OTHERS

Short in stature, sizable in ideas

AFTER CREATING classic vintage replica cars and various small cars in unique shapes, auto enthusiast and designer K. Sudhakar has turned a new leaf. Rather has turned out a new car -- a multi-utility commercial one at that.

Made on order for the Indian Oil Corporation, the `concept mobile', as Sudhakar calls it, has been built in the shape of the curvaceous Servo engine oil container sold by the company on the chassis of a Ashok Leyland three-tonner. Decked up in the multi- colours of the Servo brand, the concept mobile can seat three persons in the front, including the driver, and take in cargo. It will serve as a delivery van and also double up as a display car for the product as well.

Sudhakar and his craftsmen worked for five months on the blueprint and though he initially wanted to use the aerodynamic nozzle of the Servo container as the truck's front, he gave it up on account of design constraints. "In two months' time it will be on roads. We have tested it on all terrains and have obtained approval of the Road Transport Authority as well," he explains. The IOC has sought 50 such vehicles from his stable.

Vehicles always had a special passion for the diminutive Sudhakar right from childhood, having created a classic bike in his early teens. His designer cars, including the small double-decker and motorbike, are a big draw whenever they are exhibited during road shows and traffic safety weeks in the city.

His collection of 90-odd handmade vehicles are exhibited at his workshop near the zoo. Sudhakar (Ph. Nos. 4600703 and 4601702) has created a toy train for the Tourism Department and Essel World, mobile make-up vans and canteens for the Ramoji Film City, plus a `character' truck for the McDonalds.

And he is ready to take more ventures of concept mobiles kind for anyone wishing to combine the promotional campaign and delivery of the product. The IOC concept mobile cost Rs. 5 lakhs minus the cost of the chassis. An innovation sure to catch the eye.

By V. Geetanath