A tribute to the red beauty

A tribute to the red beauty

Vintage pride

A tribute to the red beauty

It is the labour of love that makes the Contessa Classic 1.8 GLX so special for Willander Richard.

The professional, who is currently working at a manufacturing MNC, says that the story of how he came to owning a Contessa starts way back, when he was a small boy. As a child, Willander always had a keen eye towards machines and their mechanics. And like many boys, he too was driven towards automobiles while growing up.

He says that he still remembers the days his father would call mechanics home to repair certain parts. “I remember that I would stand close to the mechanic and ask him more than 100 questions regarding his work. With time, I began to develop an interest towards restoration. I would spend a lot of my pocket money on purchasing tools and would experiment on my cars.” 

Eventually, Willander grew to love the Contessa. Its robust body, comfort level and an evergreen design which matched even modern day cars attracted him towards it.     As luck would have it, in 2011, he found a Contessa parked at a residence.

He recalls, “Looking at the condition, I could tell that the car was not in use for a long time. I spoke to the owners. Though they let me take a good look at the car, they weren’t willing to part with it. However, six months later, I received a call from them, asking if I was interested in buying the car. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse. The next day, I was out looking for spare parts of the Contessa.”

The restoration took him about 3-years to complete. “I’m well-versed with the intricate details of the car. This helped me understand the working of the machine and the issues with the Contessa. The car was addressed through every bolt and nut. With just music playing in the background, I remember spending my weekends with the car. I used to work overnight and it was most suited for me as the temperature would be mild and there wouldn’t be any unnecessary disturbances. Whenever I required help , I’ve had my friend come along and give me a hand as he too shared the same passion.”

Willander also drives today’s automobiles but handling both of them is a completely different experience for him.

“Cars of the classic and vintage kind require utmost care. The feel of driving a modern car is far more casual but driving a classic is special because it is something which the owner would have restored.”

“Everytime, I take the Contessa out, I get to speak to so many people and tell them the story. People express their happiness on seeing the car, especially at traffic signals.

Moments like these make me feel like the effort is worth it. There are instances where people have followed me just to have a conversation about the car. This is an appreciation for all the hard work and effort I’ve put across.”

 Though many people do have classic cars and availing spare parts is not a very tough job as one could still find them with the help of the internet and the right networks, maintenance of a classic car can be quite hard as owning it has become “more of a style statement these days”. “One needs a lot of patience and time to maintain the car. It calls for a lot of passion and in my opinion, not many possess that drive. My journey does not end with the completion of this project but I look forward to restoring many more in the future.”