For the love of Gypsy

Sanjay Jadhav
Saturday, 16 March 2019

The Gypsy, which was launched in 1985, will soon hang up its boots. Fans of the iconic off-roader share their experiences

From being one of the favourites of off-roading enthusiasts to being the first choice of the armed forces and also the police, the iconic Maruti Suzuki Gypsy will now, not be seen on Indian roads as the company has decided to stop its production. Launched in 1985, the Gypsy is all set to retire, as, according to reports, the company has instructed dealers to not accept bookings for the car. The reasons for pulling the plug on the car are the new crash test norms and the BS6 emission norms.

Sakal Times caught up with the fans of the iconic off-roader who share their memories of the Gypsy. 

Neha Laddha, who has had memorable moments with the two-door off-roader, says, “Being an army wife, the Gypsy has always been an integral part of my routine life. For all ladies’ meets and family welfare sessions, we moved around in the Gypsy. We loved it and also cursed it. While it was amazing to move around in the olive green Gypsy and taking in the fresh air, at the same time, it was always a task to climb into it, in a saree and stilettos because of its height. No matter how many cars come and go, nothing will ever stand out like the good old Gypsy painted olive.”

For rally driver Sanjay Takale, owning the Gypsy was a matter of pride. “I had a Gypsy in my college days which I bought when I was in my second year in 1989. It was the first SUV made with Japanese technology with a joint venture between Maruti and Suzuki,” Takale says.

“I felt a lot of pride in owning it as it had a soft top and the hood could be removed temporarily. I used to drive around without the hood sometimes and put on the hood when required to escape the rains and harsh sunlight. The best part was that I could go off-roading and could navigate through slippery terrain in the rainy season,” adds Takale. 

Vivek Acharya, an auto enthusiast, says, “I remember the old Maruti Gypsies wearing MRF colours tearing down dirt roads when the Indian Rally Championship was active. I dreamt of owning one for a long time. Before the rally spec Maruti Esteem was introduced, the Gypsy, for me, was simply the most desirable car for years. With the upgrade to the 1.3 L engine in the Gypsy King version, it reached new heights of awesomeness in my book.”

Lt Col PA Devikar (retd), chipped in saying, “The Gypsy is synonymous with the army. Earlier in the army, the Nissan Jonga was in use. After 1980s Maruti started functioning and it is then that we saw the Gypsy. The light vehicle was of good quality which helped in quick movements. Also, modifications were a rage when it came to the Gypsy. In the army, senior officers used the vehicle, so whenever we would see a Gypsy around we would know that some senior officer was travelling. I first travelled in a Gypsy in 1997 and it has been a memorable experience since then.”

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