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Route 40 Argentina
Tuesday, 14 February 2006
Rare car Bergantin made by Kaiser Frazer of Argentina
Topic: Old Car Rally Tour
Bergantin Ika the story behind the scene Kaiser Industries Argentina was one of the first and foremost important automobile manufacturers during the 50s until the early 70s when it merged with the French Colossi Renault.


It was 1959 when IKA began to develop a new and avant-garde project to suit the needs of the sophisticated upper market consumers of Argentina. The concept was named Project X 60, and the idea behind it was to produce a vehicle of great style and sophistication, with new and innovative lines, but to do it using as much as possible of the local developments. This might appear as a rare combination of words to a non Argentine reader, but the fact is that as late as the early 60s the local auto industry consisted mainly in assembling of parts imported from the main production centers such as the US, UK, France and Germany. Along with the first impulse provided to these industries by means of a very flexible import-export tax system, appeared the necessity of developing the local industry to produce entirely the vehicles in the country. So when IKA began to develop a broad and integral production system in our country, it was a turning point both for the industry and the consumers. The man behind these ideas and projects was the famous and brilliant James McCloud. He was the one who organized the Santa Isabel plant in Cordoba, where IKA produced the famous Jeep, Estanciera and Kaiser Carabela. McCloud thought that the best way to achieve a sophisticated design to be locally produced was through means of a joint venture. He then head to Europe. It would be in Italy where he would find the perfect match between the American concept mechanical parts and European Style designs. Alfa Romeo sold McCloud the no longer produced Alfa Romeo 1900 Berlina matrix molds. Brought to the country the 1900 Berlina would become IKA Bergantin in 1960.  The parts made in Cordoba were the four cylinder engine of 2,480 cubic centimeters, as well as the back bridge of the Jeep and the drum brakes that were used in the Estanciera and an Emeta instrument board. All in all, Bergantin blended in superlative manner Alfa Romeo’s finest features with the best local mechanical products. Production began on March 10th 1960 and ended on February 21st 1962 after launching nearly 5000 units to the market. There were three versions made for IKA Bergantin: Standard, Deluxe and Taxi cab. Notwithstanding its short production life, in 1961 we spot a turning point for Bergantin models. It was then when IKA decided to incorporate its fine Continental six cylinder motor engine –already used for the Estanciera and Carabela models- to the Bergantin model. Only 353 units were made between May 31st 1961 and February 22nd 1962. Another indication feature were the two color combination of its chassis and its tremendous power, reaching the 165 km/h and 115 HP.
IKA Bergantin was a true Argentine hybrid that had a short life due to the mismatch between the vehicle and the engine. However, the fact that such a small automobile featuring such a big engine managed to work out as a working car has raised interest among the sophisticated world of auto-car collectors. This rare and limitedly produced Argentine version of Alfa Romeo’s gem is a one of a kina product cherrished by those who enjoy the uniqueness and inventiveness within the history of automobile productions in the first half of the 20th century.  

Inside view of the IKA Bergantin


Motorization: 4 cylinder-Model 41-151-4 cyl. In line-84,138 mm x 111,125 mm.
Compression: 6,36L-Power 76,5 HP at 3.600 rpm-Cupla 16,3 kg.  2.000 rpm-1 Carburator Carter YF 2756 desc.-Cylinder line: 2.480 cm3-6 Cylinder- Continental Model 81-266-6 cylinder in line- 84,138x 111.125 mm-
Compression: 6,86/l-power: 115 HP at 3.800 rpm-Cupla: 24,89 Kg. at 3.800 rpm-1 Carburator Carter WCD 2204S descendant-Cylinder line:3.707 cm3.
Transmission: Three gear box MA-2nd and3rd synchronized- Wheel command- Diferencial relation 4,9/l.
Suspenssion: Front independentmeans and Back stabilizing hydraulic-Sweep shock absorbers with rigid axis and hydraulic-4 shock absorbers arms reactors.
Brakes: Drum brakes in the four wheels.Measures: Between axes 2.620 mm-Tr. Of. And tra. 1,336 total mm-Long 4.440 mm-Height Maxima 1,510 mm-Weigh 1,270 kgs.Other data: Terminal velocity (4 cylinders) 145 kmh-6 cylinders-165 kmh-relation weight power: 4 cylinders 17.33 kg.


The Art Dealer Rally Club.

So far we’ve presented our project for a Rally car Club of Art Dealer. What we’ve done is to put into words, ideas and images that have been turning in our head for a long time now. Because our readers’ and friends’ opinion maters greatly to us, we have placed as follows the reactions our project has had on our friends.
Hereby you can read our friend’s inputs:

Email from Andries of South Africa said:Hi Bob,

Fantastic idea!!. We re in Uk now where a rally from london to lisbon is on. When home i will forward websites with similar but not as exciting schemes.


And this from Giuseppe of the USA....... and his email reads,"it looks like you are going full speed ahead. i like what i read on your site. is it working for you? have many people made enquiries? i like the rally concept. you should make enquiries into placing small adverts in some of the sports car magazines. "Octane" is one which is printed in england, and "Classic Cars" is another, which is also printed in england. they always have articles about rallying and racing and such.

So thank you Giuseppe!

And our friend Mike form Somerset, England said," I also got round to reading some news about your trip. I couldn’t access the site yesterday so it had to wait until today. I like the vintage car idea and hope it works well for you – great idea !

Thank you Mike!

And Dan short for Daniel also from the US, said, "I wish you the best of luck with Classic Rally Car Club. That's an
excellent idea if you can pull it off. They do similar things in
America--racing classic cars and all--however it'd be awesome to be able to
rally with people from all across South America. Keep in touch with me
about that. I'd like to know how that works out for you.

Take care,

Thank you Dan!

And from the UK, England,Olaf said; " I like your idea about 'timeshare' rally cars. There's something similar in principle in the UK targeted at high net worth individuals; city high fliers, entrepreneurs. It involves paying an annual fee to belong to a kind of Supercar Club. You get to choose from Bentleys, Mercedes 600SL, Aston Martin's, Lambo's....etc. You can own it for 6 months (all taxed, insured, serviced) and then send it back and order another car! And so on. Transferring the idea to antique vehicles and rallies seems eminently workable. There must be loads of Americans who would love the idea of dressing up complete with goggles and taking part in a reenactment of a rally. Might be a bit tough on the spare part situation but I'm sure you have that covered.


Thank you Olaf, who by the way is coming down to travel Route 40 on a 4 WD! Lucky Olaf!

So the emails go arrivng and we keep up the work. See cars from the cemetry that can be turned into a great Rally Car......... 
Interested in buying antiques and collectibles from Buenos Aires or for that matter any other item that I have mentioned in any article you have found on this my web site, you can buy Toys from my museum and threw eBay, threw the Toy Museum on eBay press here; Toy Museum on eBay and threw The Buenos Aires ArtDealer, press here; Art Dealer on eBay From Art to Antiques. Or contact me direct. For more information :Email Bob Frassinetti. Press here to go to The Buenos Aires Art Dealer is a webzine magazine on Art, Antiques & Collectibles made or found in Argentina. The Buenos Aires ArtDealer, Argentina.

Link to Photo Album
Bob Frassinetti

Bob Frassinetti. Copyright 2005. Roberto Dario Frassinetti. Argentina.

Posted by route40argentina at 10:33 AM EST

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