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Old 22nd February 2021, 13:04   #1
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Default Ooty guy from Pennsylvania

Hi all,

This is Shail from Ooty, currently living in Pennsylvania, but most importantly a very passionate car enthusiast. I'll try and keep my introduction short. I'm originally from Ooty, grew up there, got my first taste of cars driving in the hills before moving to Chennai for college. Spent rest of my time in India at Chennai(15 years) before moving to the US. I am a corporate trainer by profession and have done assignments across the country.

Boring things apart, my love for cars started at a very young age, 10 if my memory serves me right. That was when my family bought our first car, a used Premier Padmini which I hated at the time because the Marutis were already around and was my idea of a luxury car. Whereas the Padmini I thought was a poor man's Ambassador and never really enjoyed riding in it until I reached college. But today I regret not having any pictures of me in the car as it was scrapped by the time I learnt it's worth. It was the same car I learnt driving around the tea estates of Ooty. It had faulty brakes so the car wouldn't stay stationary on an incline, and one had to use half clutch to keep it in one place. And because I learnt driving in it I still get nightmares of brake failures. But nevertheless, it is one car I truly wish we hadn't sold. Below is a picture,

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Our second car was a 2003 Maruti Esteem Vxi. Yes, the MPFI version which had a silky smooth engine and an amazing gearbox with tall gear ratios. It was my dad's daily ride which I would occasionally take out for a spin over the weekends. Of all the cars we have owned till date this was the most driver oriented car in my opinion. I had put on a lakh and a half kms before finally selling it in 2015. Below is a picture,

Ooty guy from Pennsylvania-img_0906.jpg

In the meanwhile, I had also picked up an Rx100 as my daily commuter for college. It went on serve me as officer commuter during my initial years of employment. The bike is bone stock expect for cosmetic changes. I have put on 60k kms on it till date. I still own the bike and it is parked in my garage for the last 4 years. My dad rides it probably once every 6 months. Below is a picture,

Ooty guy from Pennsylvania-68535480_10156652469737898_3724534199584030720_o.jpg

A few years into career I had started making enough moolah to buy myself a humble new car, but there was no way I would settle down for a small entry level hatch after having driven my dad's Esteem for so long. So I set my eyes on a used car from my favourite generation (1997-2003). I had shortlisted the OHC Vtec, Mitsubishi Lancer, Opel Astra Club and Tata Sierra, all the cars I had grew up dreaming about. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a sparingly used OHC Vtec, my primary car until I moved out of India. I put on a lakh kms on it, also spent a few lakhs on it for no real reason. I kept the car stock but all the expenditure was on cosmetics and audio system. Finally sold it to someone who appreciates the worth of the car. Below are a few pics,

Ooty guy from Pennsylvania-img_20170603_142451.jpg

Ooty guy from Pennsylvania-17191979_10154471651457898_8192685427059438582_o.jpg

Ooty guy from Pennsylvania-img_20170531_182923.jpg

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In the year 2015 my dad retired after serving 40 years in Defence, so we wanted to gift him a new car as an upgrade to the Esteem. Me having owned an OHC vtec was particular about getting another Honda with the 1.5 Vtec engine. The only two cars sold with that motor at the time were the Honda City and the Honda Mobilio. We didn't want another City as we wanted a 7 seater as the family was growing larger. The other cars considered at the time were the Maruti Ertiga, Toyota Innova and Mahindra Scorpio. Innova and Scorpio were out since our budget was strictly 10 lakhs and we wanted a petrol. Between Ertiga and Mobilio I chose the Mobilio ignoring the ugly looking front facia and even uglier dashboard, because everything else was going right for our needs. It was way more powerful than the Ertiga, much more spacious, and most importantly it was more driver oriented than the Ertiga so I didn't mind giving up on the Esteem for the Mobilio. It is our primary car now and has 65k on the odo. Below is a picture,

Ooty guy from Pennsylvania-541602_10153001018167898_3198195806979420965_n.jpg

Besides these, I also have a 1986 LML Vespa, a 2004 Pulsar 180 and a 2003 Maruti Zen. I own a 2006 Hyundai Sonata V6(Sold as Embera in India but without the V6) about which I intend to write in a different thread.


The reason why I have joined TBHP is because I realized how much I miss the Indian automotive scene ever since I moved to the US and would love to stay updated interacting with fellow enthusiasts. I look forward to sharing more stories here.

Love you all!
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Old 22nd February 2021, 15:05   #2
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Default Re: Ooty guy from Pennsylvania

Hello Shail, welcome to Team-BHP!

You have experienced a really varied range of vehicles thru life . The VTEC looks absolutely smashing. Please put up a review of the Sonata as and when time permits.

