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Driving Test: Sanjay Manjrekar

Did you pass your driving test first time?
Yes.

Who taught you to drive?
I never really went to a formal training course. I learnt driving while watching other people drive, how they used their feet and worked the gears. I would give tips to my wife, who started driving before me.

What car did you learn to drive in?
There were only two cars in those days, the Padmini and the Ambassador. I preferred the Padmini so learnt to drive in it.

The first car you bought. . .?
My sister and I pooled money to buy a used Premier Padmini for Rs 30,000 in 1986. My dream was to own a white Fiat with tinted glasses. So I repainted it and put cool blue tinted glasses.

And the worst car you’ve bought?
The old Accent. It was just launched, looked nice and seemed affordable. But I never managed to get the car off smoothly; there was always this jerk. I tried a lot of things, but nothing really worked.

What’s the best car you have ever bought?
The car I currently own and drive, a Mitsubishi Outlander. I am usually very spontaneous when buying cars. I was going through a magazine and saw a picture of the new Outlander. I bought it over the next few days. It was the best decision ever. I don’t like cars that are over the top. This one suits my purpose; it’s functional, practical, impressive, and turns heads.

What’s your dream car?
The Range Rover.

What caused your first crash?
This was a long time ago, during Mumbai’s peak office hours. I braked but hit the car in front of me. Both of us got out and checked the cars. In typical Mumbai fashion, we both looked at our watches and decided to “manage”. So, he took off, as did I.

Are you a good driver?
My wife thinks I am. I try being a disciplined driver.

What’s the worst thing a passenger can say when you are driving?
“I’m feeling a little sick.” My daughter says that sometimes. She’s usually the first one to complain when I am not concentrating and don’t drive smooth.

How clean is your licence?
Pretty clean.

What’s the fastest you have ever driven?
About 130kph. But only sometimes, when it gets a little boring and, I want to experience a thrill.

Where’s your favourite place to drive in the world?
England. I have driven a lot there. Everything is so organised and disciplined. It’s perfect for me. I am often tempted to rent a car and hit the roads. One of my favourite places is the Lake District with its winding roads. It’s magical.

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