This Classy Hindustan Ambassador Restomod Offers Similar Features As A Modern VW Polo!
Find out how much it cost to build. It’s not as pricey as you think
Ever since the government came up with rules banning older petrol and diesel in Delhi and NCR, the Indian car culture seems to have lost some of its charm. However, there is no such rule in Kerala, where automotive enthusiasts still brave meddling cops to create beautiful cars. One such petrolhead is Maanaf Kannur, who has resto-modded his 1979 Hindustan Ambassador Mark IV. Check out the video below to see the tasty exterior and brilliant feature modifications.
For those wondering what the title of this story means, resto-modding is a method of modification in which you restore the car to its original glamour and also make it suitable for everyday use in the 21st century. This can mean getting a decent audio system, better brakes, electric engine cooling fan, air conditioning, electric seats, and any other feature you just can’t not have in a car these days.
Restomodding aims to make an old car reliable and somewhat user-friendly, and the art is in integrating the new hardware without taking away from the original aesthetic of the car. And as far as this ‘79 Amby restomod is concerned, it’s a job done well at first glance.
The owner took the comparatively unappealing Mark IV exterior back to the original Mark I, which was near-identical to the 1950’s British Series-III Morris Oxford. While most people remember the ‘79 Ambys as taxis, the Mark I was a car for the Indian elite, exuding opulence even today.
The gigantic chrome grille resembled Oldsmobile Super 88s of the ‘50s with its chrome-heavy aerodynamic design. Other Mark I bits are the number plate light housing, chrome bumpers, dual-pod taillamps, chrome bonnet emblem, and, of course, the arch-shaped nameplate.
The overall exterior is flawless and looks original. The deep-dish wheels, custom LED headlamps, and outer rearview mirrors with indicators give away that there’s modern tech beneath the old girl’s skin. That tech includes a massive touchscreen infotainment system and remote engine and window operation!
Inside, the owner has equipped the Ambassador with a front armrest, cloth-lined boot, and an all-new dashboard and centre console. It even has a beautiful floor-mounted and leather-lined gear shifter. Originally, the Mk IV Amby had a column gear shift lever, with an awkward floor-mounted stick shift arriving in the next generation.
But once you get over the initial surprise, you might notice that the touchscreen obscures the centre air vents and that the window switches are placed sideways in the centre console. The Ambassador was never built to have any of these features, and they do interfere with the original design of the car.
The exterior is clearly the highlight of this Kerala Amby. It would have been interesting to see a Hindustan Avigo dashboard in here, in our opinion. Also, retro wheels and smaller tyres could have given it a more ground-hugging look. What would you have done differently for such a project? Let us know in the comments.
We can’t tell if there is any modification to the car’s engine. The video poster claims that the total cost of the changes was Rs 6 lakh, which is understandable, considering the gleaming-new condition of the interior mods and complex electronics. If you plan to undertake a project like this, know that the overall cost depends on what features you want.
Mark I Ambassador exterior trim will likely be hard to procure, but the fitment may not be such a complicated affair since there were minimal sheet metal changes to the Ambassador over its several generations.
Let us know in the comments if you like this restomod. Who knows, maybe we’ll even see an electro-modded Hindustan Ambassador EV soon!
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