Cool Jeeps You Can't Have - Mahindra of India

jscherb

Expedition Leader
The Savari was also available with a removable hardtop.






And here are some with soft tops. This first one has slider windows in the soft top sides:



 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Savaris in rural shared taxi service.



This one's been modified to have two extra doors so passengers in the back (there are 4 rows of seats in this one) can get in and out more easily. Also it appears that there is a canvas cover on the metal hardtop roof, not sure what purpose it serves. Check the side step and the "armor" for the rear fender flare to prevent damage from stepping on it.




Another Savari in shared taxi service, this one has a removable fiberglass hardtop and a roof rack for luggage. Also slider windows in the sides of the hardtop.



The hardtops have a fiberglass upper barn door a slider window in the barn door. Unlike Jeep, Mahindra believes in the usefulness of barn doors :(

 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
This guy is giving his Savari a workout in the sand.



This one needs a bit of cleanup inside (get past the guy's monologue at the beginning):


It was for sale at 3 lakh 20 INR, which is a little over $4000 USD.


This one's in a little nicer shape. 45000 rupees converts to about $600 so something must be wrong - maybe a typo in the price.

 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I did some design exercises with the Savari roof and a JKU to see what the combination might look like.



This one is extended about 10":



And this one uses the full length of the Savari roof:

 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I didn't model my Safari Cab hardtop after the Savari, but recently I used my Cricut to make a version of the Savari camel decals for my JKU.





The actual Savari decals are available at amazon India, but I decided to redraw them for best results on my JKU hardtop instead of ordering them:
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
A Savari I found for sale:



It's in Rajasthan, so it's unlikely the body has any significant rust (Rajasthan is a mostly desert state). Also it's one-owner 2010, only done a little over $50k miles, so likely it's in pretty good shape. 6,50,000 INR is $8,963.99 USD, so not very expensive.

A walkaround video of a Savari.


Enough Savaris for now. I've still got military Mahindras, older models, Indian custom shops, older models and more to cover. but I think I'll take a break from posting in this thread for a while.
 
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billiebob

Well-known member
India has some of the most talented fabricators in the world.
Looking forward to more on the custom shops.

SavariTaxi_zpsgn8jh1hf.jpg
 

Dan Grec

Expedition Leader
Hey Jeff,

Do you have any idea about the legalities of a foreigner purchasing a registering a vehicle in their name in India?

Buying one of those and exploring for a few months is getting more tempting by the minute!

-Dan
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Hey Jeff,

Do you have any idea about the legalities of a foreigner purchasing a registering a vehicle in their name in India?

Buying one of those and exploring for a few months is getting more tempting by the minute!

-Dan
Dan,
I don't know the answer but we'll ask some contacts in India to see if I can find out.

Another place to get answers like that, and answers about automotive travel in India in general, is the Team BHP Forum. It's the largest automotive forum in India and I'm sure a question posted there would get an answer. It's at https://www.team-bhp.com/. You have to ask to be a member, but they allowed me in so I'm sure they'll be happy to allow a celebrity like you in :).
jeff
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
As long as I'm here this morning, I'll post this video I came across the other day on YouTube...


This is not an uncommon sight in rural India (for several reasons). Traffic jams on mountain switchbacks; vehicles have to wait for the line of traffic to go by because there's not enough room to pass. Most of the vehicles in the line are Manindra Maxx's or Boleros. Also check out the PikUp following the large trucks that are waiting towards the end of the video, it's dragging what looks like a load of long rebar.

Another reason it isn't an uncommon site is the pile of gravel on the side of the road in the first half of the video. Road repair crews regularly drop materials wherever they'll be handy for the road repair and that's often on the road, which requires traffic to go around - that may be why the trucks are waiting for the procession, or it could be that they're respecting the procession, which is the third reason this isn't an uncommon sight...

This line of vehicles is a wedding procession. This is the groom's side and they're heading for the bride's house. The groom can be seen on top of a Mahindra Bolero at about 55 seconds in, he's dressed in orange and wearing an orange turban.

