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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Ikjot Singh Bhasin is a magician with cars

A car speaks as much about a person's wealth as it does about his/her personality. But if you want to give your car a outstanding personality of its own, or something that reflects you, in its clean lines, then a makeover is in order. A Delhi-based young designer has made reworking cars, his life's passion.

Ikjot Singh Bhasin, owner of Jyot Designs is quietly going about making a name for himself in the world of redesigning cars. With Dilip Chhabria being all over the news, this young man is waiting for his spot in the sun.

He says he wanted to do something different, right from his college days. So, he experimented on the family car - a 1984 model of the Maruti 800 and worked on it for six-seven months, before he turned the car into a more than just a mode of conveyance. He had turned it into a beauty.

He moved onto other projects, like he's coverted a Cielo into a two-door convertible and a Zen into a cute coupe! A Qualis metamorphed in his hands and came out with an X5 look. He's worked his magic on a Wagon R and Tata Sierra as well. He's redone around 18 vehicles, so far.

He told CNBC-TV18, "When a customer comes to me, they all want to be different. Few of them are practical and few of them are not. They come with vague ideas, like they want a batmobile out of a Maruti car! So things like this are not possible. But things like converting a Maruti car into a two-door coupe is quite possible. So, they settle doen to a level, where they actually want what I'm ready to give them."

Bhasin does not have any formal training but that doesn't deter him. He says ,"Every designer, whether he's a fashion designer or a car designer, the first thing he starts from is sketching. Honestly, I lack that. I'm not a good sketcher and I can't draw much. But I explain things to my guys, whom I've worked with for 10 years, and they understand it."

Unlike others, he works with metals and moulds every curve into shape. It takes him six months to do a complete makeover and he works on one car at a time. These projects could cost Rs 2 lakhs or more and there is never any repetition of designs.

He explains, "If the customer doesn't have a big budget for a makeover, then we give him a package. We give him four pieces of spoilers, which includes the front, rear and two side skirting and the spoiler ofcourse. We give it to them with the fitting and a paint job, and it sums up to around Rs 30,000."

"We also do give warranty for parts, like the bumpers or the body that we've made and for things like rusting and paint jobs." Local wear and tear and bumping against another vehicle is not included in this deal.

What began as a teenage fantasy has become a profitable business, with customers walking in based on word-of-mouth publicity. Bhasin is also working on a website to showcase his handcrafted beauties to the world. So, watch out for his labour of love, on the roads near you.

(All pictures are representational and not Bhasin's reworked designs.)

Written for www.moneycontrol.com

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