Finally the Gypsy becomes mine, AGAIN….
So continuing from the previous post,
I finally decided to go ahead and buy the vehicle, well that’s if one could call it a vehicle. Its more of a collection of rusted metal, on 4 pieces of rubber held to the body with bolts.
Still excited as I ever was I made my decision of buying this vehicle. The reason that I took this decision was
It was available cheap
It was a Delhi registered, well Faridabad registered vehicle
A cheap and basic vehicle gave me a good base to start and experiment on.
Most important of all THE VEHICLE IS IN MY NAME AND I AM THE 1ST OWNER
As everyone can see, the last reason was the most compelling. The story behind this is that this vehicle was gifted to us (me and my brother), soon after we’d left school from our parents. So this was bought by us in 1998 and we kept it for 4 years. After driving it for 65000 kilometers we sold it to a close friend. This friend had it all this while and was regularly using it till around 2008 or so and retired it after clocking 110000 kms. One fine day (December 2010) I was visiting my friends place for some work and happened to glance upon the vehicle. No sooner had seen it I started having dreams and began to realise that how I missed my Gypsy which I had to sell to make space for the Cruiser. One thing led to another and soon I had made the deal. Just like that. Initially only my brother knew about the deal and my father came to know about it just a couple of days back.
As there was no paperwork to be signed (remember that the vehicle’s already in my name), I began scouting for places to get the vehicle restored or I should say turn it into a vehicle.
Again the last place I wanted to take it to was at Mayapuri. The simplest reason was that I didn’t have the energy to go and stand on the head of those guys, day in and day out and still end up having a sub standard product. Also my experience with Mayapuri is that, if someone is technically inclined and they have the time to go and stand on the head of the mechanics while the work is going on, the outcome of their work just might be ok. Not great but ok As I had neither (nor am I technically inclined nor do I have the time nor the energy to go and stand there) this option was out.
So I was scouting for places where atleast if it costs a little bit of more money than at places like Mayapuri, I would go there, but the primary concern was that the work performed should be good. One thing that popped into my mind was “take it to Maruti Authorised Workshop/ Service Centre”. This option was again thrown out of the window as the workshop who does cars just might not have the passion to do a full blown restoration. MASS workshops are more into fast rotation of vehicle and as I said earlier, I didn’t want to experiment.
What I needed was
A guy who shares the same passion for vehicle as we off-roaders do.
He should know and understand our requirement that is what we want from the end product
He should have had executed similar, if not same, projects in the past
Come in my price range
Most importantly, the reputation of the workshop was of a primary concern. What I mean with this is that I totally understand that what I want and am about to attempt with my vehicle cannot be done in the cheapest of price. I know that it would cost and cost a bit more than just a normal restoration. But at the same time I would not like to spend the dough, end up being stripped off all my cash and still not have the product that I wanted. There were and still are some people in the market who even after charging and promising something, simply fail to deliver on the end product. Whether they didn’t know their work or didn’t want to deliver I am not sure but I ddnt want to experiment. I have had some bitter experiences in the past and so have some of my friends, therefore I wanted to take my steps carefully and be safe, this time.
To cut a long story short I began talking to my circle of friends and most of them recommended one workshop in Noida. Auto Attitudes. This workshop was owned and managed by Amanpreet Ahluwalia (Aman). I had met Aman a couple of times in the past at OTR’s and all, though didnt know him professionally. Further another friend of mine, Firoz Khan (FK7 on team-bhp) was also getting his vehicle restored from Aman. So I fixed up a metting with Aman and went and discussed the financials, the route forward, etc etc etc. In the course of this restoration I would be discussing everything at length. Therefore, finally the decision for the workshop was made. The work will be executed by Aman.
Now came the task of transporting the vehicle to Noida at Aman’s workshop. But As you guys must have seen the pictures of the gypsy, the tyres were all flat and even if I had to tow the vehicle, I would have had to change the tyres. Now finally having a couple of off-road vehicles at home, paid off. I had a set of 4 tyres that i had taken off my CJ3B at home https://harjeevchadha.wordpress.com/2010/12/15/big-boots-for-the-small-car/ . As the Gypsy and the CJ3B share the same PCD this was easily sorted out. You can see the Gypsy in MRF NDMS tyres. A rare sight.
Now armed with a can of WD40, a wheel spanner, a jack and accompanied by my driver we changed the tyres, I called up the Crane Service guy and on the 14th of December 2010, the vehicle was transported to its new resting place where it would be transformed into its new avatar.
Finally leaving you with pictures from that day.