Beautifully Restored Hindustan Contessa Classic Evokes Memories

Restored Hindustan Contessa Classic-2-2

The restored Hindustan Contessa Classic does not look to be aged one bit as it boasts the muscle car stance all along

Hindustan Motors has a storied history in the Indian market as it sold icons like Ambassador and Contessa for many decades. The latter was certainly an epitome of luxury and it was produced between 1984 and 2002. Based on the Vauxhall VX series, the Contessa had no rivals except for the Standard 2000 and Premier 118 NE, and it created a revelation unlike no other.

Following the success of the Ambassador for decades, HM turned towards a brand new model to establish a premium status among Indian motoring enthusiasts. While the Contessa, manufactured alongside the Amby at Uttarpara plant near Kolkata, was the right answer, it did not have the fire power under its bonnet. Largely considered as India’s muscle car, the Contessa used a mere 50 hp producing 1.5-litre BMC engine.

While the Contessa was well-received among customers, the powertrain was a certain downer for many. To address the elephant in the room, HM partnered with Japan’s Isuzu Motors and began producing the 1.8-litre petrol engine, paired with a five-speed transmission. The cult ‘Contessa Classic’ was born with a peculiar CLASSIC and 1.8GL badging at the rear.

Restored Hindustan Contessa Classic-3

It was the cornerstone of power-packed performance, plush ride quality and a spacious interior. The top speed of 160 kmph over the BMC engine’s 125 kmph was highly regarded. The 1800 Isuzu SOHC, inline, gasoline water-cooled motor with fuel-injection technology produced 88 bhp in its last couple of years in production.

The Contessa Classic has been restored to its former glory by KRAFT Design. The dark blue paint job is a certain crowd pleaser and the front fascia comprises of dual headlamps on either side with silver housing. In the middle, you could see the prominent horizontal grille assembly and the silver bumper guard adds to the masculine factor of the Contessa.

Restored Hindustan Contessa Classic-1

Other highlights include a set of vintage wheels with broad tyres, clean flowing side profile, a large green house with raked windshield, tall pillars, sloping rear glass, horizontal tail lamps, a large trunk lid and silver accents across the window line and pillars. The design elements do provoke nostalgia over and over again!