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Old 28th November 2007, 12:44   #76
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Dhabar sir you actually took us through the old times. I was not old enough(born in 1984) so dont know much about the rally but i love watching wrc better than F1 so the stories you posted was too good. spent my time reading each and every word of it.
My first experience with rallying was in primary I had studied in the school run by Jagat Nanjappas mother in law so jaggi as we called him was a regular there and loved the time when he used to entertain us with stunts he performed.
Remember at times the bathenas would also drop by but dont remember having seen them much.
In school we used to wait for jagat to start his bike coz he rode too fast on these small roads and also the sound was like awesome. Could hear him for about 10 mins after he left school.

Khaadu your really lucky to have been a part of the rally. Looking forward to more stories.
I dont know why people dont like the fiat but i do love it. The sound is too good without any mods also. Still remember my uncles fiat which was gr8 to listen to. We belonged to the ambasador owners and before i could take any decision it was sold in 96.
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Old 30th November 2007, 21:12   #77
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Could we have a pic of Deepak Chopra ?

I also love such instances. I am also a past rallyist.

btw is there any Group B Rally Car in India for sale ?
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Old 14th December 2007, 10:17   #78
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oh... this is one of the best threads i've come across on this forum!! amazing to read about such thrilling experiences!!! why have the stories stopped.. waiting to relive more such events through this thread..
have been dying to get into rallying, have just started work.. so hopefully soon..
the idea of another classic car rally.. probably a himalayn rally is just amazing!!willing to provide any kind of help that might be required from 'kids' like me!
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Old 18th January 2008, 12:57   #79
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Hello to everyone once again. You must be wondering where I had disappeared. Well - it was work, work and more work. But I know that I have to tell you about the rallies after 1984 so I did some typing at home yesterday night and I am copying and pasting here for your information.

Himalayan Rally 1985 - I was not there so no information

Himalayan Rally 1986 - I was a part of the PAL service team. I distinctly remember that in this rally, car no 1 was a pristine white coloured Ford RS200 supercar with a huge rear spoiler driven by Stig Andervang from Sweden or some such country. One day before the event, I was travelling in a Maruti van in Delhi and I heard this roar behind me. It was music to my ears. I can still remember that sound. I saw the Ford RS200 driving seadtely behind me going to pre-event scrutiny.

The Ford RS200 during the event - I was in Nainital waiting for the cars to arrive for service. The designated time of arrival of car no 1 in parc ferme in Nainital was 0230 hrs (in the dead of night in biting cold of those days before global warming). You will not believe what you are going to read next but it is true. I have seen it happen. The Ford RS200 arrived outside parc ferme (the ground next to the Nainital lake) at 0225 hrs and sedately waited. That means he was running EXACTLY ON TIME, which I understand had never been achieved before or since then. I remember Stig Andervang just sitting quietly in the car, starting that glorious engine and parking in car no 1 slot exactly at 0230 hrs. Now isn't that a WOW ? You bet it is. What happened to the Ford RS200 the next day ? - he busted his radiator and was out of the event. Moral of the story - for finishing first, you have to first finish.

Other cars in the Himalayan Rally of 1986 - One lady driver team from Mumbai - Nisha Sutaria and Meena Bhanushali - were in a metal bodied Gypsy. We helped them with a carburettor issue. Hormazd Sorabjee was there with 75 year old Jangoo Nicholson. They rolled the Gypsy. Then there was this Premier Padmini from Chennai - I don't recall the names of the competitors but the car number was TCC7921. It was beautifully prepared and it had a huge degassing tank on top of the steering tie rod. This car ran beautifully.

I remember a very funny incident- a Padmini car needed a replacement cylinder head in Nainital. The dealer service van was available with parts. I asked for the head and I was told that it was available. I was given a head without valves. When I informed that "this is rally service, I need a ready to assemble head", the reply was "sir, part numberwise aisa hi aata hai" ! God I did not know whether to laugh or cry. The poor competitor was at his wit's end, not knowing what to do. We finally cannibalised a head from a taxi and he continued. Funny isn't it ?

Who won ? I don't remember exactly.

