Car Aficionado: Manan Shah Managing Director MICL Group

MICL Group
Manan Shah, Managing Director, MICL Group

What is the exact number of limited-edition supreme luxury cars owned by you to date?

I’ve had approximately 20 premium and 10 super luxury cars up to this point. Rolls Royce, Maserati, Bentley, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Audi, Mercedes, Mini Cooper, BMW, Porche, and Range Rover are among the brands I’ve had the pleasure of driving.

How would you describe yourself as a Car Aficionado? How frequently do you ride your cars? 

I possess a zeal for the meticulous personalization of each automobile I procure, tailoring them to my exact specifications. In this pursuit, I leave no aspect of the vehicle’s interior and exterior untouched, particularly emphasizing the color aesthetic. Throughout the years I’ve consistently chosen distinctive colors that set my automobiles apart. Each vehicle has borne a bespoke colour from the stately Bentley in  Cricket Ball Shade to a majestic G-Wagon in vintage blue. I drive these ultra-luxurious cars virtually every day to my office, construction site, or wherever I need to go.

How has the journey of you as a car lover begun? If you could elaborate on where your love for luxury cars started?

My journey as a car lover and my deep appreciation for luxury cars began at a young age. It was a passion ignited by a combination of factors, and I’d be delighted to share my perspective on each of these aspects:

Appreciation for Design: My love for luxury cars was first sparked by their exquisite design. I remember being captivated by the graceful curves, sleek lines, and attention to detail in these vehicles. Luxury cars are not merely modes of transportation; they are works of art on wheels. The beauty of a well-designed car has always held a special place in my heart, and it continues to be a major factor in my passion for automobiles.

Mechanical Curiosity: As a car enthusiast, I’ve always been drawn to the mechanical intricacies of vehicles. Understanding how engines work, delving into the complexities of transmissions, and unraveling the engineering behind various automotive systems have been sources of endless fascination for me. I’ve spent countless hours exploring the inner workings of luxury cars, and this curiosity has driven me to appreciate the sheer brilliance of automotive engineering.

Performance and Speed: The thrill of speed and exceptional performance is another facet of my love for luxury cars. There’s something truly exhilarating about the acceleration, the precise handling, and the symphony of sounds produced by a powerful engine. Whether it’s watching Formula 1 races or experiencing the sheer performance of a luxury car firsthand, this aspect of automotive passion has always been a driving force in my journey.

Collecting and Restoration: Over the years, I’ve developed a keen interest in collecting classic luxury cars. The joy of discovering and acquiring these timeless treasures, as well as the satisfaction of meticulously restoring them to their former glory, has been incredibly rewarding.

Are there any additions to your exotic collection of cars that you are eyeing or waiting for? 

I am currently in anticipation of buying a Ferrari Purosangue, but awaiting the live reviews of this masterpiece. As a testament to my commitment, I’ve already secured a reservation though the delivery is anticipated in a two-year horizon. Such is the extraordinary demand involved in acquiring a vehicle of this caliber.

What are the names and models of the luxury cars that you’ve got your hands on?

My automotive portfolio encompasses a distinguished array of prestigious automobiles, ranging from BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi to the exhilarating prowess of Porsche. It extends further to the elegant Range Rover, Ferrari, the timeless Maserati, and the grand Rolls Royce. Each brand represents a distinct facet of automotive excellence.

Which was the first luxury car you owned? Do you still have it with you?

The arrival of the Hyundai Sonata Gold marked an important moment in my family’s automotive history. It was our inaugural foray into the world of luxury and opulence.

How do you decide on which luxury limited edition car to buy? What specific factors do you look for?

On my daily journeys throughout the bustling roads of Mumbai, the paramount consideration for me is comfort. My collection of premium automobiles does not sit idly in a garage; instead, they serve as steadfast companions on the city’s roads. I prefer vehicles that seamlessly blend opulence and functionality. Yet, it is not mere luxury that captivates my discerning eye. A vehicle must exude an aura of timeless elegance, design, and engineering that transcends just the driving pleasure. I am drawn to automobiles that possess remarkable characteristics, attributes that elevate them beyond mere conveyance and transform them into masterpieces of automotive artistry.

Which is your ‘daily driver’ luxury car that you feel you can take anywhere? Which one of your cars is used the most and why?

The Porsche Panamera stands as the vanguard of my daily travel. My liking for Porsche runs deep, with my first acquisition back in 2014- a testament to my loyalty to this illustrious brand. Before Panamera, two Porsche Cayennes graced my collection. My first Porsche Cayenne was a workhorse that served for over five years with over 50,000 kilometers run. The same feat was achieved by the second Cayenne, which I sold just a month ago.  

Which are your top 3 favorite roads in India?

My liking for open roads is satisfied in some of the most scenic routes in India. Foremost among them is the Bombay-Nashik corridor, this sprawling highway meanders through mountains and a winding ghat section, offering an enchanting drive. The second is the journey from Mumbai to Junagadh. Spanning 1000 kilometers in a single direction, this epic journey unfolds over 17 hours, navigating myriad cities and villages that unveil breathtaking views at every turn.  The Bombay-Goa route despite its occasionally uneven terrain, unravels a vibrant and diverse culture and fosters memorable encounters.

Do you ever drive holidays in your limited-edition cars?

My automotive wanderlust finds expression in frequent vacation drives. I’ve taken my Lamborghini Urus to the scenic routes of Mahabaleshwar, Lonavala, and Pune. I recently undertook a cross-country exploration from Mumbai to Gujarat in my Range Rover. These vacations are an integral part of my life, weaving some unforgettable experiences on the road.

We guess some Luxury limited edition cars have waiting periods running into years. How do you handle those? 

The world of limited-edition luxury cars demands patience with extended waiting periods. I’ve devised a methodical approach to satisfy my quest. Sensing my boredom with my current automobile, I secure my next, much in advance, allowing ample time for its delivery. This meticulous planning ensures that I savor the pleasure of my new purchase while the order for a new automobile is underway, offering an uninterrupted flow of automotive splendor. This cycle ensures that every few months heralds the arrival of a new and exciting addition to my collection.

Do you self-drive your luxury cars? Or do you prefer being chauffeur-driven to work?

While I take immense pleasure in driving my fleet, the streets of Mumbai, coupled with my demanding schedule leads me to limit my driving excursions to Sundays or nights. For the rigorous daytime travel, I opt for a chauffeur service. My intercity journey often spans distances exceeding 100 kilometers in a single day.

How do you maintain your cars? Is there any dedicated team to look after them?

Each Chauffeur assumes custodianship of their assigned vehicle. Their responsibilities encompass service schedules, compliance with pollution control certifications, safeguarding insurance coverage, and more. My cars are preserved with paint protection film (PPF) which not only enhances the longevity of paint but also offers steadfast defense against the rigors of everyday use. Specialized foam cleaners and polishes are used to preserve the interiors and exteriors of every car.

What are the best things about owning a luxury car in India?

Travel assumes an inescapable role in our daily lives, transforming the concept of ‘house on wheels’ into a necessity. There is a profound influence of journey on the mind, even amidst congestion and potholes. Hence, it is imperative to invest in the best vehicles by one’s means. Buying luxury automobiles represents a form of self-care. In the Indian automotive environment, a spectrum of renowned global brands is available, though comparatively expensive. If one’s means permit, it is a privilege that should be embraced wholeheartedly. 


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