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Old 14th June 2024, 23:08   #1
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Car characters around you

In our daily lives, we come across different types of characters everywhere, be it home, work, street etc.. Characters who'd drive you nuts, leave you annoyed/surprised/bemused or at least attract your attention.
Automotive world is no different, so we have the usual learnt-driving-from-schumacher guys, traffic-lights-are-only-decorations guys, my-community/state/religion-is-the-best guys (the proud be to <xyz> battalion), I-got-the-max-bling guys, and many more varieties.
However among all these, there exist some unusual car characters that we might see once in a while, that do stand out for their quirks. This thread is to discuss our experiences with such unusual car characters, describing the funny/interesting stories involved.

Here goes my list:
  • The-bare-minimum-car-guys:
Quite a few folks back in hometown, still drive/till recently drove Mahindras & Marutis from 90s/early 2000s (not for financial reasons). Now its not the well-maintained-1st-gen-swift or tastefully-restored-jeep, but barely running vehicles, with minimum maintenance done (just to keep the wheels from falling off). These folks take the value-for-money concept to another level.
Sample this -
- A grandpa bemoaned the Innova purchase(by his grandson) for days - "The jeep is almost new, what was the need for it??" (the said jeep arrived in early 90s)
- A middle aged gent shared his grief(son got a Scorpio), around 2018 - "Our jeep still has a lot of life left" (bought in 1997!!)
  • The-resale-value-maintainer:
Folks who will religiously avoid any paint jobs, seat cover/soft-top/meter replacements etc. to maintain the resale value of the vehicle. Few extreme examples I've seen -
- A well-to-do family had a jeep (from 80s) with faded paint, heavily patched soft-top (yes, patched !!) and what not (and the folks were proud how close their jeep was to factory condition) !!
- A fellow drove a Mahindra till his last days, with almost everything except engine and steering in semi/non functional state (just to maintain the resale value) !!

So what are the interesting car characters around you ?? Bring our the stories of unusual car characters you've come across.

Last edited by RaviK : 14th June 2024 at 23:18. Reason: Trimmed the post a bit
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Old 15th June 2024, 09:11   #2
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Re: Car characters around you

Originally Posted by RaviK View Post
Bring our the stories of unusual car characters you've come across.
Interesting topic to discuss. I've seen many in person and many on the forum, and, those on the forum, please excuse me for spilling some beans.

1. Back in Gujarat, I noticed that most owners would leave dings, scratches and the like undone until one month prior to Bestu Varas (New Year). All garages would be flooded with cars waiting to be done up spic and span just before the Gujarati New Year
2. Back in the 90s, during the days of Bajaj Supers, over 90% of scooter owners in Surat would remove the speedo cable connection from the front wheel. Also, the bare minimum amount would be spent on maintenance and most scooters would fail QC checks by those scouting for used ones
3. In stark contrast to what I've mentioned in 1. and 2. above, I've seen those in villages surrounding Surat maintain their vehicles impeccably; in fact, so good that even Parsis would come nowhere close. There was this ex-bootlegger in Bhimpore whose Tavera looked like as if it was just out of the showroom even after three years. Another Zen owned by an autorickshaw driver which was as good as new even after 8 years
4. On the forum, all the sub 25 guys that I know are obsessed with perfection and will not tolerate even a 1% defect. The guy who posted about the Omni yesterday is a classic example. One can hazard guesses about the rest in that group.
5. Our own @Leoshashi is also "Obsessed with Perfection since y2k" (like Skoda's old tagline)
6. I will add myself as a strange car character as I am mostly a DIY guy - try and do my troubleshooting myself first, maintain the original state or my cars as much as possible, and only spend what is required to keep the vehicles high on safety, reliability, and fresh looks. Most of all this I source stuff myself, do myself (eg. wash n wax, polish, simple DIYs) or supervise at an FNG. Eg. take a look - the driver seat looks a little imperfect, but as long as it looks original, and doesn't look torn or shabby, let it be as is with some leather care.

Car characters around you-ps_viewdriverdoor-1.jpg

Last edited by vigsom : 15th June 2024 at 09:29.
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Old 15th June 2024, 15:44   #3
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Re: Car characters around you

1. 'Kitna deti hai' folks. There is nothing wrong with considering FE when making a purchase decision, but it should not be the only criterion, IMHO. Then there are people who even when discussing cars in general, be it luxury cars or even the super cars, bring in the 'kitna deti hai' question and then go on to brag about their car that gives 30 KMPL.

2. The sheep! there are few who will go out of their way to support their favourite brand.

"They don't offer XYZ feature"
"You don't need it/it will only fail, so not having that feature is a blessing".

"They are not safe"
"Nothing is permanent in this world"
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Old 15th June 2024, 19:44   #4
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Re: Car characters around you

I think that convincing people that the “original” paint, factory this or that or what not is somehow inexplicably superior was the best con job most used car salesmen etc created.

