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Old 14th February 2020, 17:10   #16
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Default Re: Pics: The Car Culture in Shillong

I have been to Shillong 3 times and have witnessed the craze for mods that the local people have. Some of the cars are really well modded and would become worthy candidates of our 'Tastefully Modified' thread.

Also, Maruti 800 is the favourite car here. The LAST Maruti 800 to roll out of the plant was also sold to someone in Shillong as an homage to the love the car has received in this region.
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Old 14th February 2020, 17:53   #17
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The LAST Maruti 800 to roll out of the plant was also sold to someone in Shillong as an homage to the love the car has received in this region.
Wow! That's a really interesting piece of trivia. I'm sure many of us are unaware of this fact.
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Old 16th February 2020, 21:28   #18
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One thing I noticed is that every car is sparkling clean. Don't you guys have any dust? Even that damn taxi is so clean. In Bombay, if I clean my car at 0900 hours, it's dusty by 1300 hours .
Bombay still gives you around four hours! In the north, in Delhi and Lucknow, we clean the car at 9, go upstairs and get ready to go to office. At ten, the car is ready with one layer of dust!

Shillong is the pine city, so clean!

Last edited by Vipin Kumar : 16th February 2020 at 21:33.
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Old 16th February 2020, 21:32   #19
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Unfortunately, no more pictures of this car. However, this is probably a government vehicle as there's a sign on the bonnet that says "Forest J.H.A.D.C.". I'm guessing there might be more such cars out here.
That car belongs to a private individual who works for the Forest Department under the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council. Incidentally, there a many 5 door Gypsies in Shillong.
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Old 17th February 2020, 09:15   #20
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Default Re: Pics: The Car Culture in Shillong

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Thanks for sharing! Some very interesting cars & choice of alloy wheels there .

One thing I noticed is that every car is sparkling clean. Don't you guys have any dust? Even that damn taxi is so clean. In Bombay, if I clean my car at 0900 hours, it's dusty by 1300 hours .
Yeah in Shillong the culture is a lot influenced by the west. People love to show off neon lights, chromes, front windshield tint that masks the top and bottom 40%, effectively leaving the middle 20% untinted, etc on their cars. Growing up we even had modified ambassadors and Gypsys. As kids we used to joke that car owners in Shillong drive their new cars from the showroom to the workshops to modify the cars first before they take it home. Overall you may get a feel that this is Pimp My Ride kinda show going on in real. Heck you won't be surprised to see even the local taxis plying around the city with big woofers and playing country songs/blues/rock/hip hop giving you a feel that you are in a desi version of LA.

Coming to the absence of dust, it is a hill station. 65 kms away from shillong we get on the highest rainfall in the world. There are good drainage system all around the city and the water drains off without clogging. Lots of pine trees, springs, waterfalls around along with the crisp and fresh air. At home we maintain white curtains for months together that need not be washed.
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Old 18th February 2020, 09:02   #21
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Default Re: Pics: The Car Culture in Shillong

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Thanks for sharing! Some very interesting cars & choice of alloy wheels there .

One thing I noticed is that every car is sparkling clean. Don't you guys have any dust? Even that damn taxi is so clean. In Bombay, if I clean my car at 0900 hours, it's dusty by 1300 hours .
First off the weather, it almost rains throughout the year. So we don't have much of the dust problems but rather mud problems.

Then the mindset of cabbies, they won't take a bath for around 2-3 days ( cold weather is to be blamed) but would wash their cars every morning. The love for cars is something you'd not see anywhere else.
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Old 18th February 2020, 10:07   #22
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I was posted in Guwahati for 1.5 years, and have witnessed during my numerous drives to the state, how the people in Meghalaya drive. Be it a young guy, or an old man, from motorbike riders, to truck drivers, everybody has a sense of respect for other drivers, and all are very disciplined. This sense of discipline is anyway required when you are driving in the hills. Cherry on top, the Shillong traffic police is extremely strict and would levy heavy fines. However, things change drastically in Assam.

They modify their vehicles, tinker with the track, the ride height and they absolutely love their alloys offset. Heck they even install chrome plated hub caps in the trucks. I have never seen them abuse their vehicles and that shows the love and passion they have for automobiles. Unfortunately, i do not have any pictures at the moment.

"Khublei shibun"!
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Old 18th February 2020, 12:02   #23
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Default Re: Pics: The Car Culture in Shillong

Interesting Culture and was not aware of this at all. Thanks for sharing.
Very cute looking Modifications and clean cars. What is the story of love to Maruti 800 there? This being a hill station I would have thought Gypsy and the likes would have been more suited, but there must be something else.
Is the city also maintained so clean? Have never been there before and looks like a must visit place
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Old 19th February 2020, 12:24   #24
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Default Re: Pics: The Car Culture in Shillong

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Hello Team-BHP

We all know the North-East India as an immensely picturesque location with hills and a unique culture. There is, however another perspective for us to enjoy. I want to highlight the car culture in the small and beautiful city of Shillong.


