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|20th June 2005, 12:24||#1|
Join Date: Oct 2004
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When classic Fiats make forty-four gentlemen flip
Monday June 20 2005 10:42 IST
PUNE: Itís not really vintage ó not yet. But itís a classic all right. And though its owners might even joke that a Fiat stands for nothing more than 'first in all trouble' (it actually is an acronym for Fabbrica Italiana di Automobili Torino), they are ready to share with you a million reasons why a Fiat scores over any of the newfangled four-wheeled contraptions in the market.
It is this shared passion for the classic Fiat models that brought some of Fiat owners in the city together to form the Fiat Classic Car Club (FCCC). Initiated by management consultant Subhash Karmarkar on August 15 last year through an advertisement in a newspaper, the club now boasts 44 members ó all passionately in love with their respective models. "Itís a part of our family for two or three generations, you see?" theyíll tell you in chorus. So when the members get together for their monthly meeting at the Grand Hotel off MG Road on the third Sunday of every month, each member drives down in his Fiat. It makes for one happy, Fiat-crazy group who indulge in animated discussions, even enthusiastically throwing open their bonnets to see just what one or other has done to eliminate the tedious job of topping up the radiator everyday, and if it can please be done for everyone else too.
Karmarkar, who drives a 1956 Fiat Sedan, says: "Cars of this make are fast disappearing from the cityís roads and slowly going to scrap. I wanted to do something to preserve the Fiat and thought that getting like-minded people together would be the best way to do it. There is no hierarchy in the FCCC and no membership fees. The only criterion for membership is that you should own a Fiat. We are probably the only Fiat club in India and have intimated Fiat headquarters in Italy of our club."
Dr Madhav Namjoshi, who owns the first Fiat registered in Pune, says: "In 1954 my father imported the Fiat 1954 model to Pune and it has been in our family ever since."
And if you though that this enthusiasm was not likely to be shared by the current high-on-speed generation, 19-year old Karl Bhote has news for you. The third-year student of petroleum engineering says, "I drive the 1973 Premier President Grand, which has been in the family since 1974, everyday. We are now in the process of purchasing the 1960-model 1100 Fiat Select."
The car rallies with a social purpose (their first rally was to participate in flag hoisting ceremony of the Armed Forces Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre, Kirkee on January 26, 2005) that the FCCC organises that seem to be really popular. Having recently finished a rally to the Karla-Bhaja caves near Lonavla, the FCCC is now gearing for another rally to commemorate its first anniversary.
For details contact Karl Bhote on 98232-34646 or Subhash Karmarkar on 98502-15395.
|20th June 2005, 12:30||#2|
Join Date: Oct 2004
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I have seen in Asianet News that DIG of Kerala Police has a 1965 FIAT..which he uses while taking over new assignements..its regn no is something like KL-01 T 1.
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