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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Auto Design – On Edge!

By Savitha Hira
Photography: courtesy DC Design
Dilip Chhabria DC, DC Design, remodelled cars, bikes, vanity vans, prototyping and styling cars, auto industry, automobile design
Dilip Chhabria

His has been a case of design being used as a differentiator and driver to build an entrepreneurial business model in a country, where words like design, aesthetics and styling were unheard of especially in the automotive sector. He is Dilip Chhabria aka DC.

Latent dynamism characterizes the slightly hunched, tall frame; unassuming in appearance and modest in demeanour; but sharp in wit, and memory, with a mind that is perhaps as agile as a pacing leopard. At 60, Dilip Chhabria better known as DC has the enthusiasm of a youngster raring to go at his first big project – only in his case, DC is a pro at ‘big projects’!


Dilip Chhabria DC, DC Design, remodelled cars, bikes, vanity vans, prototyping and styling cars, auto industry, automobile design
The Ambierod

The horn-pad for Fiat cars was his first designer accessory in 1982, marking his tentative steps into the auto world as an entrepreneur. At this point, his doting parents were a pillar of confidence and their aspirations to see him succeed added the right fuel to his gutsy ways.

A decade later, savouring his success as one of the largest auto accessory manufacturers in India, but unwilling to rest on his laurels, DC ventured into his most cherished and long awaited activity – remodelling cars. With a mindset that was new to such activity and ignorant of the finer nuances of automobile design, DC opened up a whole new world that swept the social fabric from the affluent, who revelled in his ministrations to their ordinary cars; to the aspirants, who would literally stand and stare – DC became a recognized and awed brand!


Dilip Chhabria DC, DC Design, remodelled cars, bikes, vanity vans, prototyping and styling cars, auto industry, automobile design
sketches

Starting with a personal remodelled red Maruti Gypsy, which he christened Hurricane, to aesthetically remodelling several cars into dynamic roadsters, his company made the first prototype for the Aston Martin Vanquish, which appeared in the James Bond movie Die Another Day. DC design graced cars, bikes, vanity vans, buses... DC began to design interiors, furniture with the energetic automotive bent. Aircraft interiors followed... the genius had spread his wings...


Dilip Chhabria DC, DC Design, remodelled cars, bikes, CBZ, vanity vans, prototyping and styling cars, auto industry, automobile design
CBZ
Dilip Chhabria DC, DC Design, remodelled cars, bikes, vanity vans, prototyping and styling cars, auto industry, automobile design, aircraft interiors
Aircraft Interiors

He designed the car for the film Taarzan: The Wonder Car. Under a contract with Ford Motor Company, he built the first Aston Martin AMV8 Vantage prototype featured at the 2004 Detroit Auto Show. In 2008, he unveiled the ambitious Ambierod – a super luxury car - combination of the good ole' Ambassador and the American Hotrods, at the Delhi Auto Show. In 2009 came the Toyota Innova Lounger that convenienced an office on wheels.


Dilip Chhabria DC, DC Design, remodelled cars, bikes, vanity vans, prototyping and styling cars, auto industry, automobile design, Dc Furniture
DC Furniture
In 2010, he designed a special version of Tata Nano and set up a special Automobile Designing Institute in association with Dr. D Y Patil University, Pune. August 2012 saw him give a complete interior-exterior makeover to Mahindra XUV 500 with seating chairs that could recline up to 150 degrees and enhanced lounge lighting.  December 2013 awaits the on-road unveiling of his brand Avanti...


Dilip Chhabria DC, DC Design, remodelled cars, bikes, vanity vans, prototyping and styling cars, auto industry, automobile design, Toyota Innova Lounger
Toyota Innova Lounger

And these are only some of the maestro’s milestones. All along, DC has been a keen observer of consumer buying behavior and the country’s current affairs. Keeping abreast of what’s happening around him, he says, gives him the insight into what people crave and which niche he can delve into, to provide for that craving. Always selective about his social company, he is at peace with his bundle of magazines that keep him informed, alert and ticking. “These give me all I need to know,” he extends out business and news prints, “Not design books or magazines.”  

Dilip Chhabria DC, DC Design, remodelled cars, bikes, vanity vans, prototyping and styling cars, auto industry, automobile design, DYPDC
Addressing students at DYPDC

Dilip Chhabria DC, DC Design, remodelled cars, bikes, vanity vans, prototyping and styling cars, auto industry, automobile design, DC Imperato
DC Imperato

So who/ what have been the influencers in this great climb? Two very admirable designers - Giorgetto Giugiaro and Bruno Pacheco, who have always compelled him to don his thinking cap and continue to impact his forthrightness. ‘Less is more’ and ‘Desist from the spirit of the times’ are the 2 important maxims that these great auto designers have imbued in DC.

Always moving ahead of time and against the tide, the designer-entrepreneur believes in learning from others’ mistakes and constantly refueling his repertoire to stay ahead in his chosen field. His creativity manifests through canvases and moulded sculptures, through furniture and interiors…all with the compelling strokes of a single-minded passion for automotive design.

Dilip Chhabria DC, DC Design, remodelled cars, bikes, vanity vans, prototyping and styling cars, auto industry, automobile design, Rahul Bajaj, Auto Expo
With Ratan Tata
Dilip Chhabria DC, DC Design, remodelled cars, bikes, vanity vans, prototyping and styling cars, auto industry, automobile design, Salman Khan, SRK, Sanjay Dutt
Celebrity Style - vanity vans of superstars
It takes a special kind of zeal to follow your vision, and DC continues to push the envelope within the given constraints, leaving a mark, repeatedly eliciting yet another ‘wow’! Synonymous with bespoke luxury and avant-garde automotive design, we see in him the marriage of an artist’s sensibilities and an engineer’s mind. He infuses each of his projects with an aesthetic awareness, while simultaneously pushing the machine’s capabilities to a new level. Every DC creation is a signature extension of the artist’s personality and while no two of his products are ever the same, they are instantly recognizable as having been made by the same master.


4 comments :

  1. The business of modification of automobiles is touching new heights in India.There is a huge demand of new designs in automotive segment.Auto accessories in India are now easily available on the internet at affordable prices.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Blogs that have quality information like this are as precious as gold. You have given me much to think about in this blog. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hmm the vehicle look like plane. If I would have a such car, I will never go for a Air travel

    ReplyDelete
  4. E excellent post. I like reading his blog. Keep sharing.

    ReplyDelete

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