Marking a big turnaround for the Indian CV industry in 1986, the Tata 407 paved the way for modern and versatile CVs. It featured in the Hindi romantic comedy, ‘Hum Hai Rahi Pyaar Ke’ with actor Aamir Khan behind the wheel. A bachelor in charge of three mischievous kids left behind by his sister and her husband, Aamir is also in charge of their heavily indebted garments business. Having a hard time controlling the kids, Aamir also faces inefficient employees. Escaping to visit a carnival one evening, the kids bump into Juhi Chawla who has run away from her home to avoid marrying the man her orthodox family has chosen. They bring her home to hide and is eventually caught by Aamir. He appoints her as their governess upon observing their attachment to her. Repealing Bijlani’s (who has loaned money against the commitment to supply one-lakh shirts) efforts to dismantle the business, Aamir agrees to marry his daughter against the wish of the kids. The kids crash into the engagement function and demolish it.

Irritated, Bijlani and his daughter set to destroy Aamir’s business even as his feelings for Chawla grow. The Bijlani duo set out to auction Aamir’s house even as he and his employees burn the midnight oil to complete the order of one-lakh shirts. The 407 truck delivering the order is hijacked by goons hired by Bijlani. A chain of events lead Aamir, Chawla and the kids to the truck. A drama ensues as Aamir drives it to the venue of the auction, and completes the delivery. Claimed to have been inspired by the Steyr 691, the Tata 407 arrived in a market populated by Indo-Japanese forward control light-duty trucks from DCM Toyota, Swaraj Mazda, Allwyn Nissan, and Mitsubishi Eicher. Made at the Pune plant of Tata Motors, the truck went on to dominate the light-duty market with a GVW of 4.8-tonnes, to begin with. Springing many new variants over time, the truck, powered by a Tata 497 naturally aspirated engine, went on to gain iconic status. The first model to roll out sported a simple, round section front axle and a five-speed manual gearbox. It was backed by an unlimited kilometers warranty for 12 months, and aimed at applications like soft drink carrier, delivery van, water tanker, fire engine, tipper, etc.

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