Driving Test: Bijoy Kumar Y
Head of Mahindra Adventure talks cars without shameless self promotion
Did you pass you’re driving test the first time? What was it like?
Yes. I was asked to go in a straight line, take a U-turn and come back. I did that well and got through. No problems.
Who taught you to drive?
I learnt driving myself on my friend’s car. I didn’t own a car at the time. I started by rolling downhill with the engine off, just controlling the steering and eventually started driving properly (not recommended on modern cars).
What car did you learn to drive in?
My friend’s Ambassador.
The first car you bought.
It was a used Premier Padmini. Jet black. I bought it after the birth of my son , whom I didn’t want to carry on a motorcycle. Later, my uncle drove it to Kerala and then it was my grandmom’s car for a while.
And the worst car you’ve bought?
I love cars. Can’t say I hate any. But if I had to choose, it would be the Old Zen diesel. It was so nose-heavy that I felt the engine would eventually fall off the car. I liked the same engine in a Peugeot 309. Very solid. But in the superlight Zen, it just felt wrong. I wouldn’t say I hated the car but, yes, it’s last on the list of cars I’d like to drive.
What’s the best car you’ve ever bought?
My two-year-old Logan. It’s such a capable car. It gives me a good 17-18kpl and nothing has gone wrong in the 40,000km that I’ve driven it.
What’s your dream car?
The Lamborghini Miura. So much, that my daughter is named after that car.
Who and what caused your first crash?
This motoring journalist decided to jump in the way when I was getting into a slalom run at a media event. I had to swerve suddenly. I hit a cone, the cone got stuck under the tyre, and the car was on its side. Needless to say, the event ended there.
Are you a good driver?
No. I’m a good road tester; I’ve seen much better drivers.
What’s the worst thing a passenger can say when you’re driving?
That the “the other guy drives faster than you”. Especially if a girl says it.
How clean is your licence?
It’s very clean. No remarks on it, yet.
What’s the fastest you have ever driven?
I did 290kph. In an SLS AMG in Mexico. It was fantastic.
Where’s your favourite place to drive in the world?
It’s close to the Red Sea. Mountain on one side and Red sea on the other. That’s where you should be driving.