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Old 12th September 2010, 23:26   #106
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Originally Posted by Grace View Post
This is considering,we haven't seen either mfg company or private folks cover up their short chassis. How many 340s or 3Bs have you seen with hardtops? Except those seen on firestation jeeps and maybe on CJ3B webpage.

Regards
What's the point Andy? Maybe seeing this one, no one tried to cover up a CJ3B. I've seen a few examples of good quality HTs though on SWB jeeps. If i can dig up a few, i'll post them.
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Old 13th September 2010, 19:33   #107
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Dear all - yesterday I was cleaning my cupboard at home and found two very rare photographs of my CJ340 "Invader" MH01P2540, which I used in numerous Great Escapes.
Holy cow, so this is your Jeep?! I remember checking her out at Panchgani in 1997 (or was it '98), my first Great Escape at the Brightland Hotel. By the standards of that time, this Jeep was flying on the way back from Panchgani to Bombay. I presume it was you behind the wheel. Sure brings back memories.
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Old 14th September 2010, 20:44   #108
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Dear Rushabh - The Panchgani Great Escape was held in September in 1997. The hotel where I stayed was Hotel Surya, between Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar. This is the same vehicle that I used in Panchgani. You are absolutely correct, I drove flat out between Mahad and Panvel, so I must have zipped past you. Its been 13 years but I remember it as if it happened yesterday.

Some details of this vehicle - actually two vehicles were rolled down in 1994. Both were standard red coloured CJ340DP4WD vehicles. They were capitalized and registered as MH01P2540 and MH01P2541. They were then given to Dilip Chhabria for converting to "INVADER" program prototypes. I was given the job of getting the project done. MH01P2540 was to be made with doors and MH01P2541 was to be made without doors. The prototypes were completed in Dilip's workshop in Andheri (East). The vehicles were displayed in the "India Engineering Trade Fair" in January 1995. MH01P2540 was then sent to Preston in the midlands area of England for digitizing the surface and preparing engineering data. It came back to India sometime in 1996. Then it was displayed to some target customers inside the Nehru Planetaruim area and feedback was collected which indicated that the vehicle was too small to appeal to any significant volume of target customer. So the program was halted (very common in R&D, this happens all the time). So, what to do with the prototypes? I started using MH01P2540 in Great Escapes, and what a gem of a vehicle it turned out to be! It was noisy, dirty, claustrophobic and everything else but with the 5.38:1 axle ratio, it had a fantastic four wheel drive capability. I discovered this capability in the second Great Escape which was held in Lonavla in July 1997. There was a slushy section of road where a customer's red CJ340 was stuck. Somehow we got it out of the way and then I powered through the same slush in MH01P2540 amid loud cheering etc. That day I learnt that the CJ340 has two weapons, one is 4WD, the second is flotation. The rest is history. I drove MH01P2540 in 27 Great Escapes and never got stuck anywhere. I guess I was lucky. I have taken it offroad into unbelieveable situations and it always surprised me with its capabilities. When it was sold, I never even knew it, otherwise I would have bought it myself. Its gone forever now.

But there is a silver lining to the cloud. After it's completion without doors, MH01P2541 is not used from 1994 till today. It is still standing in the foyer of M&M's Kandivli plant. It is also yellow in colour. It shall remain there forever.

By the way, in 1964, the Pope visited Mumbai and travelled in a CJ3BLHD. That same "Pope Vehicle" as we call it is also standing in the foyer of the Kandivli plant, next to MH01P2541. It is cream in colour. It shall also remain there forever.

Both vehicles are absolute gems for me. I'll post photographs soon.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 14th September 2010, 21:37   #109
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They were then given to Dilip Chhabria for converting to "INVADER" program prototypes. I was given the job of getting the project done.
Sir, you worked on INVADER also? OMG!

Spike
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Old 15th September 2010, 22:10   #110
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Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Dear Rushabh - The Panchgani Great Escape was held in September in 1997. The hotel where I stayed was Hotel Surya, between Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar. This is the same vehicle that I used in Panchgani. You are absolutely correct, I drove flat out between Mahad and Panvel
Gotta admit, my memory on cars is way better than in other areas!

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so I must have zipped past you
Ol' man, You managed to just about keep up with my tail, that's why I said it was flying . Just kidding, yes you did zip past me.

