Tata Sierra (Overlander). Photos are below the text.
Bob is particularly fond of this modification project. It was done for the manufacturer via a dealer representative, but Bob ensured he had complete freedom to create his concept of the Tata Sierra.
The Sierra was one of the first SUVs made in India, but due to various reasons it was not a success. Bob was approached in the mid 90’s to give it a complete makeover and he decided that his concept Sierra would be called Overlander, and designed and equipped for touring and camping in the wilds.
Bob started by fabricating a strong seamless steel pipe external roll cage that was fitted on the A, B and C-Pillars. On this was fabricated a sturdy roof carrier that covered the entire expanse of the Sierra’s roof. Next Bob designed and custom built a robust light bracket with protective shield at the front, and a similar shield was also fitted below the rear bumper.
The tailgate also got a smartly designed and custom built luggage carrier mounted above the spare wheel, and a jerry can with a solid holder too. Bob’s trademark nerf bars were also installed and all the bars, brackets and roll cage, were custom painted in camouflage colours. The lower half was painted with tiger stripes and as Bob opted for a black and white colour combination, he also fondly called this Sierra, “White Tiger”.
Tiger pugmarks were spray painted on the bonnet and within the “Overlander” logo painted on the doors. To add to the camouflage effect, rear tail light covers were also fabricated and to take on the darkness of the night, as many as six extra Hella driving lights were fitted. If that was not all, Bob also fitted two additional reversing lights under the rear bumper. And to cope with all this additional electrical energy demand, a larger alternator to charge the bigger battery was also installed.
But the highlight was the custom made tent for two that could be mounted on the roof rack, to camp in the wild. The entire tent, the sleeping bags, etc could later be folded and stored on the luggage carrier mounted above the spare wheel.
Bob says the Sierra Overlander was a vehicle well ahead of its times and its design is most relevant even today. In fact if given the opportunity, he would like to convert one of the modern days SUVs into an Overlander.