There has never been a time when a group for petrolheads has been more relevant in India than now. I mean, just look around. Look at the compromised practical pieces of crap that are running on the roads around us. We live in a country where people choose cars basis how many kilometres per litre we get back from them ignoring even basics like how they look, feel and behave. Cars are distinct. One car that gives you 25 kmpl and another that gives you 23 kmpl are vastly different from each other in so many ways; the mileage is just one of hundreds of aspects that separate them. Do buyers take any of these into account? They instead worry about how many LED daytime running lights they have (we don’t need them, they are meant for countries with very little daylight). The useless bells and whistles that we believe need to be standard in our cars don’t include safety features like airbags, ABS and EBD. They don’t include child car-seat fasteners. They instead include moon-roofs (sunroofs in our country) from which kids are seen happily dangling out as parents zip about, include rain sensing wipers because moving our fingers an inch is gonna kill us (not the car rear ending us causing the driver and front seat passenger to face-plant the windshield, of course). How have we gone so horribly wrong? It really amazes me.
As a nation, how is it that common sense and logic defy us while buying cars and we buy cheap pieces of crap that crumple at the sight of a collision? And this, from a country with a fairly good taste in cars in the past. Maharajas in our country possibly drove more Rolls Royces than modern ones on the road today. We have a community of people who loved and have cared for their Contessas (our closest shot at muscle cars) and drive them even today. We have vintage Mercs, BMWs, Jaguars and Aston Martins littered around the country just reminding us that there was a time when people had great taste in cars. What happened? We can’t change that our Contessas got replaced by Altos. We can, instead, provide respite to those who are similarly baffled and aghast.
To that end, welcome to Indian Petrolheads: a group of (overly) passionate and opinionated car nuts who love admiring, checking out, and occasionally reviewing, the finest cars on our roads, whether they cost INR 1 lakh (not the Nano, it’s not INR 1 lakh anymore, but more like a second hand Mitsubishi Lancer) or INR 1 crore (as and when the generous people who own these cars give us access). We want to share this with you and share our point of view on why we think they work or why they suck. Not saying that this a definitive buying guide, it’s more like a point of view of some extremely opinionated car addicts. So at the very least, it should make fun reading. Thank you for the interest; and welcome, again, to Indian Petrolheads.