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I discovered this capability in the second Great Escape which was held in Lonavla in July 1997.
The one where most participants complained "the goings too TOUGH"?? I remember one point of this Great Escape. It was some bridge-like structure with water gushing fast from one side to the other. Picture perfect, wish we had digital cameras & hard-disks to archive JPGs back then. Or Team-BHP!
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Old 16th September 2010, 08:28   #111
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Dear Rushabh - yes, that's the one (I too remember the "it's too tough" sentence). It was a small left turn with a bridge with slush on top of it. You will remember that we started from a hotel just outside Lonavla city towards the Pune side. It was raining heavily when we started.

Let me share a very fully incident - as one vehicle was stuck, we asked around if there was a winch available. Someone said "yes I have it". So two guys carried it out of their vehicle and said "here it is". That was the level of understanding 13 years back. HaHaHa!.
We have progressed a long way from those days!

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar

Last edited by DHABHAR.BEHRAM : 16th September 2010 at 08:34. Reason: add info
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Old 22nd October 2010, 20:04   #112
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OMG! Its been years since I have seen "Invader" I LOVE this car. So many good memories of the car. I remember going to school in it a few times, And I was, by far considered as the coolest kid in school!!!
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Old 17th July 2011, 17:04   #113
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My reply is more than a year too late...

But my respect and admiration to you, Samurai, in writing such a beautiful piece.
I am completely new to even reading about off-road expeditions, let alone being a part of one.
But this has been a really good Sunday for me, because as pointed out numerous times, it felt like I was there!

This whole weekend has been swallowed by T-Bhp.
It's become quite clear that Mr. Dhabhar is a veteran in the area of off-road vehicle R&D, and it's been amazing reading your excerpts in the area, Sir.

Maybe a little off-topic for this thread, but M&M Thar seems to have taken the off-road vehicle capabilities in India to a new level (by that I speak of a vehicle with proper R&D and A$$). Thanks to Mr. Dhabar, Spike Arrestor and the rest of the team, that has happened today.

All the best to EXAMM and AKC events. I hope I can gather enough $$ to become a part of this exclusive club of Jeepers one day

Cheers and drive safe.
Sam

Last edited by samarth.bhatia : 17th July 2011 at 17:06.
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Old 17th July 2011, 18:22   #114
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Originally Posted by samarth.bhatia View Post
Maybe a little off-topic for this thread, but M&M Thar seems to have taken the off-road vehicle capabilities in India to a new level (by that I speak of a vehicle with proper R&D and A$$). Thanks to Mr. Dhabar, Spike Arrestor and the rest of the team, that has happened today.
Its never too late buddy, good to hear some good words for a change. BTW, I too missed the events this year.

Hope someone takes up Samurai's role and comes up with a good write-up soon. Although, I agree it is very difficult to match Samurai's screenplay skills, I won't mind participants giving it a shot.

Spike

Last edited by SPIKE ARRESTOR : 17th July 2011 at 18:28.
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Old 18th July 2011, 09:13   #115
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But my respect and admiration to you, Samurai, in writing such a beautiful piece.
I am completely new to even reading about off-road expeditions, let alone being a part of one.
But this has been a really good Sunday for me, because as pointed out numerous times, it felt like I was there!
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Hope someone takes up Samurai's role and comes up with a good write-up soon. Although, I agree it is very difficult to match Samurai's screenplay skills, I won't mind participants giving it a shot.

Spike
Thanks for the kind words guys, all it needs is love for the sports and lot of free time. For me the latter is lacking these days. I am yet to write about last two events I attended.

I too am hoping that someone will take up the story writing role for this year's EXAMM and AKC report.
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Old 18th July 2011, 13:51   #116
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I too am hoping that someone will take up the story writing role for this year's EXAMM and AKC report.
+1 to that.

Eagerly awaiting the stories and the special incident stories. Especially the Mud Drag :P

Cheers
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Old 25th February 2014, 13:19   #117
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Hey Guys.
This is a wonderful thread and enjoyed browsing through it. Thanks for that.
But I see no activity on it for a few years now.
Do you guys still organise OTR's around Lonavala? Or perhaps another thread thats currently active on such excursions.
Thanks.
Cheers.
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Old 4th March 2014, 21:56   #118
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Hey Vipin, check the excursion forum. We still off road in outskirts of Mumbai every weekend.
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