Spirit of Ecstasy Drive In London: Centenary of the ‘silver lady’

How do you recognise a particular car is a Rolls Royce? Undoubtedly by the most famous hood mascot lying right above its grille , the Spirit of Ecstasy. Rolls Royce recently marked the hundred years of the presence of the Spirit of Ecstasy. To mark this centenary on 6th February 2011, Rolls Royce had organised a drive in the streets of London to pay the due respect to it. This piece of beauty has been a true sense of luxury over these 100 years. It has catered to many famous personalities right from film stars to  sports persons.

So as part of the celebration, Rolls Royce took out the 100 best cars from its shed. This ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ drive was hosted in London. This drive was flagged in Belgravia and  ended right at Syon House in London West. The route was marked by the various famous and less famous places which had their place in the history of Rolls Royce, including the place of birth of Charles Rolls.  The Spirit of Ecstasy is an icon of truth, love, luxury and freedom. This beautiful goddess has adorned all the vehicles in the Rolls Royce family except only two vehicles. One being the  Phantom IV which was delivered to Princess Elizabeth in the year 1950 which posses her own mascot and then the second Phantom IV in the year 1954 when Princess Margaret who choose a Pegasus as her mascot.


Spirit of Ecstasy is a hood ornament or hood mascot of Rolls Royce. This hood mascot was drafted in the year 1910 and was fitted in the year 1911 on 6th February. This mascot is in a form of a woman who seems to be leaning and has her hands stretched behind her, and her cloth is fluttering behind her which gives an impression of wings. Now the catch is that from one angle it seems that the women had taken a jump which she is enjoying the very feel of it and some claim that she is getting ready to take a jump and probably she is on a height which is making her piece of cloth billow. Spirit of Ecstasy was originally designed by the Charles Robinson Sykes. This little piece of beauty has many round of secrets swelled in between that time. Before the final draft, there were many alterations made in it.

How to make your driving experience to a ghat fun yet safe

So, the holiday time is coming near…Many of you probably have already started with the planning process. Even I have planned a nice road trip with my best of buddies. I’m sure like me, many of you must be planning to go to some Ghats. While I’ll say the plan is fantablous, the problems associated are such a pain in the bums. If you didn’t plan it well, you might probably end up getting frustrated all the way in your “supposed to be cool” journey with your friends or family for that matter. So, there are few steps involved in the planning process. I’m sure by the end of this article you might become aware as what you should do and what not.

Ok, so you drafted the final plan. How it will start, where will be the pit stops, where to eat, to wait and to arrive. Right? And now you think it is as simple as the spelling of your own name. It’s not! So, firstly you should surf the net and find out how many checkpoints are there in the journey. You just can’t simply assume that there none in your way and simply draft your beautiful idea. Purchase a small map of the route or take out a printout from the net itself and mark those checkpoints. Also take an account of various garages in the way. Reason being that the ghats is the place where surprisingly maximum breakdown occurs. Maybe because of the strain the vehicle goes through in those places.

Now before leaving, make sure that your vehicle is in a good shape. If it’s been really a long time since your car exchanged gratitude with your mechanic then I guess it is now time. Take your car to the mechanic and tell him that you are leaving for this particular place, and to make this car suitable to bear the pain. I guess he’ll understand it and will do the required changes accordingly. But if you are not sure whether the mechanic is the right person or not, then do check your car by yourself. Make sure that every part of the vehicle that you think is really important is in good shape. Pay a special attention to the brakes, gear lever, brake oil and the engine oil.

Now you’ve done all that and you probably have started the journey, now what? Now, drive as you usually drive until you reach the descended road. Make sure that n between you and the vehicle in front of you, you have enough of distance. If you are stuck in heavy traffic on these roads, which I’m sure you would, then take a special care. There might be loads of trucks carrying steel rods and bars, I guess you know what to do, try to keep a secure distance. There’ll be lot of stops which might irritate your car’s engine, so don’t unnecessarily assault your car’s throttle in those places, keep it calm but do not switch of the engine it might even more irritate your engine.

