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Old 25th June 2004, 14:02   #1
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This happened when i was returning from Ratnagiri to Mumbai in my carb esteem a couple of weeks ago. Well..before you start reading further the caveat emptor is that i had my parents with me who would fuction as speed-locks the moment the speedo needle moved past the three digit mark.

As we started from Ratnagiri, initially it was my dad who was at the wheel for about half the distance till we were negotiating the sharp curves of the ghat just before a place called Mahad. As we were coming down the slope, a silver palio 1.2 NV with Regn No. MH-02 NA XXXX zoomed past us . We were in not much of a hurry then and let him pass.

By the time we reached the spot where you have this diversion for going to Mahabaleshwar, time had come for me to exchange place with my dad and get behind the wheel once and for all. This was some where around 3.00 pm and it was then that i suddenly remembered that i had to anyhow make it mumbai within 4 hrs before the counter closes so that i could book my ticket for pune for early morning the next day. This also served as an ostensible excuse which i could give to my parents inorder to avoid them from restraining me from speeding and then we took off...

Now before we get on to the race, let me tell you something more about the road( read track ) . The NH 17 is truly a driver's dream come true. Alongwith stretches of straightroad ( where you can view the road ahead of you for atleast 1/2 a km) , its also got its share of twists and turns with plenty of lush green vegetation thrown in. There is this partciluar stretch of road somewhere near a place called Chiplun where you have a big river for company, flowing almost parallel to the road for about 8 to 10 kms. Since we were travelling just at the onset of the monsoons, the view of the surroundings was absolutely fabulous with nature at its very best.

But who the hell has the time to admire nature especially when you are at the wheel on such a fabulous road with loads of empty tarmac seducing you to rip it ...so off we went, leaving dozens of other vehicles behind. We were lucky enough not to have much of traffic and so we would often come across empty stretches of tarmac to zoom past till we reached a couple of vehicles trailing behind a slow moving truck / bus waiting for the oncoming traffic to pass by. With just 65 bhp under the hood i too had to take my position behind the lot , down-shift to third from overdrive wait for the first opportunity till the oncoming traffic cleared , switch off the a/c for that extrasurge of power , push the pedal to the metal and then overtake them one by one. As far as possible i avoided overtaking those heavy trucks on blind turns and in cases where the visibility was absolutely poor. Better late than never i said as i saw a brand new honda city smashed on a sumo that too on the wrong lane..a sure shot victim of overtaking!!!

Soon afterwards I started seeing a silver peck on the horizon, as it got bigger, i realised that it was the same palio which had zoomed past us earlier when my dad was driving down the ghats. He seemed to be quite a cautious driver and was doing a decent 90 to 100 kmph most of the time. Now i hadn't gotten the frontwheels of my car balanced in a long time and hence could feel the vibrations through the steering the moment the speedo needle reached anywhere in the vicinity of 100. Anyway i soon closed on upon him and was almost on his tail for about 2 to 3 kms. *

There were instances when i was precariously close to him but the esteem's weak brakes didn't give me sufficient confidence to maintain that distance for longer intervals. I must admit that though the esteem could cut out the lead on the palio on straightline stretches, however, the palio handled extremely well on curves his 165 rubbers helping him with a better grip while i was let down by my stock 155s. So mainitaining a sufficient distance, i just stood on his tail waiting for the right opportunity *By then , i think he had got the clue that the race was on and he had steadily started accelerating . There were times when we were almost occupying the entire road to ourselves with he in the front and i trailing him closely. On two or three occasions i even had sufficient momentum to pass by him but hard luck ! i always had some oncoming traffic or the other foiling my plan

