From the CGT to the Hares ...

In the late 1960s, Torino broke into Road Tourism with a powerful team of Copello, Gradassi and Ternengo. As time went by, the original car evolved into a true prototype, which also got tired of winning ...


The last days of February 1967 go by. In a National Highway Workshop, in San Pedro, the climate prior to the first competition on the calendar of Road Tourism. There, the team IKA works fully fine-tuning the three torino that the following Sunday they will take their first step in the category. It's hot ... and the suggestion starts from the back of the workshop: "Che ... why aren't they going to buy ice cream ...".

Silently, someone leaves fulfilling the request. He reaches the street, but the scorching sun "pushes" him inside. He slips into one of the silver-gray Torino, lined with a blue stripe, and sets off for the ice cream parlor.

San Pedro 1967
Héctor Gradassi on his way to victory in the Vuelta de San Pedro in 1967,

Nobody repairs that this car, under its total street appearance, harbored a new conception for the TC. And less when they saw him meekly regulating at the door of the ice cream parlor. Who would have suspected that more than 200 vigorous horses! ...

The classification test of the Return of San Pedro showed the first pattern that the Torino developed under the leadership of Oreste Berta it was going to give that to speak. A technology that did not leave for improvisation, full support from the factory and three pilots who in different categories had already shown their talent: Eduardo Copello, Hector Luis Gradassi y Jorge Ternengo. An almost perfect trilogy, which after a few races popular ingenuity pigeonholed them under the acronym CGT (Copello, Gradassi, Ternengo); while another sector, fully identified with the cupecitas and their folkloric lineage, did not admit interference and expressed their displeasure by flying some projectiles as the Torino passed by.

Eduardo Copello
Eduardo Copello was champion of the 1967 tournament,

But nothing could alter the triumphant march of the first year of the CGT: out of 32 races Copello won 11, Gradassi, 4; and Ternengo, 2. Copello was champion with 99 points and Gradassi runner-up, with 69. “I locked myself one night with all the motoring magazines and I was analyzing. After the purification, Eduardo Copello, Héctor Luis Gradassi and Jorge Ternengo remained ... ", Berta told about the choice of runners.

Very little could be added to Copello at that time. The move from the Renault Gordini to a bigger car was a necessity for someone who, like him, was already established. Gradassi had as a reference his successful participation aboard the Auto Union, when in 1966 he beat Berta's Renault team in difficult races such as the Vuelta del Noroeste, Capilla del Monte, La Cumbre and Carlos Paz. Ternengo had the endorsement of being a Raphaelian like Berta and for ten years that elapsed between two and four wheels, adding to his resume the great advantage of his mechanical knowledge.

On February 26, 1967, the CT technique was strengthened. A couple of years earlier the category saw how the Chevitú He faced a new philosophy, which Copello, Gradassi and Ternengo strengthened from the moment of their appearance in TC with Torino.

An insolence towards traditionalism demonstrated with force. First and second in the championship, wholesale orders from Torino TC (its cost amounted to 1.800.000 old pesos) for a car that, in addition to being used to go to buy ice cream, proved to be capable of winning races. But those cars had to be driven and Copello, Gradassi and Ternengo - the CGT - demonstrated the power of union.

THE AGE OF HARE

Eduardo Copello
Las Hares leading the pack.

When Torino was already claiming the inevitable step towards evolution, motivated by its adversaries, Berta, using the technical-structural characteristics of the conventional model and the ideas of the Harber Engineer, from IKA, got to work on the project that would lead to the appearance of the Hare I. In the stylistic part of this model the work was carried out by Heriberto Pronello.

The first tests were made on a Rambler American owned by Berta, but Harber proposed that they start from the base of the Torino platform, to avoid regulatory problems.

A single copy of Hare 1 came out of the hands of Berta and Pronello and, later, the Hare 2, the most interesting and modern car of all those who competed in TC. This vehicle had the same floor of the conventional Torino, but with certain modifications. The cabin was developed based on the roof of the Renault Dauphine, the tail and the trunk were drawn and contracted by Pronello and the suspension turrets were modified. The engine was shifted 15 inches to the rear, and the lattice structure was part of the entire car.

Gaston perkins
Gaston Perkins, 1969 champion on a Hare.

Throughout its entire campaign, Hare 2 was the TC with the highest percentage of efficiency. Its pilots were Copello, Nasi Estéfano, Héctor Luis Gradassi, Gaston perkins (champion with the model in 1969), Federico Urruti y Carlos Pascualini.

Then, the union of a Torino floor with a reticulated structure, a displaced engine, a Liebre 2 rear axle and a Liebre 1 horn, with a good technical base, resulted in the Hare 1 ½, which was a substitute for Hare 2.

The idea for this model arose at the end of 1967, taking shape at the dawn of the following year, when the delivery to those who had commissioned it began with up to four months in advance. Among the pilots who requested it was Carlos Pairetti, who, unlike the others, fitted him with a Chevrolet 250 engine and entrusted his driving to Nestor Garcia Veiga.

The dynasty was closed with the Hare 3, retaining the same mechanics as the Liebre 2, but with more aerodynamic bodywork and some cooling intakes. She was the final worthy heir to a series of models that constituted the highest echelon the TC had ever climbed.

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Automundo

Automundo is the blog about news from the automotive industry, motorsport and the culture of the region. Director: Diego Durruty.

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