The history of the pickup Adelmo (Argentina, 1958 – 1964) (ENG)

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The history of the pickup Adelmo (Argentina, 1958 - 1964) (ENG)

By Alejandro Franco – contact

This is the English version of our article about the history of this car made in Argentina – you can read the original in Spanish by clicking here.

Late 1950s. It is difficult to get trucks and utility vehicles in Argentina. The production numbers of the local industries are not enough to cover all the demand. For that time the best offer is the Rastrojero Diesel, produced by Dinfia. Or perhaps a utility vehicle like those produced by IKA, such as the Jeep Estanciera or the Baqueano pick up. The Chatitas Justicialistas were literally out of circulation since 1957, having been renamed Institec Camioncito Liviano since the overthrow of Perón in 1955.

It was in this context that a local coachbuilder, Alfredo Julio Montesano, who had a chain of Chevrolet truck dealerships, appeared. At that time, Chevrolets were imported, since General Motors would only arrive in the country in 1962, and would begin to produce locally the Chevrolet Apache pickup truck and the Chevrolet 400 sedan (Chevrolet Chevy II in USA).

As Montesano had a network of 17 stores throughout the country, it was decided to complement the sale of trucks with a pickup of its own brand. Thus the Adelmo was born, introduced in 1958 and sold until 1964. It was built on a chassis of beams and crossbeams on which was mounted a metal body with independent cab and box. There were single and double cab versions.

While the body was local, the engine was the well-known Continental L6 226 of 3.7 liters that brought the IKA Kaiser Carabela, the Estancieras and the Baqueanos. This gave her 115 HP of power and a maximum speed of 130 Km/H, with a maximum load cargo of 750 Kg.

Montesano built them at its plant in Mataderos, located at Avenida del Trabajo 3301 in the city of Buenos Aires. It made two generations. The first one, with a rounded look and an air similar to the Studebaker Transtar, was made between 1958 and 1961. In 1962 a cab redesign was made, which was similar to another Studebaker pick up, the Champ. It should be remembered that Studebaker had no representation in the country until the Los Cedros firm began to assemble pickups in 1960. The Transtar between 1960 and 1962, and the Champ between 1962 and 1965.

Due to local competition and the lack of government stimulus, the Adelmo disappeared in 1964, with only 100 units produced. Practically no units in good condition survive. There are only a couple of photos, some advertisements and some bodies in terrible condition, abandoned in the fields and dismantling yards of our country. An anonymous end to an interesting undertaking of our national industry.

One of the very rare photos circulating on the Internet of an Adelmo pickup in excellent condition in the 60s.

One of the very rare photos circulating on the Internet of an Adelmo pickup in excellent condition in the 60s. Currently chassis in poor condition are offered in the website of MercadoLibre, with the idea of targeting restorers and collectors, but its condition is practically unrecoverable.