After approximately 31 years. Well I didn't know they were still in production, but at some point of time, each and every one of us has had a ride in one. For some, rather for many it was their first car. I remember the first Maruti 800 I got to drive was the family M800. A 1998 Beige colored DX model (Carburetor) with A/C! In a short span of about 30,000 kms I had worn out the tyres and the engine needed a rebuild approximately around the same time. In the 80-85,000 kms that car was with us, the engine was rebuilt probably thrice, all thanks to me. But the feeling of driving around with friends, loud music (3 Amps, 2 Subs, 6 speakers all crammed into that tiny car), 30 Rs litre petrol. Aah! Here's looking back at some Maruti 800 iterations. Though there aren't that many. Maruti stuck with, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. But this car truly put this Nation on wheels. Not saying whether they were good wheels or could there have been better wheels, but did put this nation on wheels. Known as the Fronte, it was christened the Maruti 800 here in India that made it so popular. With a 3-cylinder 796cc in the second generation power was 39.5 BHP for the first gen, then 37.5 bhp for the second iteration. This car did get upgrades, like a more powerful A/C, MPFI, 12-V engine and even a 5 speed gearbox. Power reached 45 bhp! and the car could hit 140+ kmph true speed! (That would be equivalent of doing 160 kmph indicated). The 5 speed gearbox was short lived, but super fun to drive. What made this car unique? Well used to the hand assembly lines in India, this vehicle truly gave new meaning to fit and finish, quality workmanship, reliability and durability. While Ambys needed muscle men to turn the steering and you needed a spare jerry can of water for your Padmini on a long trip, no such bells and whistles for the humble 800. People were sceptical of the vehicle, said it would break down, leave parts wherever it went, was not rugged enough for our roads. And they were proven wrong every single time. This tiny machine was driven to the highest roads, over the most broken down back roads and in every possible hell in India. And it came thru. I do attribute this vehicle for allowing more women to take up the wheel. What was seen as a macho job cut out for men only (driving burly machines), the 800 allowed women to take up driving. The steering was light (compared to those cars, oh yes), it was nippy, compact and peppy. And not to forget reliable. Here are some pics taken from the net - First Maruti to be delivered Some images of the original brochures.