While climbing the ghat, switch off the air conditioner. Keep a tab on the temperature gauge to make sure that it is not over heated. If you feel there is a problem with it, then there’s no harm in taking a halt. Do not open the radiator cap, let the engine cool down by itself, by the time you can enjoy a snack.  Also, make sure that you don’t forget to switch on the hazard light. One more thing to make it simple for you, do not try to do any stunts with your car. I mean not the actual stunts (anyways you must not attempt them, as well) but rather that filmy crap like throwing water over the heat throbbing radiator. Do it if you want to get blasted or burnt. Seriously. You know why, because the sudden change in temperature might bring a crack in the cylinder or worst a minor blast (capable enough to shock you). Now, since the engine has cooled down, now start the engine and add the coolant or water.

If you have to stop in between the traffic and on a slope then make sure that you switch on the hazard light and wisely use the hand brake. Avoid the habit of half clutch or slipping it in general term. If the vehicle is not able to pull off, then you probably give it enough of space and time to cool down a bit. If you vigorously use the half clutch then your car might revert back in such an awkward way that you’ll be stranded in the middle of your journey. To tell you the least, it might burn your clutch plate.

Now, this should have to be kept in mind before starting the journey but better late than never. Keep your all three rear view mirrors clean. Make sure that all three provides you with maximum clarity. Adjust them accordingly, though I’m sure they were already adjusted. Besides all those safety steps, one that might be the most important step which is that on those ghats, you probably have to use the lower gear. Ensure that you have a total control over them. If its is a normal descent then try to keep the car on second gear which means that you will be driving it on the 40-50 kmph speed. Make sure that you don’t exceed the limit written on the sign board, those are specially pasted over there for you. Besides don’t try to think that you are wise rather actually, ‘be wise’.

How to make a safe call while driving

So there was a time when I used to wait hours and hours besides my landline phone so as to speak to my relatives. Then came the time when our telecom minister introduced a scheme in which we used to get discounted rates on specific timings and undoubtedly we used to prefer those timings to make calls. Then Reliance Infocom came with its ultimate plans and CELL PHONES. Those cell phones might not have the visibility value but they were extremely capable in breaking the chains of the ready to retire landline and its plans.

“Ab aalaam ye hai ki sab ke paas jeib mein mobile hain”

So, now days everyone has a cell phone in his/ her pocket. It has become a habit rather than a necessity. But it is not just cell phone, but there are many other habits which have been developed because of cell phones. Out of which the main problematic habit is the Cell phone driving. We usually see many people talking on the phone and driving (also riding for your information). I myself have many friends who have this unusually dangerous habit. It’s not that I haven’t warned them, but now it seems such a usual thing. So, for a safer side I’ve listed out few of the measures to them and that is what I’m sharing with you also.

First and foremost make sure that you know your cell phones really well. Read the manual supplied to you with the phone when you have purchased it. Read it thoroughly and know each and every detail of your cell phone. The features that you should be aware with your cell phones for sure are speed dial and redial. There might be other useful features as well in your cell phones that might really help you managing your call while driving. Since each and every cell phone is different from each other, you simply can’t ask few of your friends about it and think you know everything about your cell phone.

If possible try to keep a hands free device with you and not just keep it besides you, use it. Usually the hands free device is available with the cell phone but if you didn’t received any then there are various types of hands free devices available in the market. You can purchase according to your need, model and price. Since Bluetooth devices are usually known for its negative after effects on your ear so my suggestion would be to go for those normal earphones, cheaper and best.

Even if you don’t have an earphone and you think it’s not worth purchasing a earphone then at least what you can do is to keep your cell phone at very reachable distance from you. This is because then you don’t have to go overboard to reach out to your crying cell phone and you can still concentrate on the road. Now the catch is that while using your phone, keep a track of the situation, if you feel that the path is getting really messy then don’t use it. Anyways you are a better judge I guess. But seriously never ever distract yourself from the road. Now, this reminds me that you should not engage yourself in an argumentative conversation or any other distracting conversation. Pardon me for saying this but don’t engage in any conversation with your girlfriend/ boyfriend or spouse for that matter.

Now the last is, whenever you are dialling a number, though first and foremost you should not dial a number while driving, but then if it is so much of emergency and you have to really call someone up then I would suggest that you should first make yourself comfortable as in go and park in a bit separate area and then dial and don’t forget to keep your hazard lights switched on.

