Thunder Orange: The most remembered car in Road Tourism

The particular history of the vehicle with Chevrolet mechanics that allowed Carlos Pairetti to achieve the 1968 title of the popular category.


The old Barracuda built by Vicente Formisano had already completed a cycle in the Road Tourism. At least that's what i thought Carlos Pairetti in the first days of 1968. The man, who already had a prestige earned in the TC, wanted to achieve the long-awaited title and that is why he decided to change course, despite the fact that many distrusted his decision ...

“Everyone thought I was wrong to hire Horacio Steven. In 1967 he built the Ford prototypes and both cars caught fire. First it was the one in Viale del Carril, which got it cheap; and then that of Cabalen, who lost his life in that incident ”, Pairetti himself recalled years later about the person he had appointed to build his new car.

Carlos Pairetti
Carlos Pairetti, champion of Road Tourism in 1968 with the Orange Thunder.

The accidents they had Atilio Viale del Carril at the Autodromo de Buenos Aires and Oscar Cabalén in San Nicolás motivated malicious comments about Steven. But after closing a deal with Pairetti, the coach and his people began to adapt the concept of that fateful car to the Chevrolet mechanics.

The original matrix was used and several modifications were made to it. On the outside, the nose was smoothed out by removing the swish from the carburettors used by the Oval models. It also did not have the side air intakes for cooling the brakes and without this variant the body was widened by about seven centimeters, which prevented the wide wheels from protruding from the body.

The location of the fuel tank was changed, which in the “protos” of Viale del Carril and Cabalén was on the sides of the cabin (a single 240-liter tank was placed behind the seats). But the main novelty was in the rear with a spoiler shaped tail that provided a generous downforce and benefited the grip of the rear axle.

I don't know why people were so impressed with the Orange Thunder, look I raced with other nice cars. It will be because with that I got the title ... ",
Carlos Pairetti, who only drove the Orange Thunder in nine races.

It was first known as Fast-Chevrolet, but its color and performance led to it being renamed after a few races Thunder Orange.

Pairetti used it for the first time in the 250 Miles that were run on June 23, 1968 at the Buenos Aires Autodromo. The final result was an abandonment due to a broken differential, but Pairetti got to lead for several laps and that showed him that he was not wrong in his decision to change cars.

In less than a month there was revenge: on July 14, in Córdoba, the Orange Thunder was invincible. Pairetti thus won his second race of the season after the one achieved on April 28 at Balcarce with the Barracuda. While the following week he was second in the 100 Laps at the Buenos Aires racetrack. Pairetti's third victory - and Thunder's second - came on August 18, again in Córdoba, with the 250-kilometer race.

Then came two abandonments, first in Buenos Aires on September 1 with the Nestor Garcia Veiga at the wheel (Pairetti gave it to him because he arranged his participation in Formula 2 in Europe) and then in Allen, on the 22nd of that month. The first was due to the clutch breakage and the next - again with "II Matto" as pilot - due to problems in the oil pressure.

He recovered with a new triumph in Buenos Aires (September 29), but desertions returned. In San Juan (October 6) due to a broken differential and in Buenos Aires (October 13) due to a puncture in the oil radiator. But the year ended well for Thunder Orange and Pairetti. With two second places in Rafaela (November 3) and Córdoba (November 17) came the long-awaited title ...

The personality and driving talent of this pilot born in Clusellas (Santa Fe) and based in Arrecifes, added to his devastating vehicle, caused the admiration of all the fans. If even miniature replicas of the car were sold to 39 Nationals!

In 1969, Pairetti changed cars again and raced with the Nova-Chevrolet; while Thunder passed into the hands of García Veiga, who did not match the results that his friend had achieved the previous year.

Despite this, Orange Thunder earned everyone's respect and is still remembered with affection and admiration today.

 

 

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Diego durruty

Journalist with 30 years of experience. Worked in magazines STROKE, The graphic, Coequipier y Only TC, on the Internet sites SportsYa!, e-driver.com y kmcero.com and on the radios Rock pop y Vorterix.com. He covered the Dakar rally for the German agency dpa. He currently drives Two Daring Guys, a car magazine that is broadcast on Tuesdays from 18 to 19 by RadioArroba.com; is editor of motorsport in Red Bull Argentina, columnist on the show WorldSport (AM Splendid) and in Surf & Rock FM.  He is also a teacher in SPORTS. Now you can read it on his blog: automundo.com.ar.

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