800 but it was being given only to few through lucky draws. “People were ready to pay more than Rs 1 lakh (its actual cost was Rs 47,500 then) to my father-in-law to buy it, but he never even contemplated such a move,” said younger son-in-law Amardeep Walia, 55.