Automotive technology bible reloaded

At Indiandrives.com our motive is to make sure that you get all the possible information about automobiles (as now we have added a bike section as well). Especially if you feel that you are still a noob in front of your auto crazy friends, then we are all here for you. In our article Automotive technology bible we have already made you familiar with many terms related to the automobiles, as we have already written three articles on same namely automotive technology bible, automotive technology bible revisited and automotive technology bible continued. So now I have the honour to present with another article on the same where I’ll be introducing more terms related with automobile and their use and meaning.

Airbags:

Airbags are basically the ‘passive safety feature’. Maximum in cars,  there can be a total of eight airbags. There are airbags in the front, side and also a curtain airbag as a measure for safety for the passengers and driver. These airbags are designed to automatically inflate at the time of frontal and side collision. How does it work? Ok I’ll make it simpler for you. There are few sensors in the side and the front of the car which at the time of collision activates a tiny hermetical sealed container which is filled with sodium azide. Release of sodium azide generates a large amount of non harmful gas in less than 5 micro seconds. This gas inflates these safety airbags in order to protect the occupants from any harm.

Aerodynamic Drag:

If you understand what does the word aerodynamic means then you will also be able to understand the word aerodynamic drag as well. Basically it means the car’s ability to resist wind. This is possible because of the shape of the car. The lesser it is, the better. This ultimately leads to a better fuel efficiency and lesser wind noise.

Disc, Drum Brakes:

One of the best inventions in the automobile sector is the invention of Hydraulic Brakes. These brakes ensured that an equal amount of brake force is applied on all the wheels. First, let me tell you how brakes work? So, the brake pedal gets connected to the master cylinder. Master cylinder contains hydraulic oil in it. So, when the driver applies pressure on the brake pedal the hydraulic oil gets transmitted to the circuit which further gets routed to all the four wheels. Now the catch is that there are two types of Hydraulic brakes. One where there is just one circuit and then the other where there are two circuits. Usually, in India we find two circuits only. Now the disc brakes are the brakes which have a steel disc attached on the wheels that rotates with the wheel. Drum brakes are the normal brakes where in, a brake shoe is used in order to increase or decrease the speed of the vehicle. The ventilated disc brakes have a solid rotor or disc present at the sides of the wheels. In addition to the rotor there is also are special vents that are visible at the edge of the disc. These vents help in a better air flow which helps in better braking results.

Four wheel drive:

Basically, wheel drive refers to as of how many wheels have the power of distribution in the car. Generally in India the distribution power is directed in only single circuit (read Disc, Drum brakes) which makes them distribute the majority of the power to only two wheels. While in the four wheel drive the distribution power is distributed in both the circuit which gives the power to all the wheels. Hence four wheel drive is also called as all wheel drive.

Buyers Guide for Toyota

Established in the year 1997 in India, Toyota Motors over the past 13 years have confirmed itself as one of the trusted and respected passenger car manufacturing brand in India. Toyota Motors is a partnership deal between Toyota company of Japan and Kirloskar group of India. They have always believed in manufacturing the most comfortable and trusted automobiles for the consumers in India and I will say that they have truly delivered their promise. So, today let’s look at the various best offerings of  Toyota Kirloskar Motors India in the Indian market.

Toyota Etios

This is the youngest sedan from the shed of Toyota Motors. Launched in December 2010, this car really proves to be a strongest contender in its segment. Though this car looks a bit like the Mahindra Logan, but it is nothing like it. It seems that Toyota has taken their job of manufacturing a really cool and great sedan seriously. This car posses really cool and sheek looks. Inside this car will provide you with an extremely spacious cabin. The weaker side of this car is the low plastic used inside the cabin and also the lack of features. This car is currently available in single engine i.e. with a 1.5 litre petrol engine which performs really well. Toyota has announced the launch of a new hatchback version of the same, due on March this year. So, right now it’s just Toyota Etios but soon there will also be a Toyota Etios Liva.

Engine Options:
1496cc

Powertrain:
5 speed manual

Power:
88.8 Bhp @5600 rpm

Torque:
13.5 Kgm @3000 rpm

Thumbs Up:
Cabin space, comfort and value for money

Thumbs Down:
Plastic quality and lack of features

Head on Competitors:
Maruti Suzuki Swift DZire and Tata Manza

The Catch:
Rs 5.1 lakhs to Rs 6.8 lakhs.

