From Esteem to Lamborghini, the journey of John Alukka

"The Toyota Sera was the first car that I got to know very closely. When it arrived here, I had spent several days along with it. There was no other car that excited me so much than the Sera. Vehicles are a passion, right from the childhood till now; they still excite and stimulate me. I just can't remember how became such a passionate vehicle lover," says John Alukka, managing director of Jose Alukkas. Here, John speaks to Onmanorama about his passion and his vehicles.

Began with cleaning
“My first step was not driving a vehicle but cleaning one. Drivers never allowed me to drive the vehicles. After the washing is done, they would provide me with tips on how to drive. That was the beginning. I believe that vehicles too should be kept clean just like our homes and rooms. Once I learned driving, it became a thrilling affair," he said.

First step at high school
"I began with a scooter. Through I fell four times from the scooter the quest to learn helped me overcome those setbacks. The first attempt to drive a car was made when I was studying in class 8 or 9. Those times it is nearly impossible to get vehicles to drive; one needs to request the drivers several times for them to allow you to even hold the steering. However, because of my constant badgering, they would show me how to change gear and press the accelerator. But I never got to drive. I am a person who loves vehicles a lot but somehow I have not found thrill in speed," he said.

First car
"I learned driving in a Premier Padmini. Cars were few and far between then. The arrival of a Premier Padmini at home was a big celebration for me. After I learned driving a man on a scooter came and hit the car and my driving came to a full stop for some time. And, I continued cleaning and washing the cars," he said.

Maruti Esteem
"A Maruti Esteem was my first car. The joy I felt when I got it was beyond words. I had done a lot of modifications on it and took part in the Popular Rally too. The car has a lot of such stories to tell. But it was written off after meeting with an accident during a Popular Rally and deemed a total loss," he said.

Toyota Sera
"I was a big fan of sports cars right from that time. It can be rightly called as passion. My father and brothers brought a Toyota Sera from Dubai. It was the first sports car in my life. During those times it was a big thing; I did not even sleep for the first five-six days. The next to arrive was a Honda CR-X sports car. Those days, sports cars were very few, specially imported sports cars and they were instant crowd pullers. Later, several other cars were brought from outside," he said.

Favourite Prado
"My favourite car was a Toyota Prado. It was imported from Japan and was with us for about 12 years. It covered around 3.5 lakh kilomters during this time. It has travelled across the country. The Prado was the constant companion during business trips outside Kerala so much so that I have even slept inside it sometimes. If you ask when which is my favourite car, it is the Prado. It was saved my life even during accidents," he said.

Second Lamborghini
"My first Lamborghini was a Gallardo. The second was a Huracan which is still with me. The Lamborghini is the favourite brand of all auto lovers. I was overjoyed when I got the first Lamborghini. I was encouraged to buy a second one due to the support from Lamborghini India. The Huracan is my favourite among my present fleet of cars. It was a different feel to it. It's not the speed but the drive after fully understanding the vehicle that is more enjoyable. I attend all the events organised by Lamborghini; it was in Rajasthan last time. The coming together of owners of Lamborghini is very interesting," he said.

Daily drive
"Due to several reasons using the Lamborghini on a daily basis is difficult. The Porsche 911 is my daily drive. It's not because the Lamborghini has any faults, but I have to consider parking difficulties and that fact that it attracts people," he said.

Mahindra Thar
"I love off-roading trips. There is a Mahindra Thar for that purpose. I go for such trips once in a while," he said.

First bike
"The first bike that I bought was a Suzuki Samurai. I still remember going to Ooty on the bike. It took four days from Thrissur, with frequent breaks and sightseeing on the way. I love my sports bikes too; there are two in my garage," he said.

"The garage were built during the first lockdown. It has a vehicle-based theme. There is a frontside of a Jeep as part of the coffee shop in front of the garage; a wheel hub of a lorry has become the wash basin. There is also a mini theatre behind the garage; it uses the bonnet of a Maruti 800 and the grille of a Gipsy; the piston shaft of a lorry has become a table," he added.

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