In the early 90s, much before the Honda citys and the Mitsubishi Lancers became common on Indian roads, a luxury sedan meant the Hindustan Contessa. Introduced in the 1980s, the Vauxhall Victor was rebadged the Hindustan Contessa for India. While this car was meant to be more luxurious than fast, it was the closest that India got to a muscle car. Once the Japanese and European cars begun arriving following economic liberalization, Indian car buyers began voting for reliability over stately looks. The Contessa was forgotten, relegated and finally out of production by the start of the 21st century. Over the past few years though, muscle car enthusiasts have taken over the few remaining, roadworthy examples of the Contessa. These modifications have been a direct result.
Sanjeev Kanjoor’s Contessa Custom
[Images courtesy Lube & Tune]
This Hindustan Contessa was customised for Sanjeev Kanjoor. While the modifications aren’t over the tip, the idea was to build a daily beater that looked good. The turbo diesel engined Contessa has received a visual makeover, with a blood red paint job, balanced out by the contrast black roof, and chromed bits at the front and rear. The interiors have been given a once over too, with a sporty steering wheel and a custom dashboard design. A hood scoop on the bonnet and a ducktail spoiler on the boot round off the design.
Mean Green Muscle
This Contessa has been built to look like a pure muscle car and it pulls off the job effortlessly. The matt green paint job with the rough exterior finish really gives this car a distinct look. The modifications have been kept very simple. The rear has been untouched while the front sees the bumpers being dumped. The bonnet gets a slight reshaping to curve inward while the grille is a new item. Low profile tyres on chromed alloy wheel wrap things up.
The Pretender is a Hindustan Contessa that wants to look like the Ford Mustang. Matte gray, silver and orange are used to spectacular effect on this car. There’s a body kit that lowers the stance and an exhaust that exits from the flanks of the car. A fiberglass job at the front brings the car close to a Mustang’s face while silver GT stripes run across the car’s top. Scoops are cut into the car’s flanks, and highlighted with orange paint, and a ducktail spoiler at the rear concludes the design.
The Orange Monster
The Orange Monster is yet another example of how good the Contessa can look with just a tastefully executed paint job and minimal modifications. This car goes orange, with black GT stripes serving as the contrast colour. The hood goes all black while the bumper is dumped. At the rear, the tail lamps are new items while the satin finish for the area under the bootlid makes way for some more black paint. Fatter rubber’s been added, and that’s pretty much it. The Orange Monster is easily one of the best looking Contessa in the country.
Hindustan Contessa Fastback
As its name suggests, the Contessa takes a fastback form factor through this custom job. The body of the car has been modified into a two door coupe. The bonnet gets resculpting while the rear gets a ducktail spoiler. Up front, the grille, headlamp and bumper designs are new. New alloy wheels on fatter rubber and contrast white paint GT stripes are other design highlights. A black paint job with a gloss finish tops things off.