Cold Start: There’s A Face In A Face In Here

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Morning everyone! Time to wake up and be reminded that the Renault Torino exists! These were, under their Pininfarina-designed skin, Rambler Americans, of all things. Yes, humble little Ramblers, dressed to the nines and kicking it in Argentina. That’s sort of how they ended up as Renaults–they started as IKA (Industrias Kaiser Argentina) which had a deal with AMC to build Rambler-derived vehicles, then Renault bought them out in 1975 when they took their stake in AMC, so now they’re Renaults.

I chose this for today because I saw one and was struck by how the front end looks like it has a smaller car parked in the middle there, if you look at it the right way.

See what I mean? The inner headlights and grille connect so it looks like there’s one of those ’70s era Austin Allegros or (if you’re looking at the badge) a Renault 12 parked under the hood of the bigger car.

Anyway, I like these. See you out there.

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26 Responses

  1. Please do an article on the engines of these cars. I have a ’63(? Not exactly certain) HRM article on the Willys engine when first developed. Absolutely fascinating: single cam lobe for both intake and exhaust, semi-hemi, 90-day-wonder sort of vibe.
    Then later as an IKA/Renault, to develop seven main bearings, triple carbs and a stupendous following and pedigree from humble Willys origins… just makes the story better.

    1. You’re absolutely right. I learned to drive in a Renault 12, and though I haven’t seen one in person in over 30 years, this looks like my dad’s car drove down a Rambler’s throat, digested its guts, and is now driving around wearing the suit like a skinwalker (skindriver?) while it hunts me down to wreak some terrible vengeance for how badly I mistreated its clutch in 1986.

      I may never sleep again.

  2. What caught my eye were the flipper-style door handles that AMC adopted for the rest its cars in 1968 but never saw fit to give to the lowly American for its last two years on the U.S. market. Good to know Renault righted that wrong.

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