If you love the Maruti Zen and want one now, chances are this is the model you are most likely to get. It is the last of the Jelly beans ever made in India and probably the ones with least miles on them now. While the prospect of the pre-facelifted three door variant is appealing, the non-availability of vital spares such as the rubber beadings for the doors can be a concern – making this last facelift of the Zen the pick of the range for many. The problem is, with the overgrown bumpers and flatter rear, this last facelift of the Zen was never appealing enough. Not so, if you look at Ram’s 2003 Zen.
It is the addition of minor details that makes this Zen stand out. The colour is still bright and shiny frost white. The front mesh grille and smoked headlights make it appear wider, while a low lip below the front bumper adds to the lowered effect. The rear when we photographed the car was a bit raised due to the earlier suspension set up, but has now been sorted. My favourite details are the Darwin Racing wheels which look period and those who own a Zen know how difficult it is to get the right PCD wheels to match. They are shod with 185/50 R14 Maxxis tyres and the wheel to body ratio is perfect for a daily driver.
Bought in 2010, Ram’s first modifications were the wheels and exhaust. The exhaust is a mix of Automech headers and Raj side exhausts. The engine, which is stock, breathes in through a K&N conical filter. Release the hood pins, lift the bonnet and you are greeted by a beefy red strut brace. Ram has focused more on getting the interiors done to his tastes. The standard seats have been replaced with sporty ones from Drift Racing. The A pillar has the various Autometer gauges sitting on it while the tachometer takes a prominent place on top of the dashboard. Other details in the cabin are the Momo steering wheel, Sparco gearknob and pedals.
Ram’s Zen is a daily driver that isn’t afraid to show its fun side on the weekends. The playful side of the car is well displayed by the dog chewing on a bone sitting proudly on the dashboard. It is a comedy element to an otherwise purposeful looking car and we love it.