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Old 8th April 2009, 03:41   #1
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Default Uday Bhan Singh - Restoration Driver 4x4.

Hello all,

Since a lot of Jeep enthusiasts are around nowadays, I would like to inform about an interview that was published on the legendary Mr. Uday Bhan Singh in the Economic Times on the April' 6th edition. The link is: Welcome - Times Of India ePaper?
Daily=ETKM&showST=true&login=default&AW=1239140525 453 .
To view it select the date on 6th April, page# 8.

I was greatly honoured by his response to me when I asked for his help in building a Jeep. I was a complete stranger to him but his down to earth attitude and the indepth knowledge about Jeeps is just splendid. The collection of the World War II that he has at his Liluah residence is priceless and his passion and love for Jeeps is completely unmatchable. Will post some pictures of his priceless collections later on with his permission.

Posted this thread as I just wanted to share my wonderful experience with this Legend.
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Old 8th April 2009, 08:49   #2
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He is no stranger here, in fact he is a Team-BHP member since 2004.

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/members/u-b-singh.html
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Old 8th April 2009, 12:59   #3
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I think that's its ok to reproduce the article below.
If I am wrong or mistaken, Mods please delete my post

Quote from Economic times
"Restoration Driver 4x4

Little known Uday Bhan Singh runs a school in Howrah. He is also one of the biggest collectors of World War-II jeeps
By Anuradha Sharma



GIVEN a choice, what would you, or anybody go for — a swanky Rolls Royce or a gawky Jeep? If you thought you secured a million dollars by answering the obvious, you obviously have not met Uday Bhan Singh, 57, of Liluah near Howrah.

As a child, he was the envy of others for the fleet of his family cars — including a Rolls Royce his family had. But it were the jeeps bought from the British Army that caught his fancy. At 16, his father gave him Rs 2, 200 to buy himself a Jeep “and not fiddle with mine (1944 Ford).” He bought a run-down Willys MB, restored it after completely dismantling it and successfully showed it off at family wedding. And, as eye-balls started rolling, he and his brother got busy rebuilding jeeps for friends and relatives.

Today, UBS (fondly called so) is a proud owner of more than 50 jeeps, half of them used in World War II by the British Army. At present, an automobile marquee of Chrysler Corp of US, some 1,000 of these jeeps were brought to India for the War. The Jeep Guru’s online community (jeepthrills.com), which he started in 2005, has more than 700 members worldwide.

He is also the first Asian member of the Military Vehicles Preservation Association, a feat that did not come easy because “the Western members initially did not believe that an Indian could have so much understanding and appreciation for the good old jeep.”

He has travelled from Kanyakumari to Hyderabad in a straight line along the longitude following the Great Arc survey. He is actively involved in not just restoring and preserving the Jeep, but also organising and encouraging offroading programmes, linking jeep thrills to adventure sports all across the country. His love for jeeps drives him to organise regular workshops across the country on offroading and adventure.

All this, in addition to being principal of IP Memorial School in Liluah, which he started in 1992.

Life has been like the tough roads UBS so swiftly manoeuvres in his Willys or Ford. His father’s illness forced him to drop out from an engineering course at BITS, Pilani. After BSc., he joined the family business — his father ran a cinema theatre, and grandfather a transport company — which were in shambles. In 1977 he lost his father.

In 1980, he set up a workshop engaging five mechanics and gradually, his hobby turned into a profession. He bought old jeeps from auctions and scrap-dealers — after word had spread about his interest in jeeps, many scrap dealers would even come looking for him — restored them and sold them to buyers in Orissa and Bihar. But the old beauties that caught his fancy remained with him. “I restored them, but never sold them.”

He closed the workshop soon after he started the school with his wife and it began doing very well. But, two years later his sister said: “there is something missing about you, something.” And lo! The workshop was back, this time just as a hobby. “I did not sell; only collected, restored and maintained.”

He has brought under his roof more than four dozen original jeeps, including Ford and Willys dating back to the WW-II period (1941-1945) and later civilian jeeps (CJ’s) of the 60s, such as two CJ 2As, six CJ 3As, nine CJ 3Bs, nine Willys CJ 3Bs, and four Mahindra CJ 3Bs. But his prized possession is the M38— perhaps the only one in India. This jeep was gifted by Rev Fr Sarkar, who was moved by Singh’s love for the four-wheel wonder that was lying with him, unkempt. This jeep can run under nearly six feet of water.

