A brief history about GM and Chevrolet in Argentina
- 1925 – GM was established in Argentina and began assembling cars (Chevrolet, Oldsmobile and Pontiac).
- 1959 – National production of trucks and pickups begins.
- 1962 – The Chevrolet 400 was launched, which is the Chevy II in the USA. In this year the model was only assembled in Argentina. Four doors with a 194 6 cylinder engine.
- 1963 – The Chevrolet 400 was 100% produced for the first time in Argentina. Same 6 cylinders engine and always 4 doors. We never had the 2 doors version. This model was a great success and it was produced until 1974. Always the same body, but through the years the engine was bigger 230 and 250 versions and also different interiors and changes in the front of the car, tail lights and trims, wheels and rings.
- 1969 – The car was launched as the Chevy. We didn’t use the name Nova, because when we pronounce in Spanish “no-va”, it means does not work or no good. There were 3 versions Super, Deluxe and Super Sport. All of them 4 doors, 6 cylinders engines, and 230 with the option of 137 HP or 144 HP.
- 1971 – Due to the great success of the Chevy 4 doors, it was launched the 2 doors version, the Chevy SS Coupe, always 6 cylinder engine 250 and 155 HP with vinyl top. This car was awarded as the best car produced in Argentina.
- 1972 – It was launched the Chevy SS Coupe Serie 2. There was some changes, the vinyl top was removed, new wheels and rings, a very distinctive stripe on the sides of the car and new carburetor double barrier and new intake. (see picture).
- 1975 – In this year the Chevy introduces new stripes on the sides, more HP and some minor details on the front (see picture).
- 1978 – It was launched the model called Opus. Always the same body and the same engine, with new stripes but the most distinctive changes was the luxury interior, air conditioning, new seats, new comfort and accessories. This was the last year for the Chevy.
- 1978 – Due to the economic crisis in Argentina, unfortunately GM decides to close his manufacture plant in Argentina for good. It was a very sad year for the Chevy lovers.
- 1993 – GM decides to return to Argentina producing only pickups (as it was in 1959). GM built a new manufacture plant and it was a new beginning for Chevrolet. Chevrolet is back in Argentina with a new gamma of models (Corsa, Cruze, Astra, Celta, Agile, Captiva, Montana, etc), nevertheless in the heart of the Argentineans the Chevy (Nova) is still present.
I would like also to explain that due to economic constrains in Argentina it was very common to produce cars for many years using the same body with minor modifications for the exterior, interior, and also more power for the engines. Examples are the Chevrolet 400, the Chevy, the Ford Falcon (same body from1962 until 1991), Peugeot 504, and Renault 12. This way the manufactures maintain lower costs and the sale price was lower also instead of produce totally new cars and bodies.
Finally I would like to add that in Argentina we have a great passion for Chevrolet and Chevy and this is part to thanks to a race car category called “Turismo de Carretera” (TC). You can compare this category with NASCAR. For Argentineans, TC is the top race cars category. In 2012 it was the 75th anniversary. It began racing in open routes, Chevrolet vs Ford, but through the years the races were moved to closed circuits with all the security measures. And you are not going to believe that the race cars are Chevy, Ford Falcon, Dodge and Torino (Argentinean brand) from the 70s. They used the same engines but of course with the latest technology. As of today the rivalry between Chevrolet and Ford is still present as it was in the past. YouTube videoof Turismo de Carretera The car withthe 3M logo is a Chevy.
View photos of Novas in Argentina.
- from Carlos Alvarez, Chevy 2 Only Argentinan Contact