The Maruti 800 is a beloved car among many Indians. For many it was their first car and enjoyed a very long production run of almost 30 years. The basic nature of the Maruti 800 made it a very dependable daily driver and held the record for the lowest overall maintenance & parts cost in the country.
Despite all the love that the Maruti 800 got, it was never really considered a performance beast or luxurious, the lower trims didn’t even come with AC. So for those of you who are just not ready to depart with your 800 just yet, here are a few things you can do to make the car suited for daily driving.
- Retrofit AC: Most low trim and earlier models of the Maruti 800 didn’t even come with a factory fitted AC as a cost saving measure. If you happen to be the owner of one such example, you can easily retrofit a complete AC assembly for just under Rs.25000 including mechanic charges. The parts are really cheap and the basic nature makes it a relatively easy job.
- Upgrade Brakes: The Maruti 800 never had the best brakes to begin with. As a matter of fact, they would be considered pretty abysmal by today’s standards. Luckily however, it’s not difficult to upgrade the brakes on the vehicle and a complete brake overhaul can be done for just under Rs.5000. While you are at it, it might be a good idea to upgrade the stock tyres as the original 145/70 won’t really do much justice to the modified Maruti 800
- Restoration: The 800 might join a cult status soon in the country as even fairly average examples of the 800 ever really depreciated much. So if you are thinking upon restoring your Maruti 800, it might actually pay off in the long run. Even now pristine conditions of the car sell for way over what they are worth 30 years later and retain their value incredibly well.
- Power Steering Mod: The Maruti 800 was never really sold with a power steering and that made it quite difficult to manoeuvre around towns, despite its smaller proportions. Hopefully it is possible to install a power steering mod on the Maruti 800 with some technical knowhow, and a few users on car forums seem to be joining this trend.
- Suspension upgrades: The stock suspension of the Maruti 800 did their job just fine but by today’s standards they are quite harsh as it was built on a budget. There are a lot of aftermarket suspension kits that a few OEM manufacturers sell. A skilled enough workshop might be able to overhaul the stock suspension and make the ride of the vehicle more stable and improve ride quality.
The Maruti 800, along with the Zen,is two of the most modified hatchbacks in the country. They don’t cost much to get a significant performance bump and have been tastefully modified by a few owners in India. Examples of pre-owned Maruti 800 modified can be found in abundance in many online portals, however look for ones with low wear and tear, as these have probably been used extensively by each owner.