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Supra_Natural

Reflections On Sri Lanka's Automotive History By Mr. Sylvi Wijesinghe

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Mr Wijesinghe,

Please feel free to use this thread to post your reflections on Sri Lanka's Automotive past.

Quite a few of our members (myself included) would be very glad to read about your varied historic automotive experiences in your 50 years as a blue collar worker with a silver spoon, in a dedicated thread such as this.

So please do consider this an on going history lesson to us young hooligans. But do keep the postings on Automotive topics only as we are not very interested in what went on in open drains behind st Peters back when you were in school etc,

Peri, if you have the time, do try to move Sylvi's lengthy previous History lessons to this thread.

The rest of you guys, let's try and keep this one clean ok? We can see if Sylvi really is genuine in his want to remind us of SL's automotive past or not.

Best Regards,

S_N

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Mr Wijesinghe,

Please feel free to use this thread to post your reflections on Sri Lanka's Automotive past.

Quite a few of our members (myself included) would be very glad to read about your varied historic automotive experiences in your 50 years as a blue collar worker with a silver spoon, in a dedicated thread such as this.

So please do consider this an on going history lesson to us young hooligans. But do keep the postings on Automotive topics only as we are not very interested in what went on in open drains behind st Peters back when you were in school etc,

Peri, if you have the time, do try to move Sylvi's lengthy previous History lessons to this thread.

The rest of you guys, let's try and keep this one clean ok? We can see if Sylvi really is genuine in his want to remind us of SL's automotive past or not.

Best Regards,

S_N

Honrable Mr.'Supra_Natural',

Mostly I wrote about about automobile history of srilanka.

Thank you for opening a new thread on my posts. WE are living because of our ancestors.

Please note history is our pride.

Most developed country USA has only history from 1505.Australia is less than that.

Srilanka we have more than 2500 years of history.

Srilanka and other countries remember their history annually having a festive season

Sinhala Avurdu season coming in few days.

For what reason we celibate the Sinhala Avurdda and visit our ancestors homes to see our old relatives.

Most countries including srilanka has classic cars and preserving them having associations and classics car clubs.

For what reason we have independence day and have may day rallies.

What about our heroes who fought for our country and for two world wars having war hero remembrance days.

Once in way we have stage shows of golden oldies. To remember the singers who did important service to our musical stage.

I have no grudge against you, or any member in the A/L Forum. There are few members have some personal grudge against me I do not know the reason for that, I feel pity for them.

I think I am the only member having about 40% waning on the list name. All this was created by those members.

At last I had to open a thread requesting the moderator stop the abusing by said members.

"Wishing" you the best of luck.

Sylvi Wijesinghe.

  • Like 2

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Hon Sylvi's first post itself is like the season trailer for top-gear. A whole load of abstract statements!

Sylvi I dont hate you baby! When i meet you i'll give you a nice fuzzy warm hug.. ok?

  • Like 4

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Fair go, Sylvi, one a me Koori mates what drives a real nice '72 Charger - orange , she is with the original 6 pack carbie st-up and only a bita rust around the bottom of the 'guards and the tranny jumping a bit - is real upset like with the comment on Oztralia only 'avin less history that what the USA has. He recons that his folk were down here over 40,000 years ago. He says, just cos they weren't too big on the 'ol writing stuff and were a bit focussed on oral traditions and all that, it's grossly unfair to discount their history here in the Land of the Dreaming Serpent in favour of the White Settler stuff from 1788, like. . Anyway, that's what he said....

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lets hear some stories

'SeanD',

Thank you for your comment. My experiences in Automobile industry, What ever I remember and seen with my own eyes I will Post to the A/L forum.

Sylvi Wijesinghe.

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A 2003 post from AL on SL auto history.....

Re: Automobile Automobile industry in sri lanka Author Harshan Senadhira Date Created 11/6/2003 2:35:00 AM Message

Normally Sri Lanka having an automobile industry which based on imported vehicles and majority among them are reconditioned Japanese vehicles. But from the 80's there were some car assembling projects has taken place. Fiat and Mazda cars has been assembled by UPALI Corporation of Sri Lanka. But it was over in mid 80s.

