Madurai gets to see more makeovers of cars and bikes these days

When S.P.S. Dheeban, a 27-year-old business executive from the By-Pass Road here, bought an SUV a few months ago, he was not impressed by the factory make and felt a strong need to grab eyeballs every time his automobile hit the road.

Hence, he decided to go for a complete makeover and approached an auto garage in the city that carries out bike and car modification.

It took around 20 days, but when his vehicle revved out of the garage, Mr.Dheeban was proud to lay his hands on the steering wheel of the modified SUV – sporting alloy wheels, balloon tyres, a spoiler in the rear, a hood on the bonnet and much more.

The demand for such modified vehicles picked up in the city five years ago. It was spurred possibly by the increased exposure to the internet and Hollywood movies, says V. Arun, proprietor of Auto X Sculpt, a city-based vehicle modification firm on the Ring Road in Uthangudi.

“Guys have always been passionate about bikes and cars. Cruising around the city in cool-looking vehicles, attracting glances, gives most of the modified vehicle owners a great thrill,” says N. Mohammed Milhan, a car freak.

Vehicle modification is simply altering the vehicle to improve its physical appearance or performance.

Alterations

The alterations done to both bike and car include increasing the size of the rear tyre, using alloy wheels, changing the colour of the vehicle and slapping attractive stickers on it to add glamour.

“Paint job modifications cost anywhere between Rs.10,000 and Rs.40,000 depending on the extent of the job. The designs are first prepared in the computer, and using custom apparatus, they are painted on to the bike,” Mr.Arun explains.

Even the sound of a vehicle can be altered. An exhaust would give the effect of a powerful bike or that of a race car. But all this comes at the cost of precious mileage, say automobile experts.

A fully modified bike can cost anything between Rs.40,000 and Rs.50,000. Whereas, a complete makeover of the car would cost up to Rs.2 lakh depending on the model. “A majority of our customers are college students who are ready to spend a lot to enhance the looks of their bikes and cars,” says Mr.Arun.

“We have also been getting queries about stunt bikes,” he adds.

Even as some say that vehicle modification done by a few garages here is on a par with the work undertaken in Coimbatore, others feel that there is a dearth of skilled hands in the city that has a lot of people who love to own great-looking vehicles.

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