Toyota Innova

Just FYI, Toyota Innova is supposed to be the most versatile vehicle in the country. Reason or reasons are that it posess a handling of a hatchback car, looks of a minivan, ride quality of a sedan and comfort of a luxury sedan. Undoubtedly with such attributes this car was marketed by the very choosy Amir Khan. With the theme song ‘life is a highway’ and the tagline ‘always keep moving ahead’, this MPV seems to be taking it really seriously. Recently, Toyota added some more features to this vehicle to give it fresh look in the market. This MPV is available in two variants namely, 2.0 litre CNG and 2.5 litre turbo diesel. While the diesel variant is known to be frugal, the CNG variant nonetheless is economical to run.

Engine Options:
1998cc (VVTi)\ 2494cc (TD)

Powertrain:
5 speed manual

Power:
136 Bhp @6500 rpm\ 102 Bhp @3600 rpm

Torque:
18.5 Kgm @4000 rpm\ 20.5 Kgm @1400 rpm

Thumbs Up:
Versatility and cabin space

Thumbs Down:
Overall size and looks

Head on Competitors:
Tata Aria and Mahindra Xylo

The Catch:
Rs 8.1 lakhs to Rs 12.8 lakhs.

Toyota Fortuner

Just like Toyota Innova, even Toyota Fortuner became a massive hit as soon as it was launched in the market or rather I should say even before its launch. There has to be something about this vehicle that people still drool for it even after so many years. This vehicle is available in only a single engine option which is a 3.0 litre diesel engine. This engine has enough grunts to keep every other competitor at bay. This vehicle has great off road ability but this vehicle is also known as a good highway cruiser. I personally feel that if the manufacturer can incorporate an automatic gearbox option in this vehicle then it’ll be really great, but it is just an ‘if’, I like this vehicle anyways.



Engine Options:

2982cc

Powertrain:
5 speed manual

Power:

168 Bhp @3600 rpm

Torque:
35 Kgm @3400 rpm

Thumbs Up:
Comfort and it’s off roadability.

Thumbs Down:
Interiors

Head on Competitors:
Ford Endeavour and Mitsubishi Pajero

The Catch:
Rs 17.1 lakhs to Rs 19.8 lakhs.

Toyota Corolla Altis

Toyota has always been known for manufacturing cars which are reliable and comfortable. One such offering is the Toyota Corolla Altis. Though, this car doesn’t look that appealing but then the looks is not everything. This car is currently available in two engine types namely 1.8 VVTi and 1.4 diesel engines. Both the engines are really good and are known as one of the frugal engines. On the positive side this car has a spacious cabin, good ride quality, comfortable seating arrangement and the already spoken about fuel efficient engines, but on the other hand the plastic that has been used inside this car seems to be of some what inferior quality and I guess I already told you that the looks of this car simply doesn’t excite me at all.

Engine Options:
1794cc (VVTi)\ 1364cc (Diesel)

Powertrain:
5 speed manual\ 4 speed automatic\ 6 speed manual (diesel)

Power:
130 Bhp @6000 rpm\ 86.1 Bhp @3800 rpm

Torque:
17.3 Kgm @4300 rpm\ 20.9 Kgm @2800 rpm

Thumbs Up:
Cabin space, comfort, ride quality and fuel efficiency

Thumbs Down:
Quality of the plastic used and the unexciting looks

Head on Competitors:
Skoda Laura, Honda Civic and Chevrolet Cruze

The Catch:
Rs 10.1 lakhs to Rs 14.8 lakhs.

Toyota Camry

This car could be seen lined up in the front of every star hotel. This makes me wonder that how come this car can do so well without even having any standout feature and then my mind drifts back to the very thought, that Toyota is supposed to manufacture reliable and comfortable cars. This car is available in a single engine option which is a 2.4 litre petrol engine. This engine is mated with either the manual gear box or the automatic gear box. As soon as you step inside this car, it will greet you with lots of space and a tint of luxury. Let’s not talk about the looks of this car because then this car doesn’t seems worth the price charged against it.

Engine Options:
2362cc

Powertrain:
5 speed manual\ automatic

Power:
165 Bhp @6000 rpm

Torque:
22.4 Kgm @4000 rpm

Thumbs Up:
Cabin space and comfort

Thumbs Down:
Soft handling, pickup and price.

Head on Competitors:
Nissan Teana, Honda Accord and Skoda Superb

The Catch:
Rs 21 lakhs to Rs 24.8 lakhs.

