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Old 6th January 2009, 08:13   #1
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Default TATA SAFARI - Journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step

The initial thinking:
I had a TATA SIERRA, 94 model. Bought it used and had it for 4 years, the vehicle was coming up to the 15 year re-registration period, was in a dilema to sell or to keep. I had nursed the vehicle back into good health and knew it would serve me without complaint for many more years, but my Parents were getting old and refused to get into the SIERRA, so it slowly went into semi-retirement, coming out only in the weekends for short spins.

Future plans:
Was very confused on the future course of action
  • Brother wanted a used 800 for Rs.50,000-00 so that he could take Parents out, and we could still use the SIERRA for long trips
  • I thought of buying a NANO since I have never bought any vehicle new, and that's the only thing I had a budget for
  • If we were selling the SIERRA, my Brother wanted a LANCER, but I was uncomfortable with the petrol bills and scared because in an accident, SUVs are more safer than Cars
The time had come:
I had saved up enough cash, and now had the end of the year off, so that was time to go car hunting.

The plan was to search the whole internet and Bangalore for a vehicle. Once a vehicle was within the budget and short-listed, take it to the dealer that I used to take my SIERRA to, get it checked, get an approximate price quote and then take the plunge.

T-bhp
I am a member of X-bhp, and used to be a regular there. Heard from a friend at work that there is a four wheeler site called T-bhp, at that time my thinking was more bike centric and did not even give a thought about T-bhp. Few times on Google search I stumbled on T-bhp, but dismissed it.

Once I got registered with T-bhp, got hooked completely. Followed many stories, it was like staying up-to-date with automobiles sitting in your home. Learnt so many things here and became a loyal fan.

Posted my SIERRA for sale on T-bhp, and was getting many offers. Also starting dropping news that I am looking for a used SAFARI and researching the SAFARI threads.

[FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]to be continued...[/SIZE][/FONT]
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Old 13th January 2009, 12:27   #2
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Default The buying experience

I managed to get a long break from work for Christmas and the New Year.

I had three things planned.
1. Make a solo trip to Kanyakumari on my Bullet
2. Visit the place I was born (1400kms round trip in the SIERRA)
3. Exchange my SIERRA for another four wheeler with 4 doors.

I was planning to go in for an old SAFARI. One of the earliest ones, because my budget was meagre. Have a mechanical bent of mind, so don't mind getting my hands and clothes dirty and making the mechanics my best friends.

Shortlisted two 98 model ones. The first one a light blue one looks like its nearly been to hell and back. All the interior fittings are loose and seem like someone took them out and put them back. The engine was quiet for more than 5 hours, but was still hot when I touched the radiator (means engine work in the offing) The owner is quoting 2,10,000 and my offer was 1,50,000. Went upto 1,60,000 and walked away from the deal. Feeling a lump in my throat but hope I did't make a mistake.

There is another one, this time maroon, haven't seen it, but reportedly is in awesome condition and has alloys even. The owner is quoting 80,000 to clear the loan and 1,15,000 in the hand for him. The broker says he'll swing the deal for 1,75,000. The wait is on. The owner is a busy bloke and does not have time to sit down and dispose off the vehicle.

My logic is this. A brand new vehicle would cost say 1,50,000 downpayment and 5,000 per month EMI, think of this, an old one at 1,50,000 and 5,000 set aside for repair and maintenance every month. All I need is the looks and the comfort. (Hope its not a grapes are sour story)

Checked out another black SAFARI at FirstChoice on Ring Road near K R Puram. It was a decent vehicle, was straightaway willing to cough up 2,00,000 for it since it came with brand new tyres and the original SAFARI alloys. The owner was a stinking rich Reddy, and would not budge beyond 2,75,000. Walked away from that deal too.
My Brother was hell bent on going for a LANCER, and tried his best to convince me. The things that kept me away from a car were

1. No flexibility to move more than 5 people
2. Burn a hole in your pocket running expenses of a Petrol
3. Lack of safety in a car since in a head on with a bigger vehicle, the car goes under.

Shreyas read my posts and sent me a private message passing on a friend’s number, who had a SAFARI for sale. He was constantly on the phone with Sridhar and urging him to do his best to see that my dream would be fulfilled. Nothing would have been possible without his initiative, and I would have still been searching for my beast or worse still, landed up with a lemon.

Sridhar was very friendly; he actually treated me like a childhood friend. Took me over to the SAFARI and patiently showed the vehicle. When I was apprehensive of driving the vehicle without insurance, he took me for a test drive and let me experience the vehicle. He was very forthcoming when I mentioned that I had to get the vehicle evaluated at PRERANA. He came with me to PRERANA and waited patiently till the mechanic and evaluator checked the vehicle.

