It's difficult to find a CJ3B with the Hurricane petrol engine but Raghav Rangarajan was fortunate to find one

Looking for an old Mahindra CJ3B that has not been converted to a diesel engine is the same as looking for a needle in a haystack. An admirer of the CJ3B with the intrinsic F4-134 Hurricane petrol engine, Raghav Rangarajan found one four years ago, after much searching.

It was a 1969 Mahindra CJ3B with the desired parameters. The vehicle, however, needed an overhaul; so did the Hurricane petrol engine that had been subjected to immense tear and wear.

As a mechanical engineer with a passion for automobiles since childhood, Raghav was not discouraged by the condition of the vehicle.

“It is so difficult to see a CJ3B with the original petrol engine that I jumped at the offer,” says the 29-year-old. “The engine compression was a little less. Besides the engine, the gearbox, transfer case, the differentials and the brakes were overhauled.”

The 41-year-old jeep is today the flagship of his garage IGNITE on the East Coast Road, where many jeep enthusiasts have had their machines restored.

Raghav also has a snazzy Gypsy MG 416W and a fully-restored Mahindra MM550.

Unlike the Gypsy, which has received a multi-point fuel injected, 1.6. litre Baleno engine, the CJ3B has retained many of its traits. “A few of the gauges have been changed, because I take the vehicle off-roading.”

Raghav enjoys participating in the Palar Challenge, the signature event of the 4WD group Jeep Thrills, where his CJ3B has done remarkably well. “There are clay pits at the venue of the Palar Challenge in Madurantakam; where an incline is extremely difficult to negotiate. Most jeeps clear it after many attempts.

During one edition of the Challenge, this 1969 CJ3B did it in the first attempt.” No wonder, Raghav is proud of this machine.