There are plenty of shoddy duplicates in the market but there is no way “factory paint” on an older car where the clear coat is peeling off, there are rust spots everywhere or factory tyres which are basically bald or has flat spots from sitting in one spot too long, or original battery which can’t even start the car twice in a row is somehow superior to a well maintained example with parts either replaced or refurbished.
You can use paint thickness tools to tell whether a bumper has been repainted or not but other than used car dealers who are looking for any reason to lower the value of your car, who really cares? There are painters out there who can match or exceed the quality of painting from the factory. If the job itself has been done well and there are no cheap fillers or anything used to hide defects in the metal, I don’t mind.

I will take a well painted car with good tyres, a new replacement battery and no weird panel alignment issues over a car where all sorts of jugaad was done to keep it “original”
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Old 16th June 2024, 13:52   #5
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Re: Car characters around you

A friend of friend has bought an XUV700 for 28 lakhs. He did so without a test drive or visitng the showroom. He asked what good a PDI was for a common man. Today is the delivery date and he is ecstatic to have done the deal and gotten delivery so fast. The other car he considered was a Safari and didn't buy it because he asked around and XUV was told to be better.

For my advice to go for an Innova he said it is unnecessarily expensive because Toyota charges more for brand value and doesn't give any good features. I asked what he meant by features, he said sunroof.
I asked him why he needed the sunroof, he said children these days like to roam in cars with sunroof so that they can see and enjoy the road with their bodies out and like to feel the air when it is windy and chilly.

This is Mumbai. People really don't grow or learn even with good careers.
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Old 16th June 2024, 14:08   #6
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Re: Car characters around you

Originally Posted by tchsvy View Post

2. The sheep! there are few who will go out of their way to support their favourite brand.

"They don't offer XYZ feature"
"You don't need it/it will only fail, so not having that feature is a blessing".
to that.

Brand fanatics who are excessively obsessed with their brand/vehicle are the most frustrating car characters you can come across. It's nearly impossible to have a rational conversation with them since they can't see beyond their preferred brand or model. They'll engage in pointless and unnecessary discussions just to reassure themselves that their choice is superior.

Another common type is the accessories enthusiast. These individuals load up their vehicles with every possible accessory, making their ride flashy and blingy.
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Old 16th June 2024, 15:01   #7
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Re: Car characters around you

Let me add for fun of it!

Feature bragging guys. These guys will go for anything with more features whether being used or not and tell everyone who will pause for enough time!

Modding fanatics. They will drive a off-roader with electric winch, axe, rope coils and spare fuel tank to work and would rarely go of the tarmac or some who get the lowest profile wheels and spoilers and the works and go around revving the cars on streets.

Sticker guys. Self explanatory- plaster their rides with stickers as though it were a competition, whether its a FWD or oil or tyre brand of just tag lines!
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Old 16th June 2024, 18:02   #8
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Re: Car characters around you

The Daddy's Little Boy!

Typically born with the silver spoon, typically the second generation is his business!

The dad may be driving a modest Honda City, however he drives/rides only swanky cars/motorcycles. Would have started driving at 16 by pestering the family driver. Has never changed a tyre nor visited the service station by himself. Has no idea about troubleshooting - just takes another car if the given car has an issue. Feels 'above' the normal driver, is always entitled to special treatment.

Extreme cases may start driving Ferraris at 8 years of age. If unfortunate, may end up in prison after mowing down innocent road users!
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Old 16th June 2024, 21:33   #9
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Re: Car characters around you

The One-Handers are the true characters I feel. I see one in real life and see the other on Youtube/Social media all the time and it annoys me no end.

I Bought A 20/30/40/60L Car With Full Phone Connectivity BUT I STILL WANT TO USE MY PHONE WHILE DRIVING

The streets are full of them. Whether it is a simple Exter or a BMW, most cars today have state of the art bluetooth and Apple CarPlay and Android connectivity options. The point of it being you don't need a 'hands free' or a Bluetooth earbud to attend to calls. Get into your car, connect your phone to the entertainment unit of your car (most of them auto-connect once they are paired) and then drive, take calls, chat since the nation runs on your being able to attend calls 24x7. And still these legends drive with one hand on the steering, the other hand has their phone on speaker, held near their mouth. Always annoys me no end.

I'm An Auto-Blogger So I Will Record With One Hand While Driving

Bro, get a rig. To drive with one hand, using the other to adjust your phone as it records your 'analysis' of the car, sometimes even having to adjust the brightness - I get anxiety just watching these videos!

And the final, most terrifying characters are:

The Watchers

You might think they are watching their car diagnostics or the maps or instrument panel, but no. They are watching INSTAGRAM. Or YOUTUBE ON THEIR PHONES! I cannot even being to count the number of cab drivers who do this while I'm in the backseat. Or the private car guys who are on VIDEO CALLS while driving next to me! I am praying all the time in cabs, because here I have an avid Youtube watcher and in the next lane a guy who is talking to his long lost friend on video. I don't know about the revolution but at this rate, accidents sure will be televised.
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Old 16th June 2024, 23:41   #10
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Re: Car characters around you

OP is looking outwards, I usually start with myself, before pointing any finger towards others.

