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Old 4th July 2007, 12:06   #1
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Default Zen - A tribute !

This was a piece I'd written, in another forum, about my 'Zenny' experience...

I write this piece on (my) Zen after everyone and the lamppost have driven it and have reviewed it or have atleast commented about it...so this piece I wouldnít call a review but a tribute !
I'd purchased my Zen (Petrol) in November 1997, a white stallion...those days there was only one model...none of the new fangled vxi,lxi or any other xi...just pure unadulterated Zen. No music system, no power windows, no nothing...just pure driving pleasure.
I drove it non stop for almost 8 years. I purchased it in Calcutta and it shifted base with me when I moved from Cal to Delhi and then on to Mumbai thanks to my assignments. After 8 years, I reluctantly decided to move on to the Scorpio CRDe (and use the Zen as a standby for the time being before sending it to Valhalla of cars) as the Zen had aged quite a bit and I didnít want to watch it crumble under me...(Update - it has been driven to the Valhalla of cars...)
And my experience with the Zen is captured below, though not in a logical manner keeping in mind the emotional state I am in, while writing this piece !

* 8 years and did about 110,000 Kms. Went all over the place and undertook a large number of long distance trips. Operated it in cold/extreme heat and absolutely soggy conditions and not a whimper from the car. Drove it in deep waters and miraculously no effect on the engine.(Intially the office was nearby so for the first 3 odd years the car didnít clock many miles...last five years it did most of the miles !)
* 1 major repair - just one ! Of clutch plate changes etc arising out of my stupidity and nothing to do with the carís behaviour.
* 1 Overhaul of the suspension - nothing replaced - just overhauled.
* Not once, repeat not even once did the car fail on a mission. Never did it stop in its tracks, die out on me etc.
* Changed the battery once - 8 years and 2 batteries - incredible ! The last battery was an Exide Freedom.The ultimate joy used to be, when after spending long terms overseas - periods ranging from 1 to 3 months on assignments, the car used to start at the first turn of the key ! Only after the last trip in Aug ( 2 months of standing out in the open in the rain) it started after three turns !
* 110 K Kms done on 2 sets of tyres - one set the original JK tyres and the next set was Goodyear.Changed at 58 K. The current set would last for at least 10 K KMs more. Wheel alignment and balancing done regularly.
* After 8 years - the mileage I get from the spunky chap - in city 15 KMs/Ltr with AC full blast and long drives - 20 KMs. There was a time about 3 years ago when the mileage in city was 17/18 KMs and long drives - 22 KMs to a litre. Changed gears at right speeds.
* What helped enormously was - 1. Regular servicing - every 5K KMs without fail - not a single servicing missed.2. Compulsory engine oil change every 5 K even though the manual didnít state it and the service station guys also argued with me I used to ensure that the oil was changed.Though it meant expenses then, in the long run it proved to be a very inexpensive way to improve mileage and prolong engine life and enhance performance. Learnt this lesson from an old army hand years ago...
*Minor parts were changed as and when required...bulbs etc. Other than that the electrics,wiring etc were not touched even once !
*The seats,floor mats etc not touched...as original as it can get...
*The chassis etc in OK condition - not even rust proofed even once.Body slightly rusted where there are slight scratches...overall even now the car looks good !
* All other parts in extremely good condition...except the trip meter which gave up last year...
* Over the last 8 years handling the Zen was a dream...rugged,versatile...once almost shifted all my household items in it after folding the rear seat/s(that shows how few my worldly possessions are !)...driven in terrible conditions including floods and what not...and not once has it complained.Extremely good handling characteristics...no horror stories here even at 120 KMPH.
* Never let a driver touch the Zen - drove it myself - all the time.Used to get very fidgety even when a valet (driver) used to ask for the keys.
* Never wanted to change it till a cold realisation dawned on me that it would now begin to protest due to age and perhaps that it needed some time in retirement for quiet contemplation of a life well spent.

