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gearhead3 last won the day on February 5 2018

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About gearhead3

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  1. Very interesting concept! I wish you could have highlighted the form of the transmission of engine torque to the wheels - there is nothing in the photographs that give a hint. Perhaps it was intended by the mfrs - not to give away to much information!
  2. I get the feeling that this may be the last hurrah for these examples of this segment (Fortuner. Endeavor, MU7, the new Rexton & maybe some others I can't recall off the bat) - at least as far as the exteriors are concerned! They all seem to have the same stem cell roots, so to speak! I mean, I'm all for retaining the ruggedness & durability of the body-on-chassis structure. But the exterior seems to have run into a writer’s block - the same basic dated lines for a long while now. I had hoped that M&M might take the lead & come up with something interesting (having an Italian design studio in tow now!), while retaining the separate body/chassis structure. But as I have mentioned elsewhere, Pininfarina seems no longer to be the entity it was earlier, before the collapse. All of us who are rooting for the domestic majors hope now that it will be TML who'll show the way ahead - they have already given a foretaste of things to come with the Hexa. Let's wait for the rest of the story to unfold. __________________
  3. Traveling with an extended family Traveling with pets in India is still not a recommended pastime. For a very good reason – even today there are very, very few establishments that are pet friendly. I have spent a night in Panjim, Goa, sleeping in the car – it was a Tata Sierra then – with Darth (Daisy hadn’t arrived on the scene yet), while my wife, daughter and her classmate slept on hotel beds! And this was not an isolated incident. Our stopover at Bodhgaya, on the way to Kolkata, is still an awful memory! Till we discovered that pet lover’s Holy Grail – the Circuit House/Dak Bungalow/ PWD Rest House and other establishments that dot our highways in satisfying numbers! There one usually found that after a minor consideration – of say a couple of hundred rupees, more nowadays I’m sure – the watchman/chowkidar was more than happy to let you and your pets stay the night. And in a pinch he would also prepare dinner for the family! There have been times when, after an exhausting day’s drive, we have wolfed down thick bajra rotis and hot arhar dal like Cordon Bleu! We normally carry pet food with us when traveling with them, so they have not suffered (though, at home, my wife invariably prepares home cooked food for them). The one cardinal rule we never break is to give them plenty of water while traveling and stop every few hours for them to ease themselves. A bursting bladder is just as excruciating for them as for us.
  4. Allow me to say right away that this is not a travelogue. There are no well-planned itineraries, route charts, time/distance logs and so on. It is simply a collection of memories over the years – starting from ‘97 and still ongoing – all centering around Naukuchiatal and our visits there and places nearby. It is also about the joy and fun we have received from our pets – our boxers Darth, Daisy and later Kluso and Pearl – who have accompanied us often in our travels. Pearl, by the way, is that comparative rarity, a white boxer or checkered boxer, as they are called in the parlance. So if we have let slip a few photographs of our extended canine family – nothing to do with our travels – then we crave your indulgence! Put it down to that blind spot all parents have towards the family. I suspect that, like me, most other members here are car addicts for whom the journey itself - the drive - is the thing, and not so much the destination. But for us, Naukuchiatal is the exception that makes the rule! It is the one destination to which we always look forward to with anticipation - impatient for the drive to end. Also, we have never had a chauffeur, preferring to do our own driving at all times. And, after one major shunt on the Sitapur road outside Lucknow in 2012, we no longer drive after dark. My eyesight is not 6X6 now – I am 65+ – and I happily accept that prudence is the better part of valour! So now we stick to dawn-to-dusk driving during our travels.
  5. Hello drivingpin, Once every hour is a bit steep I have to admit! We do the Lucknow >< Kolkata trip (via NH2) using the GQ fairly frequently - once a year usually - and I don't remember encountering toll booths so frequently. Great travelogue I must say
  6. Hello micheljohn, As one newbie to another, I am happy to have come across your new post. It is reassuring to know that someone else too is new to a place! Regards, Shashanka
  7. Hello, fellow members! First off, thank you Autocar India for accepting my application for membership to this forum - it’s certainly a pleasure! I am Shashanka Choudhury, a 65+ year old, young at heart, fully -retired marine engineer. The last stint I did on a blue water flag was a 10-year tenure (no pun intended) as Chief Engineer on Mitsui's car career fleet, ferrying cars (mostly Japanese) round the world, usually to the U.S., Europe, Central and South America. I have been an automotive gearhead (I prefer the term over the more popular petrol head as I've worked with Diesel engines all my working life!) since I was first smitten ( by a little Renault Dauphine) as an 11-year old, cycling my way to school in the early sixties. From that, I (and my fellow felons) graduated to surreptitiously peeling the Motoring centrespread from the Illustrated London News (now defunct as so much else in this world) in the British Council Library above the old Mayfair Cinema in Lucknow. I was doing my Inter Science from Christ Church College at the time and our coup-de-grace was a blow-up of the Maserati Ghibli (the original, not the current iteration) which was one of Georgetto Guigiaro's earlier and most spectacular successes. I must still be having the cutting somewhere. Over the years, very fortunately, my wife and I have been able to indulge our abiding interest in touring the country by road. It started with a trip (in 1995) from Mumbai>Lucknow>Uttaranchal>Lucknow>Mumbai, spending time both in Lucknow but mostly touring Uttaranchal. The route: NH3 to Shivpuri and then NH25 to Lucknow via Kanpur. Our steed of choice on that first trip was a white Maruti Omni which we had bought in 1988 and on which we lavished a great deal of TLC! Since then there have been many more trips to Uttaranchal (have lost count to be quite honest) as well as trips from Mumbai>Madikeri (Coorg district in the Nilgiris) and back as well as trips from Lucknow>Kolkata and back. There have been other cars too - the Tata Sierra, M & M Scorpio, the Hyundai Getz, the Maruti Eeco – the Scorpio & the Eeco are still with us. We are also serious dog lovers - we have had boxers, and only boxers - for the past many years. One of them - Daisy, may her soul rest in peace - was the B-O-B Champion at the INKC show in Mumbai in 2004. And they have also been our travelling companions for most of our trips. I also have an interest in the paranormal, including UFOs and the alien abduction phenomena. This last has often resulted in a certain amount of ribbing from friends and family members. But then, as I have always maintained, to each his own! I'll wind up here and once again thank Autocar India and hope that I can contribute to the fun and enjoyment of this forum. With best regards, Shashanka Choudhury