End of May 2010 saw me clock 32,000KM's on the odo. My boy was begging for a new set of rubbers(read tyres
) and he certainly deserved it.The stock JK's had pretty much worn out.
I had started my search on a few popular forums for the best set of tyres and the right size to upgrade to. Finally decided it would be either Yokohoma-S Drives or the Maxxis Aramis in the size 205/55/R15.
Having decided to change the tyres, I had already decided on the kind of alloys w.r.t the design. Now finding them in a decent brand and price range was the next task. Had enquired with quite a few people and could not locate anything close to it. I had a perception of what Mav should look like eventually and this helped me resist the temptation to go in for any other available design for the alloys. I wanted what I wanted. Period.
So after 2-3 weeks of scouting around and having hit a dead end, I called up my friend Akash (Final Touch - Mission Road), yet again. I know he starts crying each time he sees my name pop up on his cell.
I just dont like troubling him too much because he is a good friend and he knows how stubborn I could be when I set my mind on something that I want. So anyhow, I show him the design I want and had asked him to source me the same design from a decent brand like Lenso,Konig or AVA. With the perplexed look on his face, I was pretty sure that if I did not end up liking what he would later find, he would most probably shoot me! And now, I exit from his shop, waving him goodbye, pretty much confident that I would most probably incur his wrath in the coming days.
Two long depressing weeks later, I get a call from Akash saying he has something for me. I go over to his place and he takes me to his storage warehouse. VIOLA !
Exactly what I had in mind from KONIG. He had sourced out the alloys in the exact design I had in mind. I was quite shocked that he got me exactly what I had shown him and from the look on my face, he thought I would say "No Akash, this is not what I wanted!".He has seen me on this road before you see. I think he turned quite a few shades of red and purple while I pondered over as to whether I should joke around and say a NO. Seeing purple turn blue, I said YES ! NOTE:
Akash if you ever read this, dont shoot me. I just wanted to tell them how much I troubled you for these. Thanks for bearing with me so far and consider this is an advance for all the harassment I am yet to bring down on you.
So alloys all set, purchased the tyres Maxis Aramis - MA-Z1 Victra - 205/55/R15.
So by October 2010, my boy was running with a brand new set of shiny 15inchers and fresh smelling rubbers.
It was during this time that I had tried to reuse a custom bodykit made for another swift. It did not work out well as the ground clearance was very low for the front. Whats worse was that I had been at the end of a hit-and-run. A biker on a bullet with a crash guard which was rather too big for a crash guard had tried to squeeze in between me and a rick that was waiting at a signal. Even after seeing the gap was too small and narrow, this chap decides to go through thereby making a dent+scratches all over my left side starting from the rear-wheel arch all the way till the front. He also scrapes and scratches the rick on his left. He pulls through the gap thereby pulling out the left side of the front bumper and then takes off in a jiffy jumping the signal as he had damaged both my mav and the rick. In the shock of the moment, I failed to note down the bike's plates.
Anyhow, damage done is done. After 2 days, I went over to Sai Colorium, Bangalore. I knew the owner, Mr.Anant, through a mutual friend. Plus I had heard a lot of good reviews for Sai Colorium from friends and have seen the outcome of their work as well. I wanted the damage repaired through insurance as there were multiple dents and scratches on 4 different panels. While at the place, I noticed that there were a couple of cars with custom body kits without the mods painted. Enquired with Anant and found out that they do custom body mods/restorations etc. He introduced me to R.K.Ramesh, who is a GENIUS. RKR is a person who shifted to the IT field after doing his B.Com. From there, he went on to work for HAL in a top project as a design engineer. Thereafter, he decided to pursue his MS in Automotive Design from the Coventry University in UK. Now he is back and has started over again in life as a freelance automotive designer and restoration expert. He is working as an automotive designer for Sai Colorium and in charge of the mods division there. I have asked him quite a few times to put up his work for the world to see on a website, but the humble soul he is, always replies "My work will speak for itself. That is enough ! "
However demanding I became, RKR listened to my ideas patiently. I had spoken to him at length about giving a new look for my mav. I had initially decided to purchase the Hikari kit and get it painted at Sai Colorium along with the damage repairs. Then changed minds after seeing RKR's work there. Besides I had seen quite a few swift's on the road running with the same hikari kit. Now I had liked the front of the Hikari and the rear of the GTi kit. So I discuss with RKR and showed him a few designs of what I had in mind.RKR worked on blending the designs I had showed him and i loved the outcome. Dropped the car off with Sai Colorium in the 2nd week of december 2010. By now, it was decided that they would build the custom body mods.
Along with the body work, I was thinking of installing a set of Hella lamps for highway usage. But the addition of something like that in the front was quite disturbing as I wanted the final outcome to be one as a whole. Fixing Hella's was dropped. RKR had a better suggestion. He suggested a more powerful set of fog lamps to replace the stock lamps. T700 lamp units with powerful 80W90 bulbs were sourced.
The work started on the damage repair and the mods were going on side by side.The wait was just too painful as I had become too impatient now at the last moment. The patience in me vanished, simply because I just wanted to see how mav would look like finally. I had been visiting RKR on a daily basis and just enjoyed watching him at his creative best with his sketches and his creative solutions to any problems. And so days seemed like months and I started feeling as though the Gods were extending each day to 240 hours instead of 24.
To be continued..(Stay tuned for Part 02).