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Old 24th January 2010, 17:41   #1
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Default Rajiv Gandhi's maroon SUV / Jeep ...

sidindica reminiscing / cataloging Indian automotive history on another thread, took me back in time too.

I recall seeing Rajiv Gandhi on TV, often driving a maroon SUV / Jeep while campaigning or visiting the interiors of the country.

I think it used to be a vehicle gifted to him by some foreign head of state, when he was Prime Minister, and thus was / is the property of the Indian sarkaar.

I can't seem to find any images of this vehicle, and I can't recall what it was.

I do remember, that it was quite a good looking vehicle.

Knowledgeable people, please help with images / identification / details ...

Cheers,

FourWheelDrift

P.S. Mods, if this is an inappropriate location, please relocate.
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Old 24th January 2010, 18:04   #2
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I had often seen Rajiv Gandhi both drive and ride open top Jeep/SUV during his visits to Bangalore. I used to live near the old Airport then. However, I was really not into cars then, my primary transport was BTS bus. Therefore, I have no idea whether it was a Jeep or something else. Didn't really pay attention to his vehicle anytime.

Last edited by Samurai : 24th January 2010 at 18:05.
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Old 24th January 2010, 21:48   #3
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Thanks for responding Samurai.

I recall that the "jeep" was closed top, and not open. It had rather dark glasses, and to my mind's eye, fat tyres too.

My fuzzy memory of the shape suggests it couldn't have been from the Jeep or Land Rover families ... my gut puts it as a mid '80s TLC FJ swb.

I am sure Ram would recall ... will ask him to mosey on here and give us his response.

Cheers,

FourWheelDrift
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Old 24th January 2010, 21:49   #4
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That was a Range Rover Vogue, gifted by the King of Jordan (I forgot his name, the present-day king's father and the father-in-law of Sheikh Makhtoom of Dubai). He also gifted Rajiv a silver 500SEL.

Both were custom-spec High security vehicles. Mr. Gandhi has returned them when he lost the election.
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Old 24th January 2010, 21:50   #5
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It was a Toyota Landcruiser (FJ 40 most probably)
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Old 24th January 2010, 22:15   #6
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This link has the ref. of both vehicles. I googled for pics but found none

INDIA TODAY - The most widely read newsweekly in South Asia.

(third one from last is about Rajiv)
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Old 24th January 2010, 22:29   #7
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While he may have had the RR Vogue and the MB, as sadeepmdas and the article suggest; neither are the vehicle in my memory.

I'm inclined to agree with 1100D. It was probably a TLC FJ40.

Found this link. One of the images lower down has a partial view of the vehicle with him and Sonia.

Source : WELCOME TO REMEMBERING RAJIV GANDHI.COM

Cheers,

FourWheelDrift

P.S. A lot of Indian sites (including t-bhp) refer to RG driving around in a Jonga. The FJ40 resembles the Jonga superficially and I think most people mistook RG's for one.
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Old 24th January 2010, 22:47   #8
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Thanks FWD i tried to search for the pics and videos of this vehicle for a while, this maroon thing was on my mind for long time but couldnt really find any info or pics.I have seen his video of a RR Vogue it was probably a white vehicle.
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Old 24th January 2010, 22:56   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FourWheelDrift View Post
I recall that the "jeep" was closed top, and not open. It had rather dark glasses, and to my mind's eye, fat tyres too.
That was probably in Delhi. Whenever he came to Bangalore, obviously he can't bring his rides. In Bangalore he went in topless vehicles so that he could wave.
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Old 24th January 2010, 23:02   #10
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One last find for tonight ...

Source : Rahul breaks security cordon - like father like son an article by Maxwell Pereira, a former joint commissioner of Delhi Police.

The relevant section :

" On most of his movements and especially during his private weekend visits to the Mehrauli farm, Rajiv drove his own reddish brown modified and reinforced Jonga. And he drove fast, breaking every prescribed speed limit in creation. Rajiv’s penchant for speed was well known. It was as if he tried beating his own previous record on each new visit - be it to the farm, be it to the airport!

