Hi Guys..I am feeling very privileged to be a part of The Automotive India
. I am looking forward to learn quiet a bit from you guys. I have bought a Thar crde and it is very close to my heart. I wish to share my journey, hoping you all like it and reciprocate with your valuable feedback..Here goes..
TO EXPLORE THE UNEXPLORED...TO BOLDLY GO WHERE NO ONE HAS GONE BEFORE Mahindra Thar Chapter 1 - 'Beginning of a Dream'
Everybody has a jeep story, I too have one and it is dedicated to my dad 'Mr Chander.N.Bathija' who loved and supported me forever and ever.
It happened by chance one day when I was having a discussion with my wife as to buying a suv..it was just a discussion coz we had no money and we don’t believe in taking loans, so it was only a discussion..
Now that gave me a topic that I could search on line, and that would keep me excited for a few days..i went through loads of cars, suvs on loads of websites, n somewhere I saw a Thar or a jeep that we have seen in old movies, never thought they were still made..Then I learnt that Mahindra and Mahindra had just brought about the first jeep (’Thar’) in production in 2010 ( man was I really excited)..
I love to watch old movies that’s like black and white era of Shammi kapoor, Dev anand..as a kid sumhow these movies with their sweet songs always fascinated me, that’s were I had seen jeeps and probably that’s were my love for them must have begun..so now I wanted to watch all those movies again.. now I had more research and more fun on my hands..i remembered Dev Anand and Asha Parekh's movie ‘Jab pyaar kisi se hota hai’ and remembered Pran and his jeep ..So the next thing I knew, I was on Amazon.in purchasing a Dvd of the above movie. Now that movie would take a couple of days to reach me..Till then I decided to continue with my research on Thar.
This was in beginning 2011 and Thar was launched sometime in 2010, so all inputs were around a year old..Reviews by Topgear, Overdrive, The Automotive India, Team-BHP and many others almost said the same thing about Thar-"A tough macho exterior with military grade construction, Turbocharged intercooled 2500 cc NEF Crde diesel engine churning out 105 horse power and 240Nm of torque with a 4 wheel drive (Advanced Borg Warner transfer case) which could climb a wall and costing around 7.5 lakhs on road".
The Thar which really fascinated me was this.
] Somewhere on our forum , 'The Automotive India' I also came across a pic of Mr Behram Dhabhar (The Founder and Father of Thar)
.. That’s when I first read about him, a Parsee, a gentleman, a genius, an adventurer and a man of steel.
On further surfing I found a video of Mr Behram Dhabhar launching the Thar. Note the Thar was launched without an Ac, but I was sure somewhere down the line a lot of improvements would take place...This was the end of my research and probably the beginning of a Dream..
Life continued thereafter and I became busy with my own work..
On one very miserable day of Oct 2011, Dad suddenly passed away due to a heart attack, he left his life in my arms. He had immense love for me and my wife. He always said ‘God bless you beta’ when we would touch his feet, and these were also his last words...
All of a sudden there was no one who would support us and bless us. All of a sudden the world seemed a very scary place to live in.. We had nothing in our name, no house, no money, no support.. Dads departure broke us completely..if it wasn’t for my dads two sisters, I don’t know where we would have been…
Days passed by, but our emotional level kept dropping..we would shed tears at the drop of a pin..i would weep endlessly in front of Lord Shiva saying "Wish you could see how alone and miserable we are without dad".
Me and my wife were residing in my grandfathers place where we had started a small indoor clinic, we being doctors by profession..one day a lady from Orissa was admitted in my clinic for some gynaec reason and by Gods grace she improved very soon. On her discharge my wife requested her for some prasad of Lord Jagannath (Lord Krishna), as she resided in Puri, Orissa..
A few days later we received a small courier from Orissa.obviously we thought our patient had sent us some Prasad..at night some time after dinner I thought of opening the box and having Prasad..and as I opened the box, I realized that there were no eatables but 3 small wooden dolls.
With shivering hands I laid them on the table and called my wife..she came , she saw, she trembled and then she cried..and I still didn’t know what was happening..The 3 wooden dolls were Lord Jagannath, Subhadra and Balaram, hardly 5 inches tall and yet with power that governs the universe..That episode changed our lives forever.
From left to right are LORD BALARAM , MOTHER SUBHADRA , LORD JAGANNATH
Five years and a many miracles later, today when I am typing this story, I own a huge house, a 10 bed hospital and 6 other properties...And you would ask me if I did all that with my hard work? With tears in my eyes, I would fold my hands, point towards Lord Jagannath and say ‘They did it”. My Jeep story is also one such miracle..... Mahindra Thar Chapter 2 - 'Decision Taken' Mahindra Thar Chapter 3- 'The Jeep Legacy'
Mahindra Thar Chapter 4 - 'The Thar Is Born'
I have added a link for the above three chapters just to make this journey less lengthy. 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 by my wife.
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.
So we modified our Jeep. And this is how we did it. 'Mahindra Thar Modified'