Produced by Austin while it was under British Leyland management, the Montego was a family-sized car that was fitted either with a 1.3-litre, 1.6-litre, or 2.3-litre engine. First produced in 1984, this car model was plagued by a set of problems, including bad fittings and corrosion. Austin finally stopped its production in 1995.
It was during this time that a Bangalore (now Bengaluru) based manufacturer, Sipani Automobiles, which attempted to make small people cars such as Dolphin and Badal, decided to take the plunge to introduce the Sipani Montego as India’s large-sized sedan with the intention of beating the Maruti 800, which was becoming popular.
Negotiations were held with the Austin Rover factory, and finally it was decided to bring the 1.3-litre engine models in SKD (Semi-Knocked Down) condition. This vehicle had air conditioning, power steering, and power windows, which were considered luxuries by Indian consumers at the time. But higher customs duties and taxes led the car to be priced as high as Rs. 13 lakhs, while the common man’s Hindustan Ambassador was being sold at Rs. 4.5 lakhs.
A little less than 300 cars were sold, in spite of a turbo-diesel variant being introduced later.
|- Premium collectible|
|- Licensed product|
|- Material: ZAMAC (zinc alloy), Rubber and Plastic|
|- Non-opening model|
|- On plinth (platform base)|
|Box Dimension (in inches)||6 x 3 x 3|