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India's classic Premier Padmini taxi killed by emissions laws

Say goodbye to a classic

As part of an eco-conscious measure to fight pollution in 2008, the government in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, banned all taxis 25 years and older. In 2013, that was changed to 20 years old. With each ruling, thousands of Premier Padmini taxis, an iconic car that transported the people of Mubai for decades, have disappeared from the roads. At the end of 2019, it was estimated that about 50 late-year Padminis were still driving, and in 2020, the survivors will cruise their last rides. An article from NPR explores the vehicle's history and the impact it had on the region's culture.

The Padmini's origins begin in the '60s in the form of a Fiat 1100D, also known as a Delight 1100. The Fiat model served as the base for what first debuted as the Premier President from Premier Automobiles. It was later renamed the Premier Padmini after a famous Indian royal. 

The car became extremely popular and sales shot up as it became the taxi of choice. Officials estimate roughly 60,000 Padminis were in Mumbai at the car's peak. Unfortunately, an open market and an influx of modern cars in the '90s doomed the black and yellow taxi, and production ended in 2000. Their last month to drive is June 2020.

As the car becomes more myth than tangible reality, some artists have dedicated their works to honoring a vehicle that serviced millions of people from numerous generations. Check out the full article on NPR.


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