Tuesday, December 12, 2017

If you have to ask "what the hell is that" then I'm happy to say, it's a Argentinian Torino, and ain't it cool that we still have cars to appreciate that we've never seen or heard of before? Not just another Chevy!

The Torino is an Argentinian car that was born in 1966, as a licensed redesign of the AMC Rambler by Pininfarina, produced originally by IKA ( Argentinian Kaiser industries), a partner with the Renault company that would eventually buy them out.

Mario Suárez and his son Francisco are responsible for restoring the original #1 and #2 Torinos from the three built to challenge the Europeans on their home turf in one of the most grueling races in the world. 84 hours of the 1969 Nurburgring endurance racing Marathon de la Route.

the #3 Torino resides in the Fangio museum

Fangio oversaw the IKA-Renault Torino effort at the Nürburgring and his son was among the team of of Argentinian drivers assigned to the three cars.

Fangio traveled with the team to the ‘Ring to guide the cars around both the Nord and Südschleife, and though the team would complete the most laps with their #3 car (the other two, #1 and #2, retired early), an assortment of time penalties would see the Torino finish in fourth place officially.

At the end of 84 hours, only one of the three Torinos finished, and though it completed the most distance, it was penalized because of the high decibels of the exhaust, and so a Lancia Fulvia HF finished as the winner officially.

That race represented a remarkable milestone in the Argentinian motoring history, and it proved the country could build cars that could compete with the likes of Porsche, Lancia, Ford, etc.

the #2 car, with the yellow nose, has an astonishing rebuild story:

Mario or his son decided to search in old magazines in order to find information about what really happened. In one from 1971 a driver called Juan Carlos Palma was said to have bought a Torino to compete in the TC series, and that the vehicle was the #2 car ran at the Nürburgring.

When searching for Palma they figured they could find his phone number by his mechanic that was also mentioned in the article. So, the number was got from him and then they called Palma.

With the license plate number that Palma had they went to the Registry to look for the report and  read that the car chassis number was 00007, which was heartening to hear given the #3 car was was 00008, and the #1 car 00009. Then they had all the owners names, that the car had had, and the last one was an elderly man from Santa Fe province.

He said that the car was given to his son in 1990 and that his son and his granddaughter had a significant accident in it, his granddaughter surviving only because of the roll cage the car had in it. The damaged car went to his mechanic’s workshop where he decided to sell some parts of the car; small ones at first, and then the body, engine, and rear axle. Also, he gave the 140-liter fuel tank to his brother-in-law who lived in the province of Chaco.

 What was left of the car, except for the gearbox and front brake calipers, was removed from the workshop by a man who had the intention of building a race car out of it once again. After a lot of searching, they found and bought the gearbox and the front brakes that were put in two different trucks of all things.

 Then, they bought the fuel tank in Chaco, which had become a wasp’s nest after many years of remaining useless in a barn. Finally the body was found in a country field next to a plowing machine in the province of Santa Fe.


1 comment:

  1. Nice, looks like a Lancia Fulvia from the front, the Pinninfarina styling.

    Congratulations also on top auto blogger.