Having lived in multiple big cities across the country such as Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Jamshedpur and Kolkata; I finally got a chance to experience the life in the hills when I got admission into IIM Shillong for my MBA.


The place is a true paradise when it comes to nature and surprisingly for petrolheads, there's a lot to see on the streets. Definitely no expensive cars but there's a huge modification scene going on here.

It seems the entire country's Maruti 800s have landed here to ply as cabs or for personal use. But what's amazing is that people are really enthusiastic about modifying their cars over here. We need to keep in mind that we are not talking about a few individuals with money to spare. Instead, the regular cabbies and the local folk buying new or even used hatchbacks ensure that they modify their cars. Apparently, it's part of their car buying process. They just can't have a stock car. What this has resulted in, is a city full of cars with oversized tyres, shiny alloys, spoilers, stickers and whatnot. In fact, the culture is so strong that it's rather hard to find a 100% stock car.
I've spoken to people driving just a few days old Grand i10 NIOS, Triber, i20 etc but sporting heavy modifications, most notably oversized tyres. The person driving the i10 told me that he took his car straight from the showroom to his local car body shop to get new tyres etc.

I am attaching a few pictures below for you all to see how the unusual-looking cars are the norm here.
I wonder if the alloys are mostly to help the driver manoeuvre the hills or the rains. Although going by that logic, I should have seen a lot of them in Himachal where I visit frequently. The commonality although is the plethora of 800s and Alto's.
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Old 19th February 2020, 14:42   #25
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Being Married to a Khasi from Shillong , I was smiling going through the thread. I can hardly recall a vehicle which isn't modified - some tastefully , some less so. One of the dangerous trend is removing headrests , I had a mini argument with my brother in law about the same.

Even while picking up used cars , modified vehicles demand a premium . Also its interesting how quickly the vehicle scene evolved in Shillong. Till about 2010 it was a Maruti territory , but it was like an overnight transformation. Again right from my first visit one thing which amazes me is how the shared taxi (Maruti 800s more often than not) tackle the hilly terrain with 6 or even 7 occupants. But I feel the best part of vehicle culture is the patience the road users have. No rash overtaking , minimal jumping queues , no mad honking

Last edited by JoeMichael : 19th February 2020 at 14:43.
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Old 19th February 2020, 23:40   #26
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I wonder if the alloys are mostly to help the driver manoeuvre the hills or the rains.

I once asked a cab driver if they go for these oversized tyres to improve traction. He said it's just for the style.


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Originally Posted by srikrishna717 View Post
What is the story of love to Maruti 800 there?



Is the city also maintained so clean? Have never been there before and looks like a must visit place

Even I feel amazed at how so many Maruti 800s landed here. Maybe someone who belongs to Shillong would be able to shed a light upon this. As far as I'm concerned, I feel it's because of relatively lower disposable income and a craze for modifications. Hence, people tend to buy cheaper cars so they can spend more of the mods. Not to forget, the easy maintenance of 800 would make it a favourite for cab purpose.

In fact, we can judge the local folk's love for their cars by the fact that I regularly get to see cars like Nexon, Ciaz and Brezza being used as taxis. These are not logical choices to be used as taxis, that too in higher trim variants but that's how much people love cars here and leave no chance to get the best one they can.

And yes, the city is also very clean with well-paved roads everywhere I've been. A cab driver recently told me that Maruti 800s from the Shillong region command a higher price in the used car market as they have always been used on perfectly built roads.


You should actually plan a trip here. And not just Shillong, but the entire North East. This is a place worth experiencing.
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Old 19th February 2020, 23:56   #27
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I have always wondered, don't oversized tyres void the warranty of the vehicle? Despite this, I see lots of brand new cars sporting these protruding tyres, such as the Triber's picture I've attached in the beginning of this post. Could someone please enlighten me on this topic?
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Old 15th March 2020, 18:25   #28
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Default Re: Pics: The Car Culture in Shillong

Myself and my wife recently spent a week in Meghalaya and I was impressed by the traffic discipline and absence of honking while waiting in traffic by the locals.


Upon landing at Shillong Airport, we drove to Sohra (Cherrapunjee) which meant passing through Shillong town. Which of course meant traffic. But the traffic was very disciplined, orderely, no queue jumpers and double laning which would obstruct oncoming traffic etc.


As and when I did notice some honking or poor traffic discipline, it was mostly by the tourist vehicles which were from out of state.


I sincerely hope that we Indians learn from our fellow citizens of Meghalaya about patience, traffic discipline, cleanliness, hygiene, sanitation and noise pollution.


Fingers Crossed
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