Back in September 1988, a note with a hook caught our attention: “The President’s Cars”, of course, they were not owned by Raúl Alfonsín, but the ones he used in his acts as head of government. The first president in the return to democracy, had at his disposal five cars: the Cadillac convertible coupe what had bought Peron before being overthrown (and with whom he was Aramburu the act of his ascension to power), a sumptuous Lincoln Continental, un Renault 25, un Rambler Ambassador y un Ford Fairlane. As for all tastes and budgets …

Test of the revolutionary VW Carat and note on the presidential cars.

We also showed the so-called “the megane of the future”Seen in the Paris Salon and that was just in concept. But we did indulge ourselves – through our occasional correspondent Horacio Pagani, who then worked in the house of Sant’Agata Bolognesa- Lamborghini Countach 25 (the 25th anniversary of the brand) one week after its world presentation. The monster had a 455 HP V12 reached up to 310 Km / h and accelerated from 0 to 100 in 5 seconds.

The era of super operatives
The Renault 21 was a great step in the modernization of the products of our industry. Horacio Pagani was testing the Lamborghini Countach for Windshield one week after its worldwide launch. The conclusions of the test of a VW Carat and a double page notice from the Dune of records.

In another aspect, we reread that in 1989 the national automotive industry had touched the lowest level of production of the decade, with only 127,824 vehicles. In 1980 it had started with 281,793 and there was a peak of 193,315 in 1987. The best-selling car in 1989 was the Renault 12, which reached 12.3% of the total, followed by Fiat Spazio, Peugeot 504, Renault 18 / Fuego, Ford Escort, Peugeot 505, Renault 11, Ford Sierra, Fiat Duna y Fiat Super Europa, this with 4.8%.

On Route 40, in Escort

In January of that 1989 we published the note about a strenuous operation: the complete tour of the Route 40, in round trip. It was made with three Ford Escort Ghia 1.6 of 73 horses. In one of the cars they went Figueras and Pisani, in other Mario Alboneti and the “Gallego” Miguel Iglesias and in the rest Jorge Maggi and the “Negro” Neira. Y Miguelito Tillous, as a photographer passing from one vehicle to another.
The total tour was 8,792 kilometers in eight stages, which was fulfilled in net 11 hours and a minute. That, by far more rubble than what is currently in the “backbone” of our road network. From Mendoza, it first went north, reaching San Antonio de los Cobres and then Salta. One of the most difficult sections was the passage through Abra de Acay, at 4,895 meters above sea level, considered the highest step in the world for cars and pick-ups.

The era of super operatives
The covers of the time show the importance given to long journeys.

Another of the memorable moments happened going to Jump down the Cuesta de Muñano, when we meet the ledge road clogged by a truck loaded with 30 tons of borax bags, that he could not climb a steep slope. There was no choice but get down bags (of 50) kilos to lighten the truck; that at 4000 meters high, almost no oxygen. And then push the truck. Twenty years later, the bags were still there… From the capital of Cuyo to Rio gallegos incidents, such as the one that led to finding without fuel to the Tres Lagos service station, in Santa Cruz. With the empty drums, an extreme decision had to be resorted to: load burning alcohol in the tanks, which fortunately it had no dire consequences.

New director and records in Rafaela

In May 1989, Carlos Figueras was the new director of the magazine. In the freezing winter of that year, and in full hyperinflation and looting of supermarkets, three 1.5 SCV Dunes arrived at the Rafaela oval to undertake another important challenge: the establishment of 17 continental records with the control of the ACA Automotive Sports Commission. Even today, 31 years after that, can be read of the success of the decal that was factory-set at the lunette of all dunes.

Historic record cover Duna
Historic cover of the records made with the Fiat Duna in Rafaela.

The cars manned by teams of five pilots they toured for eight days setting all the proposed records, which entered the annals of the FIA. The Rafael’s line became our home for that long week. One of the boxes was equipped as a precarious bedroom, another as a service station and another was a picturesque canteen. The pilot quintets were formed with staff members and also with the contribution of professionals or regular racers: Mario Albonetti, Luis “El Castorcito” Grossi, Miguel Iglesias and Carlos Bosso were driving in No. 1; in number 2, Jorge Maggi, Horacio Maglione, Paquito Mayorga, René Zanatta and Jorge Sarmoría and in number 3, “Colo” Figueras, José Luis Gervasoni, Rodolfo Pisani, Marianito Maggi and Juan Miranda. Coordinated by the “Negro” Neira, who surreptitiously served as a joker at the request of some lazy. Between the 17 records, we give as an example the one of the hour to 152,222 km / h average and the end, of the 25.000 kms en 170h 44m 34s 70/100 a 146,418 Km/h.