Finally the moment came when i saw his brake-lights glow as he slowed down to negotiate a sharp curve and i switched off the a/c floored the pedal to the metal and zipped pass him screeching the tyres as i pushed the esteem out of the corner . After that there was this patch of straight road where i kept the pedal to the metal and the esteem zipped pass clocking well past the 100 mark on the speedo as i watched the palio shrink in my rear view mirror . Then i decided to give him some more competition to fight with by leaving a couple of qualises and sumos behind as i took a breather. A couple of empty stretches and villages later i again saw a silver speck growing in my rear view mirror....for a moment i thought he was back and tried to push the accelerator but my carbed esteem just couldn't keep pace as the car behind enlarged in the rear view mirror. It was a new mpfi esteem driven by one maniac of a driver who just didn't bother about the oncoming traffic leaving me and heaps of other vehicles standstill as he zipped past us doing we over 130 kmph

Soon we were crossing the Karnala bird sanctuary and the atmosphere looked all charged up with the rainy clouds almost threatening to explode. One of the few hassels we faced along the drive was because of these hordes of 6-seaters which ply all along the highway at an extremely liesurely pace slowing down the speed of the entire traffic on that stretch Apart from this, the entire drive was an absolutely fabulous experience as we reached the outskirts of mumbai near panvel by around 6:30 pm well in time before that ticket counter in the suburbs closed i thought. No sooner did we enter mumbai, our avg speed dropped to barely half as we struggled through the rush hour traffic at peak evening time. But Alas ! fate had it otherwise i think coz' as i reached my destination by around 8.05 pm, i saw the reservation counter guy downing his shutter and leaving for the day!!!

~A
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Old 25th June 2004, 14:52   #2
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Gr8 drive but bad luck u cudnt reserve ur ticket man
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Old 25th June 2004, 16:48   #3
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excellent write up!
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Old 25th June 2004, 17:19   #4
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very well written pal. you had a ball didn't you. but i can't help to think, the new Palio NVs do seem to be a bit strangled on the engine front.
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Old 25th June 2004, 22:27   #5
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felt like i was there! excellent write up.
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Old 26th June 2004, 00:43   #6
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Well written Adityapd. Great writeup, great experience. As Zen rightly put it, felt like we too were in the thick of the action.

JC move over. A new kid has entered the room.

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Old 26th June 2004, 00:51   #7
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next time align & balance the wheels. increase air pressure. and just STEP ON IT!

btw, good experience.
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Old 26th June 2004, 02:05   #8
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Very nicely put buddy. Very descriptive.. it really got us into the action

Dippy
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Old 26th June 2004, 21:36   #9
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i liked ur description adityapd.. it was well written, and.. humorous..
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Old 29th June 2004, 13:42   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (Revvmaster @ June 25 2004,23:13)]JC move over. A new kid has entered the room.

Revv
Thanx guys for all those comments and Rudra for ur caution note ...btw Rev who's JC

~A
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Old 29th June 2004, 14:10   #11
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Jeremy Clarkson
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Old 29th June 2004, 14:13   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (adityapd @ June 29 2004,12:12)]who's JC
Jeremy Clarkson

BTW Good write up.
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Old 30th June 2004, 12:00   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (Aditya @ June 29 2004,12:43)]
Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (adityapd @ June 29 2004,12:12)]who's JC
Jeremy Clarkson

BTW Good write up.
oh silly me !!! i thought u guys were referring to some review writer with initials JC on tbhp..

cheers

~A
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Old 2nd July 2004, 12:43   #14
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guyz,

As i already mentioned in the drive report above, the one car which left me dry ( in my carb esteem) at over 100 kmph was the mpfi esteem.

Going thru some 0 - 100 times on some site, i realised that the mpfi esteem is infact marginally quicker than the baleno and hence some minor mods ( like K&N, freeflow, iridium plugs, et al ) would easily put it in the league of city 1.5 if not the vtec

what say guys ? ..waiting for ur comments

~A
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Old 2nd July 2004, 13:09   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]

Going thru some 0 - 100 times on some site, i realised that the mpfi esteem is infact marginally quicker than the baleno and hence some minor mods ( like K&N, freeflow, iridium plugs, et al ) would easily put it in the league of city 1.5 if not the vtec
Probably in acceleration. But when it comes to handling and braking, the modded Esteem would be left dry.

GTO
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