In my mind
For some strange reason, people think I wield enough influence to get them out-of-turn allotments of cars. This being an occupational hazard, I have gained enough experience to write a book titled How Not To Jump The Queue And Still Make People Happy. Once I am sure that the buyer is genuinely ready to plonk cash on a car, I request him to book it at a dealership and come back to me with the reference number. Fifty per cent of callers never revert, now that they have booked the car.
To the rest, I suggest writing me a mail with the reference number and citing the urgency for getting priority delivery (“Sir, I have only three Innovas in white and want a Fortuner in gold. Can you…”). A great number of people don’t go through the writing mail bit, but some still persist. I do, honestly, forward these mails to the PR firms of respective car makers and at times to friends who handle marketing duties (who in all probability retain only mails from the CM’s office and above). But hey, I do get the occasional call from those who get delivery (eventually, and not out of turn!) thanking me profusely for helping them out. Any time folks, after all you are my school bully friend’s cousin’s ex, right?
In my garage
There is a Nano in my building’s parking lot and everyone thinks it is one of my test cars. I went down and took a good look at the yellow example that was parked next to a new Zen Estilo. It looked taller and almost as big, though the wheels looked inadequate in comparison. So someone did beat me to getting the Nano to the housing complex. Now to find the buyer so that we can include long-term updates without requesting Tata Motors for test cars!
Car of the week
Nothing that comes after the BMW X6 twin-turbo petrol should make me happy. But the smile was firmly back in place thanks to another big car — the flavour of the season, the Toyota Fortuner. There is such a scarcity of these cars that Toyota has shifted requests from auto magazines to the backburner. But they did deliver me a grey example (trust me, I didn’t threaten not to consider it for our upcoming awards) which made me a celebrity of sorts.
The big SUV is effortless to steer and park and offers decent pace and ride on the move. Permanent 4WD made mincemeat of the November rain-affected tarmac this week. Can the exclusivity and ability justify the price tag? Let me put it this way — an Innova can do almost everything that the Fortuner can. Well, almost.
Bike of the week
Now I know what a mid-life crisis feels like. I can’t believe that I am cashing my mutual funds to buy a motorcycle. So will it be the Kawasaki Ninja 250 R at three big ones a pop or the Royal Enfield Classic 500 at less than half the money? Green is in, as they say!
Question of the week
The Lexus LF-A is the quickest, fastest — and at 550-odd bhp — the most powerful production car Toyota has ever made. Any guess how much one will set you back by?
The Lexus costs £340,000 (approx) as against £200,000 (approx) for a comparable Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano HGTE. How the little Corolla has grown in stature!