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Old 30th July 2019, 01:06   #1
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Travel Diaries of Mumbai/Pune Ford Owners : Panchgani

Disclaimer: This drive and stay was partially sponsored by Ford India.

The owners of the west region of Ford India, meet again. This time on a drive to the hills, a drive to Panchami. The 4th trip together for the small group in a short span of a couple of years.

A little background:
The group first met for breakfast in June'18 at Buachi Missal, Lonavala. It was a small group (12 cars) of enthusiasts at that point.

Travel Diaries of Mumbai/Pune Ford Owners : Panchgani-1.png

We caught attention of Ford India, and pretty soon Karan started having regular interactions with folks at Ford. Initially this was all about feedback from fellow facelift Ford EcoSport owners and to get to know each other. The interactions did go well and Ford then agreed to sponsor the group’s first official meet up in Jan ‘19. It was a breakfast drive to Dukes Retreat, Lonavala. This drive was open to all Ford owners, so we had participation from owners of Ford Endeavour and Pre-Facelift Ford EcoSport owners as well. This was a very successful meetup and we had over 30 vehicles participating in this drive.

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Soon we met again in Jun ’19 with an intent to get to know each members and this was an overnight drive to Khopoli at the Durshet Forest Lodge. It being the first overnight trip, had only about 1 3 of us meeting up. However, all of us had a lot of fun and we hoped to repeat it again.

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The trip - Planning
Once again, Ford once again came forward to encourage a drive and meet with a part sponsorship to the first official Ford Weekend Drive for Ford EcoSport Owners of the West Chapter. This meet up had this group extremely excited.

As discussed with Ford, they had planned a drive of 20 EcoSport's, which would be selected based on the first 20 responses to a FB post. The group was pretty psyched up about the meet and as soon as the post was live on the FB page, it took about couple of hours for the first twenty people to respond to the post showing their keen interest to participate.

With the participants finalized, the dates were set for 13th – 14th July. It had almost equal participants from Mumbai and Pune joining in.

The Drive
We have two common start points where the Mumbai team meets up. The first being at the Palm Beach Road & the second being outside McDonalds just before the start of Mumbai–Pune Expressway.

Everyone was expecting a regular drive, little did they know about the surprise that was waiting for them. Media team from Ford consisting of Bunny, Shantonil, Julian and Nishant. They were tagging along exclusively to cover the drive and back.

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We started off about half an hour past the clock, however the sight of Ford EcoSport’s leaving one behind the other in absolute harmony would surely turn heads. The second stop had few of the participants from Panvel joining in. Pretty soon, once everyone had settled in, we were off towards Panchgani. The convoy did need a little tuning, there were some incidents of people speeding ahead or being left behind. Once again this called for a quick pit stop to address the group as a whole. Nikhil was the leader of this particular drive and so he had a quick discussion with the group and laid down some basic rules to follow. They primarily were meant to keep the convoy together and give a feeling of ownership to the whole gang.

After this short hiccup, we travelled without any further issues. It was one large living breathing animal where each participant made sure they played their role effectively and accurately. This was en-route to Pune, where the members from Pune were to join the convoy en-route to Panchgani. We had a quick break and head off to the third meet up location where the Pune participants were waiting for us. Once the participants from Pune were in, we sped off to Panchgani.

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The route taken by this convoy, thanks to the Ford media team, was via the Bhor ghat to Panchgani. The view was absolutely breathtaking. The mountains, lush greenery and those curves, added to the thrill of driving the Ford EcoSport through this beautiful road.

The media team was able to get some really good pictures of the convoy on the Mumbai Pune Expressway, however they still had the full event to cover. Hence, with the co-ordination of the leader and the sweeper of the pack, some halts and drives, the convoy was able to get some really stunning in motion shots which just added to the beauty of the whole drive.

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The media team had extensively researched the route for this group to take. The road had very less traffic, and with the obvious beauty of the machines and nature all around, it was a pleasant experience. Starting from the base of the mountains right to the top the drive was simply amazing and so were the photos being taken. The group had one halt on the way to the top to allow people some time to relax and breath in the fresh air and also for some quick clicks.

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And then we started for the final leg of the event, a drive to the top of the mountains. Everyone loved the drive and the location chosen for the get-together. The sheer enormity of nature used as a backdrop for this drive was the icing on the cake.

Travel Diaries of Mumbai/Pune Ford Owners : Panchgani-8.png

It felt like the group could not have asked for anything better than this drive, the convoy was simply one big family. Post the collective photo sessions, we then headed to the hotel to call it in for the day and relax. After all there was another day ahead planned for them by the media team.

