By Kaustubh Shinde
Today let’s take a trip down the memory lane to know more about the most iconic parcel delivering, tourist moving van - The Maruti Omni. Yeah we know, not the most glamorous of all topics.
When I first drove the Omni (and this was quite a long time back), there was this distinct feeling of disconnect from the gear box. Much to my horror, I got the same feeling when I was driving the Chevy spark. Baffled by this knowing, I started digging in deeper. Didn’t take me long to find that way back in 1986, Omni was actually built by GM in partnership with Suzuki.
The ‘Bedford Rascal’ and yes they did call it a Rascal. I guess back then product branding was by hairy-chested men who used to drink gallons of beer and arm wrestled all night long. Anyways, back to the story, the Rascal was jointly developed by GM and Suzuki and was sold under GM's British-based Bedford marque. It was also sold by Suzuki in other markets under the name of Supercarry. Considering its diminutive strength, the name ‘Super’carry is honestly a bit optimistic. It was ambitious.
Although the Bedford Rascal, which is a pickup truck, and Omni, a mini van, were basically on the same platform, the former was more powerful (with a 4 cylinder, 44bhp engine) as opposed to the later (with a 3 cylinder, 37 bhp engine).
Yet to get to grips with the connection? Head over to Wikipedia's Beford Rascal page to learn it better.