This modified Tata Estate hails from Kerala and although the exteriors have been kept mostly original with subtle tweaks, the interiors have been completely transformed to make you spend weeks inside.
Tata Motors is one of India’s first homegrown manufacturers and they had quite a few novel cars back in the day that were quite ahead of their time. Okay, many of you now know about the Tata Sierra after the nameplate saw a re-birth at the 2020 Auto Expo. But there was another Tata car which many of you may not know about. It was the Tata Estate and yes, as the name suggests, it was a station wagon from an Indian manufacturer from back in the 90s. Although the Estate never had much of a commercial success just as the Sierra, it is quite adorned by enthusiasts and some have even managed to keep a well maintained example alive. Here we have a modified Tata Estate that’s even more desirable than some others.
Like most other tastefully modified cars in the country, this Estate also hails from Kerela. It has been restored by Cochin Cartel based in Kerela and we must say that the resto-modication job has made it a lot more desirable. The exterior design hasn’t been tampered with much but the subtle touches make it look very fresh. The car gets a new greyish-blue paint job which really suits the car. The grille gets an all black treatment sans the Tata logo and the headlamps also get a black surround. The headlamps are still original units but have been cleaned to make them look new. The bumpers are also original but now come painted in the body color along with the wing mirrors. The wheels are however new and are blacked out alloy units.
The real modification job has been carried out on the interiors. This Estate comes wrapped in a beautiful quilted brown leather for the entire upholstery. The diamond stitching on the seats and the door pads make it look extremely luxurious and premium. The brown leather has even been used on the center console and all of it is double-stitching. The handbrake lever has also been draped in the same leather. The interiors almost looks like it belongs from a premium classic car from back in the day.
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The dashboard design remains identical to the original color and the black parts around the AC vents, the glove box and other bits add some contrast to the brown interiors. The original AC control unit has been retained but the all the switches on the lower part of the dashboard are new toggle ones. These switches are for the headlamps, stereo, wipers and other features in the car. The toggle switches even come with covers which add a further unique element to the interiors.
We are not sure if this Estate came with a modified engine as well. The original car was powered by a 1.9L, naturally aspirated, four-cylinder diesel engine that was sourced from Peugeot. The engine produced 67hp and 118Nm of peak torque and it came with a 5-speed manual transmission. Station wagons never really had much of a success in India and several other manufacturers including Skoda, Maruti Suzuki and Fiat have tried their hand in this space but nothing has quite stood out. Its surprising because station wagons could have been really practical for India. It could also have been a healthy diversity in the sea of SUVs now found in our market.