Welcome to My Wheels, doc. Nice-looking Boxster S you have there…
Thanks for featuring my Porsche and I. I am really proud to own this car as it is a limited-edition model — one of 1,953 units in fact — released in 2004 to commemorate 50 years of the legendary 550 Spyder. It’s a beauty.
Have you always been interested in cars?
I grew up believing that my true calling was in mechanical engineering, but after reading a life-changing book about the medical profession, I chose instead to mend broken hearts as a cardiothoracic surgeon. However, my passion for engineering, cars, and speed never ceased. In fact, it blossomed through the many motorcycles and cars I have owned over the years.
Which ones stand out?
Well, you never forget your first car — but I haven’t forgotten my first bicycle! It was a BSA that my father gifted me when I passed seventh class in 1965. I rode it until I went to medical school in 1971 and moved up to a Vespa 150cc scooter. Then, I got a car — it was a Morris Minor; I used to love it for its cute looks.
I then moved to Iran to work as a general surgeon in 1983 and bought a Paykan; this was a no-nonsense, no frills workhorse produced by the Iranian company Iran Khodro. It had a manual transmission and for the next 10 years it was my mode of transport. I would put about 500km on it on weekends while attending family gatherings!
Upon my return to India from Iran, I drove a Maruti Esteem, a Ford Escort, and for a brief period, I had a Mercedes-Benz E-Class. But I have always been keen on motorbikes and in 1996 I bought a 1942 BSA M20 500cc — a classic British motorbike — and then another British bike, a 1956 Matchless 350cc. It had been fully restored back to original standard and I still have this one in Hyderabad, India. Whenever I go home on vacation, I take it for a ride and it is so much fun. In 2004, I moved to the UAE and bought a Camry. I have to say that as a daily driver it was brilliant; all I ever had to do was fill it with fuel and that was it. It never let me down.
You moved back to India in 2008 but then were back in the UAE the following year. What did you buy on your return?
A Land Cruiser Prado. I still use it as it is ideal for long journeys and off-road driving.
Now, I know that you’re thinking all of these cars aren’t exactly thrilling, and with my love for speed I needed something I could really enjoy — especially after driving my cousin’s fully electric Tesla S in San Francisco. What a ride! It changed my perception of what an automobile should be with its amazing acceleration and pin-drop silence.
Do you dream of owning one someday?
No, my dream car is a Ferrari 458 Spider. That rear mid-engine roadster is a brilliant piece of engineering. It’s art in motion, but until that dream comes true, I am more than happy with my Boxster S, which gives me the thrill I’d been looking for. It has a 3.2-litre flat-six making 264bhp and a specially designed exhaust. I love the metallic silver paint and the cocoa coloured retractable soft-top — with matching leather interior. The inner child in me always emerges when I take it for a spin through Abu Dhabi to Yas Marina with the top down. It’s been mine for a year and it’s proven to be a blast to drive.
It has terrific balance and grip, and the responsive steering makes it really great fun. I love the way it carves up mountain roads with grace — and pace. It isn’t overloaded with gadgets and I like that as I prefer focusing on the driving experience, and not to be distracted by ‘luxurious amenities’ that many cars today seem to focus on.
For a self-proclaimed petrolhead, driving top down while listening to my favourite music on the awesome Bose system is truly nirvana on wheels! I just wish the UAE had an autobahn like in Germany, so I could really stretch its legs.
Glad you’re enjoying it. But you almost bought something else, didn’t you…
Yes. My idea of a sportscar is a small two-seat roadster with an aerodynamic body and a powerful engine, and prior to purchasing the Porsche, I strongly considered the Audi TT along with the Chevrolet Camaro and Corvette, a Ford Mustang and a Mazda MX-5. In the end, I am glad I went with the Boxster S as it ticks all the right boxes for me.
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