Himalayan Rally 1987 - well well, this is one of my best experiences. I somehow begged, pataoed, cajoled (hum testing karega blah blah) and did whatever I needed to do to finally get me to be a part of the route survey for the 1987 event. I finally got myself one of the 5 118NE cars which were capitalised for R&D. My car for the route survey was a brown 118NE (MGQ8174) and here I am giving complete details of the absolutely glorious time I had during the route survey.

118NE modifications for the 1987 event - I just replaced the final drive, changed from 3.9:1 to 4.3:1 (tractive effort increase), removed the cross-ply tyres (yes, production 118NEs used to come with whitewalled cross ply tyres) and fitted JK 155SR13 radials and fabricated and fitted a sump guard. That's all. The car was absolutely standard except for these 3 things done to it. The NISSAN engine and transmission and also the car ran flawlessly.

The Himalayan Rally 1987 route survey trip - left Mumbai on 06 April 1987 to arrived back in Mumbai on 25 April 1987. I reached Delhi on the evening of 07 April and stayed in the Parsi Dharamshala exactly opposite Firozshah Kotla cricket stadium. There were at least 100 mosquitoes in my room. I got bitten so badly that I abandoned the Dharamshala at 2 in the night and went and stayed in a hotel. Mr and Mrs.Nazir Hoosein joined me the next day and we left for the route survey. We were on the road for 21 days and we did the full roadbook marking, stopping at every tulip and hand-drawing the instructions. We were guests of honour in Lansdowne, the headquarters of the Garhwal Regimental Centre and I still remember tiger and leopard skins hanging from walls, not to forget the exquisite crockery. The army hospitality was mind boggling. During river crossings, I had to remove the fan belt everytime to prevent water from being churned up into the distributor. All control points were photographed for inserting in the road books. If anyone still has the 1987 road book, you will see MGQ8174 in it. We finally came back to Delhi on 23 April 1987. I left Mr and Mrs.Nazir Hoosein at Delhi airport at around 6 in the evening. Himalayan Rally had a guest house in Delhi, a place owned by Major Sabharwal. I could stay the night there. So I tanked up, stayed there and told the caretaker to wake me up at 5 AM with a cup of tea. A quick bath and the two of us (me and my beautifully flying MGQ8174) were on the road to Mumbai at 6 o'clock. This was one of the best drives I have ever had in my entire life. So ----- 6AM Delhi ----- 9AM Jaipur (272 kms in 3 hours, there were no expressways then), 1030AM Ajmer, 0230PM Udaipur, 0530PM Baroda, 0800PM Navsari ----- and I stayed at a relatives' place. I had covered 1171 kms in 14 hours. The next day I did Navsari to Mumbai, 269 kms in 3 hours. Means that I did Delhi Mumbai in 17 hours flat. Today with all facilities, people still do it in 17 hours. The icing on the cake - in PAL, you are supposed to fill a "duty slip" for all car trips. I filled in "1171 kms" and got fired for it )how can you do this ? are you crazy ? blah blah). WOW, that was some trip I had. It was a record never to be equalled.

The actual Himalayan Rally 1987 - I took help from one of my senior colleagues, the service manager of PAL Mr.Arun Oka and he managed to patao the management to allow us to take the same MGQ8174 for servicing a lone 118NE which was competing in the rally. The competing car was from Chennai (TSD7921) and if I am not mistaken, was driven by Rajiv Rai, Subhash Goel and Kiran Modi. Santhanam from Chennai was their service. This car was fitted with a twin solex carburettor installation on the Nissan engine and this car was very fast. I remember that in Dehradun it arrived with "Halda not working" (in those days the rally navigation meter "Halda Twinmaster" was mechanically operated and it used to run off the speedometer cable). As the Nissan transmission had a lowslung speedometer cable, it had hit a rock and had broken. So we removed the speedometer cable from MGQ8174, drilled a hole in the rally car's floorboard and routed the cable inside the car below the driver's legs. We did the whole thing in under an hour. We (Arun Oka and me) were matching the rally car's speed and we used to catch up with him at all intersections. It was a lifetime drive I had (my secret weapon was the 4.3 axle ratio which nobody knew), MGQ8174 was an absolute rocket.

