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Old 10th May 2018, 11:59   #1
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Default Bharat Dabholkar converts an auto-rickshaw for personal use

I came across this article on how a guy in Bombay converted an autorickshaw for personal use.

The creator:
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The comparison:
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The 'Interiors':
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While it feels like a publicity stunt, the work on the vehicle and some of the points he makes are compelling. I think, adding doors & (GASP!) an airconditioner might have been the way to go.

From the article:

Quote:
For someone with two cars, buying an autorickshaw wasn’t about a good bargain. Advertising professional and theatre personality Bharat Dabholkar, who bought a second-hand autorickshaw three years ago, has loved bikes since his days in college.

But he felt he needed something more convenient to carry his laptop and a dozen files. “Buying an auto was not about downsizing from a car, it was (about) upgrading from a bike,” says Dabholkar.

The basic structure cost him Rs17,000—bought second-hand from Goregaon in Mumbai. He put in another Rs15,000 to redo the rickshaw. He flattened the floor, put in more comfortable seats, changed the roof to acrylic and made the front glass area larger. He painted the vehicle silver, added two stylish exhaust pipes and pasted a sticker that says “Worli Davidson”—a parody on Harley Davidson and a tribute to Worli, where he once lived.

Though ideal for Mumbai’s narrow and crowded roads, Worli Davidson remains more of a quirk than a regular transport medium. Dabholkar can take the autorickshaw only to places where he is assured of private parking space. “If I park the auto in a public space, when I come back to it, I either find people sitting inside for shade or fiddling with it,” says Dabholkar.

The openness has its advantages. When Dabholkar takes out his eccentric possession, it tends to brighten Mumbai’s otherwise snarly traffic. “At every signal, people around me take photographs. I make at least 20 new friends each time I ride it.”

Dabholkar considers the three-wheeler to be the perfect option for middle-class private transport in India. It’s cheap, low-maintenance and safe.

But he admits people think of an autorickshaw as an oddity. It’s a simple mindblock, similar to equating a black and yellow car with a taxi. Dabholkar, who helped change the way we look at butter through the “utterly butterly” Amul advertisements, hopes his Worli Davidson will change the way we look at the three-wheeler.

Last edited by GTO : 11th May 2018 at 10:59. Reason: Adding quote tags for the article
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Old 10th May 2018, 12:03   #2
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Default re: Bharat Dabholkar converts an auto-rickshaw for personal use

Pretty common in and around my place in Kerala. See plenty of private auto rickshaws. I guess it is a good choice for slightly larger families who cannot manage with a Two-Wheeler and cannot afford a car. Also as mentioned, there are lot of lanes and roads where a car will not comfortably be able to go. Another reason why they are popular.

They are normally colored Black and a blue shade. Not sure if it is a standard.

Last edited by Rajeevraj : 10th May 2018 at 12:05.
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Old 10th May 2018, 12:26   #3
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Default re: Bharat Dabholkar converts an auto-rickshaw for personal use

The man sure has his own unique style (under his office floor were piranhas!!). He had the first lifted SUV in Bombay - related thread. Also drove a yellow Mitsubishi FTO.

Bharat Dabholkar converts an auto-rickshaw for personal use-57804.jpg



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Old 10th May 2018, 13:59   #4
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Default re: Bharat Dabholkar converts an auto-rickshaw for personal use

Quote:
Originally Posted by sridhu View Post
I came across this article on how a guy in Bombay converted an autorickshaw for personal use.
Is it the same vehicle posted in the W&W thread in 2009?
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Old 10th May 2018, 14:04   #5
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Default re: Bharat Dabholkar converts an auto-rickshaw for personal use

What's really puzzling to most of us from Bangalore and Chennai who know what absolute idiots most auto drivers are and have predominantly negative associations with autos, is the fascination foreigners have with them (the vehicles I mean, not the drivers ).

An American expat couple I knew who were working in Bangalore bought an auto, painted it and used it as their primary mode of transport in Bangalore for a couple of years. They've moved to Denmark and have actually taken the trouble and cost to ship it there, modify it, and get it certified for road use there. You got it, there's a Bengaluru auto plying the roads of Copenhagen (i think that's where they're based) right now!

And then there's this: http://www.theadventurists.com/rickshaw-run/

Last edited by Eddy : 10th May 2018 at 14:08. Reason: No profanity allowed, even if masked.
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Old 10th May 2018, 14:05   #6
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Default re: Bharat Dabholkar converts an auto-rickshaw for personal use

Quote:
Originally Posted by DudeWithaFiat View Post
Is it the same vehicle posted in the W&W thread in 2009?
The article link posted by the OP dates back to 2010. Looks the same to me.

And Weird and Wacky thread is the right section for this modjob. Anyone who has second thoughts about it can take a detailed look at the quad exhaust setup and go
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Old 10th May 2018, 14:15   #7
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Default re: Bharat Dabholkar converts an auto-rickshaw for personal use

Spotted this private-use Bajaj auto built with windows and doors. Nothing fancy but serves the purpose.

Bharat Dabholkar converts an auto-rickshaw for personal use-img20171220155413.jpg
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Old 10th May 2018, 14:22   #8
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Default re: Bharat Dabholkar converts an auto-rickshaw for personal use

Quote:
Originally Posted by DudeWithaFiat View Post
Is it the same vehicle posted in the W&W thread in 2009?
Yes, even the registration numbers are same.
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Old 10th May 2018, 16:43   #9
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Default re: Bharat Dabholkar converts an auto-rickshaw for personal use

Mod Note : Please do NOT post messages that add little or no informational value to the thread. We need your co-operation to maintain the quality of this forum. We advise you to read the Forum Rules before proceeding any further. Request to post ONLY when you have something substantial to add to a discussion.

Last edited by GTO : 11th May 2018 at 11:01.
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Old 17th May 2018, 23:09   #10
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Default Re: Bharat Dabholkar converts an auto-rickshaw for personal use

The contents of this thread is getting circulated in whatsapp now - received the same message in four of my groups.

Looks like the decade old modification has really sparked some interest in 2018 after this thread was opened.

Is it still on the roads, by the way?
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