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Cool Jeeps You Can't Have - Mahindra of India

jscherb

Expedition Leader
More from the Green Army custom shop...

This is a stock Mahindra Bolero:



I included that Bolero photo because this next one isn't a JKU, it's a Mahindra Bolero with a custom body kit done by Green Army.



There are more photos of it in this story on the above "Wrangler": https://www.cartoq.com/mahindra-bolero-jeep-wrangler/amp/

If you're wondering why someone would want to convert a Bolero into a Wrangler since the Wrangler is now available in India, it's about cost. The Wrangler is very expensive (the new CKD-assembled ones start about about $65k USD over there), and a brand new Bolero is 7k lakh and the conversion brings the total to about 15 lakh (about $21k USD).
 

wanderernomad

New member
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
As long as you have a valid Identity Card and proof of residence, you can own and register a vehicle. But if you are simply here for a few months with no permanent residence you wont be able to register a vehicle in your name.
 

Dan Grec

Expedition Leader
As long as you have a valid Identity Card and proof of residence, you can own and register a vehicle. But if you are simply here for a few months with no permanent residence you wont be able to register a vehicle in your name.
Gotcha, thanks. So it won't work on a "regular" tourist visa.
Hmmmm.

-Dan
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I got a close look at the fiberglass work that Green Army Motorsports was doing when I visited them - it's really first rate. When they convert a Mahindra Bolero to a "JKU" there are a number of fiberglass parts involved - new hood, cowl section on the body to integrate the hood and a new windshield, new grille, new fenders and flares, hardtop, etc. It's really nice work. Fiberglass work is very labor intensive and labor intensive things can be done very well and cost-effectively in India.

The day after my visit to Green Army, Tushar (my designer friend) and the managing partner of the shop dropped by the house in Delhi to talk more. We talked about several designs I've done - the JL Grille for the JK and the JK Barn Door. This was an academic discussion since I have no plans to go into business to produce any of these parts, but products like those could be could be done in India cost effectively even after factoring in shipping to the U.S. and Green Army was offering to do it.

BTW Green Army does make a barn door for their Mahindra conversions, here's a photo of one. It looks like a liftgate, but the glass is attached to a barn door structure inside and the tailgate+glass opens in one piece as a barn door. Could be an interesting project for the JK - a structure that mounts to the factory JK tailgate and accepts the factory liftgate glass could be made to turn the factory parts into a barn door (this photo is from the article I linked to in the prior post).



After seeing their barn door I did some preliminary design work on a similar barn door for the JK which would mount the factory liftgate glass to the tailgate to create a one-piece barn door. I didn't take the design work any further because I've already got an excellent barn door as part of the Safari Cab hardtop, but it's definitely feasible.

Green Army Motorsports is just one of quite a few custom shops that do this kind of work, it seems to be a growing trend in India.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
A video showing off the Green Army modified Bolero/Wrangler:


The barn door is very briefly shown open at about 5:40 in the video above. In a photo in the previous post I showed the exterior view of the barn door (basically all you can see is the glass), and a brief view of the interior frame can be seen in the video. At right in this photo taken from the video you can see the internal frame for the barn door



A similar design using the factory liftgate glass could be done for the JK. The mold for it already exists - the inner frame for the Safari Cab barn door could be used as-is; the glass would be bonded to it and the Safari Cab mounting brackets would be used to attach it to the tailgate. An untrimmed Safari Cab inner barn door frame just out of the mold is in this photo:



A JK barn door built like that would be pretty cool - from the outside the Jeep would look like it had an ordinary factory liftgate, but the tailgate+glass would would swing open as one piece.

Another Bolero customized into a "JKU" by Green Army:


Yet another Green Army custom, this Bolero Camper (double cab pickup) is customized into a "Gladiator"...

 
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Paddler Ed

Adventurer
Thank you for posting all of these - they land at about time to head to bed here, and I pretty much hit refresh until I've had my fix of stories and tales!

These modifications almost fit into the category of Jugaad but I think they're a step above that now.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Thank you for posting all of these - they land at about time to head to bed here, and I pretty much hit refresh until I've had my fix of stories and tales!

These modifications almost fit into the category of Jugaad but I think they're a step above that now.
I think this qualifies as Jugaad, I spotted this Mahindra at Kumbhalgarh in Rajasthan...

 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Sanva Motors is a custom shop in Mumbai. They're at https://www.facebook.com/SanvaMotors/ and they do a wide range of custom projects and seem to also specialize in food trucks but they do Mahindras as well.

They offer a hardtop called the "Italian Replica" top, I'm not sure what it's a replica of, but it does have some interesting construction features.



This video covers the final installation/assembly of one of their tops:


The one-piece "Main Frame" (the first piece they install in the video) is something I've never seen on any other Jeep top. Also the rear liftgate is interesting, the glass is wide but the narrower bottom section is fiberglass. It's also got a complete inner shell, which is somewhat unique for an aftermarket or custom hardtop and provides a very finished look inside.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
A little more "traditional" overland build from Transporter Offroad in Miraj, Maharashtra. Nice exocage.


 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Custom grilles and hardtops are very common in India. There are many places to get custom work done, even custom fiberglass hardtops (more on that later in the thread). Here's a Thar I spotted outside of the Partition Museum in Amritsar. Its got a custom grille, fenders and hardtop to make the CJ-styled Thar look like a JK:



Indian history note: Partition is the word used for when the British left India in 1947 and the country was divided into India, West Pakistan (now Pakistan) and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). It was a horrible time, Hindus living in what was to become Pakistan migrated to India and Muslims living in India migrated to Pakistan, and terrible violence ensued - Muslims killing Hindus, Hindus killing Muslims and the British, who had ruled India for 200 years, just ran away. The Partition Museum in Amritsar is a world-class museum documenting this terrible period in Indian/Pakistani history: https://www.partitionmuseum.org/

And speaking of grilles, angry grilles aren't uncommon in urban India, here's one I spotted in New Delhi:



The two Thars in this post have aftermarket hardtops. There are far more choices and styles of aftermarket hardtops available in India than there are in the U.S. I've got lots of photos of custom and aftermarket hardtops for the Thar, MM540/550 and other models, I'll post them later in the thread.

I've got lots of custom/aftermarket hardtops to post, but I think maybe I'll cover military Mahindras next.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I'll do some military Mahindras for a while...

The Rakshak is very common in the military service of India, Nepal and other countries. Rakshak is Hindi for "Protector".









 

utherjorge

Observer
I've been considering importing a Savari body and putting it on a stretched LJ frame. I can buy a used Savari in India, get a shop there to pull the body off the frame and put it in a container and pay them by giving them the running chassis. I believe importing the body only would get around US import restrictions on vehicles less than 25 years old and I wouldn't want the Mahindra chassis or running gear anyway.
I would be fascinated to see if this works, because I'll tell you right now....you would print money with that. And I don't even know how that wheelbase stacks up to anything. If that fits a gladiator chassis....
 
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