So there this olelongrooffan was hanging out at the all Brit show beachside there in Burt Reynold’s hometown and I stumbled across this Rambler American. Wait! What?
No my fellow Hoons, this is no mere mid 60’s Rambler American but instead it’s a crossbreed of a Rambler, Renault, and Pininfarina design all mashed together and sold in the Argentinian market during the early 70’s. Renault licensed a version of their Torino to IKA-Kaiser Industries/Argentina from 1966-1983. This particular example was found by its current owner in 2006. He then had a frame off done to it and brought it here to the good ole USA in 2009.
Of course, this olelongrooffan had to strike up a conversation about it with him. Turns out his Dad had a 1972 version of this back in the day and the owner had been looking around for one of these for years. When he found this one in a barn in rural Argentina, he bought it sight unseen. He told me he thought there are only six of these in the US, “two here in Florida, one in Indiana, another in Texas and two in California.” Yeah, he knew pretnear everything there is to know about this hybrid.
Turns out at the time, Renault and American Motors had just merged (is that the correct term?) and were sharing platforms and body styles across the board. This particular Torino was manufactured in Argentina and was known as “Argentina’s National Car” and was only offered in South America. It was, in fact, based on the Rambler American that this olelongrooffan had originally thought it was.
He told me all of these were offered with a 230 cubic inch overhead cam 6 cylinder Tornado engine originally found in offerings by Jeep, specifically their Gladiators. It was mated with a 2F transmission of German origin and rode on a Hotchkis suspension. A Renault Torino ran in the 1969 Nurburgring race and performed quite well although it appeared to have forfeited a victory due to having acquired a significantly large number of penalties throughout that race.
Between 1970 and 1976, this was considered a luxury car by Argentinian standards and several world leaders including Fidel Castro and Leonid Brechnev owned one of them. Yeah, a lowly Rambler American based sedan a luxury car. I am certain at least one of our fellow Hoons agrees with this assessment.
That prancing bull seen in the center of the front grille and in the center of that steering wheel is actually the city emblem for Turin, the home of the Kaiser/Renault Torino.
But all in all, this Pinanfarina design really caught this olelongrooffan’s eye that day amongst all of those Lucas electrics driven vehicles and I was certainly glad to have seen it. I doubt another will be seen by this olelongrooffan again.
Image Copyright Hooniverse 2013/longrooffan