MUV, if talk about this particular class of vehicle, how much seating capacity can we talk about? 7-8? But what if I tell you there was a vehicle that used to carry much more than 10 people? The ones who have travelled in a Matador surely know the infinite seating capacity of this MUV. So, today, let’s go back in time and take a look at the history of Bajaj Tempo Matador.

1924: The year when Tempo came into existence

Vidal & Sohn Tempo-Werke
Vidal & Sohn Tempo-Werke | Image Credits

The tempo is not just a filthy vehicle with a random number of seats on four wheels. It actually dates back to 1924 when Vidal & Sohn Tempo-Werke was found in Germany. This company started building vehicles such as Viking and Matador. The MUV in talks today is the Matador. It was in the year 1969 when the Indian carmaker Firodia ltd. (Later acquired by Bajaj Tempo, thus the name) started the production of Matador in India. Within no time, due to the mileage and utility, Matador became a huge success in India.

Bajaj Tempo Matador

Matador
Matador | Source {1}

The Matador was India’s first diesel light-motor vehicle. It came loaded with a D 301 E2 1.8-litre engine. Let’s take a look at the specifications.

Engine Specification | Bajaj Tempo Matador

Engine D 301 E2 1.8
Capacity 1797cc
Power 48hp@3,800rpm
Torque 105.9Nm@2,300-2,600rpm
Fuel Efficiency 11-13kms/litre

High fuel efficiency is the main USP of this vehicle. It had good driving dynamics with front wheels being driven by the engine. The engine was paired to a 5-speed manual gearbox. The panoramic sunroof provided very good visibility. It was available in left-hand drive as well as right-hand drive.

A Bollywood Tradition  

Matador in Khiladi 420
Matador in Khiladi 420 | Source: {1}

Matador became a cult very soon. And with Bollywood movies such as Khatta Meetha (1978) showcasing the Tempo Matador, it entered the pop culture too. The camp drives, musical or food festivals, or anything exorbitant, you might come across a Tempo.

The Ultimate Utility

Matador Utility
Matador Utility | Credits

The Bajaj Tempo Matador offered a great utility right from the factory. A Pickup Truck, Dual-Cabin Pick Up Truck, Delivery Van, Station Wagon or Utility Van, you could choose from a variety of options. Be it commercial or private use, Bajaj Tempo offered a complete package for every type of needs.

Bajaj Tempo: A Brief about the Company

Force Motors: The lesser-known facts about the Indian Manufacturer
Force Motors: The lesser-known facts about the Indian Manufacturer

We already are aware of the Indian carmaker Firodia ltd. which was later acquired by Bajaj Tempo in 1951. This company started building utility vehicles such as tempo, auto-rickshaws and small trucks. Matador is also one of them. But do you know that the same company, Bajaj Tempo, was renamed in 2005 to Force Motors? Yes, you read that right! Force Motors. The totally Indian automobile company that we very well know of. History is quite amusing, isn’t it? Want to know some more interesting facts about Force Motors

Take a look: Force Motors: The lesser-known Facts about the Indian Manufacturer

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Bajaj Tempo Matador | The Final Callback

From school vans to public transportation, Matador has been a prominent part of the Indian automotive industry for sure. People born after the 2000s might not be aware of this vehicle, but ask your dads and see the nostalgia hitting them hard. And this was all for this visit to history. Did we bring back some memories? Do let us know in the comments section below.

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