Toyota Prado

Toyota Prado is one of the affordable vehicles of Land Cruiser family. This vehicle comes at almost half the rate of Land Cruiser 200. I personally like the looks of this vehicle. This all so monstrous looking vehicle hides the 3 litre diesel engine under its hood. This engine performs fairly well. This vehicle is known for its off road capability, though is sucks at its on road abilities. From inside this vehicle looks really spacious and upbeat. But the bottom line is that this vehicle still lags behind its competitors for being not so sure footed.

Engine Options:
2982cc

Powertrain:
5 speed manual

Power:
170 Bhp @3400 rpm

Torque:
41.79 Kgm @1600 rpm

Thumbs Up:
Powerful engine, off road ability and looks

Thumbs Down:
Overall handling

Head on Competitors:
Mitsubishi Montero, Volvo XC60

The Catch:
Rs 42.1 lakhs

Toyota Land Cruiser 200

Ok, so, I accept that Land Rover comes at about double the price of Audi Q5. But that is because it keeps up to each and every promise that it makes. This vehicle somehow manages to ring each and every bell and whistle that is expected out of it. This car apart from its awesome looks has a monstrous, power hungry V8 engine. Again, even this vehicle is known for its off road abilities but unlike its sibling, this vehicle performs really good on road, as well. So, I would say that this vehicle is one of the few vehicles which have an inbuilt ‘take me anywhere’ attitude.



Engine Options:

4461cc (TD)

Powertrain:

6 speed automatic

Power:
282 Bhp @3600 rpm

Torque:
66.1 Kgm @1600 rpm

Thumbs Up:

Powerful engine and it’s off road ability

Thumbs Down:
On road capability

Head on Competitors:
Audi Q7, Range Rover

The Catch:
Rs 88.8 lakhs

Honda Motors to launch a face-lifted Accord

A face-lifted version of the elegant saloon-Honda Accord will soon be launched in the Indian market place by Honda Siel Cars India. The latest offering is not billed as the next big thing but is a minor facelift to cope up with the latest demand. The updated version will see an improvement in its re-styled wheels, interior styling, enhanced exteriors and improved fuel economy.

A new styled grille in the front will be the latest on the aesthetic side of the face-lifting along with the new wheel design, rear deck lid and the bumpers. The 2011 Accord, depending upon the model, will sport a 16-17 inch alloy wheels. Improvement in the interiors will include a better designed instrument panel. To make the usage easy for the driver the climate-control buttons are positioned a tad closer. No changes in the mechanicals of the new Accord are expected, with the engine being the same old 3.5 liter V6 271 bhp and the 2.4 liter 177bhp.

CAPTUR: a new concept car by Nissan-Renault

Mr. Carlos Ghosn, CEO, Nissan-Renault Motors, unveiled a new concept car. This car is christened as CAPTUR (yes with all letters in capital). Mr Ghosn, really seemed happy to introduce this new car to the outside world in the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. This concept car has an athletic body mixed with a cute stance. This two seater car is powered by a dCi 160 TT engine. This car is supposed to deliver a fun driving experience. Since, this car is a concept car, it delivers best performance at an extremely low CO2 emission. According to Mr. Laurens Van den Acker, Director of Design, Renault-Nissan Motors, this car is a crossover between a sporty and a fun car. CAPTUR is targeted at the young and enthusiastic couple who want to discover the world.

From the inside this car provides an realm of enthusiasm. Why so? Because the interior designer of this car Julio Lozano explains that, “my main sources for the inspiration behind the design of this car were various radical sports and athletes. When I was in the initial phase of designing the interiors, I thought about various athletes’ right there on the starting block. I can see their muscles flexing and tensing and the unleashed energy as soon as the pistol is fired in the air.” This design has also a mix of various other elements like helmets, protective gear and gloves which are used in various radical sports. CAPTUR has also various other cool features that will attract the youth. The convertible hardtop and those butterfly doors add an extra appeal to this car. CAPTUR is also getting limelight for its Visio System which is supposed to synthesize and re-synthesize the real life images of the road ahead.

