Classic Cars Wiki
Classic Cars Wiki

The Rastrojero was a small diesel utility pickup truck with a capacity of half-ton (taxis were also developed) designed by Raúl Gómez and built by the Argentine government-owned airplane (and vehicle) manufacturer IAME (Industrias Aeronáutica y Mecánicas del Estado) from 1952 to 1980. It owes its name to its purpose of hauling crops (rastrojos). Over 33,000 of these trucks were manufactured.

1st generation (1952-1969)[]

The Rastrojero was born as a product driven by the state company, during the epoch of stimulus to the local work force and support to domestic industry, during the presidency of General Juan Domingo Perón. For the production of this vehicle, they used parts of Empire Tractors, which had been purchased by the National Government of the United States, a few years after end of World War II. These tractors had a problem in their design, and were discontinued. Finally, these tractors were converted by a group of technicians and engineers who worked on making the new truck. The original Rastrojero pickup truck, rolled off the assembly line in 1952. From 1952 to 1954, a Willys-Overland 2,199 cm3 (134 cu in) gasoline engine from the tractors was used and starting in 1954, a 42 horsepower Borgward D4M diesel engine of 1758 cm3 with indirect injection.

Particular attention was given to the front fender design, bearing in mind that it would be a vehicle for the outback, and for that reason the fender lines where deigned similar in shape to the ones used at the time for Turismo Carretera road racing, so as not to collect too much mud under the fenders.

2nd Generation (1968-1979)[]

Finally, in 1968 its body got a complete redesign. The new model now looked more like a car with the aspect of a thoughter vehicle. Its design featured a bodywork made entirely of steel with fully floating cab and separate cargo section for the two door models while the cab and box were built into an integrated assembly for the four doors models. However, there were also models that still had flat beds with wooden boxes and drop-sides. In addition to its aesthetics, its powertrain had been modified as well. The new model came equipped with an Indenor XD 4.88 52 HP gas oil sourced by Peugeot, with a 4-speed gear box. Despite this motor change, Borgward continued to provide transmissions.

In 1974 it minor redesign changes were made on the front and rear of to the body.

Despite several attempts by the Ministry of Aeronautics and Defense to stop their production, the Rastrojero assembly line continued. The engineers, technicians and employees of the factory, fearing production would be shut down, were guaranteed its production until 1979. During this time, the evolution of the body was nil because of these attempts to cut its production. In spite of that, there was still significant evolution of its power plant, beginning with gas engines getting 65HP, passing up the Borgward diesel with 42HP and ending with the Indenor XD2 diesel with 68HP.

Also, the factory at the time had offered different models based on the Rastrojero, highlighted among those is a truck similar to the standard front IKA, a van based on this truck, and the Rastrojero Conosur, a car based on the second generation Rastrojero that was designed exclusively to be used in taxi fleets.

Finally, by instruction from the government's National Reorganization Process prevailing in Argentina, the production of the Rastrojero and all derivatives was ended on 1980.