There are two great moments in Argentine motoring history centered around the Nürburgring and then there’s a third, a fourth-place finish at a race you’ve never heard of. Of course it’s the latter that’s the pride and joy of Argentine car enthusiasts: the story of the Torinos at the 1969 Nürburgring 84 Hours.
Great Argentine feats at the Nürburgring call to mind two days over half a century apart. On August 4, 1957, Juan Manuel Fangio drove the race of his life in the Maserati 250F at the 1957 German Grand Prix, where he broke the lap record ten times and won both his last race and his last Formula One drivers’ title. Fifty-three years later, on June 29, 2010, Horacio Pagani’s Zonda R broke the Nordschleife lap record for road-based cars, posting a time of 6:47.50. But in Argentina, it’s neither Fangio’s long-ago win nor Pagani’s remote hypercar that you’ll first come across. It’s the IKA Torinos facing off the Lancias, BMW’s and Dafs, and coming out on top. Sort of on top.