The next morning I flew out early, and assumed my experience with old Indian cars had ended, but I had a pleasant surprise. The person sitting beside me in the plane was a charming Indian woman from Delhi, and we started chatting. We discussed India, and our travels, and I casually mentioned what a fan I was of the Premier Padmini. She told me that her family owned an Ambassador, which is another classic Indian car (based on the British Morris Oxford) that shares a vague resemblance with the Padmini. She had many fond memories of travels all over the country in their Ambassador. One particular trip, with her husband, was when they drove 3000 kms from Delhi to Cochin. Her husband had written a story about it for a contest in a newspaper, and his article had won!
As if the story wasn't good enough, she pulled a copy of the original newspaper article from her bag! She happened to have it with her, and let me read it. There was a picture of her family in front of the Taj Mahal, and of the car, but none of her... because she was the photographer! My interest in this fantastic car went off the scale as she told me amusing stories about piling 12 people into one, or having to replace most every part on the car during their journey. She said there were no seatbelts, so her sons enjoyed playing (and fighting!) in the back seat as they drove for hours and hours.