Steps to remember while purchasing a classic car

So you thought you’ll buy a nice long classic car. For all the might that could possibly be fitted into a brain you thought it’ll be an easy task, but it turned out it’s not. Right? Yes, of course, but it was about “till now” as you have intentionally or unintentionally stepped on a “worth paying attention to” portal. I know the rosy pictures of these indefinable beauties and their rich chromed sparkle from head to toe (oops… from top to tyre) seems alluring for sure but proves to be a real pain when you are out there trying to fit it n your garage.

Just the very thought of chasing (not literally) a classic car shoots a star right in my tummy. We all might have seen many classic cars. We don’t forget to visit any of the vintage car or classic car events happening in our city or sometimes in the other nearby cities as well. I still remember that I used to hit the pause button of my DVD player, just to get a glimpse of those vintage cars in various movies and then praise their beauty for all day long. I guess it’s not only me, I guess everybody is smitten by these sheer beauties.

Now, the point is not in how you will go ahead and purchase those motor chicks out there but rather it is to restore them and keep them in a running condition. Undoubtedly you will be praised wherever you will go inside these cars but then in order to be able to drive it you need to keep it in a good shape. So, if you are expecting a comfortable and trouble free ownership then let me stop you then and there and warn you that it is not like that. Understood?

A bit of FYI, this trend of collecting classic cars began in the late 1930 when some of the old and “not in working condition” cars were restored by some English clubs. The member of these clubs used to hand build these cars. After the completion of the job these were separated by various categories. The models which were in the pre 1919 period were termed as Edwardian, pre-1931 were called Vintage and the cars which were built during the initial phase of World War II were coined as Post Vintage Thoroughbreds. In the later phase, the divisions were then creating a point of delirium, which ultimately resulted in common term used for all of them saying “classic cars”.

Now, if we look at how much these cars serve their purpose, then I would say that undoubtedly vintage cars are really cool to collect. These cars enjoy a high status, high respect with a high value in the market. Whereas the Classic are bit lagging behind for that. But if we really speak about the overall aspect of an automobile then I would suggest that it is really a pain in the stooge to maintain the vintage cars and keep them in a running condition while the classic cars are really easy to take care of (though not really but better than the vintage cars).

Now let’s talk business baby. So, you made up your mind for buying a classic car. So the first thing to do is to figure out where you will get it. I know the first thing that people tend to do is to locate a dealer or seller of a classic car in the newspaper, call him up and get distressed with the unfruitful result it brings with it. Let me lay it in simple terms for you, getting a classic cars with a help of classifieds in the newspaper just don’t work. These are not the usual cars remember this fact and also that, the trend has changed. Now people simply don’t like to advertise about their lovely classic cars. So, the next thing is the internet. You can try your hand on it as well, but if you are seriously lucky enough and you have ample of time on your hand then I’ll say go and try but if not then there is the best way which is to get yourself enrolled in a classic car club. These clubs are basically developed to spread the word that who’s selling what, who is interested and who seems to have purchased what.

So now you spotted a car but you don’t know what to basically look for. Ok, so first and foremost make sure that the car you are thinking about is an original and clean car. Let me tell you that even though you need to play a little more extra than you will for the other cars, an original and clean car is the best bargain you can ever pull out especially in India. You know why? Because in India it is really hard to restore a classic car and also costly, wait, way too costly. Now, check the condition of the car. It should be original, mechanically. Don’t get impressed by those modified cars, because that might seem flashy to you but it is not except for the price. Also, try to get in touch with a person who knows stuff about these cars. He will help you with your dilemma. I have also developed a checklist if you are really serious about buying a vintage or a classic car keep this in mind.

  • Current condition of the car
  • Any acceptance from the DUDES in this field
  • How rare this car is (generally the rare cars have high value and otherwise)
  • Performance
  • Design
  • Year of manufacturing.

So finally you brought the much desired classic car home. So, the first question that arises is that, where do you want to keep it or rather where will you keep it? Oh, your parking lot. Good, that’s the best way to ruin your car. What? Seriously this is the best way how to help you get into the mess. Those parking lots are jam packed with the various features which can ruin you car for sure. The major hazards are those cute looking bubble faced kids out there, playing in the open. Then make sure you restore that car before sitting inside it and taking a world tour. You either have an option of taking it to the nearest mechanic or doing it yourself. If you give it to mechanic then it’s totally ok, until and unless you are friends with him. But if you want to do it with your very hands then you probably should go through various other magazines and books which will teach you how to do it perfectly. You can also search it on the net on how to restore your classic car by yourself. In fact there might be a possibility that we might in some time will cover the topic of how to restore your classic cars.

