Sunday, May 9, 2010

Really really rare car - Hino Contessa 900 Sprint

Now here's something most people have never heard of: the Hino Contessa 900 Sprint. If you look at the brochure (here in French) it was supposed to be an elegant and sportive car with a sense of modernity. Designed by "Maestro" Michelotti, it certainly looked good! The engine was a 45 hp 893 ccm 4 cylinder, probably good enough to move the car ahead but not too much more. Only 650 kg though and a length of 3.83 m show that this car was built many years ago.
Well, not too many were produced. Hino was a Japanese car manufacturer entering the private car market in 1953 by manufacturing Renaults under license. In 1961 they came out with their own model range, including the Contessa designed by Michelotti. Already 1967 the stopped the consumer car production after having entered the Toyota group.
I, myself, have never seen a Hino, I think, and to be honest, I didn't know about the manufacturer until the day I found this brochure. The picture is amazing, combining artificial colors, strange light and this elegant woman in the back with the rear engine Contessa. I wonder how many of these cars ever made it to Europe and what the price tag on such a car would be today.

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