60 Yrs On, Grandson Rewrites Unfinished Story of Grandpa’s 1st ‘Made in India’ Car

Karthikayanni Menon, wife K A B Menon

K A B Menon launched Aravind Automobiles, under which he made the Aravind Baby Model 3, the country's first Made in India car, which his grandson is now looking to revive.

Long before Atmanirbhar became the clarion call of the nation, a self-taught engineer was fanning the winds of change in a small garage in Kerala. Back then, his tale would hardly have counted as a success story. But 64 years later, his successors are trying to breathe life into a long-forgotten dream.

In 1956, K A B Menon built what was reportedly the first indigenous car. His company, Aravind Automobiles, even managed to find its grip in the post-independence economic crunch. The car that Menon designed was similar to the American classic models powered by the Fiat 1100D engine. This little machine, officially named the Aravind Model 3, came to affectionately be known as ‘Baby’, and was priced at around Rs 5,000.

The prototype of Aravind Baby Model 3 was submitted for approval to the Government of India under then prime minister Indira Gandhi but was duly rejected. Menon’s untimely death in 1971 brought an abrupt end to the unfinished story of the first ‘Made in India’ car.

But in 2020, ‘Baby’ and Menon’s journey is being revived by the latter’s grandson, who is attempting to launch Model 3 as an electric car.

Watch how Menon scripted history in this video below:

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