Today’s scooters come in a dazzling array of colors, variations and performance indicators. Three decades ago, when there was only one scooter name on everyone’s lips – the Bajaj Chetak. In fact, he was so popular that he developed a reputation for making and breaking marriages. Read on to find out why.
A virtual clone of the Italian scooter Vespa Sprint, the Chetak was sleeker and lighter than the Lambretta Innocenti and later the Vijai Super, whose popularity had started to decline in the 1980s. In fact, although the Sprint attracted the Bajaj group’s attention for its sleek lines and design ingenuity, what made it special for the Indian scooter brand was the opportunity to introduce an affordable, mass-produced and hassle-free scooter to the Indian market. .
And it certainly turned out to be less finicky than a Lambretta. In fact, the Chetak, introduced in 1972, continued to bear his name. Named after the famous horse of Maharana Pratap who saved his master despite his fatal injury in battle, the scooter became the symbol of loyalty and self-confidence to the Indian masses in the 1970s and 1980s, at a when neither the government nor the economy could provide them. this.
This 145cc 2-stroke scooter proved ideal for traveling on poorly constructed Indian roads and in fact became the most widely used form of local and intercity commuting in the 1970s and 1980s. Additionally, its ability to perform brilliantly in India’s harsh climate and functioning flawlessly despite heavy use has proven in favor of Bajaj Chetak. And that’s not all ! The scooter required little to no maintenance, and its maintenance and repair was almost always really inexpensive! It was also much more affordable than motorcycles at the time.
Since the traffic rules weren’t so strict at the time, the sight of a couple with 2-4 children riding the scooter at the same time was very common, which gave Bajaj an indelible image – that to be a family scooter, much like the modern-day family car.
Timeless publicity and captivating jingle broadcast by the company on television only strengthened its value and ensured its permanence in Indian society.
Hamara Kal, Hamara Aaj, Buland Hharat ki Buland Tasveer, Hamara Bajaj! is a slogan that is still popular today
Bajaj Scooter Old Advert – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUX7KmOSbrg
Such was the desire to own a Bajaj scooter at this time that the groom’s family unquestionably wanted it as part of the dowry (a very unfortunate practice that prevailed at the time)! Since the scooter was somewhat affordable, the price was hardly ever an issue for the bride’s family, but the speedy delivery of the scooter was.
Due to the regulations laid down by the License Raj (1951-1991), Bajaj Auto was only allowed to manufacture 20,000 units per year, which was far less than the demand for the scooter in question. This meant an exceptionally long waiting period, up to 10 years, in fact!
So how did it go in the marriage scenario? Well, as the bride’s family were almost always sure of Bajaj Chetak’s dowry request, they often booked the scooter when their daughter was barely 5-6 years old. This ensured that they would receive the delivery before the girl’s wedding and things could go smoothly!
And then there was some kind of shortcut! Thanks to an official government approved program, a $ 500 trade could help a customer get a Bajaj Chetak delivered much sooner! That said, even this arrangement involved a long queue of very impatient customers.
But what if they haven’t received the scooter on time? Well, as fun as it sounds now, unfortunately back then weddings were often delayed or postponed to match the expected delivery date / month of the Bajaj Chetak!
So yes, that was reality! We bet there is not a single vehicle on earth that shares or has ever shared the same level of excitement, seduction or eagerness as Bajaj Chetak.
While the old scooter is no longer in production, Bajaj Auto has tried to tap into the nostalgia of it all, with its latest offering – Bajaj Chetak (electric scooter)!
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