An Ambassador for Adventure: Introducing the India’s Cup
Custom Amby road trip in India

After 9 years of success with the Rickshaw Challenge, named by Lonely Planet as one of the “World’s Greatest Adventures” in 2012, we conjured up a brand new adventure embracing India’s vibrant car culture. Headed up by the beloved Ambassador, the inaugural India’s Cup kicked off 20 January 2015 on an epic journey round South India for over 3600km! We covered 6 Indian states in 13 days, with a lot of driving, a few breakdowns and saw the best South India has to offer!

Customized Hindustan Ambassador trip in India
Bringing back the Amby!

Our 5 teams with 14 participants from 5 countries kicked off in their brightly coloured cars from Chennai to Vijayawada for the first day, which posed quite the challenge initially. Our beloved Ambassador cars are not known for being the marvel of engineering so we had a couple of breakdowns at the very beginning of the adventure, which adds to the fun.

The iconic Hindustan Ambassador was the first car manufactured in India, and was once called the “king of the Indian roads” before it ceased production in May 2014, Top Gear also declared it the “best taxi in the world” in 2002. It’s great for short distances, challenging for longer ones.

Rebuilt Hindustan Ambassadors with custom paintjob
Meet the cars!

Once we broke the journey on the first day, it was then onto Hyderabad which presented us with the tough task of navigating through Indian traffic. We already battled our way out of Chennai, but getting into Hyderabad felt like an odyssey in itself.

Because of the traffic, some of the teams opted to leave at the crack of dawn, while the rest of us tried to make the most and saw a bit of the city with a detour to Golconda Fort. This is India’s second largest fort and is located just outside the Hyderabad. After a small break to see the sites, we then braved the terrible roads that took us to Hampi.

After recovering from the bumps and bruises on the way to central Karnataka, we got the chance to visit one of India’s most fascinating archaeological sites, which really sprawls out of kilometres on end. We only dipped our toe in the water where Hampi was concerned, but we got a feel for the vastness and epic proportion this ancient capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was not the only such sites we passed in the India’s Cup, since we had 5 official sites on our route and 3 additional tentative UNESCO Sites as well!

Explore southern India in a vintage car
The sights on the India’s Cup!

Once we were done with Hampi, our teams got to chill out for a day in Goa before we headed down to Mangalore, Mysore, up into the tea fields of Ooty and then down into Kerala and back up into Tamil Nadu and Chennai.

Palolem resort in Goa India
Chill out in Goa.

However, only the strongest teams made it back to Chennai, one team, The Sarriors, abandoned ship in Trivandrum, and decided they wanted to spend more time on the beach in place of driving, and Hungarian team Rabbit Adventures went down from 4 to 2 participants, since a couple members of their party had to leave India for work related reasons. The winners of our very first India’s Cup were Brits Hindependent Racing, who ploughed on no matter the circumstances! It was a bumpy ride, in an Ambassador at that, but memories were definitely made in the process.

Are you crazy enough to come along for the ride? Then join us on the next India’s Cup. Then get a team together and lets see you at the starting line! If you want to join us in spirit, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter or Instagram to keep up with our latest antics.


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