Now, now, now… but before anything else, you need to know what you’re up against and what has what value in the market. I’m sure my enough of what has made you confused. So, in simple terms here is a list of various different types of classic and vintage cars, their value in the market and their manufacturing years:

Cadillac:

This car usually represents the 1946 era. These cars are usually spotted as the hard top car but then in few of the rallies I have also observed a convertible version of it.

Chevrolet:

This was well represented in the 1946-52 era. Could be seen are the two models from its shed namely Fleet Master and Styleline Delux. While the Fleet Master is a 1946 model, Styleline Delux is a 1950 model. I have also spotted a Tri Chevy in some of the rallies which is supposed to be a 1955 model.

Buick:

These cars are available in both the sedans and convertible types. I have by far encountered its three cars in India namely Super a 1946 model and two other 1955 convertibles.

Plymouth:

These cars are available in very few numbers and are seen in very few places. Till now I have seen a two door convertible which is supposed to be a 1954 model and a station wagon and a sedan from the year 1956.

Jaguar:

I guess you all have seen its four door saloon which is a 1948 model. Besides, I have also seen some of its XK series classic cars which I guess are 1950 models.

MG:

These cars are easily the best classics as they are really easy to restore that’s why they demand high prices. You can encounter few 1960 MG models especially in the Hyderabad Motor Show.

Ford:

One can easily see a Ford V8 1947 model in any of the rallies. Those are the most common of all. They are still being used as taxis in Junagarh, Gujarat.

Tips to keep your car in the pink of its health

Being a good driver doesn’t mean that you drive well, but it is all about hell lot of things which helps you to drive well. You just can’t simply ignore that you are a good driver while you don’t even care what your car is going through. Recently I was with my one of friends, inside his Maruti Suzuki Swift. The problem was he seems to have some issues with the door and the other less meaningful things inside the car. I asked him “what’s the matter?” To which he replied that “it’s nothing major”. Even a mentally retard can see that there wasn’t much of a problem with it and we actually didn’t pay much of an attention to it. But later on, almost after a week or so, I came to know that his car seems to enjoy the weekend in a nearby garage as the car seems to be in lot of trouble. So why did I bore you with that stupid story of mine? Because the moral of the story is that DON’T IGNORE EVEN THE SLIGHTEST PROBLEM IN YOUR CAR.

I hope those bold letters served their purpose right. I know things don’t happen all of a sudden. A problem is the end product of  a chain of bad events. So, a simple advice from yours truly would be to pay attention to even the slightest bit of problem in your car. Besides there’s no harm in a routine check up of your car. The way you pay attention to yourself and your health, pay the same attention to you car as well and I’m sure the reward will really stretch a smile across your face. But now the catch is why to take it to a garage for the routine checkup? If you think you are smart enough as a driver, I’m sure that you know the basics about the car as well. So, why pay extra money to the garage wala, go check it yourself. Ok, you need help with that then follow me and I’ll let you know how you can do that and become a good driver (this time truly a good driver) and help yourself for a trouble free drive.

1.     Feed your car enough:

There seems to be an unchained self proclaimed theory about changing your engine oil after 4000 to 6000 kilometers. I say why wait too much just for changing your engine oil. Better change it just before the 4000 km mark if you are using your car on daily basis and you tend to be in a city which usually gets  struck with traffic jams. Do not forget to check the level of fuel on every weekend, at least monthly. Now don’t raise some absurd question that how will you check it if the engine is hot. Firstly who told you to check it at that time and secondly there are still ways to do that say for example find the dipstick which is labelled as oil. Pull it out in order to wipe on the rag so that it gets clean (don’t rinse it folks), now dip it back in its proper place and now pull it out once again, this time not for cleaning it but to check the level of oil from the bottom of the stick. Now, if the level is nearer to the ‘full’ line, then it is acceptable, if it is at the marker line, it is still acceptable but if it is below that then I guess it’s time to ring the bell. One more thing, check the colour of the oil, if it looks dirty then get it changed even if the mark says full. Remember, don’t forget to ask your mechanic as to which brand will suit your car. Trust me or not that makes a real difference.

