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|29th July 2009, 16:59||#1|
Join Date: Jul 2009
Thanked: 2 Times
My Tryst With Cars - and my Baleno
3 years back
Within a month of working, I told my parents I was thinking of buying a car. That day was a terrible disappointment as I was made to face the harsh reality that I could not afford a car for one. And even if I could, I could not afford to maintain it. And where would I park? I clammed up.
But adamantly took driving lessons, experimented all possible ways of driving dad's office car, mastered it till it was a mere toy and I took it everyday for my aerobics class. I had a total of 20 minutes on that car everyday. I would be happy.
One day when they had gone out of station, I got my chance and drove to my workplace. Murphy's Law had to catch up on me - an unsuspecting victim - They happened to get home earlier than I had anticipated. I got hell because, that day of all days,I got held up at work and returned home at 1130 PM while my parents had their heart in their mouth.
Dad decided to hide the car key whenever he went out of station. I made duplicates of the car key but never used it. (I am a responsible rebel). My contention here was that in case of an emergency we should be ready. I am car crazy person but not irrational.
Well to make a long story short, I started to travel by bus daily. And I do not regret it because the bus has been the source of inspiration for quite a few blog posts of mine. I used to stand near the driver and watch him using the clutch, brake and accelerator and pester them with questions.
But somewhere along the line, I started to dread traveling by bus because I felt unsafe at nights.
Fast Forward to 2009
I got married in Feb 2009 to my car crazy (then boyfriend/ now husband). I decided to pick a car and started researching online with a frenzy.
Everyone wanted me to pick a brand new small car saying it would suit my frame. I wanted a Sedan. For me the small car was a toy. I wanted something bigger with a boot.
I looked up all ads for OHC Vtec(2003 model old shape), Mitsubishi Lancer, Hyundai Elantra and any big car I could find. I was not sure what I wanted initially.
My mum says I like an elephant for the cost of an ant. So I was looking for a powerful car, fast car that gave me great mileage. I know I am greedy.
My experiences with cars
I found out that very few people were selling their Vtec. The ones who sold were second or third owners. I was looking for a single owners' car and rejected the lot.
People were a little surprised that I was going for fast cars being a girl.
I got a call from a guy saying he had a Red OHC Vtec(2003). Now I knew that there was no Red Vtec. I realized people probably did not take my words seriously and maybe wanted to take me for a ride. So after talking all details, I would tell them I will come along with my husband to take a look at the car. One guy I remember got flustered when I told him so and hung up.
I saw a Vtec. It was so badly maintained that anyone test driving it would have had to be extremely careful. The car just veered to one side of the road. It was quick reflexes else we would all have been on the divider. The wheel alignment was really bad and there was a constant noise in the engine.. The car was a mess and the guy just did not know it. He said it has K&N filters, headers etc. But the car was a goner . I felt bad for the car.
Other Vtecs were on the higher end. After looking at few more, I decided not to go with the Vtec as the shape started looking old to me. So Vtec was off the list.
I was so hung up on Honda that my colleague from work told me her brother knew about cars and asked me to get in touch with him.
I did and he said there was a car, a Beach Silver Maruti Suzuki Baleno Vxi 2004 model. He said he would get it home for me to see it. He came one Saturday noon.
There was a tug in my heart. She was beautiful. Tires were 205S . She had K&N filters and performance headers. The exhaust was chrome tipped. She had been modified for the rallies he told me. She was West Bengal registered.
Took a test drive. I was hooked. Told him to give me a weeks time to arrange for finances. In all the melee of looking for cars, I had completely forgotten the money part. She was taken back to the garage.
Next Friday, I went. I wanted to drive again before deciding. I saw a scratch. I was fuming. I made a part payment and said I will pay the rest once the NOC is received and the car transferred in my name. But I said I was taking her home lest she got new scratches. That scratch bothered me.
She came to me on May 16th. Every week I would call asking about the NOC. Somehow things did not work out. The NOC was going to cost me an additional amount. The owner said if I wanted to return the car, he was ok with it. He said he would return my payment in full. I did not have to worry about it. There were other options too, but those did not work out for me. So planned to return her on July 2nd. I was back to square one.
Meanwhile on June 27th and 28th I decided to go car hunting again. So my research started a week before that.(I had decided I will not pick up a Baleno again because I knew no Baleno would be like her.)
Having driven a Baleno, it got difficult this time around to circumvent her and find cars that were as good if not better.
I had driven a Skoda Rider at my workplace. I liked the car. But when I test drove a Skoda at a dealers' showroom, it was rough and had a lag.
