T97 OffRoad

The morning started like any other during the monsoons, dark, cloudy and pouring with rain, however, we at Throttle97 did not let that hampen our spirits and taking a break from the roaring V8’s and V10’s, the T97 members fired up their diesel motors present in cars ranging from the Toyota Fortuner to the Ford Endeavour.

However, it wasn’t all diesels only, with the MS Gypsy’s making up for the petrols via their 1.3 and 1.6 litre motors.

5:30 am on the clock and the engines came to life with all the members heading towards the meeting point located in BKC, Mumbai. With all the cars and members arriving, our founder DamanDeip Chaddha gave a small briefing to the other drivers regarding the route and location and with that the convoy setoff.

While the initial part of the drive all the way till the Food Court on the expressway was a slow one due to the violent rains, to our luck the rain gods finally gave up and allowed the sun to brightly shine upon us by 7:30 am, when we pulled in fro some good ol’ coffee and food from the ever favourite McDonald’s drive thru allowing us to recharge for the long and wet day that we had ahead of ourselves.

After a small detour, we finally made it to our Location for the day, with nature giving us a fairly simple challenge to start with.
A few small trails, slides and loads of mud being flung up into the air later we arrived at our first obstacle, A River.

While most people would turn their cars the other way or search for another route, we dived into it heads on knowing that the cars we were driving were built for this and boy oh boy did they prove their might wading through the water as if it were smooth tarmac.
Smiles were common after seeing how well the cars were performing, with some being on a stock setup, however as it always happens we had a small incident with one of our Ford Endeavours deciding to stay in the mud instead of driving through it, nevertheless, the group morale ensured we gave it our level best to make attempts to pull it out unfortunately to no avail.

Using almost caveman techniques we used an axe and shovel and managed to pull the car out of the mudpit, the sense of satisfaction was high until we realised that in our attempts to free it, we had snapped the rear bumper off. A Sour Victory.

Offroading is an activity that seems effortless but really has the ability to wear a person out, and that’s exactly what happened with all of us deciding to take a lunch break in order to let us and the cars rest for what lay ahead required sheer determination and focus.
The next trails consisted of going up and down a piece of road which ended up testing the true power of 4wd with most cars apart from the gypsy failing to clear it without getting stuck.

The rescue car to all the ones who couldn’t make it is named Hamer, a Toyota Fortuner designed to perform and look like it just came out of Mad Max sitting on some heavy offroad spec tyres and with an equally helpful driver behind the wheel all the cars were once again freed and moving under their own power.

As expected the rain gods could only let us have so much fun with a few massive showers basically making the hill we were supposed to climb a river. While this was not seen as a problem by those manning the gypsies, the rest of us in heavier cars knew very well that it would be impossible to do the hill climb.

However this did not dampen our spirits as it only meant that everyone could have a go at being a passenger in the heavily modded gypsies which saw nothing as an obstacle.

With the gypsies making the hill climb look easy, the Toyota Land Cruiser with a monster of a V8 took off to show that luxury can kick up some mud too but found itself stuck in a huge puddle of mud soon.
No fear however as the gypsy with their massive towing capacities pulled the Toyota out of it’s misery and back on it’s way!

With daylight falling and more showers expected, we decided to call it a day with everyone hopping into their respective cars and on the route towards the highway.
However, before hitting the highway to head back home we had a critical task of hosing all the cars down in order to get rid of the mud and stones. This has to be done in order for mud to not be spread on the highways.

Car Wash done, clear roads in sight and plenty of memories created, we all headed back towards the bustling city of Mumbai, only discussing when we were coming back to the offroad location and what we were going to do the next time!
– Throttle 97 (Aakash Kalro)

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