After producing ageing
old ambassador for three long decades, HM wanted to put something which is more fun to drive  and  at same time classic . So, by the late 1970s, HM was ready to present a new age car in the Indian market . 
And that is how HM gave birth to Indian CLASSIC car CONTESSA...
Commonly HAIL  as India's muscle car...
the Contessa's charm still allures young auto enthusiasts of the country. 
The production of CONTESSA started in  1984 and discontinued in 2002..


The hot shot Muscle car of India


Initially, the Contessa was put in motion with a 1.5 L BMC B-Series petrol engine which can give out power 50hp with a 4-speed transmission. The engine was borrowed from the Ambassador. The car had a mere top speed of 125km/hr.
People went gaga over the ride of the car but were upset by the engine`s performance.There was another version with higher 8.3:1 compression which offered  more power 54 hp (40 kW).

By the late eighties, HM collaborated with ISUZU and initiated producing their 1.8L petrol engine which gives out 86hp with a 5-speed transmission. This sorted out the Achilles Heel of the Contessa i.e. Performance.
NOW , this car was named as Contessa Classic.The car was an quick victory and set a new standard for refinement, power and luxury in the Indian market.
The BMC-engined model was phased out in short order. This Engine can now take car upto top speed of 160 km/h.  1.8L petrol engine made this BEAST ligtning fast.

In the 1990s, Hindustan started manufacturing the 2.0 L Isuzu 4FC1 diesel engine that came to power the Contessa Diesel. 
It as well was an instant success. A turbodiesel version was also introduced a few years later. Diesel version was introduce due to hike in petrol price.

Now Contessa had everything a car to offer. From impressive engine to killer looks and from spacious interiors to charmming road presence.

 Early 80`s Contessa came with flat type single unit headlight which housed the indicator and headlight, slimmer chromy bumpers etc. Later on, the car was given a some upgradation with twin barrel headlamps , fatter bumpers which housed the indicators. 
The interior of the Contessa was leaps and bounds better than the likes of its competitors.
HM gave updates to the interior of the Contessa like A/C, Power Steering, Power Windows and Privacy Glass at the rear, Better quality of seats, Wooden Dashboard. The front passenger seat could be folded flat which meant the boss sitting at the rear could put his feet upon just like an airline first class seat.
The car came shod with 13-inch wheels with 175/80R13 tyres. Also, the car even offer many colour variant such as White, Maroon, Grey, Black, Champagne Gold and Kielder Green .
The car had an phenomenal soft rear suspension.The stopping power was fair for a car of this size as it had vacuum assisted disk brakes at the front and drum brakes at rear.

Damm good Car and ahead of its time in Indian automotive market was phased out from the market. WHY? 

Reason why this beast was eliminated from the market is  due to the arrival of the other companies such as Ford with its Escort, Maruti with its Esteem and Honda with its City,etc.pulled the market. Also due to ever rising petrol prices, it was pulled out of the market due to its petrol thirsty models.

COMPETITOR of Contessa :

The Contessa had two major rivals i.e. 

Standard 2000(based on ROVER SD1) 

 Premier 118 NE (based on Fiat 124). 

But they lived a short life and hence Contessa attracted Indian buyers and government officials.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts