In the world of automotive design, Dilip Chhabria’s name is synonymous with luxury and the ability to blend eye catching esthetics with superb engineering. From his early days designing automotive accessories for the mass market to his evolution as a truly avant-garde designer, he has always been ahead of the pack!
How did DC Design come about?
Till 1993 I ran an automotive accessories business that brought me financial freedom – that and my knowledge of materials and processes made me restless. I was itching to design full cars. I reckoned that in such a large country as ours, with my education, talent and entrepreneurial experience, I would surely succeed. So, in 1993 I set up DC Design Pvt. Ltd. to create one-of-a-kind automotive beauties for connoisseurs by redesigning and modifying mass market cars, as well as to offer design and prototyping services to the OEM automotive sector.
Tell us about designing the Vantage for Aston Martin.
The Aston Martin project was exhilarating for it was the first time a developing country was attempting to break through the hegemony of western European design studios. For Dc Design to have this order from an ultra high brand was a feather in the cap. The design of the AM V8 Vantage was to be evolutionary yet within the precincts of the Aston design DNA, meaning sophisticated yet mature, progressive yet conforming to its heritage. It had to appear technical yet luxurious. I believe that a simple design is far more difficult than a radical revolutionary design, and this project was in that direction. The car we designed went on to be used in a Bond film!
What is the story behind DC Avanti?
DC Avanti was the first mid-engined supercar designed, engineered and built in India! My son dreamed up this name which had to sound feminine, be Italianesque and yet Indian in phonetics.