Wheels of time
Tinsmith Anil Pawar takes a long hard look at a picture of a 1948 Oldsmobile. With that for a guide, he lights up the oxyacetylene flame and sits down with a sheet of metal, bending it into a shape. “This sheet will be bent over the left side of the roof to give it its original arch look,” he says excitedly, working with the precision of a Swiss watchmaker. On the other hand R S Dongare, carefully examines the engine of the same car. He takes a moment to make mental calculations and then triumphantly announces, “The transmission drive is intact. It will work fine, we will have to work on the gear box though.”. This is life, as the duo and their other workers know for over three decades now. The nameless workshop in Katraj is home to Oldsmobiles, Barracudas, Chevrolets, Mercedes and a whole lot of other whatnots. It is also one of the only workshops in the city that works on restoring old cars from scrap to making them look like they have just rolled out of the factories.
Dongare, who worked as a driver of these old cars five decades ago, says he grew to know the vehicles intricately while driving his bosses around. “This workshop is owned by Satish Sable and Sanjay Sable, who is a collector of these cars. Most of them come to us
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