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        Own a Mercedes in Rs. 5 Lakh!

        Satish Kalepu

        Satish Kalepu

        Quite shocking, yet true! Now you can really own a Mercedes or BMW for Rs 5-6 lakh in India. This is thanks to the auto studios in the country - they can give a complete facelift to an old model to make it look like a brand new Mercedes with original logo and design. This business is really booming, especially in the recession times.

        Car modification experts are working round the clock for auto enthusiasts who purchase old Mercedes and BMW or even Toyota Supra or Mitsubishi GTO. The cars are completely overhauled cosmetically to give them a brand new look. Most of these car models come from the 90s and have no defects or just minor body works issues like rusts, dents, paint chip offs and can be easily repaired.

        “We are completely restoring the car. The interiors are being refurbished, the suspension is being reworked and a new audio system is being put into place,” says Arush Vohra owner of Autopsyche, a Delhi-based car studio. “And the car is also getting a new set of wheels, lights and fresh coats of paint. Vohra says that his client has spent Rs 3 lakh to purchase the car and is splurging another Rs 3 lakh to soup it up.” Vohra is currently working on BMW 3-series 1996 model.

        “It’s a logical and smart thing to do,” says Yatharth of Performance Zone, a Delhi-based car-customisation workshop. “I have done quite a number of Beamers and Mercs recently. I even have customers coming in with old Mitsubishi Lancers. They usually buy these cars for Rs 1.5 lakh and spend another Rs 2-3 lakh on them. Why buy a small compact when you can get a big set of wheels for the same amount?”

        These cars do not involve any major work of increasing performance which can be a costly affair, with fees ranging up to Rs. 15 lakh or more if you want to increase the power by 400 bhp.