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Old 13th January 2014, 18:59   #1
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Default To Bangalore in our Padmini. The old-timer is still very strong :)

With a trunkful of luggage and 4 adults, our 86,000km/18 years old Padmini took the whole 564 km drive with a smile.

After the joy of having found a nice little apartment to stay in Bangalore, the next thing to do was to bring a few household items from my home at Kochi. There was a little confusion about what all things to bring from Kochi and what all things to buy from here, but there was absolutely no confusion about which car to bring here - it would be the beloved Padmini. Mainly for two reasons - If the Padmini was to be left at Kochi, it would be run only once a month - not very good for an old car. Two - I needed a small car to drive around bangalore. I'm quite used to the Padmini and comfortable driving it even in the bump-to-bump traffic. And I love it when I am able to squeeze it to the gaps which are too small for any other cars (Barring may be M800 or the E20).

Well, its a long drive and we have to make sure that the old timer is up for it. Aren't some primary checks mandatory before a long drive? Be it a brand new D-segment car or an old timer like a dukkar Fiat .

Preparation:
  • Changed the engine oil and gear oil.
  • Fixed the rear indicators and brake lights that weren't working.
  • Flushed the radiator and 'upgraded' from water to coolant.
  • Fixed a cigarette lighter socket to use for the GPS and cell-phone charger.
  • Changed the wiper blades (not that we expected rain, but thought of replacing it).
  • Tanked up and filled the tyres.
Here is a picture of the star of this travelogue

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Last edited by DudeWithaFiat : 13th January 2014 at 19:10.
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Old 13th January 2014, 19:13   #2
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Default Re: To Bangalore in our Padmini. The old-timer is still very strong :)

The route planned was the regular Kochi-Coimbatore-Salem-Bangalore route and on Monday night, we loaded the trunk with our luggages and I hit the bed with slight excitement .

7th Jan, Tuesday, Morning.

Dawn broke and I woke up slightly late as usual and in less than an hour, Padmini was ready to go with all 4 of us (me, my wife and my parents) and the our luggage.

It was a nice start for a day and everyone was in a mood for picnic and kind of excited. I felt a real feel of 'travelling together' even before reaching a kilometer. May be it was because of all the excitement or because we were seated more closer in this car than other cars, with everyone being able to see each other without having to peep by the side of the large front seats as in the newer cars. Anyways, the ride was better than usual with all the load on the leaf-springs and, as always, there were faces looking at the Padmini at signals and at traffic slow-downs. Here is a pic clicked just before starting.

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The familiar Kakkanad - Aluva stretch had more traffic than I had expected and may be because of the new oil or the recent servicing, the car felt a little more powerful than usual. Breakfast was planned to have after 100km or when anyone starts feeling hungry (whichever comes first). Its a crowded highway, so there should be no dearth of good restaurants alongside. This recently rebuilt highway is heaven from Ankamaly to Thrissur which holds one of the best roads in Kerala. We were about to reach Palakkad when one of us registered hunger and then we realized that there indeed is a dearth of good hotels between the Thrissur-Palakkad stretch. Luckily, we saw an 'Indian Coffee House' there with about a million people inside having Dosa's and Poori's .It was dusty outside and the parking space near the restuarant was one of the biggest and dustiest parking lots I have ever seen. I does not look like their own parking space, but this was the space being used by their customers:

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Like on the roads, there were many eyes on the Padmini while it was parked.
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Old 13th January 2014, 19:26   #3
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Default Re: To Bangalore in our Padmini. The old-timer is still very strong :)

After another 10 minutes after the breakfast, the drive continued and we kept an eye open for a PUC testing center before leaving the state. It had expired couple of months back and we had forgotten about it. The Thrissur - Palakkad road looks like they will wider very soon.

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We found a PUC testing center before reaching Coimbatore and got the PUC certificate and continued through the Palakkad - Coimbatore stretch which was patchy, dusty, crowded and hot(but not an annoying one). My wife was clicked a few pics and then we discovered that, blame me, I had forgotten to put the memory card back in after I had taken it out . It would also mean, less pics on this travelogue. Apologies.

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We had carried some tea in a flask and some snacks and lots of water for the breaks. Clicked at a break:

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Another break.

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Except the toll-booths in between, the Avinashi Bypass (thats what the GPS said) between Coimbatore and Salem is a dream to drive. We hadn't expected that the toll expense alone would amount to Rs.451/-. I wonder why can't the toll charges be in units of tens rather than the Rs.31/-, Rs.51/-, Rs.53/-. Rounding them off to the nearest ten should make the transaction a little faster at the toll-booths. Half a minute at the toll-both is spent searching for the change .

By the side of the Avinashi Bypass:

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Look at that road:

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Last edited by DudeWithaFiat : 13th January 2014 at 19:33.
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Old 13th January 2014, 19:53   #4
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Default Re: To Bangalore in our Padmini. The old-timer is still very strong :)

A little before Salem, and almost till Hosur, there are a string of nice vegetarian hotels of the like Sharavana Bhavan. I have always liked their lunch. Staff at all their hotels are very courteous too. This hotel had one of the cleanest restrooms I had ever seen in hotels of similar class. There were 2 very active cleaning staff standing by the side of the restroom with their broom, sweep etc.

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Acres of land near Avinashi Bypass. Something you never see on the side of highways in Kerala.

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We took a few breaks before and after Salem. There is this bridge at Salem which bifurcates somewhere in the middle with the left turn going the Bangalore route and the right going somewhere else. That turn is very easy to miss and we almost missed it, but thanks to MapMyIndia. So anyone who will be travelling this route new, please take a note and be attentive on all the bridges there .

