Luis Gómez Mejía was born in 1920 in Ronda, a then small town in Malaga, Spain. His father was an engineer, and he lived his childhood and early teenagehood between blueprints, unfinished projects and machinery. It was during this time that he developed an interest in combustion engines and suspension systems.
In 1936 the Civil War started, and Luis joined the republican side. However, the francoists won the war and he found himself forced to go into exile to the UK. He finally established his new home in East London, where he started working for a local workshop. He picked up car mechanics, maintenance and tuning. He also knew the woman he would later marry and have a daughter with.
He lived in the UK until the mid 60s, when an old friend of his sent him a letter proposing him to clean his reputation. He would invest into a car company Luis would be the manager of, so he accepted the offer and moved back to Spain in 1967; their first factory was established in Ronda and Luis and his engineering team began designing their first car, which was launched to the market in 1968. His designs focused mainly on small, fuel-saving cars with a hint of sport, which allowed Contendiente to survive during the 1973 oil crisis.
Luis Gomez passed away in 1987. His daughter, Esmeralda Gómez, has been managing the company since, bringing it to what it is today.
The brand spread worldwide in the late 70s, and Contendiente of America and Contendiente of Asia were created soon after. Their HQ remained Ronda, Málaga, Spain.