Published On: Sun, Sep 30th, 2012


The gen next “rocks”, they say. They love changes. Sometimes on themselves and sometimes on things they keep close to their hearts. Don’t you just love the way they mess around with different hairdos, wierd, funky and sometimes geeky? Tattooing all over their bodies in strange designs and colors, piercing the ears, eyebrows, lips or places they wish we never mentioned in auto-magazines? Some pull it off rather well, but others come out looking like byproducts of a chemical experiment gone wrong. Why do we speak of all this you ask? Maybe that has everything to do with the fact that they have taken a liking to mess around with their cars as well- in every possible way.

Who does not love changes? Changes happen sometimes to seek attention and sometimes to vent their own frustrations?


It’s only human

Well, any car lover would certainly try to enhance the exterior and interiors of their cars for comfort and style, some way or another. Some try it out in littlr ways, whilr some others go all Al-Qaeda on them. They may experiment with car accessories or even step up a notch and use vinyls and decals and to bring reasonable changes to their vehicles. A few may even give a proper face lift to their cars by converting them into premium lookalikes. The aspiring group, as we call it.

We even find around us, Maruti 800s adorned with vinyls of Spark,WRC, Monster Energy Drink and what have you. The bonnet and roof are not spare either. You may find Racing stripes painted to give them a look of race cars.

There are car addicts who go beyond limits. They buy new cars and change the entire body into a different pattern to create an identity of their own. They mercilessly convert the whole car and 90% end up in workshops or get stuck on the roads to be abandoned beyond repairs. Lots of ill fated Premeir Padminis and Ambassadors are victims of this madness of their owners.

So many beautiful cars are converted into weird looking namelss cars by the so called car lover’s preposterous ideas of style.


If you love mods

Don’t we have to look at the flipside of the coin as well? Some real car wizards create history by really bringing in changes in the most scientific way to modify or convert the original look of the car into unbelievable designs to reckon with.

It was by sheer coincidence that I bumped into the workshop/ garage of ROAD AND TRACK which is otherwise known as R&T in Managanam ,Kottayam. I was in search of a workshop to get a power steering fixed into my friend’s Mahindra M.M 540 Jeep.,

I met up Mr Kurien Kalarickal,the owner of this place. The youngest sibling of Kalarickal Tharavadu along with his elder brother , Sam Kalarickal are the brains behind Modifying, Converting, Restoring and Repairing any vehicle that is welcome in their garage. The workshop was established by their granddad. The workshop can be compared to a Hi Tech operation theatre . It has all the facilities needed, and a solid team of well trained mechanics working for the initiative up in arms to properly rewrite the destiny of the cars seeking their help for change. The Kalarickal brothers have changed the ordinary cars into svelte and swanky models. If not anything, they have a taste in design, that’s affirmative. Have a visit to this place just for kicks. You’ll be amazed by the sort of witchcraft these people practice with such limited resources.

Kurien along with his friends used to spend their evenings in this garage discussing on every possible topic under the sky. The discussions would always somehow end up in talks about Cars and Bikes. It was just only a matter of chance when one of his friends challenged him to modify the style of his bike which he successfully finished for him. This paved way to create history, results of which, we witness today.

Though he was not sure of his decision to continue with this new venture, his inner calling prompted him to go ahead with all the confidence in the world. ROAD AND TRACK was born in the humble garage in Mannanam ,not too far from Kottayam town ,yet away from the rat race of Kottayam town. He never had to look back. Cars and Bikes awaited outside for mods.

He expanded his business along with experienced workforce and innovative ideas.

As we were talking and moving around watching the cars all around, Kurien kept explaining about the history of the modified cars,jeeps,bikes etc.

The ordinary outdated jeeps turned into tough looking offroaders. They made sure that every modded car out of R&T garage looked like brand new cars straight out of show rooms.

Of the few modded cars, a mettalic orange Mercedes R had quite the effect on me. As I stood there envying the owner of this shining beauty. Mr. Kurien asked me to take a look inside, and my oh my, to my shock, it was an Innova modded to fit a perfect R Class profile. The soft spoken Innova was turned into a serious dignified Benz. I was told that the Bonnet, bumpers, benders etc were designed right there, putting even Merc’s craftsmanship to shame.

It took 2 months and cost Rs. 5 lakhs for this make over. Mr. Simon Mathew from Palai is the proud owner of this vehicle. I was told that Mr Mathew also owned an Audi Q5, which is in fact a Captiva in an Audi jacket. The modfication, on the front grills ,Bonnet and the tail section, spiced up the magic formula for this insane camouflage.

As I was admiring the off road vehicles modified in different exotic models, I was suddenly caught off gaurd by an Orange Avatar. I stopped and kept looking at this fascinating creation and asked Kurien whether it is a Mahindra Vehicle. Oh my goodness.. Isn’t that an Invader? He replied with a sly grin, “Yes indeed it is another revised Invader”. The Suspension was modified tuning it for off road driving. It was equipped with huge imported alloy wheels and the world famous All terrain tyres. The customised sturdy and hefty bumpers with the high roofs , altogether was the highlight for the Great Mountain Challenge rally at Kuttikanam last March. When asked about the cost incurred, he just hushed it off saying that he was not sure as the vehicle had passed through many makeovers.

R&T does not stop with Modification alone. They have to be applauded for their efforts in developing the Restoration. However, R&T works their magic best on Jeeps, transforming them into absolutely jaw dropping off road happy adventure machines.


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