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Me & My cars : Sachin Tendulkar

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Sachin’s association with a car company was long overdue.

 

Sachin Tendulkar is one confused soul! Did anyone say that’s scandalous? But it’s true. Still don’t believe it? Well, here’s how to find out. If you are among the elite few who gets to talk to him, ask him this question: “Which is your favourite car?” and the sentence that follows will include everything from a Mercedes-Benz to a Ferrari, from a Porsche to a BMW, from a…

Honestly, we were not surprised. or dismayed. For the answer proved that when it comes to cars he is as hopelessly in love with them as all the rest of us. He carries the ‘caste and creed no bar’ thing a bit too far.

 For many, the love for these shiny objects of beauty is a way of life. So it is for Sachin. And it all began when he first visited a drive-in theatre.“My craze for cars started at a very young age,” recalls the Superman of batting. “There is this drive-in theatre very close to my previous house where I could see cars of different shapes and sizes. I kind of liked that setting because it was the only place where one could watch the movie without leaving your car.”Considering his quick foray into internationalcricket, it wasn’t long before he could manage to go there in his own car. “My first car was a Maruti 800 – the old-shape one,” he revealed. “Of course, I don’t have it now,” he adds quickly.

Who would? Considering the kind of machinery that he 

could lay his hands on in the coming years, there was no point punting around an 800.

While his first car was obviously owned by default, the ones to come later weren’t. But by default, they all had a couple of things in common.

“It’s the zippyness of a car that appeals to me most,” notes Sachin. “It has to be quick, and comfortable.

“Usually, I like to go quickly from zero to say around 80kph after which I kind of settle down around 100, depending on how the traffic is. I’m not the kind of driver who’ll go around at breakneck speed anywhere and everywhere. It’s just that initial surge that I enjoy.”

Uncanny! Isn’t that very much like his batting style?

When it comes to stretching his right foot when on the driver’s seat, Sachin does most of it abroad. “I have driven a lot in England. It’s quite an experience with their kind of roads and autobahns. The closest I have come to anything like that in India is on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.”

But not everything is lost. Sachin does manage those occasional bursts of speeds within our boundaries as well. “The road conditions in India are not that healthy but there are some places where you can let out some steam. Something is better than nothing – I look at it that way.”

And it’s not just the driving angle that excites him about a car. “I like to drive cars but it’s also important to look after them. I find that aspect a lot interesting as well.”

 

Being a natural car lover and the most sought-after brand ambassador of this era, it wasn’t long before he endorsed one. A regular face on all Palio adverts, we suspect one reason for the Fiat deal would be its proximity to Ferrari. The legendary Prancing Horse is high on the list of Sachin’s favourites – “I’d love to drive the 360 Modena with that Formula 1-style gearbox”.

Talking of F1, Sachin who commands billions of fans worldwide is a big Formula 1 fan himself. “I follow F1 very closely.” Obviously, when one follows F1 so closely, the favourites have to be Ferrari and Michael Schumacher.

“I have always been a big follower of Formula 1 and I have always supported Ferrari from the bottom of my heart. It will be a great experience to meet up with the man (Schumacher) himself.

“Of course there are no plans right now, but it’s my dream to get into a Ferrari F1 car.” Knowing the favourable odds he commands at realising his dreams, there seems to be a good enough chance for that to happen as well.

But Sachin quickly points out that the Ferrari angle is the farthest shot on the Fiat deal. “Fiat makes some of the best cars in the world. That’s something very special. And to be associated with a company like Fiat is one of the best things to happen.

 

“The Palio is a fantasticpackage. It’s got power, it’s robust, it’s got character. It is one of the best offerings from the Italian marque.”

The Palio is thus the latest addition to the Tendulkar family, where it stands alongside the likes of a Mercedes-Benz C36 AMG and the formidable 600SL AMG.

The latter, easily, is his pet subject. “The SL is a mighty powerful machine. You can easily burn rubber with that V12 engine. It’s the most exotic car I’ve ever driven. You know, it’s been tuned to give 480bhp…”, he goes on and on. This one’s going to be a longer innings.

 

P.S : This was Sachin interview given in 2002 AutoCar

PK

A Sachin follower, Sachinist.com is my brainchild, Meeting Sachin is something I always look forward to

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