The Pagani Huayra is one of the most exclusive and luxurious sports supercars on the market. The latest version presented by the Argentine Horacio Pagani –although the factory is based in Italy–, the Huayra Imola, has powerfully attracted attention for its ‘racing’ aspect, its careful aerodynamics, its 850 horsepower twin-turbo V12 engine, which is going well beyond the BC Huayra BC Roadster, which was introduced less than a year ago.
Some believe they see in this latest model, whose price must be around $ 5.5 million, a ‘philosophical’ inspiration in the first Huayra … born more than 50 years ago!
The name of this South American wind was used for the first time for a competition car built by the engineer Heriberto Pronello in 1969, destined for the Argentine Championship of Sport Prototypes, a championship that was very successful for a few years and of which we practically only know in Europe. cars conceived by Oreste Berta, because they tried to compete in some WEC races.
Pronello wanted to derive from it a ‘street’ version, which can be registered, which remained in the prototype state. A version that would have been the first Argentine supercar and that perhaps would have made Pagani unable to use that name
The competition Huayra Pronello-Ford had a coupe and spyder version. Our dear engineer Enrique Scalabroni says that this was the car that inspired him in its beginnings, which in a certain way marked his vocation for automobile design.
The coupe version had a Ford V8 engine borrowed from a Ford F100 and fitted with four vertical double-bodied Webber carburettors, which gave 270 horsepower; the gearbox was ZF and had a two-disc clutch. It was mounted in front forward position. It was 4.35 meters long, although there was a ‘long tail’ version, 1.88 meters wide and only 1.10 meters high. The spyder version required touch-ups on the roof to retain the stiffness lost due to the lack of roof structure
The project had been born three years before, but it could not be born, because IKA, an Argentine car assembly company linked to several builders; the best known here is Torino because it was used as a successful base for ‘Road Cars’. Although Pronello initially wanted to take advantage of his project using an IKA engine in a lying position, he soon saw that it was not feasible and set out to build a new car.
It was only when his contract with IKA ended that Pronello attempted to regain the model he had dreamed of. I had worked a lot on it: I had even made a 1/5 scale model that I tested in a wind tunnel at the University of Córdoba.
In late 1968, he reached an agreement with Ford. He made the multitubular chassis, designed lightweight stub axles, exclusive disc brakes and made a realizó 1/1 model ’in plaster for bodywork in fiberglass. The Cx was only 0.22 and that allowed it to touch 310 kilometers / hour with less than 300 horsepower.
And Carlos Reutemann highlighted his steering wheel, as well as Carlos Pascualini, who achieved the absolute record for Rafaela’s oval in the first season. In 1970 there were changes of pilots.
In fact, Reutemann left the team in August for financial reasons. The car abandoned a lot and ‘El Lole’ left it on the track and went to the pits, which resulted in the ‘nuts’ taking parts of it as a souvenir. Pronello decided to demand that he stay in the car until they were rescued or that he paid for the fans’ ‘vandalism’. And the future F1 driver refused. There remains the anecdote. In any case, the car was not very successful, the engine broke easily, and Ford withdrew its support in the late ’70s, momentarily continuing the car in ’71 as a private project. When the presence in competition finally stopped. Pronello had the idea of a road version, which he made but did not commercialize in 1972.
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