By: Javed Ali Khan
Pictures: Faisal Khan & Screenshots from movie Dharmatma
Recently we came across a red Mercedes Benz 230SL which we saw in Mumbai city. This made us to dig deep and see if by any chance the beauty on wheels had any link with Indian film industry. The car was based on the Mercedes-Benz W111, a chassis code given to a range of Mercedes’ vehicles produced between 1959 and 1971 which included 4 door sedans (1959-1968) and 2 door coupés and cabriolets (1961 to 1971).
Our research resulted in some good outcomes not only about the make of the car but also the link it had with the Bollywood. Let’s talk about the Bollywood connection first. There is no denying of the fact that among all the actors we have seen in the Indian film industry, it was always Feroz Khan who used cars as a ‘Character’ in his movies. Instead of cars/bikes just being a part of movies for the sake of it, Feroz Khan used vehicles in his movies as a living character. Yes, there were actors like Rajesh Khanna, Dilip Kumar and few more who used cars as part of the movies integral story line but it was Feroz Khan who took the risk of bringing in expensive cars and then destroying them or using them for chase scenes in his movies.
The red beauty, a 230SL from Mercedes Benz, whose production started in June 1963 and lasted till 1967 had an option of either 4 speed manual transmission or a very responsive fluid couple 4 speed automatic transmission which was linked to a 2308cc, M127 inline 6 engine with a power of 148 horses and 196 NM torque. The 230SL with Mumbai registration was used by Feroz Khan in the super hit movie Dharmatma. The car was in Golden Champagne colour then and was used in one of the chase scenes for which a helicopter was also used.
Feroz Khan is also known for the very famous scene of 1980 movie Qurbani where a 50 paisa bet is placed by him on whether he can drive a Mercedes Benz 220 or not and ends up in destroying a brand-new Mercedes Benz. There were many chases sequence in the movie which involved car and motorcycles being crashed and this resulted in making it one of the most expensive movies, budgets wise, of the year 1980.
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Pictures: Mini India
Mini, the brand which is owned by BMW, started its very own ‘Mini Urban Drive’ platform in India, which promotes and provides ‘Go-Kart’ like feeling among its users. The very first drive was held in August in Bengalauru where products like New Mini Hatch, New Mini Convertible, The All New Mini Countryman and the flagship Mini Clubman were present. The event will be organised throughout India in 7 major cities which are Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Chandigarh and Delhi and will over by October, 2018. The idea behind the event is to promote and showcase the safety and performance hidden in the various models of Mini.
This is what Mr. Vikram Pawah, Chairman, BMW Group India said, “The MINI Urban Drive provides a perfect opportunity for auto enthusiasts to be inspired by MINI’s ultimate combination of driving fun, top-notch quality and unique style. It offers participants not only the legendary driving experience of a MINI, but also significantly increasing safety at the wheel- whether in everyday traffic, performing rapid overtaking manoeuvres or at full –throttle on the racetrack. With MINI Urban Drive, we continue to extend the MINI lifestyle to more customers and look forward to welcoming more members to the MINI way of life.
Through out the event trained Mini Sales consultants will be present to assist users in a professional manner and provide details related to the products available for the drive. This would help customers to identify the Mini matching their lifestyle. Not only this, Mini India is accepting the booking of its products during the course of event.
Picture: BMW India
Kerala recently faced one of the worst floods in its history. Keeping in mind the issues to be faced by car owners, BMW India has decided to extend special service support for flood-affected customers in the State. A special task force has been deployed at various service points to assist the customers in best possible manner and bring vehicles back on roads. Spare parts availability is being prioritized and arrangements are being made to satisfy the demand arising out of flood affected vehicles.
BMW has increased the team size of technicians and service advisors for faster repairs and deliveries of affected vehicles. They have also come up with complimentary Road Side Assistance for towing of vehicles. The customers are being provided ‘On-site insurance support’ and surveyors for swift and fast insurance claims. Chairman of BMW Group India, Mr. Vikram Pawah, said, “Continuous heavy rainfall in Kerala region and flooding of low lying areas across the state is a cause of great concern. We stand with our customers in meeting any challenges they might have to face due to inclement weather conditions. BMW India has taken special measures to ensure that its customers receive prompt response to their service and insurance requirements.”
The support with regards to insurance claims involves daily visits of surveyors – Both, BMW partnered and Non-BMW collaborated insurance companies – for fast assessment and processing of insurance claims. Also, BMW India has requested that customers should not attempt to re-start the engine of a stalled vehicle as it may damage the engine. The owners of the vehicles getting affected by the flood can call BMW Roadside Assistance at 18001032211 for assistance.