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Weekend date with wheel power

The sales guy at the Hero stall sighed at the sight at the other end of the Kund area of City Centre Salt Lake on Day One of the State Bank of India presents The Telegraph Auto Weekend Carnival 2013 powered by Godrej AER.

The reason: Hero MotoCorp Ltd’s pink 100cc Pleasure or the black 110cc Maestro were no match for the four Harley Davidsons parked a “pop-pop” away.

Jisshu Sengupta sits on his dream mean machine — the Harley Davidson Fat Boy — after inaugurating the State Bank of India presents The Telegraph Auto Weekend Carnival, powered by Godrej AER, on Friday. The three-day wheel fest (November 22 to 24, 11am to 8pm) is on at the Kund area of City Centre, Salt Lake. “A carnival like this is superb. From small to big to medium, everything is available at one place. This is a must-visit,” smiled the actor and bike addict, who owns a Harley Davidson and a Royal Enfield Classic 500.
Picture by Anindya Shankar Ray
•To know all that Jisshu did at the Auto Weekend Carnival, turn to t2 on Sunday

He had about 15 enquiries in the first hour. “We were expecting more,” he said, quite the representative of a company that sells the highest number of two-wheelers in the country.

The Harley stall had an equal number of enquiries but scored over the scooties in excitement and buzz.

The signature “pop-pop” of a Street Bob’s 1,573cc engine made men boys again and sent some girls on a screamathon.

Sam from Coimbatore had ticked Harley as “top priority” on his checklist. “I am here visiting friends,” said Sam, whose friend owns a Harley. “I rode his Harley once and I’ll never forget the sound and the thumping heartbeat you feel when you ride a Harley. It’s unforgettable!”

Harley has made sure that everyone could feel that irresistible sound. Charles Huang, for one, took a test ride of an Iron 833.

The Iron 833 and the Super Lo were available for a spin, if one asked for it. It was a never-ending queue: one got down, another was up. “So far, we have given about 25 test rides,” a salesperson said.

Not just the mean machines, the entire Harley Davidson ensemble was there at the Kund — riding gear, lifestyle jackets, T-shirts, Zippo lighters, Harley mugs and caps, and the famed scale models of Street Bobs and Fat Boys for Rs 500 apiece. “It’s an entire Harley experience,” said Soumya Sarkar, who bought a jacket “coz I can’t afford a Harley”.

Right next to the American legend stood the diminutive Nano. The “lakhtakia” — now priced at Rs 2 lakh and more — stood its ground with 11 enquiries in the first hour because the revamped Nano in brilliant hazel blue was the next best draw at the carnival.

Keyless entry, music system, Bluetooth and mobile-charger port. You name it… the Nano has it!

“The car is packed with attractive features, the quality of the interiors is a lot better and we have 10 new colours, including the hazel blue and the royal gold,” said a Tata Motors spokesman.

Honda’s entry-level sedan Amaze also had an amazing first-day run. Parked on a raised dais at the centre of the Kund, two burgundy and blue Amazes attracted matter-of-fact enquiries such as on-road price and delivery schedules.

Chevrolet’s new offerings, the Chevy Sail and the Enjoy MPV, shared the dais. “The MPV is a good people mover and Enjoy looks good,” said Soumyadipta, looking for a car in which his entire family can fit in comfortably.

The new-look Toyota Innova and Mahindra & Mahindra’s Verito Vibe grabbed eyeballs too. The Fiat Punto, Linea and the Toyota Liva brought in the rear.

With nine manufacturers showcasing 17 models, along with SBI as the financier and Godrej AER selling their accessories, Auto Weekend Carnival is the one-stop shop for a car buyer till Sunday evening.