“When I started, no one cared for the jeep and I bought them at scrap value. Today, even an unrestored one costs as much as Rs 2.5 lakh,” says UBS, chuckling at the fortune he has made. But he is not in the mood to make a profit out of his collection. “My whole dream is to preserve them, and make people aware of them,” he says."
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Old 8th April 2009, 13:14   #4
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He's such a man, a great friend indeed. I once asked him to keep a lookout for a powerful seachlight, as i could'nt find a good hunting light here, and the ones used by BSF or the Army althought very powerful(3km and more range), were quite heavy and bulky.
After some time, he sent a friend of his to chandigarh so i could take him to Dabwalli and Ganganagar, looking for something he wanted. When he landed up here, he said U.B.Sji sent me something. It was a searchlight, but not an ordinary one. A 28V 600watts Aircraft landing light, lol. If you put your hand in front of it, it would take half a second to burn it. But yes, its powerful, with the light range in excess of 3kms. And i'll forever be thankful to him for that.
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Old 8th April 2009, 17:09   #5
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All who know him have not only gain parts, but a good friend too,

Gem of a person to know, for ever

Quote:
Originally Posted by brutus View Post
He's such a man, a great friend indeed.
-------------------------
And i'll forever be thankful to him for that.
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Old 8th April 2009, 19:57   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
He is no stranger here, in fact he is a Team-BHP member since 2004.
...well yes I know that. In fact I got to know him when somebody in here mentioned his name almost 7-8 months back.
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Old 9th April 2009, 09:53   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ3b View Post
All who know him have not only gain parts, but a good friend too,

Gem of a person to know, for ever
You said it mate. Amen!
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Old 9th April 2009, 10:50   #8
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I think the most amazing aspect is that even if someone is a total novice & stranger to him, and puts any query related to jeep, he is always there to send back a detailed reply with all possible helping links. He is one of those rare persons who are the richest in knowledge in their areas and still can be approached by anyone, anytime with ease.
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Old 9th April 2009, 12:39   #9
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He was my inspiration to get a JEEP and restore it. I had called him as soon as I found my JEEP and he instructed me on the phone to distinguish between an International and Peugeot engine. Despite of possessing great and in depth knowledge about Jeeps, he is such a down to earth and humble man. Such simplicity always amuses me.

Its because of him that I got to know so much about Jeeps and I would be indebted to him forever.
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Old 9th April 2009, 14:07   #10
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The Grand-Daddy of JEEPs, The world's Largest JEEP Collection......Cheers Sir, the portrait makes you look younger.
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Old 9th April 2009, 20:00   #11
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I've read about him on the CJ 3B page and Bulletin Board. Must be awesome owning 40+ Jeeps.
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Old 9th April 2009, 20:21   #12
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Nice read about a truly remarkable personality. Has any BHPian restored his Jeep at Uday's workshop?
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Old 9th April 2009, 20:50   #13
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GTO, I think UBS runs a jeep restoration garage for his vast collection.
But, he does help out a whole lot of jeepers around the country.
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Old 9th April 2009, 22:21   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Nice read about a truly remarkable personality. Has any BHPian restored his Jeep at Uday's workshop?
I just got the Army spec mm550 two weeks back with his help and since it has been lying in his workshop waiting to get ready
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Old 9th April 2009, 22:36   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitrous View Post
GTO, I think UBS runs a jeep restoration garage for his vast collection.
But, he does help out a whole lot of jeepers around the country.
In our case my friend and me are completely new to jeeps and already had a bad experience while getting a jeep previously from Mullickbazar in Calcutta. After that once i visited his workshop/residence I knew this was the place for me. Aware of my bad experience earlier he was happy to help me.He has one of the best Mechanic for Engine in his workshop who works as a freelance nicknamed as "Dadu". I will be paying the charges to him and not to UBS sir.I think he will definitely help others too who wants to restore jeeps from his workshop...as he always encourages and wants younger people to get the 'jeep' hang
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