The Hindustan Contessa may be a thing of the past now, but the car still holds a special place in the memories of many car enthusiasts as “India’s first muscle car.” Based on the Vauxhall VX series of cars, the Hindustan Contessa was once the choice of popular and elite individuals in the country, known for its sleek looks and comfortable cabin. However, the Contessa was never known for its performance, as it was a bit sluggish. But we have come across a modified Contessa that can blow your mind and make you wish to drive it.
A YouTube video from “Thisisgabru” showcases a modified Hindustan Contessa, featuring two unique traits that were never offered in the production car sold in India in the 1980s and 1990s. This modified Contessa is based on the chassis of the second-generation Suzuki Vitara, which was imported to India by Maruti Suzuki in limited numbers.
Powered by a V6 engine
Unlike the sluggish 1.8-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel engines offered in the Contessa by Hindustan Motors, this modified Contessa boasts the 2.5-litre V6 engine from the second-generation Suzuki Vitara, which was sold in India as the Grand Vitara XL7. It also features the four-wheel-drive system from the Vitara, replacing the functional rear-wheel-drive system of the original Contessa. Additionally, it has a custom exhaust system, making it one of the loudest-sounding Contessas we have ever come across.
Regarding the bodywork and chassis, this modified Contessa also includes a suspension lift kit and raised ground clearance since it is based on the chassis of the Suzuki Vitara. While the original Contessa had a four-door layout, this modified Contessa opts for a two-door look by eliminating the rear door panels. The original interior layout of the Contessa has also been replaced by that of the Suzuki Vitara, giving this car a wider and more premium appearance than the original Contessa, complete with features like manual air conditioning and a touchscreen music system.
With all these modifications, this modified Hindustan Contessa has become a show-stealer and an agile sprinter. Back in the 1990s, the Contessa had a significant fan following due to its sleek looks combined with a muscle car-like stance. However, it was plagued with quality issues and delivered below-average performance. The arrival of newer and more sophisticated sedans like the Honda City, Mitsubishi Lancer, Ford Ikon, and Opel Astra led to dwindling public interest in the Contessa, ultimately resulting in its phase-out from the Indian car market in 2002.