Harpreet Dev is an Indian taxi driver who rose to fame and is well-known in his hometown of Bhatinda, Punjab because of his astonishing reverse driving skills. He is 30-year-old and has been driving his cab in reverse for about 11 years. Harpreet believes that he is so used to driving in reverse that now he doesn’t trust himself to drive in forward direction anymore. He also has a special government license that lets him drive backwards in every state in the northern part of India.
Harpreet Dev – The Back Gear Champion
Harpreet has always wanted to do something different and unique in life. If put it in simpler terms Harpreet reversed the complete gear mechanism of the car. He did so in order to get maximum speeds when driving backwards. Back in 2005, Dev drove backwards in an unbelievable journey all the way from Rajasthan in India to Lahore in Pakistan. He did this with an aim of promoting peace between the two countries.
How did his unique journey start?
Harpreet’s passion for reverse driving began in the year 2003, when his faithful Fiat Padmini as be called it, got stuck in reverse gear late at night. He was outside the city and had no money. Therefore, he had the thought of driving the car backwards till Bhatinda. From then onwards he learnt to drive backwards which gradually instilled confidence in him.
That is when Dev realised that he was really on to something big. The next morning Harpreet painted on the side of his car, the words ‘Back Gear Champion’. He also redesigned the gearbox of his car to have four reverse gears and just one forward.
How he manages this?
It has taken years of practice for Harpreet to drive comfortably backwards at the speed of up to 50 miles per hour. He has also attached an ambulance siren to the top of the car in order to warn unsuspecting drivers and pedestrians regarding his peculiar driving skills. He is proud about the fact that he has taken care of this to protect other drivers on the road.
Unfortunately, Harpreet’s dream of making it into the Guinness Book of World Record stays unaccomplished because he realised later that a person named John Smith, from the UK, already has this stunt to his credit. To break Smith’s record, Harpreet had to make a non-stop video footage of his reverse driving skill but was unable to do so.
Harpreet’s peculiar driving habit has won him fame in his hometown. However, at the same time it has had some serious negative effects as well on his health. He now suffers from severe back and neck problems. These frequent pains in the neck has accompanied with severe vomiting in the past. He has also been affected with severe backbone problems from driving very fast in reverse, because his entire body gets extremely contorted.
Harpreet strongly believes that it has been totally worth the while. Achieving a rare and difficult thing is never easy. According to him not giving up is what counts.
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