Which car character I belong to?

1. Minimalist. You will never see me buy or even enjoy riding a super expensive car. It is not about cars alone, I happily over used my fully functional IBM laptop for 2, 3 more years and the office guys had to get it back by keeping a revolver on my head! Now, I am also with a shiny HP from few years :-)

2. The experimenter! You will find me mix 2t additive and IPA and use it as a fuel additive.

Now, looking outwards:

1. I dislike choices of people when they buy anything (like a car) with more than 50% loan. Sir, you could not afford the thing that you just bought! and while doing so, you increased the demand of the product and made it costlier for those who could! At present, both the real estate market and the automobile sector are in heavily overbought state. Banks are happy though!

2. I do not appreciate mileage lovers. There is an average speed (80% to 120% of the max allowed) maintained by commuters of any road and it is always higher than the minimum allowed.
These people will drive at 50km/hr on expressways, that too on the right most lane.
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Old 17th June 2024, 09:56   #11
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Re: Car characters around you

This sounds interesting !

1) The Juice Squeezer : This neighbour of mine will use his car till the last breath of car. The Maruti Alto 800 (2014 model) with 2,05,000 Km on ODO with Dents scratches on every panel right from roof to fendor. My neighbour, aspires to use it for another 3,00,000 Km.
Here the car is like Sugarcane and he is squeezing the maximum possible Juice (Miles) out of it

2) Mr Clean
This person is found every weekend on Saturday around 10:00 am cleaning his Brezza and Celerio. This friend keeps his both the cars in a very neat & clean state and generally takes around 3 to 4 hrs to clean both the cars from inside & out.

3) Weekend Starters
Outside my Apartment Gym there is VW Vento, which is 2018 model but has cloaked less than 10,000 Kms in six years. The owner mostly uses cab or his motorcycle for regular commute. He is scared of driving the Car but never forgets to start it once a week to ensure that battery remains alive.

4) The Brand Boys
These guys will always look for a particular brand. One of my friend is a huge fan of German Technology. Since, his car is always a VW & Washing Machine is Bosch he might be thinking that he is eligible for PR of Germany.
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Old 17th June 2024, 13:38   #12
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Re: Car characters around you

Without disclosing my friends name and the brand of the car:

He owns a premium hatch because it has a sunroof and he happens to be a gear fanatic. Right from the moment signal turns green he changes his gears faster than a DSG gearbox as its a manual and before even we have crossed the first 100 meters he will be in 5th gear and mind it - he doesn't skip any gear .

Last edited by Rohitthebest : 17th June 2024 at 13:38. Reason: spaces
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Old 17th June 2024, 14:08   #13
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Re: Car characters around you

A good thread to narrate my thinking that runs in my mind whenever i face below scenarios.
1. Moral: Get blocked (or) let us block others
Vehicle in front was going slow. On honking to alert for overtake, the car infront speed up and it was neither super fast or slow. Why? Have a heart to let others go or make yourself go.
2. Moral: My way Median way:
Trap: Bikers with kids/family on right lane, notwithstanding whether it is within city or highway. Sheer show of courage and never worried about risks.
3. Moral: Cover as much possible as to block others
Scene: Lane is bifurcated with 1 feet divider, so left turn should keep on left; Straight and Right turn must be on right side of the divider.
Action: Person who has to go on straight or right turn, comes as far left as he can and right royally block the entire traffic. Nothing but Morons.
4. Moral: Rural behaviour is Cruel and Suicidal
Generally, seen at rural areas where State Highways (SH) run - one can see T joint connecting from villages to the SH. Any vehicles you name it, coming from village road, takes a blind curve to join SH or vice versa. Mostly, drink and drive too. No regrets for self if gets hurt or to others causing any mishap. Just get hit or pose a threat and move on to next event..

Last edited by Innysta : 17th June 2024 at 14:38. Reason: spelling corrected
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Old 17th June 2024, 14:30   #14
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Re: Car characters around you

Here are a couple from my side:
1) spec sheeters: people who would quote the spec sheet in their discussions more often than actually needed.
2) I want to call this group something really nasty- This is the group where you would find people sticking their kids out of sunroof, talking on mobiles while driving in spite of having all the tech in car, watching cricket matches by placing their phone on the dashboard, changing lanes suddenly without noticing the traffic.
I can go on but I guess you all get the drift. Just to be polite, I will call them the entitled ones!

Last edited by Samegoodkid : 17th June 2024 at 14:32.
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Old 17th June 2024, 19:56   #15
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Re: Car characters around you

Parda hai Parda - These people put curtains on all windows, including driver side windows. If I ever get into a road rage incident, it will be with these people. I judge all people with curtains in their car. If you are one of them, please stop embarrassing yourself and remove these

Binary Babus - Some of my friends, will drive in 0 or 1 mode. Full race or Full Brake. These people get a commission from manufacturer of VERTIN capsule for motion sickness

Wagon R Haters - These people are ready to lose friends who buy a Wagon R. Mind it, they are not classists, they are ok with a Alto, but not a WagonR
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