I remember an incident. Mukund Upadhye, a long time colleague in the traffic department on supervisory duty, was following Rajiv’s Jonga in his own traffic gypsy, trying to keep pace. The speeding Jonga suddenly came to a halt, Rajiv got down and walked back to Mukund’s Gypsy, reached through the window and across him to the keys. Which he snatched and walked back to his Jonga - without uttering a word, leaving behind a stunned and petrified Mukund. Just to stop the Gypsy from following! "

Last edited by FourWheelDrift : 24th January 2010 at 23:03.
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Old 26th January 2010, 23:11   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FourWheelDrift View Post
While he may have had the RR Vogue and the MB, as sadeepmdas and the article suggest; neither are the vehicle in my memory.

I'm inclined to agree with 1100D. It was probably a TLC FJ40.

Found this link. One of the images lower down has a partial view of the vehicle with him and Sonia.

Source : WELCOME TO REMEMBERING RAJIV GANDHI.COM

Cheers,

FourWheelDrift

P.S. A lot of Indian sites (including t-bhp) refer to RG driving around in a Jonga. The FJ40 resembles the Jonga superficially and I think most people mistook RG's for one.
I did a foldable top (for this Jeep Kaiser) from which he could stand up for election purposes and also installed a powerful Ham Radio (as he was a licenced Ham Radio Operator with a call sign 'VU2 RG', my call sign is 'VU3 RKE') plus a 120 Amps Alternator for those extra Hella 2000 & some power full audio equipments etc. -----Those were the days I have very memorable moments spent with him when he used to visit us while his Jeep was being done up & enjoy a coke with us once in a while.----------tutu
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Old 27th March 2010, 16:49   #12
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I remember reading about his escapade in the Andamans. Apparantly he had a short chassis white SUV (perhaps a all secure bomb proof Land Rover, built and gifted by Israel) which he enjoyed driving himself(as he did most of his cars). HE sped away much to the worry of the security cordon following him in armoured Ambassadors which while trying to keep up got overheated and thus stalled. He was left without a security cordon for almost 15 minutes, al of which he very much cherished, as he admitted in his own words.

I have seen him driving up to the Hotel porch in a Maruti 1000 to attend a function in Delhi. I have also seen someone like him pull up, by in a signal near me i a blue Maruti 800 and soon speed away near the India Gate area. Soon i was overtaken by crazily speeding Gypsy's and Ambassadors. When i reached ahead i saw them escorting the Blue Maruti 800 in a security cordon. Was told that he had a penchant to slip away without informing the security for impulsive drives like this.
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Old 27th March 2010, 22:00   #13
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One thing is for sure, Rajiv was a big car enthusiast and a driving enthusiast. I too had a similar experience watching him at Bangalore airport. He bypassed the white Amby that was supposed to take him, went towards one of the the pilot Gypsys asked the driver to get down, jumped in took off (rather fast) !!!!

Also seen on TV during his resignation...he arrived in a gray colour Mercedes W124 E class.
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Old 7th April 2010, 21:57   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FourWheelDrift View Post
sidindica reminiscing / cataloging Indian automotive history on another thread, took me back in time too.

I recall seeing Rajiv Gandhi on TV, often driving a maroon SUV / Jeep while campaigning or visiting the interiors of the country.

I think it used to be a vehicle gifted to him by some foreign head of state, when he was Prime Minister, and thus was / is the property of the Indian sarkaar.

I can't seem to find any images of this vehicle, and I can't recall what it was.

I do remember, that it was quite a good looking vehicle.

Knowledgeable people, please help with images / identification / details ...

Cheers,

FourWheelDrift

P.S. Mods, if this is an inappropriate location, please relocate.
Hi,as far as i know,rajiv gandhi had few jeeps (mm440) in delhi converted to hardtop on the lines of CJ7 which was running on Mitsubishi 2.6ltr petrol engine with 4speed mitsubishi L10 gearbox out of Montero.I happen to pick one of the vehicle up from junkyard few years back.Let me see if i can find some pics.

renegade
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Old 18th November 2013, 07:22   #15
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Default Re: Rajiv Gandhi's maroon SUV / Jeep ...

when Rajiv Gandhi's maroon Range Rover was auctioned by the Government, the same was purchased by Actor Ronit Roy.
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