Topic: Old Cars of Argentina
Kaiser Carabela, a brief history on "The Great Argentine Car".
This last phrase was the advertising slogan heard in the radio, seen in the movies and
read in the paper, during 1950s final years.
It was a trade mark for luxury and sophistication to the Argentine society;
but also it was the expression of a deep economical change. This fabulous
model was fully produced in Argentina. Without a question this expresses a
deeper movement. That is of the consolidation of the local auto industry,
not only as a provider of utility vehicles such as Estanciera or Jeep, but
also sophisticated models to satisfy the upper classes demand of luxury
According to the different information sources we checked while researching
on this matter, the Argentine Kaiser Carabela is the local version of the
1951 American Kaiser Manhattan and the 1953 high-end version Kaiser Dragon.
It featured a special reptilian theme trim package with "dragon-skin" vinyl
roof a truly beautiful and advanced automobile. During 1955, IKA (Kaiser
Industries Argentina) supplied the Argentine sophisticated automobile market
with imported Kaiser Manthattan. But by 1958 they will begin to produce the
local version: Carabela.
This was the first sedan model car to be produced by means of the modern
assembly line system.
From July 25th 1958 till the end of 1961 there were 8,025 Kaiser Carabela
produced in the IKA Cordoba plant. This deluxe and unique local model
featured a vertical 6 cylinder motor of 3,707 cubic centimetres that
developed a power of 116.6 CV at 3,800 rpm. Among other outstanding features
three marches velocities box on the side of the steering wheel. There were
several luxury details that show the careful quality care, such as the
Carter carburettor and the four- fabric based pneumatics of 7.10 by 15
inches. In the interior the Carabela had a radio, heat, vent, two ashtrays
and one on the back of the right front seat featuring a personal light and a
lighter; plus authentic leather tapestry for the seats.
One other magnificent design trademark we find it in the chromed hubcaps
that appeared to the eye as a continuation of the chrome broad band that
followed the car length.
To the modern reader, these minimal details might appear as insignificant in
relation with these days super luxury cars; but it's important to bare in
mind not only the fact that this was a 1950s design (clearly inspired by the
sophistication of the Space and robot era), as well as the first
sophisticated locally produced automobile for the Argentine magnate and
celebrities. This was a pioneer car within the automobile market at the same
time, because it showed the manufacturers the broad variety of indoors into
the different parts of the Argentine market. Soon IKA, Renault, Ford and all
other car companies will target both sides of the automobile market, the
massive and the exclusive sectors as an economic strategy of clever
See Photo Image Gallery for one of the most famous Kaiser Cars, this Funeral Car made in Argentina,email for more information:
Kaiser Funeral Car made in Argentina.
As time went by, and with little historical and antiquarian eye, many of
this outstanding vehicles were altered into utility vehicles, adapted to
different needs or just sold as junk once better and more modern models hit
the market. However, in spite of the fact that only a tiny portion of those
8,000 units has lasted in good conditions to our days, we can, from time to
time, have the pleasure of recovering one of these automobile gems from
See Photo Image Galery for parts of all Kaiser Cars made in Argentina,email for more information.
Carabela Kaiser IKA Argentina
For more information :Email Bob Frassinetti. Press here to go to The Buenos Aires Art Dealer, our webzine magazine on Art, Antiques & Collectibles made or found in Argentina. The Buenos Aires Art Dealer,Argentina.
Bob Frassinetti. Copyright 2005. Roberto Dario Frassinetti.