Trend There is a swell in the number of people with a car fetish in city. Sree Ramya Tummala chats with souls obsessed with the highs and lows of that fascinating four-wheeled machine

Almost all of us are big kids in love with toys, whether it’s motorcycles, cars or computers. Not very long ago, young men derived a unique high in kick-starting a souped-up machine and zooming off. Most of them have now graduated to four-wheelers. A moment in the sun, for many, means cruising through an upmarket street in a black Mercedes, top down and radio blasting.

It is more fun to drive a slow car fast than to drive a fast car slow, keeping in mind that anybody driving slower than us is an idiot, and anyone going faster is a maniac.

If you thought cars were a guy thing, you ought to see the girls swooning over these expensive contraptions, yakking about their features, shape, accessories and safety mechanisms.

Car enthusiasts have been making heads turn by criss-crossing city roads in their prized BMWs, Mercedes and Audis. And all of them have been overtaken by the city’s first Rolls Royce. The white beauty is parked in the lawn of its owner, Vemuri Balaram of Swathi Publications.

The custom-made car was specially flown in from London after its hefty taxes were paid. “I wanted this car to be a symbol of pride for my empire – the Swathi Publications,” says Mr. Balaram.

Savouring all the attention his car gets him, Mr. Balaram is quick to point out that it should serve as a source of inspiration. “All this wealth has not happened overnight. I used to go around in a bicycle selling magazines. If I could do it in those days, I don’t see any reason why the younger generation can’t do it today,” he says.

For Madhavi, Director of RM Motors, owning a BMW 5 series has made a world of difference. “These are the ultimate driving machines. I can travel for a distance of 600 kms without feeling tired at the end of the journey.”

Susmitha, who has had the ‘heavenly’ experience of vrooming off in a BMW, doesn’t mind the bad roads of the city. “The shock absorbers take care of the bumpy patches and make a smooth drive possible.”

Cashing in on the car-crazy population, a number of companies have set up shop in the city supplying speed machines rolled out by Mercedes Benz, Nissan, and Renault.

“From a dealer's point of view, Vijayawada is the second biggest market in the State,” says Sandeep Usman, Managing Director of Lucky Nissan.

Pointing to a steady rise in the number of customers opting for sedans, he says the good thing about the local buyers is that they want to buy the speed machines no matter what. “People don’t mind paying extra as long as it guarantees comfort,” he says.

Vijayawada finally seems to have set off on the fast track.

These are the ultimate driving machines. I can travel for a distance of 600 kms without feeling tired at the end of the journeyMadhavi