Juan Manuel Fangio endemic one. So did Leonid Brezhnev and Fidel Castro.
Introducing the IKA Torino, a car that became the automotive baby of a nation.
The adventure starts in Argentina in the 1950s aback the government of the day capital to kickstart a bounded car accomplishment industry.
They angry to American aggregation Kaiser Industries to authorize a bounded collective venture, Industrias Kaiser Argentina (IKA), which began operations in 1956 in Cordoba Province. As an aside, Kaiser Industries had enjoyed a chequered history in the US car industry in the 1940s and ’50, amalgamation with Willys-Overland in 1953 to anatomy Willys Motors, Incorporated, makers of the acclaimed and all-over Willys Jeep.
Unsurprising afresh that the aboriginal cars produced by IKA were altercation Jeep models. A auto anon followed, based on the American-designed Kaiser Manhattan, renamed the Carabela. By 1958, IKA was bearing 81 per cent of Argentina’s locally bogus vehicles, some 22,612 cartage breach amid Jeeps and the Carabela sedan.
Meanwhile, French behemothic Renault was attractive to authorize a accomplishment abject to account the beginning – and more advantageous – South American market. In 1959, Renault became a accessory actor in IKA, with the aggregation now abacus Renault cars to its assembly line. Trivia – the aboriginal locally-built Renault to appear off the Cordoba assembly band was the little, and actual cute, Dauphine.
By the alpha of the 1960s IKA was bearing a cardinal of altered cars beneath licence, including locally-built versions of the American Motors Corporation (AMC) Rambler.
But it was in the 1965 aback IKA won the hearts and minds of the Argentinean bodies aback it absitively it capital to architecture and body a car with the ability and believability of American automobiles and the appearance of European cars. But, rather than a clean-sheet development, IKA beatific two AMC Ramblers – one sedan, one auto – to Pininfarina, charging the acclaimed Italian administration abode to appear up with a architecture that would address to Argentina’s European sensibilities.
The consistent IKA Torino was apparent to the accessible 30 November, 1966 at the Autódromo Juan y Oscar Gálvez. And the accessible was smitten.
Under the beanie a best of two inline six-cylinder engines, the best able of which was a 3.7-litre ‘Tornado’ fed by three 45mm Weber Bologna side-draft carburettors. Aback shovelled central the Torino 380W, the agent was acceptable for 131kW and 324Nm. Sending drive to the rear auto was a ZF sourced four-speed chiral gearbox.
Inside, the Torino oozed Italian architecture and style, acknowledgment afresh to the duke of Pininfarina. A wood-panel birr with assorted dials and gauges batten of performance, while the three-spoke board council caster would attending appropriate at home in any European GT of the time.
To prove its mettle, IKA beatific three Torinos to Europe to challenge the 1969 Nurburgring 84-hour (not a typo). The activity was overseen by five-time Formula One apple champion, Juan Manuel Fangio. One car won its class, and absolutely should accept won outright, accepting completed the best laps. But, acknowledgment in allotment to those clear Webers beneath the bonnet, it was penalised laps for aggression the decibel limit, relegating it to fourth overall. It kept its chic win, though.
Still, its acceptability had been congenital and aback home in Argentina the bodies acclaimed the nation’s beginning car industry demography on the apple and winning.
The Torino became the pride of the nation, the civic car, and bodies flocked to them in droves. Yet, admitting its success, IKA was adverse defalcation in 1970, its saviour Renault, which took abounding ascendancy of the company. Now dubbed, the IKA-Renault Torino, the car remained in assembly until 1982. It charcoal the sole car bogus by the French architect that isn’t French.
Today, the Torino charcoal a band archetypal in its built-in Argentina, and a aberration abroad in the world. There’s aloof one archetype in France, endemic by Renault Archetypal (the car in the photos accompanying this article).
In 2013, Silverstone Auctions awash Fangio’s claimed Torino (a sedan) for £28,175 (about AUD$51,500) while a accepted Argentinean classified armpit has a alternative of Torinos in acceptable action from anywhere amid AUD$10,000-AUD$15,000. That’s appealing appetizing for a car that still oozes breeding and 1960s charm.
I’d accept one. How about you?
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