This video was apparently taken in Maharashtra - Molgi, a town in Maharashtra is mentioned in the title of the video and the license plates begin with "MH". Because the procession is motorized, the groom may live some distance from the bride. It's traditional for the groom to ride in on a horse or an elephant but if the distance is too far that's not practical.
 

wanderernomad

New member
The groom is travelling in the first car leading the procession and not the one in the orange turban. I own a 1984 Mahindra CJ500DP. Its basically a long wheel base version of the cj3b. DP after 500 means its a diesel and has a peugeot engine. Will post some pictures of the same along with a few more old mahindra pics that I have, if you don't mind.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
The groom is travelling in the first car leading the procession and not the one in the orange turban. I own a 1984 Mahindra CJ500DP. Its basically a long wheel base version of the cj3b. DP after 500 means its a diesel and has a peugeot engine. Will post some pictures of the same along with a few more old mahindra pics that I have, if you don't mind.
I showed my wife that guy and asked her if she thought it was the groom and she said she thought he was. I didn't show her the first vehicle in the procession so if the groom is in that car it's my mistake. Who am I to argue with her anyway, she's Indian and teaches Hindu philosophy and Hindu mythology, I'm just a lowly American :).

BTW She's an excellent trail driver and without question she's my better half.





I've got a bunch of older Mahindra photos and some DP brochures to post, just haven't gotten to them yet, so feel free to post what you've got.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Hey Jeff,

Do you have any idea about the legalities of a foreigner purchasing a registering a vehicle in their name in India?

Buying one of those and exploring for a few months is getting more tempting by the minute!

-Dan
Dan,
Early responses seem to indicate that while non-residents can buy a vehicle, only a resident can register one. I'm not sure that's the final answer, more research has to done. Posting the question on the Team BHP forum would likely find the answer.

Assuming it's true that a non-resident can't register a vehicle, it shouldn't be too hard to find someone who would hold the title, register it, pay the road tax and provide the vehicle to you for the expedition in exchange for reasonable compensation. One person I talked to indicated they might be willing to do that; also I suspect that many of the custom shops would be willing to do that for you and also could be very helpful in prepping the vehicle for the expedition. I'll be posting about a shop shortly that I know that would be worth approaching about the idea. Posting the idea on the Team BHP forum may also find a person or shop willing to help; people can be found to execute almost any creative idea in India.

Another thing I'd suggest is approaching Jeep about a sponsorship. Jeep is getting more serious about India and I recently posted about them starting the assembly of CKD Wranglers in India. With your reputation I'll bet they'd entertain the idea of lending you a Wrangler for the expedition in exchange for the promotional value the trip would generate for them. Promo photos of a Wrangler all over India and visiting the famous forts, palaces, and natural wonders should be very valuable to them. I would think they would also be interested in the promotion value of "extreme drives" like the Leh–Manali Highway (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leh–Manali_Highway). The highway crosses the Taglang La pass at 17,582 ft, one of the highest roads in the world on its way to Leh, the capial of the Ladakh territory in the Himalayas.

Happy to help in any way I can.
 

Dan Grec

Expedition Leader
Dan,
Early responses seem to indicate that while non-residents can buy a vehicle, only a resident can register one. I'm not sure that's the final answer, more research has to done. Posting the question on the Team BHP forum would likely find the answer.

Happy to help in any way I can.
Thanks very much Jeff, that's extremely helpful!

It's all just spit-balling right now and likely a couple of years out, but it's certainly food for thought and keeping me excitedly pouring over maps!

Cheers,
-Dan
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Before the pandemic I visited a custom shop in India called Green Army Motorsports. A designer at the shop is a friend and he invited me to come over to the shop to see what they're building and talk design.

The yellow and white ones in the photo below are older Mahindras (the yellow one I think is a '54) that have been completely rebuilt.



In the next two photos the red one on the left is a brand new stock Mahindra Thar. The black one is a Thar like the red one, modified with a custom body kit built by Green Army and a custom hardtop.



 
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