The Hindi movie featuring Jeetendra in a lead role, ‘Aakhari Dao’ was released in 1975. Of the crime romantic thriller variety, the movie featured a Standard 20 panel van driven by Jeetendra. A freelance professional safecracker (a person who breaks open and robs safes), Jeetendra is conned by Sawan (played by Danny Denzongpa) and Julie (played by Padma Khanna) to open a safe. Ravi is trapped, and gets into a situation. He runs away to a remote village, and finds himself a job at a timber estate. He also finds his love (played by Saira Banu) in the village. Just as he is about to start a new life in the village, Sawan and Julie come searching for him to open another safe that they have stolen. They blackmail Ravi, and trap him. Ravi finds a way out and goes on to lead a happy life.

The Standard Van in the movie is shown as a constant companion of Jeetendra in the movie. It is prominently seen in a scene where Jeetendra at the wheel is shown talking to a cop played by Ramesh Deo. In the van are Danny and Padma. Popular with owner-operators and small businesses, the Standard 20 van was offered as a fully-built vehicle; as a rolling chassis and as a pick-up truck. Claimed to have begun production in 1968 at the Standard Motor Products of India plant at Perungalathur (Madras), the Standard 20 made its way to India from UK as the toolings, etc., were transferred. Production of the van seized in UK at around the same time it started in India. A one-tonne vehicle, the van, growing out of the Standard 15 by acquiring a longer wheelbase and a more powerful engine, was a rear-wheel drive design with the body bolted to a ladder chassis. The engine was a 68 hp, 2088 cc four-cylinder petrol unit mated to a three-speed transmission. The rear axle was of a semi-floating variety. Front suspension was independent with transverse leaf springs. The rear suspension was made up of semi-elliptical springs. Steering was reciprocating ball type.

The body of the van was made of 20 SWG pressed steel panels welded together. The ‘Type-one’ Standard 20 that Jeetendra is seen piloting in the movie had their side panels reinforced by horizontal and vertical top-hat section reinforcements. The front wheels of the van were covered and came to be its unique identifying feature.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *