CHENNAI: Ever felt the tranquil-yet-soothing buzz of engines revving in the background and that new car smell in the air? With a variety of cars and bikes on display, families and auto enthusiasts were treated to yet another satisfying day at the Express Auto Expo 2016. From chattering kids pretending to drive the DC Avanti and the Mercedes Benz to newly married couples deciding on their new auto investment, the expo generated a larger crowd on its final day.
Youngsters with their selfie sticks in tow didn’t leave a chance to click photos posing next to their favourite automobiles. When not clicking selfies, visitors were treated to demos of the Mahindra and Harley Davidson bikes at the stalls. “They love to hear that thunderous noise the vehicles make. And it also makes good Facebook photos,” says Pradeep Anand watching his son pose with one of the bikes.
Amid the SUVs and sedans from scores of brands, the DC Avanti was clearly the showstopper with extra strobe lights on for effects. With features comparable to that of a Batmobile, who can resist from clicking videos and photos! “I’m usually a Volkswagen guy but the snazzy DC Avanti commands more attention,” shares engineering student Ashok, who visited the expo with his friends owing to their love for automobiles.
Interestingly, the expo had a little bit for everyone. An array of automobile-related stalls was equally thriving with many thronging there for little knick-knacks and nuggets of science lessons and history. The stall by Hindustan Institute of Engineering Technology (HIET) had aviation and automobile students in rapt attention to the anatomy of Volkswagen cars’ manual gear boxes. “This is to show students and their parents the latest technology employed in this field. Nobody knows how something as crucial as a gear box works in cars,” explains K Sundarajan, principal of HIET. A model of four-engine jet too was on display, giving a mini discourse on aviation technology.
History enthusiasts, on the other hand, had a whale of a time learning more about the Morris Minors. While most of the cars were of the latest models, the vintage Morris Minors were a sight to behold. PS Shrinivaasan, an 83-year-old collector, has been taking care of these beauties for almost 70 years. A lot of cars in his collections have been passed on for generations. “Collecting cars has been my childhood hobby! What was passed on from my grandfather to my father, is now with me. These cars will go to my son and so on. They’ll never go out of style,” he grins.
Taking time out from his schedule, Shrinivaasan and his son narrated stories and their memories with the cars to the visitors at the expo. Some even claimed seeing these cars in old films. “Well, some might consider them obsolete, but once these very same cars regaled in movies with well-known actors from yesteryears driving them!” he says.
Never a dull moment, a peek at the Jubiliant Insurance stall had regular contests going for the health enthusiasts. To win a little goodie for your car, all participants had to do was attempt 30 simultaneous pushups and 100 side rises. And when tired, many simply headed to the fancy massaging stall to try those seat massages and sodium-induced heating pads.
Perhaps the show stealers were the jaw-breaking stunts performed by five young men from Pro Guyz Stunt Inc. The men stunned everybody in their almost 30-minute performance. On their trusted Pulsars and KTMs, Prabhakaran aka Q, Abhishek, Ashwin, Vivek aka Mak, and Gughan aka Shadow did what they do best – perform their stunts on two-wheels seeking inspiration from the likes of Chris Pfeiffer and Jorian Ponomareff.
“We’re all studying and working but that’s part-time for us. Freestyle stunt bike riding is our first love,” grins Prabhakaran. These boys have been at it for 10 years, undeterred by the risk factors or the difficulty level.
With snazzy vehicles on display, a lot of these stalls aimed at attracting potential customers. The stalls manned by representatives from the brand were more than happy just identifying leads for future sales. Along those lines, a lot of customers revisited the expo to seek more options at the models available.