I then drove lot of Lancers – individual owned and dealer owned. All beautiful looking cars and I knew if I enjoyed the test drive I could modify the car to look awesome. But the car just did not move. Didn't feel powerful to me. Maybe because I had driven a modified Baleno and the Lancers I drove were stock condition.
I drove the Corolla. A big and powerful car. Gave mileage of about 9-10 km pl. All the Corolla's I test drove were Pearl White and I felt nice sitting in it compared to driving it. Driving it didn't give me the kick.
I didn't like the shape of the Hyundai Accent Viva. So even though it was in Red(my favorite color), I bypassed it. I did not even test drive it.
I drove Hyundai Accent Diesel. I was disappointed. However the petrol variant was better and felt faster. However since my hubby has the Hyundai Verna, I put this on standby. No other vehicle had made it to the stand by also. I told the dealer I needed time to think.
Came back home disappointed. I had not felt the tug. I did not want to settle for something my heart was not in. I was again asked to pick up small cars. I vehemently refused saying if I was buying, I was buying a sedan. I did not want to sit in a car and make her feel unloved just because she was not the car I had picked.
July 2nd evening I dropped of my one month old Baleno back at the garage.
The mood at home was mellow. I was cranky. I again started looking up the sites. I knew a Baleno was any day better than the Accent so dropped the only car I had in my standby list and out of curiosity searched for Baleno again.
I got 2 cars I liked. One was Baleno Lxi and the other was a Baleno Vxi .
The Lxi was Silky Silver and the Baleno Vxi was Pearl Silver.
The Lxi was described just like how I had wanted – simplistic, neat and powerful.
The Vxi was more overboard. Had Sparco seats. Too many things. I am sure it was a great car too. But I could not have done anything new on her
I decided to call the Lxi owner first – rjstyles69. I asked him if the car was available. He said it was. He spoke well. I asked him about the car and in the midst of our conversation, he asked “Are you a race driver?”. I laughed and said No I was not. I said I was just interested in cars and told him my sob story of having returned my other Baleno. rjstyles told me there had been lot of nincompoops (in his own words) who had seen the car and he did not want to sell them the car.
But he asked me to come and take a look at the car. I said I will come with my hubby the next day. We decided to meet up post lunch, then changed our minds and decided to meet up early morning 7 AM.
We were early and I saw the car when he came in a little later. There was (as Rjstyles had warned before) a big scratch on the front bumper and a few scratches here and there. But I didn't just feel a tug. I felt a pull. I fell in love with the car. He said he would get the bumper repainted.
We went for a test drive which my hubby drove. All the while we were asking him what did those nincompoops do that we should not be. My hubby saw in my eyes I was getting that dazed look and realized this was it. And he did not even floor the car for fear rjstyles would not give me the car.
I am sure Rjstyles knew I was gonna pick the car. I went back home. Called him and told him, I would come after his life if he showed her to anyone.
Wednesday and Thursday (July 8th and 9th) were extremely busy and tiring as there was a marriage I had to be in and I was doing a lot of running around. However I was determined to pick the car on July 9th it was supposed to be good for me. I wanted everything to go right with this car and was hell bent. Told a friend to keep stamp paper ready for me as rjstyles had insisted on it.
I was up on Thursday at 5 and was running around all the while coordinating the cheque deposit to rjstyles's account and waiting for his acknowledgment of the money. I just trusted rjstyles despite my MIL being skeptical as most elderly people are about strangers. Rjstyles told one thing, its a small world and we are sure to bump into one another. I would not want to have a sorry face if I cheat you. So I gave in to my instincts.
Evening 5 pm my friend calls and tells the stamp paper wont be ready. I was crestfallen. Called rjstyles, told him will take the car today at any cost and give acknowledgment on Saturday. He said OK. He said he will hold back on giving some Form. I said fine.
I did not know the venue of our meeting at all. Sankey Lake was a part of town I had not been to. We had met here for the first glimpse of the car too but my GPS(my hubby) was behind the wheels then so it didn't matter. This time I got dropped half way by a friend and then went to Sankey lake alone at around 630 pm. Rjstyles gave me all the papers, the grill, number plates, stock filters all neatly packed in newspaper. I got my car.
I got lost after Mekhri circle. My phone battery died. Somehow veered to MG road from there. But in all the time with her, I just grew to love her more. I reached home at 830 pm. Took the car to the temple. That priest must think I have a garage at home because I had gotten the other Baleno also here. I slept well that night.
