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Mercedes Benz SLK vs Mini Cooper Convertible vs Mahindra Thar - Top of the pops
Three very different drop-tops, one crazy day
By : Rohin Nagrani | Published : August 02, 2012 | Photos : Aneesh Shivanekar
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This is the ‘Weird Al Yankovic’ of stories. One that hardcore, hardnosed auto enthusiasts with a penchant for numbers and numbers alone should excuse. Before they plan to spam my inbox with angry mails and virus laden attachments, please flip a few pages over and spare me the trouble. Yes, the story sounds of dubious utility, but such is life. For most others, you can whet your appetite by admiring Aneesh’s wonderful artistry with the Canon EOS5D MkII. And for those who like to pull pranks with a straight face, read on.

You can wear a wig in a Mercedes-Benz SLK350, go flat out with the top down till a point where the wind roar either gets too unbearable or you are feeling chicken. In which case, the wig will continue to stay planted around your forehead. And the Thar is easily the most fun you can have for very little money on a drive to the beach. While the Mini convertible, despite its serious lack of grunt, is a head turner and a wonderful car to drive. What we are missing from this mix of front-engined, front-wheel drive/rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive combo is a mid-engined or rear-engined drop top. But trust Murphy to kick in at such opportune moments. Yet he couldn’t ruin the day for us completely.

They make for an ungainly sight at first. One glance at the Mini reminds you of those famous Mini US launch TV commercials with the boxer dog sniffing it, trying to be all friendly. It evokes a sense that ‘all is perfect in this world’ and that everyone is on the top step of Maslow’s need theory pyramid. Bollocks, eh? The SLK, on the other hand, evokes images of the French Riviera. And women wearing scarves and driving it. So what if Aditya’s locks were all the beauty (or beast? – Srini) we had to deal with? And playing in the mix was the Thar, tall and completely out of sync with the fine pair in front.

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