Dreaming is very easy, but quantifying your dream into reality is something few people are capable of. I believe that in life it is necessary to have dreams as they give us a direction. Dreams, inspirations and ambitions is what has lead to the creation of major companies like Apple, Microsoft, Ford, Mcdonalds and many more all around the world. These big guys became who they are today only because they dared to dream and worked towards fulfilling those dreams.
My father also has had a dream of creating a car not buying one but creating one. Since I can remember, my father has been very passionate of cars. To be more specific, he has always had a soft corner in his heart for vintage, heritage and classic cars. He is a staunch believer of the famous line “Old is Gold”. He has a separate showcase for his collection of miniature cars which no one is allowed to touch. My father is a man who actually eats, drinks, sleeps and thinks all day about cars.
His first acquisition was our beloved ‘Tum Tum’ or a Morris 8; a vintage car. Being a car enthusiast he restored the car and maintained her (yes the cars are a part of our family). But it was not till a few years ago that he truly lived his passion of creating a car. It was when Mr. Mr. Bijoy Kumar (also known as Mr. Bijoy), then editor of Motoring magazine, brought a proposal to my father of transforming and building a brand new car out of an old one this idea was conceived. To do this they acquired an old, yet well maintained, Fiat Premier Padmini from another car enthusiast. This car was in the best of condition for its age and was handed over to my father and Mr. Bijoy on the sole condition “She must not be sold in scrap as she has a lot of sentimental value”.
This, I can say, was the beginning of the conception of SB1100. My my father and Mr. Bijoy spent months just designing what the car would look like. Meanwhile, the car was stripped down from the original Fiat to a chassis with wheels. Since it was just the early stages of production of SB1100, my father and Mr. Bijoy would finish their day’s work and meet to just design her.
Once the race car design was made, my father faced the actual challenge of converting the classic car into an actual race car. A separate team of workers was created out of the existing workforce of our company to carry out this project. As we had a tight budget and a crunched deadline for the project, my father decided to conduct a variety of activities simultaneously. So when you entered his workshop during those months, you could see some laborers working with the engine and modifying it to suit the design needs, some guys working with the outer body of the car, some men who were sent out to look for the necessary parts and so forth. This project, however, was not done separately or in isolation as there was the pressure of running the regular business as well.
As the car started coming together piece by piece, he faced a lot of challenges. Many of them like the engine capacity, survival tests and so forth were managed and improved but many like the protruding silencer through the hood of the car was something they could not overcome. Around three months before the completion of SB1100, it was realized that the car was way behind schedule. The seats weren’t ready and the painting of the car was not done yet. The final assembly and testing of the car also remained. But my father successfully overcame this by working twice the hours and by putting a million times more the effort. It was always necessary test the car at every step of its creation as one mistake could cause major long term damage to the vehicle. So, my father and his men along with Mr. Bijoy would take her on a test drive either weekly or fortnightly to ensure that SB1100 was on the right track and their experimentation were going right.
A day before the delivery of the beautiful race car, she was done. She ran smoothly and no one other than her creators knew what she had endured to be the graceful car she is. The day of the unveiling and photo shoot of the car, the original owner of the car was invited to do the honors. He was so happy to see SB1100, the new version of his car and he had tears of joy in his eyes with no words to express his gratitude for making the beautiful car she is.
SB1100, is a Fiat car having an 1100cc engine, that makes lots of noise and is a open car. She has the steering wheel like that of a race car, small and compact but yet has retained the original beauty of the side gears that very few cars today can be seen to have.
I believe that through hard work and willingness anything can be achieved. My father, the dreamer, has done so. Qualities like perseverance, one’s never die attitude and never getting bogged down by failures is what actually helped my father realize and fulfill his dream. I believe that anyone can achieve their dreams as long as they follow these simple rules.