2.     A thoroughly transmitted problem:

See basically if you are getting some problems while shifting the gear, then there is definitely either big or small problem with the transmission system of your car. Don’t ignore it. Like the way we checked the engine oil level, we can also check the transmission fluid level. If the level is low get it changed. The reason is when the car is running in a low transmission or for that matter low engine oil then it tends to leak, which can lead to many unpredictable problems. Now the question, how can you help yourself to check the transmission fuel level?

Follow the same dip, wipe, dip, out and check method. Now, I guess I’m ready to share some trick of the trades here. Firstly, transmission oil seems to be having a slightly pink tint in it (which you might have observed in the garage in well), so you need to make sure that the colour is right. Secondly, use the right brand of oil. Thirdly use a funnel to refill it so that it won’t spill anywhere.

3.     Coolant- keep it cool:

Coolant is supposed to be a mixture of water and anti-freeze. The main purpose for which it is used in automobiles is to maintain the same temperature throughout by the help of radiator and dissipate heat. If your car is old then you can check its level by unscrewing the cap over the radiator. But if your car is new then the reservoir or the sump might be placed right beside the engine of your car. Now, make sure that when you do check the coolant level, your car is not hot or else you might get a tattoo on your skin. If the level is OK and the colour is clear then you’re good but if it’s not then you know what to do.

4.     Battery:

Batteries generally have a life span of about three year. But its life span is affected by many other factors, say for example traffic, usage, and weather. Anyways, make sure that you keep the battery as well as all its veins and arteries safe from corrosion. If they have caught hold of some, which I’m sure they would have then here is the tip what you can do to make it corrosion free. First and foremost unplug the battery, make a solution of water and baking soda, then with the help of a stiff brush scrub the battery and plugs and anywhere where you can see the corrosion. Besides corrosion if your battery has any unwanted bulges and cracks then bid adieu to your battery and fix a new one.

5. Brake or break:

So, finally I got a break. Though it’s not the break as I scripted it, it’s the brakes of your vehicle what we are dealing with now. So, I’m sure you are aware that there is a fuel for your brakes. Good. Now. Don’t wait for your brakes to start screeching, whining like as if you are riding a new unbroken pony. I’m sure your car has a dedicated indicator for brakes . Now first and foremost, check whether the brake fuel level is OK by the comparing the fluid level with the level indicated on the master cylinder. Check brake hoses, if it is worn out, then you definitely need to change it.  I would also like to add that whenever it is about the brakes of your car don’t take it lightly and take it to the nearest mechanic asap.

6. The others:

Make sure that each and every part of your car whether it is of high importance or low importance, is in well maintained. As I told you how a simple problem led to a big problem in my friend’s Maruti Suzuki Swift, so try to avoid such circumstances by proper cleaning and maintenance of your car. Also keep a handy kit along with you, you never know when it comes as an assistance.

Indigenous SMARTECH engine to power Chevrolet Beat

American automotive giant GM will launch its new 1.2 liter engine with SMARTECH technology. The said engine is all set to be employed in the Chevrolet Beat tentatively from  next month, officials at the company said.

In the small car segment, Chevrolet Beat is a better known car, equipped with the indigenously developed SMARTECH engine, which is state-of-the-art.

Mr. Karl Slym, MD and president of GM India was quoted as saying that the diesel variant of the car is in the pipeline and would be tentatively launched by the dusk of this year. Speaking about the expansion plans of the company, Mr. Karl revealed that General Motors will introduce a India-specific LCV (Light Commercial Vehicle), by the dusk of this year or the dawn of next year.

Capacity expansion at the Halol Plant in the west Indian state of Gujarat was also in progress. Currently the capacity of the facility is to produce 85,000 units per annum. The expansion will make it a 1, 00,000 units plant.

Coming back to the new SMARTECH engine, Mr. Karl said that the machine was designed and developed by the technical centre that it operates at the IT hub of Bangalore. The said engine was created in co-operation with General Motors plant at Talegaon.

Growth rate that this American car maker witnessed was double that of the industry growth. Yes you heard it correct, General Motors grew at a rate of 60 per cent while the Indian automotive sector’s growth rate was 30 percent.

Mr. Karl giving further details about the company said that General Motors have already invested no less than Rs 5000 crores, which is a testimonial of its commitment to the Indian market, its stakeholders and not the least its customers.