Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Soon after we arrived in Kolkata, I posted about how we decided to wait on buying a car before we arrived, in Waiting and Deciding on a Car. We are happy that we did wait, since we ended up buying a 1994 Ambassador from an outgoing officer.
We had our eye on an Ambassador, since they are all over Kolkata and remind me of images from the Beatles' trip to India in 1968 (archived photos of course).
Before we took ownership, we once rode in the car as guests and the clutch fell out. We all got out, pushed the car to the side and walked home (luckily we weren't that far from home). A couple days later the car was back in service. Most people in the U.S. would question the sanity of buying a car after that experience, but is showed us that 1. Ambassadors are very easy to get repaired in Kolkata and 2. they are very cheap to get repaired in Kolkata. They also ride like a tank.
Well, our back axle broke a couple of weeks ago, and we got a glimpse into why they are easy to maintain. (Only Peter was in the car and he was unharmed since you can rarely go over 20 miles per hour when driving here.)
Back axle removed
Where the axle should have been
The broken part on top, bottom part is in normal condition for comparison
Part went into this thingy
That went into this thingy
Along with this thingy
I apologize for being a bit technical in my descriptions, but I hope it is clear that a multi-million dollar computer was not needed for the repair. And the best part of all:
Time to service: about one week
Cost to tow: $16 USD
Cost of parts: $22 USD
Cost of labor: $44 USD
We will certainly miss our Ambassador.
Update: We had requests for a shot of the engine and our driver, so here they are: