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Old 15th September 2008, 19:07   #1
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Default Pune Mahabaleshwar Pune in 1962 Amby Mk1

I wanted to drive out of Pune last weekend, so me and Karl thought about attending the Bombay meet. Unfortunately I got stuck at work on Thursday night and Karl couldn't make it either. Friday was spent at home getting bored for the entire day working from home. I get a call from Karl that Beetle guys are driving down to Lonavala and whether I was up for catching up for drive to Lonavala in his Amby or Alto. I confirmed for either. Later that evening the plan crashed. Karl had a new brake master cylinder on his Amby so we thought of driving the tank down to Lonavala to do a reliability test on the expressway. Two test mules were pretty sufficient so we decided to drive down at 8:00 am.

8:00 am SMS to Karl "Whats the status?" Get a reply from the lazy bum after 45 minutes that he'll be out in 15 minutes.
Finally he turned up at around 9:45 am and we took the road that connects the Bombay Bangalore highway from my house. A distance of barely 400 meters where Karl just mentioned. "I was thinking of driving to Mahabi. Lonavala has become boring". I jumped in and approved. Karl was in two minds. In a driving distance of 200 meters and one provoked thought we turned left on the highway to Mahabi instead of Lonavala. Talk about being impulsive.

Pune Mahabaleshwar Pune in 1962 Amby Mk1-picture-037.jpg

Pune Mahabaleshwar Pune in 1962 Amby Mk1-picture-040.jpg

The atmosphere was conducive. The amby fuel guage wasn't working but we had a comfortable 50 liters to burn. At 4kmpl we still would have made it and I was pretty confident that a bawa gaddi wouldn't be that bad a mechanical. So off we were in serene overcast conditions chewing kms on a battle tank that was cruising comfortably without any hassles. A mad bawa abusing day lights out of every honker who tail gated us and another million expletives for the ones who did not give us way.

We had a few backlogs from our last trip to cover and I was going click click while Karl was whistling away in happiness:

Pune Mahabaleshwar Pune in 1962 Amby Mk1-picture-034.jpg

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Pune Mahabaleshwar Pune in 1962 Amby Mk1-picture-036.jpg

We did a comfortable cruise to foot of Khambatki ghats and decided to take a quick break for the car to cool down as well as to grab a drink. A few pics later we were back on the road. The Amby is a nice highway car. Huge and heavy for the driver but the passengers have are in absolute comfort. Khambatki was done in about 10 minutes. Excellent!!

Pune Mahabaleshwar Pune in 1962 Amby Mk1-picture-044.jpg

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We were getting closer. Just 44 kms more to destination. Mahabaleshwar has been a nostalgic drive for me each time I went. I spent 4 years of my schooling life there. I have many memories to share each time I go. Our agenda was the usual classic car chases we do. Finding old jeeps, trying to find a Landmaster amongst the hordes of Amby's that drive up and down Panchgani.

Gear heads are nuts, they do like to park their cars amidst sunflower beds and take a picture of their babies exactly the way some people prefer to park their girl friends amidst rose gardens and click pictures:

Pune Mahabaleshwar Pune in 1962 Amby Mk1-picture-056.jpg

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Pune Mahabaleshwar Pune in 1962 Amby Mk1-picture-062.jpg

We reached Panchgani and decided to grab a burger at Lucky's. Its always been my fav burger joint since school. Although the burger sizes have shrunk to a meagre wada pavs sized bun the taste still remains. Its been an old bakery and we used to order our birthday cakes in school from here. A 4kg would be the base requirement. A quick bite later we decide that we are going to make a quick drive back since the lights weren't in good state and neither were the wipers to take heavy rainfall that this hill station is subjected to. The usual sights of the Willys station wagon, the Landmaster were there. This time we could stop and get the regn number right.

Pune Mahabaleshwar Pune in 1962 Amby Mk1-picture-063.jpg

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Pune Mahabaleshwar Pune in 1962 Amby Mk1-picture-065.jpg

Attachment 50023

Half way to destination, the weather simply changes course. There's fog all around with a mild drizzle. We got three quarters closer and it starts pouring luckily on wiper arm is doing a fair job of keeping the windscreen clean. The other one was so so. We had to stop at an old Parsi gents restaurant to gobble on some forceful strawberry juice. Forceful because we cared more for his '57 1100 than the juice. A juice, couple of pics and a quick chat later we are back on the road. Its still pouring and the fog is getting denser. Visibility went from bad to worse. We needed better wiper blades. Mahabaleshwar is Amby land. You can't miss on getting Amby parts if required, is what we thought (sadly we didn't). We stopped at Bagicha restaurant to expect the showers to lighten but it wasn't changing. We decided to continue driving.

Rain was playing spoilt sport. We had to park the Amby at our favourite gate and click a few pics but we eventually couldn't manage to find our way to the castle. A couple of wrong directions later we turned around and decided to head back. The rain still hadn't stopped. Hats off to Karls driving we made it to Panchgani safely. It was drizzling now. We thought of having a bite but it was late afternoon and most places had shut shop. Finally we decided to call it a day and had a comfortable cruise back home.

A memorable drive again. Oh yes, the brakes did work and yes the mules got back home safe.

Thanks Karl!

