Highway journeys are fun. They are devoid of traffic snarls and the mayhem associated with finding a way in the city. A perfect escape route, a highway journey is. Add to it the prospect of eating out. Simply pulling over to the dhabas that dote the highway. In stark contrast to a seemingly perfect getaway plan, Bollywood flick ‘Road’ sent out spoiler alerts to all such revellers. Directed by Ram Gopal Varma, the Hindi movie engaged cinema goers with a twisted narrative. A simple journey from one point to the other began going wrong for Arvind and Lakshmi right from the start. Played by actors Vivek Oberoi and Antara Mali, the two are a couple that has run away from their respective homes and against the will of their families to tie a knot. During their journey from Delhi to Jodhpur in a Tata Safari, the couple runs into a hitchhiker Babu played by actor Manoj Bajpayee. Babu persuades the couple to give him a lift. They are hesitant at first, but relent and take him on board. Little do they suspect that he is an armed psychopath in the guise of just another hitchhiker. His cruel intentions come to the fore when he takes Lakshmi hostage. To succeed in his ill intentions, he throws Arvind out of the vehicle. Stranded in the middle of nowhere, Arvind finds an escape route by convincing a truck driver Inderpal (played by Makrand Deshpande) to follow Babu in his Tata SE 1613 . A rescue mission begins. Following the Safari SUV, the duo eventually tracks down the car and rescue Lakshmi from the psychopath.
One of the most sold trucks in India ever, the Tata SE 1613 shown in the movie has its super-structure built locally. A semi-forward design, the truck was offered as a rolling chassis and could be fitted out to be a high deck body, half deck, or a tanker among other applications. A 4×2, the SE 1613 was structured on a ladder-type heavy duty frame. It was powered by a 5675cc engine that produced 136 hp at 2400 rpm, and a peak torque of 490 Nm at 1400-1600 rpm. It was mated to a manual six-speed GBS-600 transmission. The suspension system was made up of semi-elliptical multi-leaf springs at the front and the rear. The rear axle was a TATA RA – 109RR unit with single reduction hypoid gears and a fully floating axle shaft.