A celebrity at home

A celebrity at home

A celebrity at home

She has done 65 movies, both in Kannada and Hindi. She has been in the company of glamorous people like Shilpa Shetty, Diana Hayden, Arshad Warsi and Soha Ali Khan. The ‘she’ that is being talked about here is no less than a celebrity and she is — a 1964 Herald, which has got the makeover of a jeep.  A unique automobile, she is now owned by Surrendra, a property master in filmmaking. A red open jeep, she is versatile and can take over any terrain. She is also the holder of many badges and Surrendra informs, “She has done 10 English movies and ads too.”

A proud owner of this classic machine, Surrendra also has antique two wheelers. While the 1960 Vespa he owns is a single owner scooter with its original paint, the other Vespa has a side car that gives it a perfect nostalgic look. “The Vespa with a side car has been featured alongside Chris Gayle in an ad,” he says. Surrendra also owns a two-rider and two-seater bicycle — Tandem, that takes one back to the retro age of Bollywood movies.

“The passion for owning classic and vintage cars is an inherited passion from my brother who is no more. He had the best cars in the whole of South then. The Buick, Chevrolet, Rovers, Morris... From a young age, I used to help him clean the cars,” he reminisces. He recalls how he and his brother stealthily took away their dad’s car to learn driving. “My father used to change his cars frequently and we learnt a great deal about cars from him,” he adds. Surrendra has been a part of restoration of many vintage queens and he credits this talent to his brother who owned an automobile workshop then. “I am not an expert with these cars. But I have seen a lot of them and have had hands on them because of my brother,” he explains. He also says that there are not many good mechanics here in Bengaluru in the present day and adds that a handful of them include — Siraj and Vinay. He adds saying that this passion for vintage cars will soon become a dying hobby as there is a scarcity for good mechanics.

Now an experienced restorer, his first vintage car was the Hindustan 14. He had many more in his shed, but says, “Space is always a problem and that is the reason I have limited my collection.” It was 20 years back that he started sourcing out the vintage and classic cars for movie shoots. It is with the help of the modified jeep that he owns that he became a property master in films. “There was a TV serial shoot here in the City and they approached me for my jeep. After this they wanted me to source more vintage cars and bikes and they offered me a job in the film industry,” he says. He, however, makes sure to avoid damage to these machines while shooting. “Talk to my vehicles and you will know how they are maintained,” he confidently says. Always ready to help like-minded people, he sums up, “Technology has evolved in the modern-day cars. But I am not well-versed in them and it is with the vintage and classic cars that I share a strong bond.”

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