A few more pics clicked around Salem:

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A crowded junction at Salem:

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The stretch between Salem and Hosur is amazingly picturesque (sorry, no pictures - what an irony), but was crowded with a convoy of heavy moving trucks. While it is understandable that heavy trucks at uphill roads can move only slow, it is not understandable that why would they move spread out through the right lane and left lane together, blocking all the other vehicles on the road. I, with a few other cars, had to move sluggishly along with them for a few kilometres before we could find a gap to find our way through that heavy convoy. RIP Civic sense.

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Last edited by DudeWithaFiat : 13th January 2014 at 20:05.
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Old 13th January 2014, 20:01   #5
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Default Re: To Bangalore in our Padmini. The old-timer is still very strong :)

About 50km or so before reaching Hosur, we saw this hotel which not only has nice food, but a pretty good space in the front to have a good break between long drives. A nice place for families to rest too.

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From here, after the dinner, it was no-stop, no-break drive to Bangalore. And the last leg of the journey was a quick one too with us reaching Bengalure faster than we thought. It surprised me a little bit that my parents were not very tired at all after the long drive. In fact, all of us had the same good mood with which we had started the day. Probably because of the ample breaks that we took. We had also carried some tea in a flask and lots of water to have during the breaks. A beautiful and happy day it was and in its longest single day journey ever, our Padmini passed the reliability test with flying colours.

The only thing I missed was the drive through Elevated Expressway (from Electronic city) when there is daylight. But thats okay, I'm at Bangalore now and I can have that drive anytime now .

Expense:
  • Petrol : Rs.4000/- (About 53 litres and there was still a few litres left in the tank).
  • Toll : Rs.451/- (All for single trip).
Parting shot (shot near Salem):


To Bangalore in our Padmini. The old-timer is still very strong :)-part.jpg
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Old 13th January 2014, 20:59   #6
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Default Re: To Bangalore in our Padmini. The old-timer is still very strong :)

Well, this is one-off-a-kind-of journey. Good to know that the Padmini did well. It's a charm to see this vehicle on the road even now. I'm sure this Padmini has done such long journey before - or has it?
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Old 13th January 2014, 21:11   #7
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Default Re: To Bangalore in our Padmini. The old-timer is still very strong :)

Awesome thread Sree! Welcome to Bangalore and hope you will enjoy being with FCBians!
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Old 13th January 2014, 22:04   #8
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Default Re: To Bangalore in our Padmini. The old-timer is still very strong :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by gk_fiesta View Post
Well, this is one-off-a-kind-of journey. Good to know that the Padmini did well. It's a charm to see this vehicle on the road even now. I'm sure this Padmini has done such long journey before - or has it?
Thanks gk_fiesta . I bought this Padmini two years back and since then, the longest the Padmini had run on a single day was 240km. Not sure about whether the previous owner had done anything more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karthik1100 View Post
Awesome thread Sree! Welcome to Bangalore and hope you will enjoy being with FCBians!
Thanks Karthik. I sure will.

Last edited by DudeWithaFiat : 13th January 2014 at 22:06.
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Old 13th January 2014, 22:11   #9
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Nice car and beautiful photography.
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Old 13th January 2014, 22:20   #10
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Very good thread. Brought back memories of a friend's fiat.
Glad to see it's running really well. I assume that it's a petrol isn't it?
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Old 13th January 2014, 22:38   #11
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Default Re: To Bangalore in our Padmini. The old-timer is still very strong :)

I miss my "Padmini". I have learnt my driving in it and it always hold fond memories for me whenever I see it.

Nice Padmini-logue. Very well maintained car indeed. Hats off to you.

Now, just me drool over the Padmini photographs again.

Last edited by GTO : 14th January 2014 at 14:51. Reason: STRICTLY no SMS language on this forum
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Old 13th January 2014, 23:01   #12
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Default Re: To Bangalore in our Padmini. The old-timer is still very strong :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by deep_bang View Post
Very good thread. Brought back memories of a friend's fiat.
Glad to see it's running really well. I assume that it's a petrol isn't it?
Thanks Joy and drsingh.

yes, deep_bang, its a petrol. It is the latest variant of Padmini called the S1.
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Old 13th January 2014, 23:21   #13
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Congrats Sreeraj! Nice writeup and pics. Hope we can catch up sometime soon.

If you miss that left turn at Salem, you may continue straight and join back on Bangalore road from Madurai side.
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Old 14th January 2014, 08:32   #14
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Default Re: To Bangalore in our Padmini. The old-timer is still very strong :)

Hey, your car looks to be in very good shape. Was this repainted anytime? If yes, what paint was used. Hope it's a diesel, just curious to know what's the speed you managed and fuel economy as well.
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Old 14th January 2014, 09:53   #15
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Default Re: To Bangalore in our Padmini. The old-timer is still very strong :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by coolclouds View Post
Congrats Sreeraj! Nice writeup and pics. Hope we can catch up sometime soon.

If you miss that left turn at Salem, you may continue straight and join back on Bangalore road from Madurai side.
Thanks Jain. And sure we can catch up soon. Aaah..you have been shuttling Kochi-Bangalore a lot huh . BTW, if that left turn is missed, how much is the extra distance one has to travel to join back Bangalore road? Given the high-speed traffic there, taking a U-turn is certainly not advisable/allowed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by classact View Post
Hey, your car looks to be in very good shape. Was this repainted anytime? If yes, what paint was used. Hope it's a diesel, just curious to know what's the speed you managed and fuel economy as well.
Thanks classact . I am the second owner and haven't done anything to the paint after I got her two years back. I strongly believe its not the factory-paint. I plan to get it re-painted at a later time since the existing paint has started chipping at a few spots.

Its petrol. Its a variant called S1 which is supposed to have 3 or 4 horses more than the regular Padmini. We had pumped in 53L of petrol and after driving 564km, there were still a few liters left. Translates to around 12kmpl.
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