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Peugeot Showed How to Build Your Dreams With a 206 Picture and a Hindustan Ambassador

When the Peugeot 206 was first presented in 1999, it caused a frisson – to keep things as French as they should be. Anyone old enough will remember how car buyers wanted to have one as soon as the supermini was available in their countries. Peugeot captured that spirit perfectly with a famous commercial of an Indian man with a will: drive a 206.
Peugeot teached how to transform a Hindustan Ambassador into a 206 in a fun commercial 16 photos
Peugeot teached how to transform a Hindustan Ambassador into a 206 in a fun commercialPeugeot teached how to transform a Hindustan Ambassador into a 206 in a fun commercialPeugeot teached how to transform a Hindustan Ambassador into a 206 in a fun commercialPeugeot teached how to transform a Hindustan Ambassador into a 206 in a fun commercialPeugeot teached how to transform a Hindustan Ambassador into a 206 in a fun commercialPeugeot teached how to transform a Hindustan Ambassador into a 206 in a fun commercialPeugeot teached how to transform a Hindustan Ambassador into a 206 in a fun commercialPeugeot teached how to transform a Hindustan Ambassador into a 206 in a fun commercialPeugeot teached how to transform a Hindustan Ambassador into a 206 in a fun commercialPeugeot teached how to transform a Hindustan Ambassador into a 206 in a fun commercialPeugeot teached how to transform a Hindustan Ambassador into a 206 in a fun commercialPeugeot teached how to transform a Hindustan Ambassador into a 206 in a fun commercialPeugeot teached how to transform a Hindustan Ambassador into a 206 in a fun commercialPeugeot teached how to transform a Hindustan Ambassador into a 206 in a fun commercialPeugeot teached how to transform a Hindustan Ambassador into a 206 in a fun commercial
When there is a will, there is a way. And the way this young man found to achieve his goal was to follow what a Chinese company currently adopted as its own name: build your dreams. As you may imagine, BYD had no participation whatsoever in this, but we could not miss the chance to use its unusual name here.

The commercial starts with the man giving a fixed stare at his car, which looks like a modified white Hindustan Ambassador. It is slightly different, possibly to avoid associations with the famous Indian vehicle, even if that was inevitable. After looking at it for a while, the man drives it against a wall. He does the same while moving backward – in an apparent effort to reduce the front and rear overhangs.

The next scene shows him using an elephant in his endeavors, so mysterious at this point that it is fair to suppose he just lost his mind. What follows does not make it any better: he hits the Ambassador’s body with a hammer multiple times. As his work evolves, he becomes more careful, seemingly sculpting the body. Late in the evening, he starts welding something.

When he seemingly finishes his work, he opens ripped pages from a magazine and admires a Peugeot 206 advertisement. When he puts the pages down, we can see the result: the Hindustan now looks very much like the supermini – after an earthquake, but the general shape is there. That does not bother this young man: he is in love with his “new car.” In the evening, he invites two of his friends for a ride and starts courting a young lady that seems to admire his fake 206.

Just like these movies in which a car keeps running even after crashing multiple times, the commercial is just a fun fantasy. There is no way the first crash would not have destroyed the radiator or that the thick steel panels in the front and the rear would have preserved the cabin: the Ambassador’s doors would probably not open anymore. The elephant sitting on top of the hood would also make the engine drop underneath the vehicle: no mount would resist that push…

None of these reality checks makes the commercial less entertaining. On the contrary: if the 206 replica were to follow engineering-correct steps, it would either prove impossible or too much work for a short advertisement. Curiously, Peugeot was not present in the Indian market in 1999, and it bought the name Ambassador from Hindustan. In the end, Stellantis is now in that market with Citroën and the locally-assembled C5 Aircross and the CC21, now called C3 in India and Brazil.

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