Back at the hotel the team, after having relaxed the afternoon, had a small gathering for this Ford family to get to know each other better. There was a small celebratory cake cutting ceremony for the drive and the gathering of this community.


Day 2 –
It was now turn to head towards the end of the drive. Just before they called it a shot, one last shoot was planned for the team. The media team once again topped the charts with choosing a beautiful location on the shores of the Dhoom lake. The Convoy simply was at awe of the beaty of the place, nature all around and its jaw dropping beauty.

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The media team and the fellow participants of the drive started with the last leg of photos to be taken. Every attempt was being made to capture the event one last time before it ends.

And just as all good things must come to an end, it was time to call it a day and wrap things up. One by one all of us started on our return journey off to home, assuring to meet again, soon. Very soon!!

Each member walked away with a new bond that bound this group together. Bond of the #FordTrust and knew now no matter the family will be together, always.

Some more pics from the event

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A video capturing the event


Last edited by Rudra Sen : 31st July 2019 at 07:12.
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Old 31st July 2019, 07:14   #2
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re: Travel Diaries of Mumbai/Pune Ford Owners : Panchgani

Mod note: Thread moved to Travelogues section. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 31st July 2019, 11:54   #3
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re: Travel Diaries of Mumbai/Pune Ford Owners : Panchgani

Awesome drive combine with stunning location! Pics comes out real cool!
Route selected for drive is really scenic having breathtaking view and has very less traffic.
If you don't mind, please share routes details of your drive.
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Old 31st July 2019, 12:21   #4
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re: Travel Diaries of Mumbai/Pune Ford Owners : Panchgani

Great initiative and commendable encouragement from Ford India. Such trips should be organised by other fellow manufactures as well. Specifically Hyundai and Maruti given their gigantic market share
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Old 31st July 2019, 19:52   #5
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re: Travel Diaries of Mumbai/Pune Ford Owners : Panchgani

Nice pics there, please let us know the location.
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Old 31st July 2019, 20:26   #6
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re: Travel Diaries of Mumbai/Pune Ford Owners : Panchgani

Wonderful that Ford took active interest in this trip. This surely helps more connect with customers and prospective customers. And Ford would have got direct feedback on the feature deletions fiasco in EcoSport as well I hope.
Great pictures by the way.
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Old 31st July 2019, 22:45   #7
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re: Travel Diaries of Mumbai/Pune Ford Owners : Panchgani

The Vista were too good. Excellent photographs.
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Old 1st August 2019, 01:05   #8
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re: Travel Diaries of Mumbai/Pune Ford Owners : Panchgani

Mod Note: There are several spelling & grammatical errors in your posts. This negatively affects the forum experience for other readers. Kindly ensure that you proof-read your posts prior to submission. Also, it would be a good idea to use a spell-checker.

Last edited by GTO : 1st August 2019 at 09:51.
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Old 1st August 2019, 14:26   #9
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re: Travel Diaries of Mumbai/Pune Ford Owners : Panchgani

A great initiative by Ford India. I have no idea why Fordís cars donít sell in India. This kind of initiatives will definitely keep the owners happy. I hope Ford continues to take such initiatives, it might help in their marketing.

Most Ford owners are probably car enthusiasts and love driving, I would love to see Ford India to take such initiatives for their other models too.
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Old 5th August 2019, 02:03   #10
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re: Travel Diaries of Mumbai/Pune Ford Owners : Panchgani

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On January this year i came across this Ford Owners Meet thread on TeamBhp:
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/trave...t-lonavla.html (Pics: Ford EcoSport owners meet @ Lonavla)

Bhpian suku_patel_22 was kind enough to add me in the group and made me a part of their community. This is the first trip i had with this group !
  • Everything was planned by Admins & Ford representatives with minimal involvement of the participant.
  • They were really organized right from planning breakfast & meetup spots for Mumbai & Pune people weeks in advance.
  • Stickers & car numbers were handed at meetup point and the convoy was managed nicely by keeping everyone between pilot cars #1 & #20.
  • A crew car with auto journalist & professional photographers were icing to the cake with their beautiful pictures, videos & drone shots !
  • The resort was lovely and room size was huge.
  • Everyone in the group was nice & friendly and had one thing in common: Big love for Ford & Ecosport.
  • One day passed away in a fly with drive, photo shoots, yummy meals, gossips & DJ Night with cake cutting.

Let the pics do the talking !

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Official Video By Ford


TimeLapse Of The Drive

Last edited by Samfromindia : 5th August 2019 at 02:13.
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Old 18th October 2019, 21:52   #11
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re: Travel Diaries of Mumbai/Pune Ford Owners : Panchgani

Wow! Amazing photography and so many ESs' :-) Next time you have such an event, please count me in.

