Contessa Club


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HM Contessa

Posted by Pranshav Subodh on April 6, 2010 at 2:47 AM Comments comments (8)

The Hindustan Contessa is a model of car manufactured by Hindustan Motors of India, utilizing the tooling of the British 1972-1978 Vauxhall Victor FE/VX series. It was a popular choice for government limousines. It was one of the few Indian manufactured luxury cars in the market in 80's and early 90's. The production of this car was stopped in 2002.

Contessa was introduced to the Indian market in 1983 with the 1.5L BMC B-Series engine that powers the Ambassador in a slighltly modified form along with the Hindustan 4-speed gearbox. The press was upbeat about the roomy interior and plush ride but was critical about the grossly underpowered engine and primitive gearbox. In a matter of months, Hindustan tied up with Isuzu and started maufacturing the 4ZB1 1.8L petrol engine and matching 5-speed gearbox to install in the Contessa. In the 1990s, Hindustan started manufacturing the Isuzu 4FC1 2.0L diesel engine that powered the Contessa Diesel. These two engines are mainstay in Hindustan Ambassador till date.

The Isuzu powered car came to be known as Contessa Classic and all cars had distinct 1.8L badge in th rear. Towards the end of production, there were three versions of this car; 1.8GLX (Isuzu Petrol), 2.0DLX (Isuzu diesel) and 2.0T (Isuzu turbodiesel). Even though it was based on a 1970s Vauxhall Victor, the interior of this car especially the rear seat was still extremely comfortable for passengers.

The car was first produced in 1983 and the basic design has remained the same throughout its life, though HM made minor updates from year to year. The last series of the car which was in 2002 had numerous features such as fuel injection, power windows, power steering, air conditioning as a standard. However, the demand for the car eventually became quite low and it was phased out.

The company officially stopped manufacturing the car in 2002 because of decreasing popularity. The car has become a legend. It was a sign of opulence and luxury till the advent of the open economy in India in 1991, which led to the flooding of foreign cars into the market. Another reason why the car lost its popularity was because spare parts for the car were expensive compared to its Japanese and Korean counterparts, which discouraged users from buying this car. The common model of Hindustan Contessa is 2.0DL Diesel Contessa.

Hindustan Motors History

Posted by Pranshav Subodh on April 6, 2010 at 1:54 AM Comments comments (230)

Hindustan Motors is an automobile manufacturer from India. It is part of the Birla Technical Services industrial group. The company was the largest car manufacturer in India before the rise of Maruti Udyog.

It is the producer of the Ambassador car, widely used as a taxicab and as a government limousine. This car is based on the Morris Oxford, a British car that dates back to 1954.

One of the original three car manufacturers in India, founded in 1942 by Mr. B.M. Birla[1], it was a leader in car sales until the 1980s, when the industry was opened up from protection. It began in Port Okha near Gujarat, and in 1948, moved to Uttarpara, West Bengal.



General Motors Joint Venture

Hindustan and General Motors have had several tie-ups in the post independence era to produce Bedford Trucks, Vauxhall Motors(1980 to 1990), Allison Transmissions and off-road equipment. In 1994, GM and Hindustan (C K Birla) formed a 50-50 joint venture, General Motors India to make Opel Astra cars. GM bought out the Halol, Gujarat plant from Hindustan in 1999.[2]


[Earthmoving Equipment Division (HMEED)

Hindustan motors used to make earthmovers initially in collaboration with Terex, USA and Fermac UK and later with Caterpillar Inc. since 1984 at the HMEED plants in Thiruvallur near Chennai and Pondicherry. It was sold to Caterpillar in 2000 and HM quit the earthmover business. HML continue to be a joint venture partner with Caterpillar in Hindustan Power Plus which manufactures diesel engines and generator sets. [3]


Isuzu Joint Venture

Hindustan formed a collaboration with Isuzu to maufacture engines and transmission for the Contessa in late 1980s at Pithambur near Indore, Madhya Pradesh. Initially the joint venture made a 4 cylinder G180Z 1.8L petrol engines and 5-speed transmissions. Later, a 2.0L Isuzu diesel engine was added to the procuction line to power the Contessa and the Ambassador. The techincal collaboration lasted from 1983 to 1993. The Indore plant has since expanded to manufacture engines for a number of other manufacturers like Opel and Mahindra.


HML also assembled and sold a small number of Isuzu F series - JCS trucks in India in the early 1990s. These trucks came from the factory with a fully built metal cabin which was not common with Tata and Ashok Leyland trucks at the time. They were well known for their reliability and fuel consumption, but were discontinued since HML could not sell them for an affordable price. [4]


Mitsubishi Joint Venture

Hindustan has a joint venture with Mitsubishi that started 1998. The plant is located in Thiruvallur, Tamilnadu.

Models produced include:

Sixth generation Mitsubishi Lancer with Invecs

Seventh generation Mitsubishi Lancer with climate control, touch navigation and Ralliart accessories

Second generation Mitsubishi Pajero

Second generation Mitsubishi Outlander

Fourth generation Pajero (known as Mitsubishi Outlander)



Models currently manufactured by Hindustan Motors are :

Hindustan Ambassador - The Ambassador design is based on the British 1954 Morris Oxford.

Hindustan Winner a small truck with 1.8L petrol/CNG engine or 1.5L Diesel engine

MASCOT T-480 FC - commercial truck.

RTV - trucks made in collaboration with OKA Motor Company, Australia. This truck can be adapted for school bus, ambulance, etc.

Models discontinued by Hindustan Motors are :

Hindustan Contessa - based on the British Vauxhall Victor, which ceased production in 1978, but with an Isuzu G180W engine.

Hindustan Pushpak, Trekker and Porter - Multiutility Vehicles based on Ambassador chassis and engines.

Bedford TJ

Isuzu F series - JCS



Uttarpara, West Bengal (near Kolkata)

Pithampur, Madhya Pradesh (near Indore)

Thiruvallur, Tamil Nadu (near Chennai)

Hosur, Tamil Nadu (near Bangalore)


Posted by Pranshav Subodh on April 6, 2010 at 1:50 AM Comments comments (0)



Type Hydraulic, dash mounted, tandem master cylinder with Servo assisted front disc 228.6 mm dia, drums on rear wheels.;

Parking - Rear wheels.;

Retrieved from ""


Posted by Pranshav Subodh on April 6, 2010 at 1:50 AM Comments comments (0)



Suspension was the major cause of concern in this car. The soft rear Suspension despite giving a good ride had a problem of bottoming out on sharp bumps. The multi-link set up was highly prone for misalignment and changing the suspension arms is still a headache for mechanics.


Posted by Pranshav Subodh on April 6, 2010 at 1:49 AM Comments comments (0)



Clutch Type- Dry Disc;

Diameter- 215mm;

Gear Box- All synchromesh ; 5 speed gearbox ; including overdrive;

Gear Ratios-

1st - 3.737:1;

2nd - 1.963:1;

3rd - 1.364:1;

4th - 1.000:1;

5th - 0.776:1;

Reverse - 3.402:1;


Posted by Pranshav Subodh on April 6, 2010 at 1:48 AM Comments comments (0)

Engine (1800 Isuzu)


Type- MPFI with 4 Cylinder OHC;

Fuel- Petrol;

Capacity- 1817CC;

Bore / Stroke- 84/ 82 mm;

Compression Ratio; 8.5 : 1;

Max. Power- 75 HP at 5000 r.p.m.;

Max. Torque- 13.8 Kgm at 3000 r.p.m;

Cooling- Water cooled;