IKA-Renault Torino 1966-1981

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IKA-Renault Torino 1966-1981


Hello everyone, I’m Walter, a 37-year-old Argentinian. After seeing the implementations and changes that have occurred in the last three seasons of Forza Horizon 5, including the addition of more “local” cars for Latin America, I got excited to see cars that once roamed these streets. This sparked the idea of suggesting a possible car that holds a lot of history for the Latin and specifically Argentinian audience, a history that includes a Formula 1 world champion from that era, Juan Manuel Fangio.

Let me provide some background to explain why I’m proposing this car. In 1966, the local company IKA (Industrias Kaiser Argentina S.A.), known by its acronym IKA, was an Argentine car manufacturer that operated in the country from the mid-1950s to the late 1970s. It was actually a branch created in Argentina by American industrialists Henry John Kaiser and Joseph W. Frazer, who had founded the Kaiser-Frazer Corp. in the United States. They decided to establish a presence in Argentina due to the pressure exerted on them by the dominance of the so-called Big Three of Detroit.


After the successful launch of the Rambler line in Argentina, Industrias Kaiser Argentina sought to offer the public a more affordable model that would mainly appeal to young people. The Rambler Classic, with its over 5 meters in length, was far from the youthful taste and seemed to be targeted towards a wealthier audience. Additionally, the idea of participating in car races as a means to promote their products also started to circulate in Kaiser Argentina’s plans. However, the large dimensions of the Rambler, combined with its outdated Continental 226 engine, deviated from the company’s ideal for the project. Thus, the search for a new model that met these criteria began.

The answer came with the launch of the IKA Torino on October 26, 1966. The Torino was developed based on the American Rambler American and underwent a redesign by the Italian coachbuilder Pininfarina. Initially, this car was introduced in its sedan version, the Torino 300, but it didn’t take long for the desired version for motorsports to be presented. On November 3 of the same year, the Torino 380 was unveiled, a new model that not only introduced the coupe range of the Torino but also came equipped with a Tornado Superpower engine of 3770 cc with overhead camshaft, a mechanical rarity in those times as most automakers producing such engines made them with a side camshaft and valve operation through pushrods.

At first glance, the Torino 380 surprised with its performance, but IKA-Renault aimed to add an extra boost to their engines to create a version that surpassed what was known. Thus, the genesis of the Torino 380W came about.

This car also participated in a feat for the local automotive industry.

The Nürburgring feat

In August 1969, the Automóvil Club Argentino decided to enter the international 84-hour endurance race at Nürburgring, Germany. For this purpose, the Argentine motorsport governing body prepared a team consisting of four Torino 380 W units. This car, manufactured in Argentina and considered the most powerful in the country, was taken by the delegation named “La Misión Argentina” (The Argentine Mission) to showcase the qualities of the national industry to the world. The team’s presidency was entrusted to the renowned five-time Formula 1 champion Juan Manuel Fangio, while the technical direction of the squad was led by the esteemed tuner Oreste Berta, known in the Argentine motorsport community as the first tuner to make a different brand other than the traditional Chevrolet and Ford champions (precisely, that brand was Torino).

Three Coupe 380W cars and a spare one were modified for the race. The hood opening system and the aforementioned cover were modified, as the original opening hinges were moved to the front of the car for technical reasons, such as preventing accidental opening of the hood towards the windshield due to the wind. At the same time, the original metal hood was replaced with a fiberglass imitation, making the car even more agile due to the weight loss it provided.

The three cars were assigned the numbers 1, 2, and 3 by Juan Manuel Fangio’s influence, as he enjoyed great influence in Europe. This numbering system gave them an advantage because, among the numerous boxes present, they were the easiest for the drivers to locate and receive instructions during the race.

Although car number 3 did not win the event due to a regulation violation (exceeding the time limit in the pit stop), its performance as the vehicle that completed the most laps on the challenging track is considered an epic achievement in Argentine motorsport. This performance was celebrated by passionate fans, who still venerate it as an object of worship to this day.

Admiration from the world

The Torino number 3 led for more than 50 of the 84 hours that the competition lasted. At that point, the competitors had stopped laughing and realized that the “elephant” was much stronger than they could imagine.

“As soon as we finished the race, some Mercedes engineers - who had been spying on us the whole time - approached us and said they couldn’t believe the performance of our brakes. They asked us to let them examine them, and not only did we agree, but Fangio had them completely removed from one of the cars and gave them as a gift,” Berta recounted in his autobiography, showcasing how world powers surrendered to the technical potential of the Argentinians.

Ika Renault Torino - Wikipedia


Please excuse the length, but I truly believe that the suggested car has a history worthy of respect. I hope it can be taken into consideration.

Thank you very much.


Yup, as Walter above described, this car is a legend in Argentine Automotive history. Not only nationally is regarded as one of the fastest cars ever, but also this showed the rest of the world what we can do given the circumstances.
Also I would love to suggest a bodykit for the car, not only the one above that is the 84Hs of Nürburgring but also one made by Oreste Berta

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Renault Torino

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