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Starting a rusty old Hindustan Contessa after years: Will it start? [Video]

Hindustan Contessa is often referred to as the muscle car of India. It earns this title due to its long bonnet and muscular car design. However, it is actually a regular four-door sedan. Nevertheless, there have been numerous modified Contessa sedans that have been skillfully designed to resemble Mustangs and other muscle cars. While owning a classic car may seem enjoyable, maintaining one can be quite challenging. Many classic car owners either sell their vehicles or leave them parked on their porches after encountering issues.

In the following video, uploaded by Shreesh Tripathi on his YouTube channel, the vlogger enters a building where several cars are parked in the compound, resembling a workshop. Towards the back of the workshop, there is a shed with closed doors. Inside the shed, there is a Hindustan Contessa sedan that has been parked there for years. According to the video, the car was last started two years ago. The vlogger’s main objective in the video is to start the car and move it out of the garage so that he can work on restoring it.

He removes the cloth covering the car, revealing a rusty old Contessa. It appears that the owner had initiated the restoration work but stopped midway. The body panels and interiors are all covered in rust. The first thing the vlogger inspects is the engine. He opens the bonnet and checks for rust. Most of the components under the bonnet have started to rust. The carburetor on this car is in poor condition, and similarly, the fuel pump and fuel lines appear deteriorated.

Starting a rusty old Hindustan Contessa after years: Will it start? [Video]
Starting a rusty old Contessa

He retrieves tools from his own car and attempts to start the Contessa. Since the car has been lying in the garage for years, the battery has drained completely. He connects a new battery and sets up a makeshift fuel tank next to the motor, made from a used engine oil can. Petrol from the tank is pumped into the can and sent to the engine.

After several attempts, the car shows signs of life. Upon inspection, he discovers that a coil behind the ignitor of the car is overheating. As a temporary solution, he bypasses the system, enabling the car to start. This particular Contessa is equipped with a 1.8-liter Isuzu petrol engine. While it does come back to life, the car remains inside the garage with all four tires flat. Using a portable tire inflator, they fill the tires with air. Subsequently, the car is driven out of the garage and taken out of the building compound via the cleared driveway.

After maneuvering the car onto the road, the vlogger reverses it and parks it under shade within the building compound. He concludes the video by stating that he will need to insure the vehicle and obtain a Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate before taking it to the workshop for further restoration work.