Today’s automobile market in India is dominated by the likes of Maruti Suzuki, Honda, Toyota, and Hyundai. These brands are doing really well and sell hundreds of their cars every day. But these companies came into the market only a few years back and before them, the Indian automobile industry was dominated by the mighty HM or Hindustan Motors. HM started the automobile industry of India and designed some of the best vehicles over a span of almost 70 years! Though now we don’t see HM cars anymore, India still holds great nostalgia for Hindustan Motor’s cars.
Here are 8 old and forgotten HM (Hindustan Motors) Cars of India:
Hindustan Contessa | The Desi Muscle Car
Hindustan Motors Contessa is considered to be one of the best cars that the company ever made. Its production started in 1984 and had a pretty long run till 2002 after which its production finally discontinued. This car took inspiration from the Vauxhall VX series car of 1976, which is the reason it looked so different from the cars sold at that time in India.
The Contessa was seen as a luxury car and was targeted at those who wanted something beyond the regular Ambassador and Padmini options which were ruling the market at that time. This car had a really great and luxurious interior compared with other cars in its segment. The Hindustan Motors Contessa was priced at Rs. 83,437.50 when it was launched in 1984 which was enough to burn a hole in someone’s pocket at that time. This car was really famous among the Indian politicians for its plush and extravagant design.
Hindustan Ambassador | Lal Batti wali gaadi
The famous Lal Batti wali Gaadi did create some crazy buzz for almost 40 years. The Hindustan Ambassador was HM’s highest selling and manufactured car of India. From the rich politicians to the common middle-class family this car was cheered by everyone for its extra comfortable seating and dynamic performance. The car was awarded the title “The King Of Indian Roads” and is India’s longest production car from 1954-2014.
The car is still preferred by many Indian politicians for their transportation. The Hindustan Ambassador came in Petrol, Diesel and even CNG variant. The Diesel engine came equipped with a 1489 cc and 1995 cc motor. The Petrol engine was an 1817 cc. Depending upon the fuel type Ambassador had an average economy of 10.94 to 13.5 km/l. We would really like to see a modified version of the Ambassador someday. It will be fascinating to watch it compete against modern sedans.
Hindustan Landmaster | An Ambassador, but better
The story of Ambassador actually began with the creation of the Landmaster. The car’s classy British look and design were popular among the elite class. The Landmaster was favoured by those who liked to be driven around rather than drive the car themselves.
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The car came with a 1.5-litre 4-cylinder side-valve engine. It had a top speed of 112 km/hr. It had a petrol power engine that delivered an output of 50hp with 104Nm of peak torque. The company also made a few units of Landmaster Traveller wagon which were a station wagon with a turncoat wooden body and rear barn type doors. This car and the Fiat 1100 Millecento were launched at the same time.
Baby Hindustan | The hatchback of the yesteryear
Back in the 1940s and 1950’s Hindustan motors were trying to put together a lot of machines from the foreign but then decided to build a beast of their own and hence the baby Hindustan was born. The baby Hindustan was basically an Indian version of the famous Morris Minor. The car was developed in the 1950s and helped Hindustan Motors in gaining huge popularity among its customers.
The initial models of the car were very compact and had little leg space. Later the company decided to produce a few models that were more spacious but then again returned to the original compact design. The baby Hindustan was in huge demand at that period and to cope-up with the orders, the company shifted its plant at a bigger facility in West Bengal.
Hindustan 10 | The rarest Hindustan
It was the 40’s and Hindustan Motors had just begun. There were a lot of doubts that whether it can stand up on its own or fall. After overcoming a lot of trouble and challenges the company launched the Hindustan 10 which was a starting step of a huge revolution in the automobile industry. It came with a 1148cc engine which produced 37.2 BPH at 4600 RPM and delivered 10 horsepower to the wheels and hence was named “Hindustan 10″. The car had a top speed of 112 km/hr. But with the passage of time, this car has become very rare and is very difficult to find. This car has a long history associated with it and it would be really awesome to get a glimpse of it.
Hindustan Trekka | They designed this with a scale
Hindustan Trekka was designed by Hindustan motors and was quite a unique vehicle. The car was made from the leftover parts of the ambassador. It had a jeep look and a ladder frame chassis. The engine, lights, steering, and suspension were the same as ambassador. The only thing different in it was that it had a floor-mounted 4-speed manual transmission. Well, the company had to discontinue its production as the response from the buyers was not even close to what was expected. Consider yourself very lucky if you have even seen this car.
Hindustan Veer | What were they thinking?
Well, the Hindustan motors had some big plans for their Ambassador. They extended its rear region and designed a compact car with a pick-up. It was basically a small commercial vehicle and had a holding capacity of 800kg. Veer came in both BS3 (diesel) & BS4 (CNG) versions and was priced at Rs 3.30 lakhs. Initially, it was launched in West Bengal and later in the whole country.
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The uniqueness of Veer lies in the fact that it had the comfort of a passenger car as well. The three-seat bench provided in the front cabin of the mini-truck offered a superior comfort level compared to other vehicles in the same segment. Another good thing about Veer was that it had a very low maintenance cost. Well, the design was really good but considering its size it would need a lot stronger engine than the ambassador had.
Hindustan 14 | The pinnacle of luxury
Coming to the end we present you to Hindustan 14. The car came with a manual 4-speed gearbox 1,478 cc engine and had a top speed of 102 km/hr. It had a petrol-powered engine that delivered a power output of 41hp with 91Nm of peak torque. Just like other vehicles at that time this one also had a British touch and it was produced until the mid-1950s. But due to very less demand, the company made very few of these and now it is extremely difficult to spot one. Well, you will be surprised to know the Landmaster actually took inspiration from Hindustan 14.
These are some of the cars which were produced by Hindustan motors but have now been long forgotten. The automobile industry of India has come a long way from where it started and now we see a new shark in the market almost every month. With new technologies nowadays cars are much more efficient, powerful than before. The Hindustan motors gave a start to the automobile industry which now has reached new milestones. In the near future, we would really like to see a comeback of the company.