When considering passenger vehicles and heavy vehicles the majority from India. TATA,ASHOK LEYLAND are in top. But other vehicle brands are also exists such as ISUZU, MITSUBISHI, UD NISSAN, BENZ, BRITISH LEYLAND, RENAULT. When heavy vehicles taken into consideration there are some brands which are assembling in Sri Lanka. For an Example LANKA ASHOK LEYLAND(passenger busses and lorries built on indian ASHOK LEYLAND chassis), ISUZU (Lorries assembled by Sathosa Motors Sri Lanka), COLOMBO-RIDER ( Passenger busses built on Chinese OPTARE and ASHOK LEYLAND chassis) Another pioneer automobile cooporation in Sri Lankan automobile industry is D*MO. They also building passenger couches on imported chassis(TATA and MERCEDES-BENZ)

Recent tend is to manufacture automobiles in Sri Lanka apart from assembling. The first company ever built a automobile in Sri Lanka is Transmec engineers co. They've lauched a mini car and a mini van which are coming under MICRO brand name. But still they are trying to capture the market(refer www.######). Over the decades Sri Lankan automobile industry has evolved, the records says there's an increase of the number of vehilces registered per year. The reason behind the increase of number of automobiles being registered is maily increasing of population and poor public transportation facilities. Even thought Sri Lankan car market based on Japanese vehicles there's an emerge of European vehicles these days. For recent 1-2 years of period that has been increased, mainly PEUGEOT,FORD,MERC,VW,BMW are there and few number of JAGUARS, ALFA ROMEOS and considerable amount of AUDI s are also there. PEUGEOTs are the mainly available europian car

in Sri Lanka. Another interesting fact I can see on the automobile industry these days are people tending to buy small vehicles such as DAIHATSU-HIJET, MITSUBISHI-MINICAB .. those are very economical vehicles not more than 600-800 CC of engine power. so vehicle importers mostly importing such small vehicles these days. INDIAN MARUTI cars also got popular with the rise of fuel prices.

Interesting fact of Sri Lankan automobile industry is diesel vehilcles are popular among people since there's a significant diference between petrol and diesel prices.

Hope you got some points if not don't afraid to mail me on [email protected]

-Harshan

Remember this one, Sylvi? Who is Harshan?

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It appears that the spell checker wasn't enabled back then :)

"PEUGEOTs are the mainly available europian car".. was this based on numbers sold? Or Harshan being biased? :D

Edited by MrCat
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Sylvi, you'll remember that Redex were big in supporting car rally stuff? Here's a short clip from an early Aussie one to warm your heart:

http://aso.gov.au/ti...ex-trial/clip1/

...a varied mix of vehicles, to be sure.

'Scooter',

Thank you for that post. I saw all three clips and my memories went back to 1950s and 1960s.

Then Ceylon had annually MONSOON RELIABILITY trials.

Which most automobile enthusiasts took part in that rally. With similar British and European cars what we had at that time.

Once I posted a post about what happened to that annual event. No reply post for that.

It is good if any motor sport association to resume that monsoon reliability trial again.

Automobile association S L at that time gave lot of support for that annul event because they had very active road petrol service stations was existing at time around Ceylon. On those roads which trial were held

This thread is not to discuss according to new A/L rules of the forum. About the topic what we are disusing at present.

Sylvi Wijesighe.

  • Like 2

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Ah, the Automobile Associations. I had happy years working for the AA in the UK where I was involved in the mapping and the hotel inspection side of things. My father-in-law used to enjoy the hospitality of the AA Club bar in Colombo. I still have his old membership card in the family archieves. I know that he was very keen on fuel economy devices on his Ford Consuls but none of them proved very effective.

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'Scooter',

Thank you for that post. I saw all three clips and my memories went back to 1950s and 1960s.

Then Ceylon had annually MONSOON RELIABILITY trials.

Which most automobile enthusiasts took part in that rally. With similar British and European cars what we had at that time.

Once I posted a post about what happened to that annual event. No reply post for that.

It is good if any motor sport association to resume that monsoon reliability trial again.

Automobile association S L at that time gave lot of support for that annul event because they had very active road petrol service stations was existing at time around Ceylon. On those roads which trial were held

This thread is not to discuss according to new A/L rules of the forum. About the topic what we are disusing at present.