The sad fate of MGQ8174 - I used to keep it in pristine condition, washed and locked in the R&D workshop. It was the envy of many and many times I was told to give the car for R&D tests. I used it as my test car to solve the vapour lock problem which the 118NE faced. The vapour lock solution was first implemented in it. I left PAL in 1994. The last time I saw it was sometime in 2002 on the Western Express Highway in Mumbai. It was painted white and was it was completely corroded. I cried that day, but I guess that's the way it is. If I can still find MGQ8174, I will buy it, restore it to it's original brown colour and then keep it forever.

Well, who won the Himalayan Rally of 1987 ? - I don't remember but I had a wonderful time.

That's all for now, I will type out the 1988, 1989 and 1990 rally experiences and will post them soon.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 18th January 2008, 13:13   #80
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Wow! Mr Dhabhar awsome write up. loved every bit of it. i could feel myself seeing the MGQ8174 in person superb! keep them coming.

what about the stories behind each one of your beauties?
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Old 18th January 2008, 13:23   #81
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Hello Sumantra - yes I am still looking for MGQ8174. I hope I find it.

KL05G7629 - my LHD Fiat - Cyrus has changed the exhaust system yesterday. I have not seen it. I will see it tonight. I am waiting for the Mumbai registration, then it goes for complete restoration.

MRY3112 - my 1964 restored Fiat - the car is now in Mumbai, the battery went flat (4 and a half years is OK I guess), so I put in a brand new Scorpio specification battery, it cost me some 5500 odd rupees. The igintion coil worked up so I replaced that and now it's working fine.

BLL4919 my 1988 restored Fiat - is in Pune less battery. I need to buy one more battery (there goes another 5500 rupees) as I will take it out for the 26th January FCCCI rally.

I hope your car is running well.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 18th January 2008, 13:23   #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Who won ? I don't remember exactly.
If my memory serves me right ... the !986 event was won by Jayant Shah from Kenya .
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Old 18th January 2008, 13:39   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Hello Sumantra - yes I am still looking for MGQ8174. I hope I find it.

I hope your car is running well.
lets hope for the best - let us know once you find it.

my car doing fine - restoration will begin once Anirban comes back.
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Old 18th January 2008, 13:43   #84
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Like many others, I am also enjoying reading this thread. Thanks for sharing and please continue to update.
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Old 18th January 2008, 16:55   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Hello Sumantra - yes I am still looking for MGQ8174. I hope I find it.

KL05G7629 - my LHD Fiat - Cyrus has changed the exhaust system yesterday. I have not seen it. I will see it tonight. I am waiting for the Mumbai registration, then it goes for complete restoration.

MRY3112 - my 1964 restored Fiat - the car is now in Mumbai, the battery went flat (4 and a half years is OK I guess), so I put in a brand new Scorpio specification battery, it cost me some 5500 odd rupees. The igintion coil worked up so I replaced that and now it's working fine.

BLL4919 my 1988 restored Fiat - is in Pune less battery. I need to buy one more battery (there goes another 5500 rupees) as I will take it out for the 26th January FCCCI rally.

I hope your car is running well.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar

i was caught today for the exhaust by some moronic cop..
but whoa it sounds beautiful..
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Old 18th January 2008, 17:02   #86
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Quote:
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i was caught today for the exhaust by some moronic cop..
but whoa it sounds beautiful..
so did you fill his pocket or pay the fine? or did he just let you go?

how about a video of the exhaust note?
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Old 18th January 2008, 20:18   #87
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This is one of the best threads on team bhp. Nostalgia, drama, grit and all the stuff I dream of when I flip through the pages of some old auto mag's rally report pages.

The text and the pictures transported me to another life and age. And to think that I hated history in school!

Mr. Dabhar, do please keep writing. Great reading. Thanks.
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Old 18th January 2008, 22:58   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planet_rocker View Post
so did you fill his pocket or pay the fine? or did he just let you go?

how about a video of the exhaust note?
no he let me go after so natak...cops are so dumb sometimes..
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Old 20th January 2008, 23:12   #89
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Dhabhar sir,

I wonder what you may think to yourself when you have todays kids talk about Drifting, Performance modding, talking ,posting and writing about Intake, Exhaust performance shock absorbers, making this many bhp's (which they dont even have a proof of making) with cars that fall apart the moment they leave the expressway. Probably unaware that we had beauties, although old in our backyard.
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Old 21st January 2008, 00:29   #90
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some of us still have these beauties 1100...and we cherish them.. ...and we know what they are capable of dont we...
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