7 wacky automotive jugaads from India and abroad that will blow your mind

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It is with good reason that Indians have gained a reputation for being able to extract more from less. From using inverted cloth irons for heating vessels to using beer bottles as rolling pins for making chapattis, if something works, it goes. But then, come to think of it, it is not just us who have this uncanny ability to make things keep on working when they simply are ready to give up the ghost for good.

The automotive world is no exception to this type of ingenious problem solving, or what we commonly term as ‘jugaad’ in Indian parlance. What we have assembled below is just a smattering of hack and slash mod jobs, some of them absolutely rubbish, some pretty laudable, but all of them absolutely bonkers.

And, just like these contraptions below that exemplifies the concept of jugaad over the world, Opera Mini is a barebones web browser that comes to your rescue when your data connection has all but given up the ghost. With its unique architecture designed to cut down data usage and make pages load, get emails sent, and load maps even in areas with the worst data connectivity, Opera Mini is a must have for those moments when you just need to get the job done with minimal fuss.

And here’s the best part – knowing jugaads can let you do more than just get out of a tricky situation. Like winning brand new OnePlus 2 cellphone. You can participate in Opera Mini Motoroids #JugaadOnWheels contest by clicking here and stand a chance to win the flagship killer phone, along with an advanced camera drone and a premium MT Raceline Helmet.

opera motoroids jugaadonwheels contest

Participate in the #JugaadOneWheels contest, but before you do that, sit back and read about the best automotive jugaads we could find on the web for some inspiration. Some of the modifications here are from other countries as well, but represent the essence of jugaad in its truest sense.

the automotive centipede

  1. The auto centipede: Have you seen this low-budget NC-17-rated movie called The Human Centipede. If you haven’t, let not this mention goad you into even looking it up; it is graphic and traumatizing beyond words so we won’t even try describing it. Except to say that what we have here is the automotive equivalent of that. Look at that unholy trinity of an estate car, a pickup truck, and, err.. something else.
    disc brake jugaad
  2. Disc brakes on a push cart, because why not? The human-powered push cart that is so ubiquitous in the Indian subcontinent and most South Asian countries comes with absolutely nothing in the way of 21st century – or even 20th century innovations, for that matter – automotive features. Heck, it doesn’t even have any brakes at all, so this person took it upon himself to give it one. And a disc brake at that. But since the master cylinder and levers are not visible in this picture, you can only guess whether this jugaad works or not.
    half car jugaad
  3. Driving half a car doesn’t make you half a man, right? Why lug around a pair of extra seats and a big boot when you don’t need them more than half of the time? They are, after all, a waste of fuel and power, isn’t it? This guy then did the right thing by chopping his car into two and bringing those obligatory rear wheels closer to the front for some added love. Or it could have been necessitated by rust and age for all we know. Good thing, this is a front wheel drive then.
    jugaad four wheel drive
  4. Four wheel drive over two wheel drive anyday. You know it, we know it, Audi knows it, Subaru knows it, and so does anyone who has ever dared to venture off the smooth road, like Robert Frost. But what if your car is a lowly family sedan with no offroad pretensions, and its makers didn’t think you would be needing the power of four-wheel drive someday? You do the needful, whatever it takes.
    Mitsubishi AC car installation jugaad
  5. Aftermarket AC makers charge you way too much: You, sir, born with a silver spoon in your mouth and brought up in the lap of luxury might find it hard to believe, but there really was a time when cars didn’t come with AC. No, we aren’t kidding. But then people without factory-installed ACs also feel the effects of global warming like every one of us. And these aftermarket AC installs costs an arm and a leg. So what do we do? Simple, buy a home AC – they’re much cheaper – and retrofit it as best as you can.
    rural pickup truck crazy jugaad
  6. From people mover to dirt mover: Some vehicles are created from the group up to be people carriers, some are made to ferry your farm produce to the local market, and some are made to ferry billionaires to their private jets. But, as is usual in our world, these duties often overlap. Some vehicles stand up to the task, but some just don’t. Then you do this.
    tata nano convertible
  7. That feeling, the wind in your hair, what do you call it? Ahh yes, it is the feeling you get when you drive a convertible with the top down. Now, this feeling is a tad hard to achieve. Firstly because they cost more and secondly because, well, they are impractical for most cases. But if you are willing to throw caution to the wind here (pardon that bad pun) do what this guy did: saw off the roof of the world’s cheapest car and turn it into a convertible, for one-hundredth the price of an Italian exotica. Just don’t ask about the reduced chassis stiffness.
    jeremy clarkson in boot jugaad
  8. BONUS: The Clarkson in a boot jugaad. This one doesn’t count as a jugaad in the strictest sense of the term, but we stumbled upon it in the course of writing this story, and we just had to include it here. Because, you ask? Because, c’mon, it is our favorite old codger bound and gagged and put in to the boot of a car.
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