The history of the Zunder 1500 (Argentina, 1960 – 1963) (ENG)

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The history of the Zunder 1500 (Argentina, 1960 - 1963) (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.

The end of the 1950s. The Argentine automobile industry undergoes a boom, and dozens of entrepreneurs are launching projects, one after another. Certainly the vast majority would not survive the next 5 years, and practically all of them would be extinct by the end of the following decade. Among all this enthusiasm was a couple of brothers, Nelson José and Eligio Oscar Bongiovanni, who had been experimenting with racing cars in Río Cuarto, Córdoba.

Determined to get into mass production, they traveled to England, where they learned about the construction of plastic resin bodies. Seeing that the project was viable, they founded Industria del Transporte Automotor S.R.L. This is how the Zunder (“spark” in German) was born.

As was quite common in those days of the Argentine automotive industry, the Zunder was born with a Porsche engine – a batch of which had been acquired by the Argentine State in the 1950s to motorize the Justicialista Gran Sport -, which gave great power to its fragile fiberglass and plastic body. It was a strange-looking coupe that undoubtedly did not go unnoticed wherever it was presented.

Initial production was 200 units, aiming to reach 1,500 by 1964. However, 200 units was all that was produced until the company closed in 1963. There was a prototype – based on the VW Karmann Ghia – that never went into production.

Despite official support from Porsche and expectations, the Zunder 1500 never quite took off. It died out in solitude, becoming one of those cult rarities that swarm in Argentina’s troubled automotive history.

The history of the Zunder 1500 (Argentina, 1960 - 1963) (ENG)

Technical characteristics of the Zunder 1500:

  • Manufactured from 1960 to 1963
  • Two-door sedan
  • Engine: Porsche Type 612/20
  • Cycle: 4-stroke, lateral camshaft, overhead valves
  • Location: horizontal rear (Boxer)
  • Displacement (cm3): 1.488
  • Number of cylinders: 4
  • 58 HP
  • Cooling: Air
  • Fuel: Regular gasoline
  • Speeds: 4
  • Weight Empty (Kg): 880
  • Length (mm): 4.320
  • Width (mm): 1.540
  • Height (mm): 1.490
  • Distance between Axles (mm): 2.400
  • Tires: 5.90 x 15″.
  • Average Consumption (Km/l): 12,5
  • Maximum speed (Km/h): 140

200 units produced