Bhola Bikram Thapa is the Founder and Managing Director of President Travel and Tours Pvt Ltd and also the Honorary Consul for the Republic of Bulgaria in Nepal. He travels extensively for his work and believes that automobiles are a necessity rather than luxury in today’s fast-paced world. He shares his love for automobiles with Rojina Maharjan
Do you prefer cars or bikes? Why?
I have always preferred cars over bikes. I believe I was not born to ride bikes. Cars are easy and are perfect for the dusty roads we have here.
What kind of a car collector are you?
I’m not a collector of cars per se. I have only two fascinations – one is to dress up good, and another is to ride a car. I am a business man and I check for value return on the cars and like to keep myself updated with newest editions.
What was your first car?
My first car was Nissan Datsun that I bought 40 years ago. My wife and I used to go on drives on Saturdays when we were young.
What cars are parked in your garage at the moment?
There is Classic Land Rover Safari, Land cruiser Prado, Toyota Land Cruiser V8, Mahindra XUV, Toyota Corolla and Jaguar XJL. I don’t keep cars for more than three years but I bought Classic Land Rover six years back and I used it for safari drives. My wife drives Toyota Corolla and she usually takes it with her. My grandson goes to school in the Land Rover – he prefers that over the others in the garage. I usually drive my Toyota Land Cruiser, Mahindra XUV or Land Cruiser Prado depending on where I’m going.
Where do you get your regular maintenance and service done? Any particular one you frequent?
Honestly saying, after-sales-service is zero in Nepal for automobiles. Due to the high custom duty, spare parts are expensive and hardly available. It is good to go to authorised service centres for maintenance.
Your favourite car..
I love convertible cars but it is not feasible on roads of Nepal. My Jaguar is my favourite and I take it out quite often for formal meetings with diplomats.
Which one do you prefer to drive on the roads of Kathmandu – 4WD, truck, hatchback, cross over or Sedan?
I prefer Toyota Land Cruiser for daily use as it is easier to drive around and has good ground clearance for the roads in Kathmandu.
One wicked or crazy thing that you have done in/to a car?
Once when I was a teenager, I drove a car that belonged to an ambassador and was parked at our premises. I took it out for a ride and met with an accident.
What have you got your eyes on at the moment?
Peugeot 3008 SUV. It has full power packed option with the latest designs, engines and guarantees luxury.
A version of this article appears in print on December 26, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.