If Pagani names its next supercar "Huayra," it'll have more than just something to do with wind. In the 1960s, Ford of Argentina and motorsports designer Heriberto Pronello teamed up on a racing prototype for the "Can-Am of the South."
Pronello, an accomplished motorsport designer and longtime friend of Horacio Pagani, started working on the car that would become the Huayra Pronello Ford race car in 1966. By 1969, he'd turned out a strange monster whose prospects looked promising. Powered by a five-liter Ford V8 producing 430 hp, the Huayra was the fastest car in both qualifying and race in nearly all of Argentina's Turismo Carretera races in 1969. Driver Carlos "Picho" Pasqualini set a track record at The Autódromo Ciudad de Rafaela with a top speed of 216 mph.
The Huayra Ford was also piloted by future F1 star Carlos Reutemann.
Pronello called the car Huayra—which means "wind" in the Andean language of Quechua—after extensive scale-model testing in the wind tunnel at the School of Aeronautics at Instituto Rivadavia, where Pronello chaired the motorsport engineering department.
A contract with Ford Motor Argentina resulted in six cars, two for the Sport Prototype series and four for Turismo Carretera. Two of the TCs formed the team TC Ford, while the other two TC were sold to privateers.
Recently, an effort to restore the Huayra race car culminated in this track test, which yielded the car pictured at top above, and considerable aural pornography at Autódromo Juan Manuel Fangio de Balcarce:
A Huayra spyder was built for the road in 1972. The Huayra Stradale was powered by a Chevrolet engine with a hotter camshaft, Weber carburetor 40/40, ZF box, limited slip differential, four-wheel disc brakes, and Jaeger instruments.
[Thanks to ganesha for the tip!]