Lamborghinis, Porsches, Bentleys, Audis...the city is Kerala’s supercar hub
Come Sunday and the city will witness an unusual beauty pageant. Uber cool, sleek-bodied beauties will dazzle onlookers in a speed controlled convoy, announcing themselves in a rising roar, revving up thrill quotients and decibel levels. It will be high-voltage action on the ramp. Some from the 25-odd beauties that will set the streets on fire will be Lamborghinis, Porsches, Ferraris, Bentleys, Audis and such. The city is playing host to a supercar fest — Pete’s Super Sunday (PSS) Festival of Speed.
Peter Chacko, MD of Pete’s Automotive Products Pvt. Ltd and the organiser says, “There are around 30 supercars in Kerala and 20 of them are in the city. This will be a rare chance to see these dream machines.”
Peter’s modification, detailing and service outlets have been the pit stops for the growing luxury car market and the niche supercar market in Kerala for over a decade. “I realised that we could, among friends and clientele, begin something that we could share with the public.” A supercar fraternity and fest was born.
After the first event in 2012, when the cars were left on display for two hours, Peter was flooded with requests for “more time” with the cars. “People want to see, feel and hear the cars,” he says about these muscular machines.
But people are curious too about the reasons why owners wish to possess these machines. Is it to strut, or the need for speed, or a deep passion?
Peter reasons: “Supercar owners are undoubtedly wealthy but money is not the criteria. A supercar is bought only by an enthusiast, one who is passionate about it.”
From the ‘truly, madly, deeply’ bunch of aficionados Deepak Narendran is one who will be showcasing three of his cars at the fest. Unlike others from the club, he drives around the city in them daily! “Kochi is the perfect city to use them. In the night the traffic comes down. The roads have got better. The roads to Thrissur, Muvattupuzha, Perumbavoor are of international standards and green. The cars don’t need high octane for fuel but regular petrol. A drive to my home town in Muvattupuzha is real good fun.”
Deepak, whose core business is hospitality, will bring from his stable the Ferrari 430, Lamborghini LP 550-2 and Porsche 911 Carerra S. Of course he cannot choose a favourite. “Each car has a different character and I enjoy this. They require care and not driving those means more maintenance.” But Deepak being a car buff knows the real power of these engines and puts the supercar scene in perspective. “There are no tracks for such cars in South India yet but the craze for them is intense.”
Ajai Joseph will be riding in his Porsche 911 Turbo, possibly the fastest car in Kerala presently, with an acceleration that shoots from 0 to 100 kmph in 3.2 seconds. Thrilled as the owner of the fabulous machine he says, “To have it in Kerala is like having Hyderabadi biriyani in front of you and not being able to eat it.” He rues the lack of infrastructure here that prevents him from driving around in the daytime. “Of course it is a good feeling to own it. If you can rip it for 500 mt it is a good feeling.”
Ask him about the envy factor that a supercar arouses and he smiles. “You cannot share a supercar. I bought it because I was lured by the sound of the engine.” And though Ajai has a top-end surround system in his car he rolls the windows down to hear the roar of the engine! Ajai has recently started a supercar group on Whatsapp.
If speed, sound and mechanics have drawn the guys to possess a supercar it is the endearing image of a Hindi film star driving in a two-seater convertible with a sundown roof that drove 51-year-old Dr. Rose Beena Wilson from Thrissur to possess one. She will be at the fest with her BMW Z4, the first 2014 model in the State. Her work at a pain and palliative clinic is tough and driving in the car helps her unwind. Beena’s interest in cars grew as her husband and sons too are “car crazy”.
So whatever the reason – to see, feel or hear – it is the underlying passion for a super machine that drives automakers to create and owners to possess them.
PSS’s Speed Parade will be held at Bolgatty Palace Grounds from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 9.