PS: Drive a White 2019 ES S TDCi.

Cheers!
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Old 25th October 2019, 20:41   #12
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re: Travel Diaries of Mumbai/Pune Ford Owners : Panchgani

Quote:
Originally Posted by truezealous View Post
If you don't mind, please share routes details of your drive.
Sorry for the late reply. I somehow missed the message.

We took the mumbai pune expressway and after pune we went via a different route.

https://goo.gl/maps/gk5DQ8txT1puJLxN9
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Old 20th January 2020, 23:34   #13
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First Drive of 2020 - Breakfast drive to Khopoli

First Drive of 2020 - Breakfast drive to Khopoli


Travel Diaries of Mumbai/Pune Ford Owners : Panchgani-11.jpg

It was beginning to get chilly in Mumbai & Pune and was time for a small get together for all Mumbai and Pune Ford enthusiasts. Karan started planning for the first drive of 2020. It was an endeavor (pun intended) to start off the year with a bang.
As this was the first drive of 2020, we set off with another two goals in our mind
  1. Cross teh milestone of 50 cars
  2. Draw out the letters of Ford with our cars and have a snap of it for memory.

The venue was decided to be Sai River Resorts, Khopoli where we were meeting for an early morning breakfast. We left Mumbai at around 7:30 AM, instead of the planned time of 7 AM. Indeed IST stands for Indian Stretchable Time.

Just like all other meets, we had two meetup points in Mumbai Vashi and McDonald's where all of us got together, had some small talk and then started towards our destination. It was a surprise for everyone to
  1. See Karan on his Street Triple, instead of his EcoSport.
  2. Come to know that the first stop was a cricket ground

Karan was shooting the entire trip on his GoPro. We took the old Pune highway instead of the Expressway and headed towards our first destination, a cricket ground borrowed frm the humble kids in Khopoli.

The last time I was on the old Pune highway, I had some really bad experiences with quite a few potholes. However, with the roads being resurfaced recently, the drive was really smooth except for some illogically designed speed breakers right after blind turns.

All of the fellow participants made the drive worthwhile and fun. This was the same camaraderie that I had experienced on the drive to Panchgani. We had one designated lead car(Nikhil), and a trailing car (Parag). Both of them did a stellar job of keeping us together. I was one of the laggards who always ended up lagging behind stuck in some traffic, and Parag always ensured he was the last car. Apart from the lead and trailing car, none of the order was enforced, however, everyone drove together and in harmony. It was a beautiful experience indeed. The turns of the old highway, also allowed us to feel the stability of our machines.

We couldn't make it to 50 cars and fell short by 4 (there's always a next time), however we definitely did achieve our second target.

The gang from Pune was already at the ground and we, from Mumbai reached there and settled in. Once everyone had settled in, we called in everyone and discussed how we were going to go about placing our cars to form the letters FORD. Everyone was really excited and were waiting patiently for the instructions as to how to place their cars. It was a fun filled hour spent arranging the cars.

Honestly, standing on the ground and imagining a top view of how and where the cars are to be parked is nearly impossible in my opinion. Suman was to the rescue here with his Mavic Pro, guiding us on the angles as to how the cars should be palced. The final outcome was beautiful!!

Now that mission FORD was achieved, all the hungry souls moved towards the resort. This was the second time we were visiting the place and the food was great as always. We again welcomed all the participants and thanked them for being patient. It was here that some goodies from Ford were handed over to the participants. The surprise items were
  • A comic book illustrating the importance of safety measures in the car
  • And a #DiscoverMoreInYou thumb band, a promise not to honk unnecessarily.

With breakfast done it was time for us to interact with our friends, make new ones and have a laugh. After a while, it was time to bid adieu, until next time.

A special thanks to Karan, Nikhil, Parag and Hemant for making the event a success. Now on to the images.

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Youtube links from the event:

Last edited by suku_patel_22 : 20th January 2020 at 23:40.
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Old 21st January 2020, 11:47   #14
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Re: Travel Diaries of Mumbai/Pune Ford Owners : Panchgani

Beautiful narration & lovely pictures. FORD lettering looks awesome. Kudos to Ford for organising such meets which shows they are pretty serious about Indian market. Hope they do something similar in East India.
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Old 21st January 2020, 20:53   #15
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Re: Travel Diaries of Mumbai/Pune Ford Owners : Panchgani

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fordlover88 View Post
Kudos to Ford for organising such meets which shows they are pretty serious about Indian market. Hope they do something similar in East India.
Only the Panchgani trip was organised by Ford. The other trips were self organised.
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