Sylvi Wijesighe.

Sylvi,

Your post was moved to this thread as it would be more appropriate here.. Please remember to bookmark this thread and post any reflections on motoring of yesteryear here.. Some of us would actually enjoy these stories on our automotive history if they didnt clutter up other threads.

By the way, Apparently a monsoon reliability trial will be held this year, I saw it in the papers.

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Honorable Moderator Supra_Natural,

Thank you for you creating the new thread.

(monsoon reliability trial will be held this year, I saw it in the papers.)

Can you the paper and date if possible only.

Sylvi Wijesinghe.

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A 2003 post from AL on SL auto history.....

Remember this one, Sylvi? Who is Harshan?

how did I miss this. That was one of early (or was it the first one) posts of mine in the old forum.

It appears that the spell checker wasn't enabled back then :)

"PEUGEOTs are the mainly available europian car".. was this based on numbers sold? Or Harshan being biased? :D

shoot. my writing was horrible in it, 9 years back and wasn't matured enough I guess :D . Well it could be due to me being biased but if you consider the total number of all Peugeot models (504/505/305/405/406 mainly) imported to SL among other Euro brands, only close one in numbers for Pugs would be Volks. Let me see whether I can find some stats to back this. ;)

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LOL Silvi has his own just thread?

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Back in the time machine and it's off to 2004 and the AutoLanka administrator imploring:

Hi guys,

First of all we are happy to see more and more people join and participate discussions which carrying out in this AutoLanka forum. However recently we noticed that some people are using inappropriate vulgar/obscene materials when posting messages. To prevent that and to maintain a “civil” and “friendly” environment in here we came up with few forum rules. We hope all of you guys will respect them and follow it when you post messages in this free forum in the future.

• You may only register one User ID. Multiple IDs are not allowed.

• No posting of vulgar or obscene material, or other material inappropriate (if you really want to type something like that at least type first letter and put rest of the world like “$%#^”...which look bit civilized)

• No derogatory comments against other posters, including slurs based on race, religion, gender, sexual preference, or political affiliation. No personal threats or harassment.

• No commercial posts without authorization from the Admin

Please appreciate the fact that AutoLanka receives a wide spectrum of guests ranging from very young ages to the elderly, male and female and thus we need to keep the site suitable for all. Not to mention professional.

Thanks in advance for your cooperation.

Administrator

[email protected]

Ah, plus ça change, plus c'est la meme chose, as we used to say in the old days in the Automobile Association Club bar, whacking down a Rockland or two and chewing on the odd devilled prawn and sucking on a Havana, while the peon loitered outside rubbing down the Mayflower with an oily rag...and all the while we understood the good lady was waiting at home with bated breath for our return...terrific times, eh, Silvi. Anyway, for me, it's off to new pastures for a little while so as to let the young fellas me lad settle down and adjust their trousers. Toodle-pip old bean!

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A 2003 post from AL on SL auto history.....

Re: Automobile Automobile industry in sri lanka Author Harshan Senadhira Date Created 11/6/2003 2:35:00 AM Message

Normally Sri Lanka having an automobile industry which based on imported vehicles and majority among them are reconditioned Japanese vehicles. But from the 80's there were some car assembling projects has taken place. Fiat and Mazda cars has been assembled by UPALI Corporation of Sri Lanka. But it was over in mid 80s.

When considering passenger vehicles and heavy vehicles the majority from India. TATA,ASHOK LEYLAND are in top. But other vehicle brands are also exists such as ISUZU, MITSUBISHI, UD NISSAN, BENZ, BRITISH LEYLAND, RENAULT. When heavy vehicles taken into consideration there are some brands which are assembling in Sri Lanka. For an Example LANKA ASHOK LEYLAND(passenger busses and lorries built on indian ASHOK LEYLAND chassis), ISUZU (Lorries assembled by Sathosa Motors Sri Lanka), COLOMBO-RIDER ( Passenger busses built on Chinese OPTARE and ASHOK LEYLAND chassis) Another pioneer automobile cooporation in Sri Lankan automobile industry is D*MO. They also building passenger couches on imported chassis(TATA and MERCEDES-BENZ)

