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Thursday, September 10, 2020

Here she is Contessa small passenger car models of Hino

Hino Motors, Ltd., or more popularly known as Hino, it's a Japanese multinational company that produces diesel engines, trucks, and buses. The company is headquartered in Hino, Tokyo, and founded in 1942. And since 1973, the company has been transformed into one of the major manufacturers of medium and heavy-duty trucks in Japan.
1961 Hino Contessa PC10. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/3i8AoOt)
Although known as a truck maker, it turns out that this Japanese manufacturer had produced passenger car models in the 1960s. Yes, the Hino Contessa models produced by this manufacturer ranging from 1961 to 1967. And the name 'Contessa' is taken from Italian which refers to a noblewoman's title and seems the name is suitable to symbolize the Hino coupe's elegant beauty.

The Contessa car series was largely developed based on the 1947 Renault 4CV (or known as Renault's Beetle) with its legendary Ventoux power unit, which is a four-cylinder engine that simply refused to die. In 1961, Hino Motors decided that it would be a great idea if it built cars under its own name. At the time, Hino had been building the 4CV for the Japanese market, which was unimaginatively called the Hino Renault.
1962 Hino Contessa 900 Sprint Coupé. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/328fyZZ)
Furthermore, the car is offered in both sedan and coupé-styled by using the rear-wheel drive and rear-engine layout. The first model, known as the Hino Contessa PC Series that has a compact body and was designed by the famous Italian automotive designer Giovanni Michelotti. He also sold them the idea for a small coupe, which was called Hino Contessa 900 Sprint Coupé.

Apart from having a stylish bodywork, the Contessa 900 Sprint Coupé weighs 100 kg lighter (only 650 kg or 1,430 lbs) and uses an engine tuned by Officine Nardi plus a Weber carburetor for power up to 45 PS (33 kW; 44 hp) coupled with a floor-mounted 4-speed manual gearbox.
1962 Hino Contessa 900 Sprint Coupé. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/328fyZZ)
After completion, the Hino Contessa 900 Sprint Coupé was introduced at the 10th Tokyo Auto Show, and Turin Motor Show in 1962, followed by the New York Auto Show in 1963. This model was also intended as a form of the full-fledged stylistic development of the Contessa PC Series.

It is claimed that this car can run up to a top speed of 140 kph (87 mph), with an acceleration of 0-60 mph in 18.2 seconds. So that there is no doubt about the designer, at the bottom of the Contessa 900 Sprint's door slit is given a plate reading 'Hino-Michelotti'. Unfortunately, the Hino Contessa 900 Sprint Coupé was never mass-produced, although several prototypes were built.😿
Later Michelotti also designed another model known as the Hino Contessa PD 1300 which looks has a similar design to the Triumph 1300, which was, of course, a Michelotti design. As the Contessa PC Series was a strictly Japan-only model and never intended for export, while the Contessa PD had export ideas, specifically for the American market.
1965 Hino Contessa 1300 Coupé. (Picture from: https://bit.ly/3i8AoOt)
Hino thought the idea of "race-and-win on Sunday, sell on Monday" was a good idea, so they contacted Peter Brock and his BRE Racing to campaign the Contessa sedan. The team took a surprise win at the L.A. Times in 1966 and he later campaigned the coupe. Hino also made a lightweight version of the coupe with deleted equipment and thinner sheet metal.
Overall, the car was poorly designed in terms of engine layout and headlight design, so that would definitely reduce its chances of succeeding in the American market. Even more so in 1966, Hino was already in the Toyota hands, and they already had a similarly sized front engine-rear wheel drive car in the row, so the Contessa production was ceased and used the factory to build another Toyota's products. 

😭A very sad ending for Hino Contessa.😭 *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | WIKIPEDIA | NEWSTRAITSTIMES]
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