Argentina’s beloved artisan pickup trucks

In a land uniquely suited to simple pickup trucks, Argentines use a homebuilt contraption of Borgward, wood, and artisan panels called the Rastrojero.

It's the sort of truck that makes the casual observer instinctively develop tender feelings. Some of it is down to the average Rastrojero's advanced age: even the newest examples on the road are into their fourth decade of hard life and they have the scars to prove it. You see them all

over Argentina, especially around the heartland city of Córdoba, where they were manufactured between 1952 and 1980.

The Rastrojero began its long life during the Perón years. Built by the state-owned IAME company, these are simple pickups originally powered by a Willis tractor engine. From 1954 on, they got Borgward diesel engines until Borgward went bust and the engines were replaced with Peugeot units. With a midlife redesign, the Rastrojero was in production for a full 28 years.


These trucks are a mix of industrial and artisan. Study them up close and you'll see that they all display add-on decoration which echo gaucho motifs.


They may be old and they may clatter, but Rastrojeros are still still going strong. If you ever decide to move in Argentina, chances are that your cardboard boxes and office plants will be bumped across town on the bed of a Rastrojero.

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