A co-incidence or not, this DRIVE (Pune-Mahabaleshwar-Pune in my Fiat.) had happened exactly a year ago.
Attached Thumbnails
Pune Mahabaleshwar Pune in 1962 Amby Mk1-picture-043.jpg  


Last edited by moralfibre : 15th September 2008 at 19:09.
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Old 15th September 2008, 19:19   #2
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Some random pics. The last picture does convince that the drive ended in Dadar:
Attached Thumbnails
Pune Mahabaleshwar Pune in 1962 Amby Mk1-picture-066.jpg  

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Pune Mahabaleshwar Pune in 1962 Amby Mk1-picture-090.jpg  

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Old 15th September 2008, 19:33   #3
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Just love those pics of the wind shield in the rain. My father's Amby was just like this. I remember so many times that I had driven literally blind with water sticking to the wind shield and the wipers flailing away in vain.

Once on a long drive, the dynamo gave in and I drove back in failing light without no headlights.

The car was a lot of hard work to drive, but I still have so many pleasant memories of our Amby.

You brought back many happy memories.
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Old 15th September 2008, 19:44   #4
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Great travelogue Kiran. Wish I could be there when you did this on impulse.
I remember the last time I did something this crazy.
A friend had a 1975 W115 240D automatic LHD with sun roof, which had just been restored to the hilt. We were supposed to do a early Sunday morning drive to marine drive and back to test the car.
The damn thing ran so well, we ended up driving to Lonavala, had breakfast there and returned home by lunch.
The car was so damn good to drive. Sorry no pics as i didn't take my camera nor my cell phone with me.

The best times are always had on an impromptu outing. Nothing planned. It works for me.
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Old 15th September 2008, 20:09   #5
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You know had we gone to Lonavala we could have shot the Amby under the Amby Valley sign board Next week? Im game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moralfibre View Post
We did a comfortable cruise to foot of Khambatki ghats and decided to take a quick break for the car to cool down as well as to grab a drink.
You make it sound as though she was heating up. Im myself surprised at how well she performed. The car had not covered even 300km in the last 3 years I estimate (must get that elusive speedo cable!).

Quote:
Gear heads are nuts, they do like to park their cars amidst sunflower beds and take a picture of their babies exactly the way some people prefer to park their girl friends amidst rose gardens and click pictures:
Hey, you promised me you would photoshop the dings before you uploaded them!

Quote:
The usual sights of the Willys station wagon, the Landmaster were there. This time we could stop and get the regn number right.
What a coincidence - I used to see that at my neighbours place 10-12 years back. And Ive been seeing it at Panchgani for many years - never struck me that they are the same!

Pune Mahabaleshwar Pune in 1962 Amby Mk1-01.jpg

Quote:
Rain was playing spoilt sport. We had to park the Amby at our favourite gate and click a few pics but we eventually couldn't manage to find our way to the castle. A couple of wrong directions later we turned around and decided to head back.
We HAVE to do that again. But after the Lonavala trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by moralfibre View Post
Some random pics. The last picture does convince that the drive ended in Dadar:
Gogiji, when did you open a place at Wai!

Thank you moralfibre for the great travelogue and company.
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Old 15th September 2008, 22:06   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karlosdeville View Post
You know had we gone to Lonavala we could have shot the Amby under the Amby Valley sign board Next week? Im game.
That idea is mine. We realized it when we reached Khambatki. Lets go Friday / Saturday?


Quote:
You make it sound as though she was heating up. Im myself surprised at how well she performed. The car had not covered even 300km in the last 3 years I estimate (must get that elusive speedo cable!).
Oh yes, we were in two thoughts but the car kept going. What a beaut!

Quote:
Hey, you promised me you would photoshop the dings before you uploaded them!
Dings? Where?

Quote:
We HAVE to do that again. But after the Lonavala trip
Let me make entries in my scheduler. In the following format Date, Time, Car, Destination.
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Old 15th September 2008, 22:18   #7
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Nice trip fellows - on an impulse.

ps - you stopped at the Skoda point ?
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Old 15th September 2008, 23:07   #8
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Nice pics. Brings back the nostalgia.
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Old 15th September 2008, 23:34   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normally_crazy View Post
Nice trip fellows - on an impulse.
ps - you stopped at the Skoda point ?
No we didn't. But we did see many banged up cars on that ghat. Its due to denser traffic on weekends and DUI.
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Old 16th September 2008, 00:25   #10
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Nice writeup and great pics Kiran.
You could have watermarked those two scoop pics, i guess!!??
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Old 16th September 2008, 00:58   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moralfibre View Post
No we didn't. But we did see many banged up cars on that ghat. Its due to denser traffic on weekends and DUI.
Guys, is it that the DUI quality is dropping ? i.e. no of accidents of drivers under alcohol increasing in an invariate proportion to increase in no of drivers (license holders). ?

I've been to Mahab/Panchgani for every summer if I remember there were no DUI accidents, yes as of late there are many on the highway leading to the expressway.

@ Karlos, - sweet car/sweet pics @ "Parsi Point"

Do advice.

Thanks MF for the pics and write up.

cheers
M M
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Old 16th September 2008, 09:09   #12
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Excellent pics guys !! I specially liked the coincidance pic of MRX 7426.

It would be nice if you post the pic side by side after merging it into a single pic. It would get a nice view (then and now)

Abhi
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Old 16th September 2008, 10:15   #13
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Guys,
Try eating at lone hotel at parsi point, hotel rainforest. It has very good location overlooking dam and valley. It is just beside gate of parsi point. Food quality is good.
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Old 16th September 2008, 11:18   #14
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Amazing Pics and write up MF! Mahabaleshwar looks as beautiful as ever!

Reminds me of the time when I drove down to Mahabaleshwar for breakfast!
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Old 16th September 2008, 11:30   #15
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Quote:
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Amazing Pics and write up MF! Mahabaleshwar looks as beautiful as ever!
I found all pics to be below average in terms of everything. Don't try to excuse yourself from giving me photography lessons.
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