Over 8 years - it has become a family member...my son grew up in it - from a small baby to a strapping lad - my wife (donít tell her this) and I have aged in it...we have seen quite a few family & professional upheavals in it...during each of these tumultuous events our Zen calmed us down by playing its role well and never letting us down ! It has seen me through many professional changes and career advancements...through joys and sorrows...
Today it has stepped down from being the main mode of transportation for the entire family to a standby car ... maybe till I get used to the Scorpio and decide what needs to be done with the old,aging stallion ! (Update - The Scorp has done about 40 K now !)
Adios, my friend...you have been a true & loyal companion !

Hell,must have got some dirt in my eyes, its moist !

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Old 4th July 2007, 12:54   #2
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Brother i wont say i understand how u feel as i havent passed the stage but then AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME write up.Standing ovation.
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Old 4th July 2007, 13:07   #3
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ahh.. the good old zen. I do miss it a lot.
We got our current zen way back in May 2000, i was like 17 at that time. Learnt quite a few things in it, took my gal for a date in it, rode to chd alone at night in it and what not..
We still have it, but me being in Mumbai, do miss it a lot.

i wrote its long term report at 1,47,658 kms here - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-t...?highlight=zen
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Old 4th July 2007, 13:40   #4
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Nice tribute to a wonderful car!

Evoked tears in my eyes as i really miss my old maruti 800. Like bunny has mentioned, my story is also similar. I got it in 99, when i was around 12 years old. Learned driving at the age of 14 or so, and have been through all kinds of experiences/ long trips in the car.

And not to mention, the drives with my GF.

Sadly, family decided to upgrade to WagonR, and there was not much i could do about it. Though, once i saw it after that, couldnt help my tears.
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Old 4th July 2007, 13:41   #5
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Now that you have had a long innings with the zen & moved on to the scorpio, how about plonking a baleno engine in it & mod it all way & have it for pleasure drives alone ?
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Old 4th July 2007, 13:47   #6
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Sadly esteem lover - like I mentioned in the update - the ol' chap's gone to the Valhalla of cars !
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Old 4th July 2007, 13:49   #7
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great write up bro!

got goosebumps after reading..

kudos to a great machine and an extremely satisfied and proud owner!!
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Old 4th July 2007, 13:57   #8
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Excellent account !!! It was pure Nostalgia coming straight from the heart....
Kudos to your Zen !!

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Old 4th July 2007, 13:59   #9
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Thanks Shrivz i Nice Baleno you have there !
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Old 4th July 2007, 14:11   #10
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Awesome tribute!!

Your Zen is definitely a part of your family!
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Old 4th July 2007, 14:12   #11
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Wonderful review. Oooppss I mean TRIBUTE. Nice to see a man after my own heart. Zen, that does indeed evoke some emotions & tears in my life too. Though, one can never forget their 1st love with time you tend to move on. Maybe this will help cheer you up a bit.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/shifti...-2007-a-2.html (What it takes to stay away from your loved one? A TRUE LOVE STORY in 2007 !)
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Old 4th July 2007, 14:18   #12
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Very nicely written Guderian... all ahve said the same thing.. well even I had to say it.. Cheers. Nimz
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Old 4th July 2007, 14:19   #13
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Another writeup from the heart. Thats the best type
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Old 4th July 2007, 14:26   #14
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Nice write-up! I remember when we bought the Zen, people thought we were crazy to spend 4 lacs on a hatch. It was surely a bit overpriced at the time of launch but man....there was no other hatch quite like it. It was a ton of fun to drive and pretty fast for those days. The only downside was the absolute lack of bottom-end in the carb version.
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Old 4th July 2007, 14:58   #15
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I have to say that your tribute to your car has touched a lot of memories..memories of our first car.

I recollect such a feeling when we sold my first car,a Maruti 1000...execpt i could not have put it in better words then you have.

But i also opine that irrespective of the brand,you can never put such inspired words on any other car you may own! Because your Zen(in this case)has made you an "experienced" man!!!
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