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People of Lahore are familiar with three forms of driving…

Driving in the city (which can turn into serious off-roading),

Driving on the highway (often with donkey carts going in the other direction),

And last but not least, reckless driving.

Oh and there’s one more; driving in the fast lane at 30 km/h. Actually this is even more dangerous than reckless driving because it puts you at the risk of being murdered.

But don’t forget that this is also the city where literally hundreds of people own top of the range cars from Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, even Ferrari and Aston Martin. These are just a few names from a long list that’s growing fast.

Aston Martin DB9          

Aston Martin DB9

Ferrari 360          

Ferrari 360

Porsche 911 Carrera 2S          

Porsche 911 Carrera 2S

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500          

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

When I first realized that my fellow citizens drive these exotic beauties,  I almost fainted with excitement.

But if you think about it, you will realize that people are driving cars that can do 320 kph on roads that hardly ever allow 120. That means my 40 horse power Cuore can easily keep up with a 400 horse power Ferrari on the highways.

And as soon as we are off the highway, I will instantly leave the Ferrari in my dust…

Yes…and the reason is that now we’re in speed breaker territory, most of which happen to be taller than the Ferrari itself. And there’s a very good reason behind these world famous speed breakers. You see, building sky scrapers is an extremely difficult task, that’s why we decided to go for the tallest speed breakers in the world.

By the way, these speed breakers are usually nicknamed “jumps”, which says it all. I call them something else which I can’t tell you.

So if I had the job of issuing license plates for cars, I would issue a special golden “Jackass” plate to anyone who has one of these imported exotic cars in Lahore. I mean what’s the point of having a Ferrari when you can’t even keep up with a Mehran in a race???

Let’s face it, Ferraris are not designed keeping the streets of Lahore in mind, and you can’t explore their potential without getting stuck on a speed breaker with all four wheels in the air.

And I would love to take a picture of a Ferrari driving behind a donkey cart on a highway.

That means all three forms of driving known to Lahore-kind, have been ruled out for Ferraris and Porsches. A Mehran, on the other hand, is not only perfect for all of these scenarios, but also much faster. It’s the super-car of Lahore.


Now that I’ve proved that you can go faster in a Mehran than a Ferrari. I want to prove it wrong. I’m not going to ramble on about road conditions and government policies because, let’s face it, we are on our own.

It’s time to introduce a brand new form of driving to Lahoris. This form of driving is the reason why names like Ferrari and Porsche exist, and no Mehran has ever seen it. This is the form of driving where you need a racetrack.nurburgring1

Perhaps I should explain that a racetrack is a road that doesn’t go anywhere, it has no speed humps, donkey carts are not allowed to use it, and you can go as fast as you dare. Oh and it’s a little bendy too. In fact it can scare the hell out of you with its high speed bends.

Only trouble is that this magic road doesn’t exist anywhere near Lahore. It doesn’t even exist anywhere in the country. 


So would you like to know why racetracks are non-existent in our country even though we have hundreds of cars designed only for the purpose?

Here’s why…About 1.6 million years ago, Martians came to earth. They marked out the boundaries of Pakistan and then cursed it to make sure no one ever enjoys driving here.

This is the best logical explanation for the fact that no one has ever built a racetrack inPakistan. I’m not kidding; I even have strong evidence to support my theory of Martians.

Indian Formula Rolon           

Indian Formula Rolon

Across the eastern border, India is currently hosting four separate motorsport championships on proper racetracks with purpose built formula cars, now that’s more like it. Here are some names if you are interested; Formula LGB Hyundai, FISSME (aka Formula Maruti), Formula Rolon and JK Tyre National racing championship.  

Still not convinced? Well even if you only watch PTV and you’ve never heard of Michael Schumacher; you would know that Formula1 is the most prestigious car racing championship in the world. To give you an idea about the success rate of Formula1, theShanghai race circuit built in 2004 cost $300 million to make. And it’s such a money tree that they hope to recover its cost by the year 2014. You do the math.

Now please take a deep breath because what I’m about to tell you might come as a big shock…

India will be hosting a Formula1 race in the year 2011 on the streets of New Delhi. Not to mention that their Formula1 team, Force India debuted back in 2008.

Enough said?

I think it’s time for us to call the Martians back to earth and beg them to lift the unbreakable curse before we become a laughing stock for Indians. Otherwise it’s a possibility that soon you will be offered an unused Ferrari in exchange for your old Mehran. And you will probably say, “No thanks!”

Banks adopt stringent policy on auto loans

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We had it coming, didn’t we?

Didn’t we all complain that there are too many cars on the road? Didn’t some of us actually said that wait till people start defaulting? But no one could have expected the inflation to hit those debtors and give us some ridiculous statistics to look at. For example: Two years ago, around February, the number of cars being leased out by banks was sixty percent higher than what it is now. Yes, your read that right, SIXTY percent. Six. Zero. No doubt, the increase in the prices of cars have played a role, but so has a few other factors. which has lead to the banks playing tough.

