Lutteral Comahue - customer spec before it was cool
Argentina isn't really known for its car industry. There was one, yes, but it didn't make that much of an impact on the rest of the world. However, that doesn't mean that the cars were bad - in fact, the opposite is true. And possibly the best car ever to come out of the country is this: the Lutteral Comahue.
Set up by a man called Juan Carlos Lutteral, the Comahue was based on the IKA Torino, which itself was a Pininfarina-honed version of the AMC Rambler. The first cars appeared in 1968.
The cars were, as you can probably see, externally modified, but the interior and mechanics also saw attention - a lot of it. Lutteral's big idea was to build a car for the customer. There were four versions available, each offered with different gear ratios, colours, engines, and interior trims.
The engine used was a Jeep Tornado straight-six, only modified to produce up to 220hp, which wasn't insignificant in 1968. Air suspension, dubbed 'Aerolastique', allowed the car to be raised or lowered by 5cm, and there were different ride quality options.
In 1970, a few minor upgrades were released. Production was greatly increased to 10-12 units a month and the car attracted many famous Argentinians.
In 1977, the Comahue 1980 was launched. That slightly confusing name arose from the technology used - it would only become widely available in the next decade.
Concealed headlights that came up automatically when it got dark. New seats. A pile of other stuff that Google Translate can't translate. And a digital dashboard, just a year after the Aston Martin Lagonda.
All the engine functions were displayed,as well as the time. Pretty impressive for any car, nevermind for a tiny manufacturer in a country not exactly known for its automotive industry. A semi-circular steering wheel completed the space age interior.
Overall, the Lutteral Comahue was a great car. Just that. Powerful, good looking (to me at least, I'll concede that it's a bit divisive), and surprisingly modern when you think about its roots.
Thanks for reading :)