At PRERANA, the mechanic first came and saw the vehicle, he said it looked nice, then he bent down and checked the front right side wheel well declaring that the power steering system was changed (when the vehicle is stationary, it is impossible to turn the vehicle, as soon as it moves, then it becomes easy). He then walked around the vehicle, checking out the body lines, and then pulled out the door beadings to check for any accident repairs, there were none, opened up the bonnet, checked the sound, the fluids, there was no water in the radiator, which got topped up. (there were a lot of dry leaves and stuff like that in nooks and crannies of the vehicle, the auto consultant also told me that he had seen the vehicle parked all the time at the previous owners’ house – suspecting the vehicle was sparingly used – hence the 85,000 on the clock must be genuine). The mechanic took the vehicle for a spin, it was for 3 kilometers on a crowded highway, he drove like a maniac and if there was something lose in the vehicle, it would have definitely fallen apart. He finally declared the value to be somewhere near 1,60,000-00. Then the used vehicle evaluator came to see the vehicle (this guy values cars when customers walk up to exchange old for new) he valued the vehicle between 1,80,000 to 2,00,000.

We then drove the vehicle to my home since they wanted to see my SIERRA, got a chance to show my Parents the vehicle even before we bought. Everyone approved, and then we returned back to the Brokers’ for final settlement.

Vedagiri was with me all through. Its only his efforts I must say that landed me the SAFARI. The negotiations started. I wanted to somehow pick the vehicle because it was the best SAFARI we had seen to date. The Broker called up the Owner, he asked me what my rate was, I said 1,80,000; the Owner was demanding 2,35,000. The Broker spoke very well on our behalf and was successful in hammering the owner down. He got him to 2,25,000 and I moved up to 1,90,000. The negotiations entered a painful stage now, I was beginning to get jittery and wanted to throw in the towel since the Owner was not budging. The Owner settled finally for 2,10,000, and I moved up to 2,00,000. The negotiations broke off. We took a break for 30 minutes to meet again. Vedagiri again helped a lot during those 30 tense minutes. Finally we met, the figure being thrown around was 2,05,000 final final rate. I stuck to my guns because I had an immediate impending expenditure coming up, 4,000 comission, 3,000 for the transfer and 3,000 for the Insurance, that in the end turned out to be my trump card. The Owner agreed.

I paid 5,000 immediately as token advance, then paid 2,02,000 the next day and drove the vehicle home. I had earlier test driven two SAFARIs, so was immediately comfortable on this one. Nursed it home and parked it till the papers and insurance was done.

The icing on the cake was when after 5 long years, we went as a family in one vehicle for New Year’s Eve Mass to Church. That one ride for me was worth the entire cost of the vehicle.

Driven it for around 60 kilometers till now, cleaned it thoroughly myself inside out, took it to PRERANA to get the basis like lights and stuff up and running.

Waiting to RECLAIM MY LIFE by MAKING MY OWN ROADS

Last edited by TheARUN : 13th January 2009 at 12:46. Reason: did not post properly
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Old 13th January 2009, 12:30   #3
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Hi Arun, please use this to format your post.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/announ...your-post.html (Removing [FONT] [SIZE] and [COLOR] tags from your post)
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Old 13th January 2009, 12:51   #4
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Default Now for the pictures

The plan is to keep the vehicle till 2014 and gGet it to showroom condition with everything functioning brilliantly.
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Old 13th January 2009, 13:05   #5
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Hardcore Safari fan! Hows the built quality/rattling part? Can you compare it with your Sierra.

My parents find it tough to climb in/out of the Safari. They are very happy once that are in though.
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Old 13th January 2009, 13:15   #6
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Congratulations on the Safari Arun. Its a wonderful vehicle to own. Wish you lots of miles and safe journeys. So now when are you jumping into the ICE section?
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Old 13th January 2009, 14:39   #7
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Default Congrats Arun!

Congrats Arun on having acquired a very well-kept TCIC Safari! Fom the photographs, it definitely looks well-kept. Well, I am in the same boat as you are. I currently drive a Tata Sierra (you must have seen the photographs in the Classifieds section - I had put it up for sale); I shall be going in for a new 2.2Vtt Ex soon and occasionally I think about doing the Leh-Ladakh on an Enfield/Bullet or in my Sierra. We share almost the same passions...

Therefore, I would like you to update all of us here as to how has the 'switch' been !?! What were the strong points of the Sierra as compared to the Safari and of course, vise versa !!!

Shall anxiously wait for your reply....

Regards, Arun
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Old 13th January 2009, 15:40   #8
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Congrast Arun on the buy! So, finally your wish came true.

Wishing you many miles of happy and trouble free motoring mate.

And the vehicle really looks great. Seems like you got a wonderful deal.

And what are those wirings hanging out near the passenger side? Might be a good idea to tuck them in somewhere.
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Old 13th January 2009, 15:59   #9
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Congrats on your purchase, TheARUN! Hope the vehicle serves you well.
The outer rear view mirrors and rear tail lamps are new, and good that you got it on.
May i also suggest the full plastic cladding on the doors as well? That'll complete the picture .
Cheers.
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Old 14th January 2009, 08:38   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkdas View Post
Hardcore Safari fan! Hows the built quality/rattling part? Can you compare it with your Sierra.