Not so long ago, banks that lease cars would do it quite liberally. Auto financing was their flagship product and it was pushed without end. If you did not have the bank statement filed with your car loan application, no problems, they’d get it later (if that). No CNIC photocopy in hand at the moment? Sure, drop it later. And on and on. The banks looked the other way to get the loan out of their door and beefing up their ‘sales’. But now, the banks are stringent as they know now what pundits warned them about then.

Now all the paperwork has to be in order.

  • pay slip (or proof of business income)
  • CNIC copy
  • bank statement
  • references
  • credit information bureau report (generated against your CNIC from the State Bank of Pakistan, that details all of your loans taken and your performance in paying them back – no doubt, a powerful indicator of your ability to repay loans)

But that is not all. When the times were good (read: slack), you could get away with paying only 15 percent as down-payment. Now the down-payment has to be at least 30 percent.

The car leasing rates are such that depending on the tenure of your loan and the bank you end up choosing, your car lease can be anywhere between 18% and 21%. This has an obvious affect on your monthly payment. For example, a Mehran, with 30% down, has a monthly payment that comes to about PKR 12.500/- That is a lot to pay per month for such a car.

The car industry is definitely up against some serious challenges, given that now the banks are actually playing their part by being by-the-book.

I remember the first car I leased out, I only signed on a few papers and went ahead and got the car (I believe I gave the bank statement and proof of business after one year – the bank was being audited I believe 🙂 ) …

Spice up your desk

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Yes. Say goodbye to those old-fashioned office desk designs which seem awfully boring as compared to these cool fun ones. These ingenious designs helping improve the look and feel of your office, definitely deserve a round of applause. Seriously,your office is an expression and reflection of your personality, and a  neat, clean desk with a funky twist to it speaks volume. So let it do the talking.

Pictures below just might offer help and inspiration to brighten up your dull office look. A little something to get you into the creative zone which is equally enjoyable and productive.

Mini cooper desk

Think different

Dream big!

Be different!

Add a little zing to your surroundings.
Think different, dream big and be different!

The Mall’s first metered parking zone – solar powered?

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Metered parking machineAfter it’s success in Liberty Market, the metered parking system is now being deployed at The Mall from March, God be willing!

Metered parking zone with two entry and exit points starts from Shah din Manzil to Masjid-e-Shuhada.

“The first entry point will be at the start of the side road in front of the Shah din Manzil and people coming from Queens Road will use this entrance. The second entrance is the road cut after the traffic signal at Punjab Assembly and this entrance will be used by the people traveling on The Mall towards the GPO.
The two exit points of this parking lot will be the roads leading to Lawrence Road and Regal Chowk from Masjid-e-Shuhada while the road cut, which at present is connecting The Mall in front of Masjid-e-Shuhada with the side road, will be blocked and can only be used in emergency situation. As many as 320 cars can be parked at a time in this parking zone.”

Good news for motorcyclists, they are allowed to park free of cost at The Mall parking zone.  No parking fee at all.

However, in order to get the parking slip/token insert 10 rupee coins  or more if one wishes to park his/her car for longer,  into the machine and a slip pops out specifically instructing the drivers to display ticket on dashboard.

This effective system not only helps make most out of the space available but, also utilizes time in best possible way while maintain discipline. Finding a parking space is a bit of a challenge sometimes ad often one wrong parked car takes the space of two. But this won’t happens again as a heavy fine which will start from Rs 50 and can exceed to Rs 500 will be imposed on wrong parking, expired tokens, not displaying the parking ticket as directed or worst no token at all. And until the fine is paid the company’s security staff will clamp the tyre of such a vehicle and it won’t be allowed to move.

Most of the work regarding The Mall’s first metered parking zone has been completed, however the machines are yet to be installed.

In case you thought you could miss the token because of load shedding 😉 these machines are battery operated not supported by WAPDA but, i recently heard that they are solar-powered. Solar powered? do you know anything about it?

Smoky vehicles- Beware

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The Environmental Protection Department of Punjab, Pakistan has imposed a fine of PKR 13,850 on vehicles emitting hazardous smoke into the air.

Last year in July, The Environmental Protection Department, Punjab launched a much needed campaign against increasing air and noise pollution.

On Saturday, Jan 24th, 2009 A SQUAD of the City District Government Lahore (CDGL) fined 61 vehicles, while 12 others were impounded during the ongoing campaign against smoke-emitting vehicles. The CDGL squad, led by Tariq Zaman , DO (Environment) Lahore, fined Rs 13,700 to 61 motorcycle-rickshaws and two pick-up trucks.