Do go thru our forum rules before posting.
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/annou...e-posting.html

I am sure you will have a super time on our forum as all of us do.

Take care and stay safe.

Cheers

Last edited by Cyborg : 22nd February 2021 at 15:06.
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Old 22nd February 2021, 20:18   #3
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Default Re: Ooty guy from Pennsylvania

Quote:
Originally Posted by knshailender View Post
Hi all,

This is Shail from Ooty, currently living in Pennsylvania, but most importantly a very passionate car enthusiast. I'll try and keep my introduction short. I'm originally from Ooty, grew up there, got my first taste of cars driving in the hills before moving to Chennai for college. Spent rest of my time in India at Chennai(15 years) before moving to the US. I am a corporate trainer by profession and have done assignments across the country.
Hello Shail, Welcome to the community. This is one proud community where you can talk / discuss about anything. You would definitely enjoy your stay here.
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Old 22nd February 2021, 20:46   #4
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Default Re: Ooty guy from Pennsylvania

Welcome to TBHP, Shailender !

Lucky guy I would say - growing up in Ooty. And learning driving in the hills from the start.

We lived in Kovai long time back, and used to go up to Coonoor when the climate there was much more cooler. Ferns growing most of the year along the road-side, the rains etc. You would know what I am talking about. Sad that things are not the same now.

That OHC looks sexy !

What else are you into ? I'm sure you will find a thread / discussion on it somewhere here.

And yes, do check the driving rules in TBHP too

Happy revvin' !
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Old 23rd February 2021, 01:01   #5
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Default Re: Ooty guy from Pennsylvania

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
Welcome to TBHP, Shailender !

Lucky guy I would say - growing up in Ooty. And learning driving in the hills from the start.

We lived in Kovai long time back, and used to go up to Coonoor when the climate there was much more cooler. Ferns growing most of the year along the road-side, the rains etc. You would know what I am talking about. Sad that things are not the same now.

That OHC looks sexy !

What else are you into ? I'm sure you will find a thread / discussion on it somewhere here.

And yes, do check the driving rules in TBHP too

Happy revvin' !
Thank you! Yes, Ooty/Coonoor is not the same anymore. Miss those days when it used to be crowded only during vacations but now it's crowded almost through out the year. Fortunately I'm from the interiors which are still the same.

Talking about my VTEC it sure was droolworthy from every angle. Makes heads turn even today and it was a pain driving around in the city with all that attention at every red light. Here are a few more pics,



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The Sonata(Embera) I drive right now has a 3.3 ltr V6 motor that generates a healthy 245 bhp with over 300Nm of torque. Enough to put a smile on my face every time I floor the accelerator. I think the one sold in India had a 2.4 ltr Engine with 140bhp. I intend to write an ownership review soon. Here are a few pics,

Ooty guy from Pennsylvania-20200813_215607.jpg

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Ooty guy from Pennsylvania-img_20170531_182923.jpg  


Last edited by knshailender : 23rd February 2021 at 01:21.
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Old 23rd February 2021, 03:11   #6
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Default Re: Ooty guy from Pennsylvania

Welcome to TBHP, Shailender ! Good to see a BHPian from The Keystone State

You sure do have an interesting collection of rides. Would love to see a review about your V6 Sonata. Have a great time on the forum.
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Old 23rd February 2021, 10:14   #7
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Default Re: Ooty guy from Pennsylvania

Quote:
Originally Posted by knshailender View Post
Ooty/Coonoor is not the same anymore. Miss those days when it used to be crowded only during vacations but now it's crowded almost through out the year. Fortunately I'm from the interiors which are still the same.
Welcome Aboard. As a fellow Nilgiris person, Which part of Nilgiris are you from ?
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Old 23rd February 2021, 10:24   #8
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Default Re: Ooty guy from Pennsylvania

Hey knshailender,

Welcome to team-bhp!


Quote:
Originally Posted by knshailender View Post
Hi all,

I was lucky enough to get my hands on a sparingly used OHC Vtec, my primary car until I moved out of India.

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Your Vtec deserves to be a part of this thread:

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/modif...ars-india.html (PICS : Tastefully Modified Cars in India)

Do post some pictures over there.

Last edited by Eshan Joshi : 23rd February 2021 at 10:34.
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Old 23rd February 2021, 21:28   #9
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Default Re: Ooty guy from Pennsylvania

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Originally Posted by Prowler View Post
Welcome Aboard. As a fellow Nilgiris person, Which part of Nilgiris are you from ?
Hi Prowler,
I was raised in coonoor, but I am from kundha, about 20-25 kms from Ooty. Where are you from?
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