Saturday, 8 October 2016

Chapter 5 - 'Mahindra Thar Review'

 "After gathering most of the required information, one thing was clear, that the Thar was a superb platform to build a great cross country tourer on. It would allow us to do things we couldn’t have dreamt of in the older Jeeps."

The story continues -
Later some day in the end of Sept 2014 we reached the Silver Jubilee showroom in camp with the required documents and a cheque of around 8.5 lakhs. i was impressed by the way they treated us, everybody was very polite and informative. we felt very comfortable with them.
After all the formalities of booking the  black Thar crde were done, i was reassured that i would get delivery of my Thar in 2 months.

Very happy with the purchase that we did, my wife and me happily came back home with smiling faces. A few days later i informed them about the auspicious date in November, when we wished to pick up my Thar .

In these 2 months we carried on with life with an inert excitement, we also made a short trip to Spain for a friends wedding where obviously another dream of mine was waiting to be fulfilled-'The Bull run'. The original bull run occurs in Pamplona, in Navarre region of Spain in July during a 8 day festival and such festivals are repeated almost quarterly in various regions of Spain. Bull runs are a traditional part of summer festivals across Spain. We were fortunate to participate in one such run. Me and my wife are extremely fit and thought it wouldn't be tough, But when you have 6 ferocious bulls running down the street behind you, the experience becomes very noisy, scary and  fun(only if you come out unhurt) , which we did.
Revelers run around Nunez del Cubillo's fighting bulls on the Estafeta corner during the seventh running of the bulls at the San Fermin Festival
With beautiful romantic memories in our hearts we left Spain, promising each other to return back someday for one more Bull run. 

Back home some days later, the auspicious moment arrived and we reached Silver Jubilee motors, camp. We were welcomed by the staff who was as polite as usual, pics were clicked, required documents were handed over and we with a smile on our faces stepped in our dream machine.  Slowly, cautiously we drove through the crowded streets of Pune to reach our house safely where another round of pooja was done.

The only sad part about the experience with Silver Jubilee was that my Thar was showing a run of 300 kms already, which means those ruffians had used my Thar for test drives for many customers, and that really hurt us no end..All of a sudden we felt cheated and obviously sad.
With mixed feelings we slept only to rise again the next morning with a twinkle in our eyes.

Lots of work had to be done, lots of modifications had to be done. As seen in the above pic we had already done a few cosmetic changes in our Thar i.e

1) Front guard.

2) The rear guard which holds the extra wheel, so that excess pressure does not mount on the back door, which would hamper the working of the locking mechanism.

3) Headlight and Tail light grills.

4) Garware sunscreen films of legally acceptable visibility.

5) Insect Mesh.

Going back a bit, the journey from the showroom to our house was making us blush like a newly wed girl. Almost everybody was staring and admiring our vehicle as if they were seeing a beautiful hot girl walk down a ramp. That feeling is something i would want to live with all my life and at that moment all the money spent seemed worth it.

The next week we went to Iskcon to buy some Bhagwat Gitas, which we wanted to distribute to a old age home, obviously our Thar was of immense use to us due to its space and load carrying capacity. That day my wife said we are lucky that our Jeep is a Vaishnava too(followers of Lord Vishnu). We had already started feeling at ease in our Jeep. She was now our family, our constant companion.

Somehow from the beginning we have always referred the Thar as the 'Jeep'. We are more comfortable that way and we realised that our Jeep likes it that way too.

Some 200kms down the line, the following inferences were made:- 

What we loved about the Thar

1)  Neighbour's envy...... forever.

2) Strong macho retro looks.

3) Immense road presence, grabs attention like no other vehicle i know.

4) Strong military grade construction.

5) Turbocharged intercooled 2500 cc NEF Crde diesel engine churning out 105 horse power, one of the best in business.

6) A 4 wheel drive (Advanced Borg Warner transfer case) which can take you to heaven and back.

7) High commanding  position with great view of the road .

8) Powerful Air conditioning.

9) Independent front suspension.

10) Rugged, all weather, all terrain offroader.

11) Power steering which makes driving a breeze.

12) High ground clearance of 200 mm.

* Our list would be incomplete without our favourite video

What we didn't like

1) non attractive cheap interiors

2) uncomfortable seats

3) rear leaf spring suspension which gives a very hard bumpy ride and makes a squeaky sound.

4) basic highway bridgestone tyres.

5) less legroom for co passenger seat.

6) hard shock absorbers.

7) Weak headlights

8) Absence of 12v charging point

9) Absence of a good music system

10) Absence of power windows.

We now had a clear idea of the weaknesses that we would have to work on, our goal ultimately being to make a 'Jeep' that would be our life long companion, which would take us to places where no one has dared to go before, one that we would be proud of till we live.

Soon, eventually the journey of modification began.....