Featured Vehicle: Maruti Omni Bug-out Van by Holy Shift

The Indian team Harsha, Rohit, and Prathick from Holy Shift (Power Drift TV) are at it again, combining their humor and fabrication skills to bring a unique, one-of-a-kind vehicle to life. Equal odds that you’ll roll your eyes or think that this one is cool.

A Little History

Vehicle customization and restorations usually begin with something more, shall we say, desirable than the rusty, scrap-worthy Omni this team chose to work with. But hey, with a 30+ year production run, the Omni is certainly considered an iconic vehicle.

If you are unfamiliar, the Maruti Omni was the Indian version of Suzuki’s Carry, which debuted in India in 1984. This passenger van saw a handful of different cosmetic interpretations during the course of its life, and you will often see them being used as ambulances as well as public transportation. Over 16 million Omnis were sold in India and Pakistan before being discontinued in 2019 in favor of more modern designs (that offer more safety features like ABS and airbags).

From Rust to Radical

The 3-cylinder engine that powers the Omni only produced a meager 37 horsepower, so the team began their project by swapping it for a 1000cc 4-cylinder Maruti/Suzuki Gypsie engine which was fully rebuilt and ported.

In addition to adapting the more powerful engine, the team added a slew of custom additions including a substantial lift and increased track width, an external roll-cage, custom mudguards, a rear motorcycle rack, bull bar, light bars, six fog lamps, LED headlights, and even a gull-wing door. Because what’s a franken-van without a gull-wing door?

While the execution of the “Gymni” gets high marks for entertainment and originality, its capability is limited, but that’s why they put a motorcycle rack on it. To follow on Instagram: instagram.com/holyshiftofficial/ 

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Matthew Swartz is originally from Connecticut and currently lives in Denver, Colorado where he passionately pursues rock climbing, trail running, and skiing. Matt’s love of travel has inspired him to through-hike the JMT and part of the PCT, bike across the United States, and explore the West coast of South America from Ecuador to Patagonia. Matt and his partner Amanda have also travelled across much of the Western US in their 1964 Clark Cortez RV, which they lived in, on the road for the better part of three years. Matt has worked for the USFS as an Interpretive Ranger and Wildland Firefighter and Matt's photography and writing has been published in Rova Magazine, the Leatherman blog, 'Hit The Road' by Gestalten Publishing, and Forbes.