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Old 14th October 2009, 15:22   #1
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Default After lurking for five years, a non-driver comes out of the closet!

I've been seeing Team BHP since the middle of 2005. I registered in 2006, but I soon forgot my password. Team BHP's rules for resetting are so strict--24 hrs, etc., that I finally got myself a new password yesterday. I've decided to do the proper thing and introduce myself, first.

Harsh Shrivastava, 36, owner of many cars over the years, and a driver of none! Yes, that's right. I don't drive at all--don't even have a license.

Backstory: I was born with cataract. Both eyes operated, but I still don't have 100 percent binocular vision, so can't judge distances accurately, so won't pass test, so I'm a backseat driver, and so, an even bigger car aficionado.

In Mumbai since January 2009. Grew up here and graduated from Sydenham college. Dad had a 1970 Padmini that he bought in 1979 and sold in 2000! He moved to an Indica 2000 petrol, and now has a Baleno LXI, which he bought after I told him to read TBHP.

Moved to Delhi in 1996 and back now. In that time, I became one of the few Mumbaikars who said that Delhi was better than Mumbai, and not just for its roads and cars!

Car story: All office cars are new; all personal cars are second-hand.

My wife's first car was a Maruti 1000. A 1993 model bought in 1999 for Rs. 165,000, and sold in 2005 for Rs. 48,000. Reason for this car: BS Motoring had then said that this was the cheapest car with a boot, and I wanted my wife-to-be to be safe. That car developed engine problems, AC was a joke, it was low to get in, but at that time, it was big, and had a bright red color. Average: 11 kpl.

In 2002, I got my first new car. A silver-blue Indica LSI petrol (just before the V2 came out). It was a great car. Driven (by the driver) into Rajasthan and Uttarakhand. At 75 bhp, it was fast, and comfy. Lousy average of 10 kpl, but the company paid.

In 2005, we ditched the 1000 and bought a silver Indigo. Again petrol, again second-hand. A 2003 GLX model that had done 14,000 km, which we got for Rs. 296,000 (including a fancy, six-CD system). Sold it in December 2008 for Rs. 150,000. Again, a wonderful car. Great rear seat, solid suspension that glided over bad roads, huge boot, and just about driveable by my wife. Only change by me was the addition of alloy wheels that made its ride even better. Average: 9.5 kpl

In 2006, my next employer gave me a second-hand Accent GLX . 1.6 102 bhp, ABS. Superb pickup, but its rear seat was lower than my Indigo; its faux-leather upholstery was no good, and its suspension was OK. Gave it up in six months and went back to Indigo. Average: 9.5 kpl.

In 2007, after some nagging, I was finally given a new car. After careful persual of TBHP columns, I picked the new (probably first customer in Delhi) Optra Magnum LT petrol, complete with sunroof. It was a beautiful Kashmir color (greenish gold). It also suffered from a lower rear seat than the Indigo, but its suspension was great. Surprisingly, its boot was smaller than the Indigo--I couldn't stack two suitcases on top of each other. Went up the hills in it. Quite comfy. Average: 8.5 kpl.

Switched jobs and moved to Mumbai in January 2009. Had to sell the Indigo (not BS3 compliant) and couldn't buy the Optra from the company. They bought it for Rs. 935,000 in August 2007 and by December 2008, it was worth only Rs. 475,000--too high a loss according to finance.

Next car had to be bigger than the Optra (more money in my next job, still had Dilli genes of BIG, and anyway, driver drives it). After some looking, picked up a golden-colored 2006 Accord 2.4. It had done 28,000 km and I bought it for Rs. 835,000. Bigger certainly, but it also has the lowest GC of all cars that I've had. Rear seat is lower than the Indigo (my benchmark, as you've noticed). Also, when going over bumps, its stiff suspension sends the car up-and-down, sideways. Otherwise, great looking car. Done 163 kmh on Mumbai-Pune expressway. Average 6.5 kpl in city. 11.5 kpl on the highway.. More details of the Accord will be on another thread.

So, here's to T-BHP. My faithful friend for many years--and to all of you, its members who've made it so enriching.
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Old 14th October 2009, 15:31   #2
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Thats a hell of an intro Harsh. It was interesting to read your ownership history of the cars you previously owned. It seems that you are in love with the Indigo rear seat, the way you have compared it with every car you bought. I heard that the Optra rear seat is comfortable but i see you didnt like that either. Nice to know that cataract hasnt dampened your spirits but I'm sure you'll take to the steering wheel someday soon.

The Accord is a great buy in the used market and at 28k kms you've got yourself a virgin. Do post an ownership review of the car.

Take time to go through the Rules section to understand the working of the forum.

Welcome to Team BHP
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Old 14th October 2009, 15:38   #3
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Harsh, Welcome abroad T-Bhp, Better late than never!
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Old 14th October 2009, 15:47   #4
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A very interesting intro! Welcome aboard TBHP.
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Old 14th October 2009, 18:03   #5
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Originally Posted by HarshS View Post
Reason for this car: BS Motoring had then said that this was the cheapest car with a boot, and I wanted my wife-to-be to be safe.
Wow! I have a hatch currently, but if I can convince my wife to sit in the boot, I am ready to buy a car with a boot.

Last edited by carboy : 14th October 2009 at 18:11.
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Old 14th October 2009, 18:41   #6
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Harsh that was a superb intro. I am looking forward for the review on the accord.
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Old 17th October 2009, 10:37   #7
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Welcome to TeamBHP. A fantastic intro.

Personally, even I found the Optra's rear seat to be comfortable then that of the Indigo. But the comfort levels are subjective, you see
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