Premier Padminis now become a part of Mumbai's history!
Mumbai's taxi service, fondly and popularly known as the Kaali-Peeli, fades into history, after serving Mumbaikars for more than 5 decades. The iconic cultural and historic nostalgia that these cabs anchor in the proverbial sea of Mumbai's development is unmatched. The end of the 56 years old journey surely marks the end of an era in the city of Mumbai.
As per the RTO rules, the life of a cab is capped at 20 years, therefore, Padmini's life cannot be extended as these iconic cars have been plying on the roads of the old city for over 5 decades. With the manufacturing termination in 2000s, the numbers of these cabs have seen a drastic fall. Hardly 50 of these cars now run on the city roads. This mainly has to do with the unavailability of spare parts to repair the damaged Kaali-Peelis, thus taking them off the roads.
The first Premier Fiat was launched in 1964 with a debut name of Fiat 1100 Delight. A year later, in 1964 it was renamed as Premier President. With modifications, upgrades and rising fares, in 1974, the car was re-launched as Premier Padmini, named after the Mewar Queen. And since then, these Queen Kaali Peelis or Fiats have become a part of Mumbai's traffic landscape.
In 1995, around 65,000 Padminis were a part of the Bombay Taxi circuit. Facing the competition of the Hindustani Motors' Ambassador and braving the 2005 Mumbai floods, these cabs have fought endless battles. With the ever promising Bollywood representation, these cabs are probably the most well known taxis all throughout the country and taking it away from the city, surely marks a cultural dent. From a base fare of ₹1.6 to ₹22, these taxis have have seen an epoch in the city, and well, it is their time to rest now!