Recent tend is to manufacture automobiles in Sri Lanka apart from assembling. The first company ever built a automobile in Sri Lanka is Transmec engineers co. They've lauched a mini car and a mini van which are coming under MICRO brand name. But still they are trying to capture the market(refer www.######). Over the decades Sri Lankan automobile industry has evolved, the records says there's an increase of the number of vehilces registered per year. The reason behind the increase of number of automobiles being registered is maily increasing of population and poor public transportation facilities. Even thought Sri Lankan car market based on Japanese vehicles there's an emerge of European vehicles these days. For recent 1-2 years of period that has been increased, mainly PEUGEOT,FORD,MERC,VW,BMW are there and few number of JAGUARS, ALFA ROMEOS and considerable amount of AUDI s are also there. PEUGEOTs are the mainly available europian car

in Sri Lanka. Another interesting fact I can see on the automobile industry these days are people tending to buy small vehicles such as DAIHATSU-HIJET, MITSUBISHI-MINICAB .. those are very economical vehicles not more than 600-800 CC of engine power. so vehicle importers mostly importing such small vehicles these days. INDIAN MARUTI cars also got popular with the rise of fuel prices.

Interesting fact of Sri Lankan automobile industry is diesel vehilcles are popular among people since there's a significant diference between petrol and diesel prices.

Hope you got some points if not don't afraid to mail me on [email protected]

-Harshan

Remember this one, Sylvi? Who is Harshan?

Thanks 'Scooter for mentioning my name on that post he must be proud for informing Automobile the history at that time

In that post one more very important car assembler in 1960 was SKODA by Unit#d Mot#rs. Was omitted by him. Skoda production had gone in very big way in Slovakia after the 2nd World War, 1950s then Ceylon imported CN NUMBERED series by Continental motors few hundred cars were sold in Ceylon. As for my recollection they had their wok shop opposite Browns at Darly road now there is a motor cycle show room. They went bankrupt then Unit#d Mot#rs had the agency till late1970s. I had CN7075 SKODA 2 SKODAS 4 Sri Octavia very reliable car at that time. Most 4SRI about 100 cars were assembled by (UM) them at that time they had ample spares for old models and the newer 4 sri series Octavia as almost every part was interchangeable with old model and newer model. later one SKODA car I fixed an KE20 engine with gear box ran same till 1980 mid part until I sold same. Entire modification at that time cost me under Rupees 5000.00, because the engine with gear box I Bought in japan for Srilankan rupees 3500.00. It was shipped inside a van so no freight cost was involved only invoice same as engine for spares no duty paid.

Sylvi Wijesinghe.

Edited by Sylvi

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sylvi -

could you elaborate about the history about UPALI-MAZDA and UPALI-FIAT.

Which is quite interesting and i couldn't find any descriptive detail on the net.

Thanks

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actually yeah... even I would like to hear about the rise and fall of upali mazda.. :)

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sylvi -

could you elaborate about the history about UPALI-MAZDA and UPALI-FIAT.

Which is quite interesting and i couldn't find any descriptive detail on the net.

Thanks

'chan5',

Honorable Upali Wijewardana was a business man who had more interest in becoming the richest man in South East Asia. That was one reason for his untimely disappear on the Strait of Malacca departure from Surabaya air port.

He assembled few hundred cars at Homagama in his new factory which had a small vehicle testing facility track

In 1969 UMC Mazdas essembled with imported spares. first few vehicles were priced Rupees 31,500 subsequently the were increased to Rupees 39,500. UMC Mazda was a very good car value for that cost at that time

He donated the first Mazda car which he assembled to a Kelaniya Buddhist temple to chief priest Vijthe Dammarakitha. I maintained that vehicle electrical units.

He assembled Upali Fiat 128 in year 1977 with imported spares from the Fiat manufactures.

I am unable to give the cost of that vehicle it was not popular like Mazda.

Sylvi Wijesinghe.

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'chan5',

Honorable Upali Wijewardana was a business man who had more interest in becoming the richest man in South East Asia. That was one reason for his untimely disappear on the Strait of Malacca departure from Surabaya air port.