To Ushuaia, to all Diesel
In September the ruckus continued with “To all Diesel”, consumption test (at high speed on the way out and moderate on the return) with seven Sevel gas tankers who faced the 7,000 km of the trip Buenos Aires-Ushuaia and I’ll be back in a week. The cars were: Peugeot 505 SRD and SRD Turbo, 504 SRD, 504 Pickup 1.3 Ton, Duna SD, Spazio TRD Pickup Chevrolet C10 Turbo.

The era of super operatives
The cars of the “A todo Diesel” operation pose on an icy beach in Las Cotorras, near Ushuaia.

Were made three stages to go and many others around the corner. It was consumed on average since 7.08 l / 100 kms of Space to the 15.4 l / 100 km from the C10 T. The slogan (… today meaningless) was that of “Round trip to Ushuaia with 50,000 australes”. Would it be a little or a lot? … At that time we were testing fastest of the national industry cars, the Renault 21 with 2.2-liter engine. It was an extensive test throughout almost 9,000 kilometers and in the numbers the R21 made use of its power and his then excellent Cx of 0.32 to reach the 192.9 km / h. Accelerated from “Zero to one hundred” in 11.48 seconds. Its great novelty in the equipment was the computer, which was located in the center of the plate. We approve the aesthetics, directional clothing, brakes, consumption and equipment. The slowness of the suspensions, the low seat / ceiling height and their extreme subvirance were condemned.

We unite the 23 capitals

In that same year, the fifth (and last in this series) super operational: was the unite the 23 provincial capitals of our Argentina what was done in the very brief span of 12 days, of which 11 were on the march and only one of rest, in Mendoza. It had a second purpose: to serve Sevel as a good ending for the addition to the Fiat line of the newest Type engine. They were used two one (Figueras and Pisani), a Dune (Neira), a Space (Marianito Maggi) y a Regatta (Jorge Maggi) with the support of a small Fiorino pick-up. The course -as always designed by the Negro- led successively to La Plata, Viedma, Rawson, Río Gallegos, Ushuaia, Neuquén, Mendoza, San Juan, San Luis, Córdoba, La Rioja, Catamarca, Santiago del Estero, Tucumán, Salta, Jujuy,, Formosa, Resistencia, Corrientes, Posadas, Paraná and Santa Fe, in that order. Back in Buenos Aires we had done nothing less than 12.191 km, at an average of 1,008 km per day. At that time, Parabrisas declared by the votes of 620 readers as Car of the Year, to the Fiat Uno SCV that it had received 207 nominations against 196 for the Renault 21 TXE and 68 for the VW Carat CD 2.0; fourth and fifth, respectively, R9 TXE 1.6 and R18 GTS 1.6. The Clio was making its world debut and we reflected it.

The era of super operatives
Reutemann is presented as the new first Windshield tester. A notice of the Peugeot pick-up.

With Lole de tester

In July ’90, the great news is twofold: on the one hand, Figueras’ departure from the management. He leaves Parabrisas to take care of the creation of a small publishing house (A&F, by Augé and Figueras) that is launched by publishing the Road Test magazine and that would later become part of a pool of Spanish magazines. His place would take it Oscar Fittipaldi, who would be able to fill the void that Figueras left as tester with an exceptional figure: Carlos Reutemann, who took on the task with enthusiasm, and that, how could it be otherwise, flipped on our pages all the experience of a life closely linked to the automobile. From its passage through Parabrisas, among others, the tests of Alfa Romeo 164, Citroën BX, Peugeot 405, Nissan Blue Bird, Mercedes 500 SEC and Porsche 911 Carrera remained. As can be seen, importation had been reopened and overseas products were beginning to arrive: the first, Nissan, BMW, Citroën, Peugeot and Daihatsu. In 1991 Lole retired from Windshield, with good cause: he had been elected Governor of Santa Fe, on the province …

The era of super operatives
At this time they left us two great journalists, two lofty feathers. Two great friends. In June of ’89, Enrique Sánchez Ortega, the “Beard”, tester and an authority on collector cars, had joined Corsa in 1967 and continued to collaborate sporadically when he was surprised by death. Ronald Hansen, “Ronnie”, was director of Parabrisas from the early days and was later linked to the magazine until 1971. Then he was director of the Buenos Aires Herald newspaper. He had a deep knowledge of everything related to the car, and he made literature with it.

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