Another commendable step taken by the EPD is their new project aimed at motivating youth to protect environment and to educate them about an environment friendly future. It’s high-time sSmoking vehicleomeone paid attention to the well known health hazards of engine emissions.

Now we need to focus on getting the high polluting vehicles – regardless petrol or diesel – off the road and out of our neighborhood.

It is about time we knew what’s coming out of the exhausts of our vehicles, understand critical air pollutants around us and at least acknowledge the steps that are taken to minimize this.

Get to know your car, what’s going on in the engine, whether it’s releasing blue, white, gray or black smoke from the exhaust pipe.

We need to join hands and work together  for cleaner air and our cars ought to reflect that, what do you think?

Chocolate car, anyone?

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With Valentine’s day quickly approaching, have you prepared a gift or some sort of surprise or something, anything at all? If no, well you’ve still got 6 days to plan. But please there is no sense in running around at the last minute, please. So, this year be prepared for it! Think of something new and exciting. Lets see what we can have:

  1. Chocolate cake
  2. Chocolate box
  3. Chocolate bars
  4. Chocolate candies
  5. Chocolate Car, hold it there! a chocolate car? Ahaan. A Chinese car dealer covered a car in chocolate for Valentine’s Day.

car coated in chocolate

“About 200kgs of melted chocolate was spread over the VW Beetle after it was first wrapped in cling film.

Seven people worked overnight to make sure the chocolate car was ready to go on display on the morning of Valentine’s Day.

According to China News Network, the car attracted many viewers and lovers to the dealer in Qingdao city.”

If you’re not up for the chocolate car, Craftbits is a cool fun site with many DIY gift ideas, a little something to spark your creativity and hopefully help the light bulb to come on. 🙂
Remember it’s the thought that counts 🙂

Third generation Honda City launched – finally

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Good news for anyone thinking of buying a new car. The much awaited, 3rd generation model of  it’s popular Sedan, all new city with its 1.3 liter i-VTEC engine finally launched in Pakistan on Saturday Jan 31st, 2009 was definitely worth the wait.

It’s brand new look, high-tech knobs and meters, smaller steering-wheel, well-researched seats, improved air-conditioning ventilators, aerodynamic exterior, is far more spacious than its predecessor. But the best feature of this City is ABS (Automatic Anti-lock Braking system). The DBW (drive by wire) technology and ABS form a lethal combo when it comes to controlling the vehicle.

Add in the newspaper

Honda City’s standard version starts from Rs. 13,09,000, whiles it automatic (five speed automatic transmission) model will cost Rs. 14,29,000 seems to be a bit costly of the kind of consumers its predecessors had.

Atsushi Yamazaki, President & CEO Honda Atlas Cars (Pakistan) Limited said, the launch of the new City marks a very important day in the Honda’s history in Pakistan. Honda City made its debut in 1996 to meet the requirements of Honda customers in Asia and as a result was introduced in Pakistan in 1997. Over the last ten years The City has grown to be an important model sold in 39 countries reaching beyond the Asian Region.

With the new City in town you can go ahead and treat yourself to a new Car in the new Year.
Mai tai Honda he lai saan!

Drag Race in Lahore

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As promised, Car Advice has some decent coverage for you folks, regarding the first ever Drag Race in Lahore. In fact, the first ever organized drag racing competition in Pakistan. Period.

The competition was held at Walton Airport.

Just look at the number of people who actually were present at the event, and you will be forced to call this event a success – and credit goes to TDCP for this.

TDCP organized this drag race after successfully carrying out a string of rally races across Pakistan – those rallies were well-received. And like stated earlier, just the sheer turnout of the people, with and without their cars to show off, makes this event another feather in TDCP’s cap.

The Cars

The cars that one got to see were of all types and breeds. From Porsche to Nissan to Mazda to BMW to Chrysler, all hot looking things of beauties were strutting their power and their shine on the open, long track of Walton Airport. Apart from the racing, the ‘non official’ hair pins and burn outs were the real crowd pleasures, with swarm of people shouting ‘Burn out, burn out’ to drivers of cars as varied as a Corolla and a BMW Z3. (videos coming up)

The Drag Race Event

I personally do have some reservations with the management of the event, given that people were crossing the actual track WHILE the cars were racing on it! But as this was a drag race and only one car at a time was being timed, nothing untoward happened ‘so far’. Surely, this kind of loose management is something to correct for future events.  Some families were not happy with the arrangements at all (interview coming up, stay tuned), but agreed that the event was a very good effort and should be improved for next time.

Nothing like the sound of a revving engine and screaming tires.

Videos and pictures, coming up!

If any one of you have any pictures or videos, do let me know so I can display it here. You can either submit the video and/or pictures for CarAdvice, or perhaps provide a link to your media on other websites like YouTube.