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Independence Day Drive Of Pride

Last updated on: August 17, 2023 09:18 IST
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August 15, Independence Day 2023.

A drive organised by Terrain Conquerors, a Mahindra Thar group from Mumbai and Pune.

A call from a friend to join the drive.

And Magic happened!

I started from home at 6:30 am.

I had to drop my car at the workshop at XSEL Motorworx in Dadar, north central Mumbai. A workshop started by someone as passionate about cars as me. More actually. He took the jump from a corporate job to follow his dream.

Xsel specialises in detailing new cars and restoring old gems. But let that be a story for another day.

It was at Xsel on Sunday that I encountered my first 1968 Willys, CJ3B Hurricane Petrol Sandstorm, manufactured by Mahindra & Mahindra, below.

The 1967 Willys CJ3B Hurricane Petrol Sandstorm

Restored by Selvi Jose (above left) of Xsel Motorworx. Vishal Sharma (above right), the friendly owner of the Willis, let me drive even though it was the first time we met.

Vishal wants to support and keep the tradition of the Mahindra Thar's tribe going.

We prep up the Jeep with the Tricolour and head out to the meeting point in our respective vehicles -- an open stretch of road in Mankhurd, north east Mumbai, just before the Mankhurd police beat chowki.

We expect about 20 cars to join us there.

The Mahindra Thar Independence Day drive

But as the departure time comes closer, we had the count to almost 34 cars! Now this was worrisome considering Mumbai traffic and the number of cars in the convoy.

But thanks to the Mankhurd beat police who ensured that our convoy proceeded in one straight line... without disturbing the traffic.

So concerned about our safety was Mr Sawant, a traffic policeman from the Mankhurd beat, that he deployed two colleagues on a bike to accommpany the convoy till we reached the Expressway.

Let's meet some of the passionate participants in this impromptu rally...

The Thar Independence Day Rally

First up are Hina and Jaycee, with their sweet daughter.

The little one was all cheers throughout the drive!

A family from Navi Mumbai in the Thar Rally

Gurvinder and Harpreet Singh with their son were there up and early. Don't miss the name on the windscreen of their Thar.

The Mahindra Thar Independence Day Rally

We had just one rule laid down by Vishal: No Overtaking... Stay in single file.

The Mahindra Thar in its different forms!

It was a one-of-a-kind drive which you don't normally encounter in Mumbai.

The Thar DI

Seen above is the Mahindra Thar Di, with its proud owner beaming with pride.

A heavily modified Mahindra Thar

Here's a heavily modified Mahindra Thar from Pune. Look carefully -- it has 6 wheels. 2 in front and 4 behind!

Everyone we passed on the way, either had their phones out to shoot the Mahindra Thars or waved us on with applause.

Selfies with the 1968 Willys CJ3B

At one point, youngsters gathered around the CJ3B and requested continuous selfies.. which resulted in us stopping for a bit :)

Selfies with the Mahindra Thars

Our rally stopped at Horniman Circle in south Mumbai, where we parked the vehicles in the BMC-allotted parking. But the selfies didn't stop.

A thank you to the participants from Vishal Sharma

A get-together with some chit-chat ended this iconic drive with each and every one of us feeling even more patriotic than usual.

All Photographs: Rajesh Karkera/
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