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Old 17th August 2008, 18:22   #1
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Smile Are Open Cars suitable for Indian Conditions?

Was thinking of the below:

With so much dust and smoke around, the cars interiors will get dirty in no time. Is this feasible in long run? We need to clean this up on daily basis unlike in countries like US & European countries. Are these type of vehicles suitable in India. This idea just flashed out when I was in last week's Bangalore Meet in Luke's farm. I saw the Khan's Gypsy w/o top and was just wondering this point.

@ Mods: Not sure whether this has been discussed here. If yes, then pls merge this thread with the other thread.
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Old 17th August 2008, 18:27   #2
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I think this was discussed briefly here.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...vertibles.html (convertibles)

But I think the topic does deserve a discussion. Its obvious that they are not suited ot our conditions, and hence very few of them in the market.
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Old 17th August 2008, 18:40   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snaronikar View Post
Was thinking of the below:

With so much dust and smoke around, the cars interiors will get dirty in no time. Is this feasible in long run? We need to clean this up on daily basis unlike in countries like US & European countries. Are these type of vehicles suitable in India. This idea just flashed out when I was in last week's Bangalore Meet in Luke's farm. I saw the Khan's Gypsy w/o top and was just wondering this point. ...
Can't comment about cars here, but here are my 2 cents after driving my Gypsy without a top(full top) for more than 2 years now.
  • HUGE amount of dust, smoke and pollution gets into the Gypsy even if windows are closed and the half soft top down. In fact, when I take my Gypsy to office (avg 2 times a week), the laptop bag has a nice coating of dust. Whenever I need to take out my Gypsy, the first 5 minutes are spent on dusting the interiors of the vehicle.
  • The interiors of the Gypsy -- the gear lever, the dashboard, the steering get dusty very soon and also a film of invisible stickiness kind of things gets on them. I keep a cloth to vigorously clean the steering/gear lever every time I drive.
  • Water does get in during the rains. For that reason, I don't have any carpet in my Gypsy. Just 2 plastics mats in the front. However, my MDF speaker boxes do get little wet, but I don't care. ICE in my Gypsy is a 'nice to have' and am not particular about it.
  • Security: A major issue; however, have been lucky till now mainly because I think that people don't want to mess with it :-) and yes, the lockable glove box in the Gypsy does help. Even the bonnet opening lever is in the lockable glove box.
  • Lots and Lots of dust settles on the open parts. (The rear seats). I get them washed every month and since they are of washable type, I don't mind them getting wet in the rain.
  • RUST: Biggest enemy of metal. Especially in coastal areas.
  • In heavy winds and open Gypsy, the body roll and shake becomes pronounced at high speeds. So one needs to be careful about that also.
  • At times, people also dump useless things in you open vehicle -- either while parked at the apartment or driving or during OTR's :-) So one has to be ready to see some 'unwanted' plastics, boxes etc lying in your vehicle.
  • At the end of the day, the feeling the wind in your face, the openness, the nearly 360"o views you see and sounds you hear (of the engine, surroundings etc) is WORTH IT. Nothing even comes close. Especially when the weather is nice and in OTR sessions.

Last edited by khan_sultan : 17th August 2008 at 18:42.
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Old 17th August 2008, 18:51   #4
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Well, I had seen a convertible Merc being driven in Dubai with the AC on in the heat and wondered the same.

But the Sultan of T-bhp has spoken and spoken well.
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Old 17th August 2008, 19:28   #5
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Oh there's nothing quite like the feel of grime and smog in your freshly washed hair.
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Old 17th August 2008, 19:29   #6
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Convertibles or open top vehicles are just not suited to our country. The following reasons come to my mind.

# Dusty climate
# Security - of whatever is inside
# People love to rip a rag top
# Rains
# Pollution
# Unwanted attention


Cheers
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Old 17th August 2008, 19:41   #7
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while there are few takers for a convertible, the fact that Merc's SLKs, SLRs, RR DHC and the likes are selling shows that there is a market for such cars

Specially for those who want to arrive in style - Drive to the destination with the top up, and roll down before you enter !

On a serious note, the well heeled can surely afford to keep some gorgeous drop tops, in their hill station getaways, for the wind-in-the-hair motoring. Give practicality a pass.

cheers!
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Old 17th August 2008, 20:05   #8
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Guys,

Just came back from a 1/2 hour run to the Nilgiri's to fetch the weekly groceries in the 'open' Gypsy. One more thing to watch out for that this drive reminded me:

Mosquitoes. Yes.!!! In a soft top vehicle, somehow the mosquitoes get inside and if you happen to drive around dusk and early morning, then they can be a nuisance if you haven't flushed them out. If anyone is interested in finding out how, let me know :-)

That is also a routine for me in the mornings that I take out my Gypsy.
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Old 18th August 2008, 18:50   #9
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My Jeep cruises in topless mode only in the three months of winter. It is simply pointless to drive open-top any other time of the year in Mumbai.

That said, few things in life are as pleasurable as open-top cruising, wind in your face et all. Offroading is far more fun too.
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Old 18th August 2008, 19:02   #10
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Pro's:
wind in your hair
360 degree views
head turner/attention grabber especially from the opposite sex
unlimited fresh air etc in hill stations

Con's
Terrible Smog/smoke/Air Pollution
Overall Indian climatic conditions compared with the West
Noise pollution with blaring horns, traffic noise etc
Extremes of the elements - rain, sun,wind etc
Huge problems with dust and grime/ grit/ sand etc which will find its way into your eyes as any helmet-less biker will agree. Apart from this, the dust and dirt will impregnate the fabric and trim of the interiors so deeply that it will be near impossible to clean up properly!

End of the day it might be better to have a sun/moon roof fitted on the vehicle to enjoy a semblance of open top touring! This way one can either open or close it at will which is a better thing IMO! However, one has to be pretty well heeled even to afford a proper after market sun/moon roof like webasto etc.

Last edited by shankar.balan : 18th August 2008 at 19:15.
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Old 18th August 2008, 19:21   #11
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Not in most Indian cities I am afraid.

There's pollution. Dust. Occasional chewed tobacco or saliva. Extreme summer heat and humidity.

And frankly, the public sanitation is so poor that in some stretches you would have to hold breath on the road. And given how jampacked the roads are, you'd feel extremely vulnerable with no privacy in the car with the top down.

These cars make sense in European summers, USA (California, Florida....) but not here in India.
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Old 18th August 2008, 19:29   #12
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Living proof http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...san-storm.html (The storm is here.... (Purchased a San Storm!))
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