My parents find it tough to climb in/out of the Safari. They are very happy once that are in though.
The build quality is like a generation ahead. There is little rattling, and for the first time I am able to experience things like 'sound deadening'. When the Driver door is open and the engine is running, there is normal noise, when you close the Driver door with the engine still running, the noise reduces drastically. The SIERRA was good, but the SAFARI is excellent. The driving position is so high up and the suspension is much more pliant. The pick-up is also much better than the naturally aspirated SIERRA. I had the SIERRA only for 2 things, 'image' and 'size'. Now have been blessed with extra dollops of the same two things.

Parents used to literally run away from the SIERRA . They used to bad mouth it so much and grumble every time they were forced to get into it. The SAFARI, they still struggle to get in, but don't grumble atleast. Its almost like children climbing a tree, seeing them get into the vehicle, its not a SANTRO, but is definitely much more easier to live with for my Parents than the SIERRA. Lastly, even my Parents are very happy once they are in the SAFARI, they revell in its cocoon and I see them gaping around admiring the vehicle

Last edited by TheARUN : 14th January 2009 at 08:49. Reason: too many smilies
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Old 14th January 2009, 08:41   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sammyboy View Post
Congratulations on the Safari Arun. Its a wonderful vehicle to own. Wish you lots of miles and safe journeys. So now when are you jumping into the ICE section?
The ICE man, it gives me goose bumps when I think of it. Its going to be simply awesome shopping for ICE.

The possibilities are simply endless.
  • Can get a DVD system
  • Headset screens
  • Ample place for a huge sub-woofer
What I really want to do is keep it stock. Go for normal speakers that fit the four door pads and a simple audio unit. Let's see, will be doing a lot of research on T-bhp and might even go the full hog. Its all a little in the air right now because the vehicle has not yet crossed the 'trust' barrier.
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Old 14th January 2009, 08:46   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asejwal View Post
Congrats Arun on having acquired a very well-kept TCIC Safari! Fom the photographs, it definitely looks well-kept. Well, I am in the same boat as you are. I currently drive a Tata Sierra (you must have seen the photographs in the Classifieds section - I had put it up for sale); I shall be going in for a new 2.2Vtt Ex soon and occasionally I think about doing the Leh-Ladakh on an Enfield/Bullet or in my Sierra. We share almost the same passions...

Therefore, I would like you to update all of us here as to how has the 'switch' been !?! What were the strong points of the Sierra as compared to the Safari and of course, vise versa !!!

Shall anxiously wait for your reply....

Regards, Arun
Wish you all the best for the SAFARI upgrade. Its a very good decision you made staying in the TATA family, the SAFARI is so easy to get adjusted to moving from the SIERRA. Heard the new SAFARI is really awesome, and just for your sake, I'll start writing on a wordpad how the change has been.

The BULLET is awesome . I've brought out a Ajmal Kasab kind of bag to fill my stuff in, and made a detailed list of things to carry on long journeys, want to do Kanyakumari first then will definitely do Khardung La
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Old 14th January 2009, 08:51   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyWheels View Post
Congrast Arun on the buy! So, finally your wish came true.

Wishing you many miles of happy and trouble free motoring mate.

And the vehicle really looks great. Seems like you got a wonderful deal.

And what are those wirings hanging out near the passenger side? Might be a good idea to tuck them in somewhere.
Everyone is asking me about the wires in the front footwell. Its an AUTOCOP system. I actually want to pull it off and chuck it away, but worried if it is connected to the engine or something. Cursing the taste of the previous owner. Scoop on the bonnet

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkamath View Post
Congrats on your purchase, TheARUN! Hope the vehicle serves you well.
The outer rear view mirrors and rear tail lamps are new, and good that you got it on.
May i also suggest the full plastic cladding on the doors as well? That'll complete the picture .
Cheers.
Thanks mate. Did not notice the ORVMs, but the tail lights were like a gift. Got suggestions on T-bhp to change back to original and go for DICOR 3.0 wheel covers.

The full plastic cadding will also bring the vehicle up-to-date in the looks department. Does it get stuck on or how to get it up there

Last edited by aah78 : 14th January 2009 at 21:29. Reason: Posts merged. Please use MULTI-QUOTE to respond to multiple posts. Thanks!
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Old 14th January 2009, 11:13   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheARUN View Post
I've brought out a Ajmal Kasab kind of bag to fill my stuff in, and made a detailed list of things to carry on long journeys, want to do Kanyakumari first then will definitely do Khardung La
You gotta be careful with the 'Kasab' bag contents, bro...
So what do you have in mind now! ICE, Alloys, Wider Tubeless Tyres, ...the list shall go on and on...Do keep us updated!
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Old 14th January 2009, 11:51   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheARUN View Post
The full plastic cadding will also bring the vehicle up-to-date in the looks department. Does it get stuck on or how to get it up there
Square holes need to made on the door at the designated intervals as per the cladding. 2 screws in the front(from the inside) and then its all clamp-ons for the doors.
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