He assembled few hundred cars at Homagama in his new factory which had a small vehicle testing facility track

In 1969 UMC Mazdas essembled with imported spares. first few vehicles were priced Rupees 31,500 subsequently the were increased to Rupees 39,500. UMC Mazda was a very good car value for that cost at that time

He donated the first Mazda car which he assembled to a Kelaniya Buddhist temple to chief priest Vijthe Dammarakitha. I maintained that vehicle electrical units.

He assembled Upali Fiat 128 in year 1977 with imported spares from the Fiat manufactures.

I am unable to give the cost of that vehicle it was not popular like Mazda.

Sylvi Wijesinghe.

I've heard UMC Mazda and even Upali Fiat used locally manufactured steel for certain body panels. (of Oruwala steel corporation) is that true? or was it re-assembling of knocked down kits just like Micro does ?

if it's the first, we've actually gone backwards in this sector as

1. no steel moulding is being done in locally assembled vehicles (curved body panels of LATEC and D*MO buses were by Fib#x. Same goes to Colombo rider)

2. Latest car to be claimed manufactured in Sri Lanka, Micro 800 used fiberglass body panels

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'chan5',

Honorable Upali Wijewardana was a business man who had more interest in becoming the richest man in South East Asia. That was one reason for his untimely disappear on the Strait of Malacca departure from Surabaya air port.

He assembled few hundred cars at Homagama in his new factory which had a small vehicle testing facility track

In 1969 UMC Mazdas essembled with imported spares. first few vehicles were priced Rupees 31,500 subsequently the were increased to Rupees 39,500. UMC Mazda was a very good car value for that cost at that time

He donated the first Mazda car which he assembled to a Kelaniya Buddhist temple to chief priest Vijthe Dammarakitha. I maintained that vehicle electrical units.

He assembled Upali Fiat 128 in year 1977 with imported spares from the Fiat manufactures.

I am unable to give the cost of that vehicle it was not popular like Mazda.

Sylvi Wijesinghe.

Thanks for sharing your historical memories with us.

First Upali Mazda

upalimazda.jpg

Original Link

http://www.dailynews...02/10/fea02.asp

Edited by Sampath Gunasekera

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'chan5',

He assembled few hundred cars at Homagama in his new factory which had a small vehicle testing facility track

In 1969 UMC Mazdas essembled with imported spares. first few vehicles were priced Rupees 31,500 subsequently the were increased to Rupees 39,500. UMC Mazda was a very good car value for that cost at that time

Sylvi Wijesinghe.

is the car second generation mazda familia.?

Heard that in these times mazda was fitting rotary engines in their most cars, is the one produced here also a rotary? .

Sorry for being noob, i've not seen atleas one, heard my father has got one and which unfortunately was sold before i was born.

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Mr.Sampath Gunasekera,

I thank you having that news paper article written by our old motor cycle racer Mr.Rajah Sinnathuray.

Who was born in Kollupitiya still have immovable asserts in Colombo 03.At present living in Batteramulla who was close associate of “A native son, whose vision embraced the world” honrable Mr. UPALI WIJEWARDANA.

I like to add one more thing on this post all Chief priests to kelaniya temple was from Kollupitiya Wlukarama temple. Which the land said temple is build was presented by the late Helena Wijewardene Lamathani, to kollupitiya Wlukarama temple. Where she owned few acres of that land in the vicinity from Pediris road to Inner flower Road. Still the descendents of her are living including our opposition leader and his family members.

Sylvi Wijesinghe.

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is the car second generation mazda familia.?

Heard that in these times mazda was fitting rotary engines in their most cars, is the one produced here also a rotary? .

Sorry for being noob, i've not seen atleas one, heard my father has got one and which unfortunately was sold before i was born.

'chan5',

I cannot comment much about the engine. I don't think UMC MAZDA assembler would have fitted that engine, because our Mechanics at that era did not have much knowledge maintaining Rotary Engines.

I saw few months back on a Sunday, beautifully reconditioned in S L driving on kandy road one UMC Mazda car.

Sylvi Wijesinghe.

Sylvi Wijesinghe.

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UMC Mazda was based on1st Gen Mazda Luce not Familia. Luce was a bigger car than the familia at that time. Never heard of rotaries in Upali Mazdas.

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