We've turned 16. While we could make all the puns we can on our super sweet sixteen or turning road legal or having bachelor dandies chase us around, we're going to put it across very simply - We've been living in OVERDRIVE for 16 years and of late, we're extending this experience to all those who're up for the challenge. And yes, while the sixteenth anniversary issue stories we're reporting are anything but sweet, the rides sure are!
This time though, we celebrate the roads, the terrain and times through which we've tested the true mettle of all this shiny metal. It started off with a bunch of us heading out to Ladakh to hoist the Tricolour this Independence Day (Page 154). And while we pushed our bodies and our Audi SUVs in the toughest of environments, the enthusiasm never dwindled - if anything, it grew manifold thanks to the readers who'd joined us for the drive. If you're reading this from your cubicle in the office, we should tell you - they got to drive the machines as well. And they lived to tell the tale - all 12 pages of it.
In the interest of further stirring your insides with wanderlust, there's another 10 pages on how much of a cruise a cruiser (or three) manage across the muddy slush that the otherwise parched Rajasthan briefly turns into, this time of the year. Can the Harley Street glide past the Chieftain or will the Rocket III triumph over all (Page 216)
And while OVERDRIVE's knights in not-so-shining-armour rode those steeds with ridiculous levels of mad power - a more stately lot charted our PM's journey from his hometown in Gujarat to the capital, in order to assess the most suited chariot for the chief of government. Can the current seat of power in the BMW 7 Series emerge as the perfect balance of comfort, safety and protection over the A8 L, the Merc S 350 CDI and the Jaguar XJ L (Page 116)
Rustic Punjab was witness to quite a close contest between the Union Jack and the Sun Disc as a Triumph Tiger and a Suzuki V-Strom negotiated the fields and flora off the beaten paths of Bhatinda (Page 232). Far from the mainland though, in the Andamans, there were fields, flora, fauna and more to navigate through, just to deliver a car - and to see an owner shine with pride at his new acquisition, while we dusted off the grime and remnants of the treacherous 600 kilometres, much like a gunslinger in an old Western (Page 128).
We further travelled across the continent to drive the Eagle Speedster (Page 110). It took us back to a decade where aesthetics rather than plain figures dominated automobile design. Speaking of time capsules, we scrounged around Kolkata and found the curvaceous Q'marri that's lived through 50 years of Indian motorsport history (Page 247). Yes, we got to drive its fifth iteration and were transported back to the beginning of motorsport itself. And while we were there, we glossed through more pages in history, back when speeds on the track weren't restricted and those mad men of MotoGP just went faster and faster (Page 262). We also took a pit stop at the Group B era of rallying too, where harmless production cars turned into rallying monsters (Page 276).
So no, these are not tales of the super sweet sixteen persuasion (best left for VH1 docu-dramas and Julie Andrews musicals). As soon as you flip open this month's OVERDRIVE (Page 9), you'll know we've spared you the platitudes, the industry blabber - This month it's all about the joys of hitting the road and the tracks. Doesn't matter if they're paved or not. We believe the machines can take them. And so can we.