Rjstyles was right. Its a small world. A very close friend of ours was his close friend too. So from being Mr. Rjstyles, we are on first name basis now as we became friends. I call him any time I need to do something with the car and he always has been helpful. I got a free car manual also along with the car
People say I look small for the car and I admit its true. but when at the end of the day, I race past some powerful cars on the Intermediate Ring Road, the adrenaline rush is just so awesome everything feels great.
And by the way this car is a he unlike my other Baleno(She was called Rogue). I am yet to name this one yet.
This car is awesome for city driving. In bumper to bumper traffic, because of the low end torque and low torque. When the traffic clears up, this beauty just needs a nudge and its off.
I love the sound. The other night, my hubby and I had to watch a movie in Forum and could not coordinate our locations. So he came in his Verna and I drove my Baleno. After the movie, we both decided to have a friendly drag on a long empty stretch. My baby gave tough competition, but he being more skilled than me, got ahead and home by few meters.
My argument is that my music system was not in place and if it had, he would have kicked dirt.
I don't know what Rjstyles saw in us that day. But I am glad he sold us the car because life is even more beautiful. To top it, I now have stiff competition from my husband who seems to be wanting to race away in the Baleno. Maybe I should go my dad's way and hide the keys
I have attached a few images that Rjstyles lent me generously. I plan to get the old grill fitted. Thinking of putting bumper guards to avoid unwanted heartache.
I also plan to put a Reverse Sensor also. Will take snaps of the car after these changes and put them up.
Last edited by ajmat : 11th November 2009 at 21:50. Reason: riju wanted his name taken out
|The following BHPian Thanks SowmyaHariharan for this useful post:|
|29th July 2009, 17:24||#3|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Oct 2008
Thanked: 319 Times
The much awaited report of the Baleno.
Do post the recent pics of the car.
|29th July 2009, 17:35||#4|
Join Date: Jan 2008
Thanked: 6 Times
Aha, Riju's car comes back. Lovely to hear about the car from both owners.
Have a wonderful time with the Baleno.
|29th July 2009, 17:40||#5|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Hyderabad, Bangalore
Thanked: 9 Times
Great initial review and quite a detailed narration. Welcome to Team BHP. Baleno is a very good car and hope you will have good time with it. Have fun and drive safe.
|29th July 2009, 17:49||#6|
Join Date: Jul 2007
Thanked: 87 Times
lady.. that is quite a write up.
That is neat and clean car.. congrats on the purchase... Guess what . .I have a 2005 VXI and am enjoying the ride.
FYI LUCAS has fog lamps whcih fit neatly into the front bumper slots
|29th July 2009, 17:49||#7|
Join Date: Jul 2009
Thanked: 63 Times
Congrats on your purchase Sowmya, good to see the car back in the forum and a very good writeup. Please do post your version of the car pics.
|29th July 2009, 18:04||#8|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Dec 2007
Thanked: 128 Times
That was a good write up!
Good to know that you finally got the type of vehicle you dreamt of!
Apart from this, I noticed a lot of vehicle names, the name of the nice person who sold the vehicle but none of your hubby-cum-GPS-cum-drag race competitor.
|29th July 2009, 18:13||#10|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Sep 2006
Thanked: 365 Times
Congrats on your Baleno Soumya wish you many miles with the car.
Take care of yourself and the car
|29th July 2009, 18:36||#12|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: The Nilgiris
Thanked: 109 Times
[quote=SowmyaHariharan;1407320]3 years back
Nice write up. The car looks neat. Happy car.
Are you sure you saw the bus driver use the clutch.
A girl who needs a fast car, I am sure how they would have felt.
This is not surprising. However, I am aware of a lass who can give many a men a run.
Reading your thread and the cars that you had wanted to buy and the car you have zeroed down on, beating your husband is just round the corner.
|29th July 2009, 18:40||#13|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Sep 2006
Thanked: 789 Times
Sowmya there you are, well thanks for being that person to whom I could hand the car over to. Well what I said turned out to be really true. The world is really small coz we ended up having a common friend who has been really close to both of us.
|29th July 2009, 19:24||#14|
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: B E N G A L U R U
Thanked: 0 Times
Welcome to the Forum Soumya. Congrats on your purchase. You own one of the best Baleno's around. Nice write up. Good to see the car back in the Forum. Happy motoring.
|29th July 2009, 19:28||#15|
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Bangalore/San Francisco
Thanked: 21 Times
Welcome to the forum and the wonderful world of cars. Really appreciate your passion, very rare, so cherish it.
I am big fan of Riju's car, am sure that you have made the right choice and will never regret it.
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