S P E C I A L   R E P O R T   V

 

 

This time the report points to a purely Argentine development, the much treasured and remembered SP. A variant of the GT version (only in fastback shapes), but with some unique changes that emphasized his sport style.

 

These coupes were characterized by sports ornaments and special colour scheme on the outside, some details unique to the model in its interior and some mechanical improvements, which amounted to 10 HP power. SP stands for "Special Performance" and the mark that distinguishes immortalized in the minds of the Argentines for ever and ever.

 

Within the history of the Taunus in Argentina without doubt the GT coupe versions of the SP, are most remembered by fans of sports car development and domestic manufacture.

 

 

In 1974, Ford Motor Argentina launched the L and the Taunus GXL, 4-door sedan called "the little one of Ford". The following year was born the first Ford coupe manufactured in our country ... was none other than the GT version of the Taunus. With a noble mechanica , strong character lines, marking a great design ... being called the "Bride of the Wind". Captivate the market soon, the only drawback she presented was not look very different to the sedan and even though his power was good, had not reached the client as a superior vehicle performance. 

 

Ford picks up quickly and by 1976 it already started working on a coupe with a kit "High Performance" as an option. The '70s were marked by all automotive terminals had sporty versions such as Fiat 125 and some four-door coupe like the Fiat 125 powered, the 128 IAVA, the Dodge GT100/GT90, the Renault 12 Alpine, Peugeot 504 TN , not to mention the great as the Dodge RT and GTX V8 , Torino and the Chevy (Nova in the world). Ford only had the Falcon Sprint (straight six 3.6), which placed him only in the large middle segment in a market where the sports segment was very diverse and competitive disadvantage in addition to running the Sprint was not a coupe The solution would appear in the hand of the Taunus.

On August 28, 1979 it manufactured the first GT SP version, but we had to wait until September 7 for the sportiest model Taunus knew the streets of our country. He was born the coupe GT Ford Taunus SP, "everything that a sport to be" spelled out their advertising.

 

The optional SP had significant differences with her sister, GT, on this basis, there had been a sports car with real character, who wore a fair market which has been almost free with the death of the Chevy, Dodge and coupe Fiat 125 in '78.

The nearly four-year program of development and design were validated by extensive testing on dynamometers and in vehicles, there were over 200,000 miles of durability at low and high speed, acceleration, fuel consumption, maneuverability of the vehicle under different climatic conditions and by many different types of road.

 

 

The trials were conducted in five areas, Bariloche city, and the provinces Santiago del Estero, Tucuman, Salta and Jujuy. To test the SP was used at high speeds Rafaela Autodrome, where she was compared to the competition, nearly 40 vehicles involved.

 

 

As for the dynamometers, covered more than 5000 hours of evidence of its durability, especially evaluated hot spots such as camshaft, intake and exhaust manifolds, pistons, etc.. We also evaluated the order octane and calibration of the carburetor and distributor. The result was excellent, and customer response was swift, undoubtedly supported by an advertising campaign that included TV and magazines.

 

The most noticeable changes of the SP can be classified into three areas: external appearance, interior and mechanics.

 

In its first incarnation (TC1, MK3 or as we call the "old line"), is distinguished externally by its limited range of paintings and ornaments combined with sports. It was only available in 3 colors, Red Cardinal/Ebony Black, Gray Cloud/Ebony Black Ebony Black/Gray Cloud combined. The combination was on the low side, the trunk and hood with decorative self-adhesive strips. He had a single mirror (driver side) with a unique sporty design for this model and truly sporty. The output queue chrome exhaust pipe was like the combination of your tires, it was the same characteristics and dimensions as the other models, but differed in their outward appearance, chrome finish all around and black paint its reliefs. Eliminated plastic rear window weatherstripping, incorporating a new section rubber completely black. On each front fender, is identified with the logo of SP, the same as fitted to the Falcon Sprint.

 

It was the only version that had the grill painted entirely black, except the frames of the headlights. The central frames, and nails were also black, was also the only Taunus with rooftop antenna. It had the GT logo on the grille in the background and frame color with black letters in red GT. Another detail was the arm and the wiper blades in black.

In the engine compartment you can see the valve cover, the belt covers and brake servo were chromed factory. The sockets were black version black. Air conditioning available as an option and shared the box and the differential with the GT.

 

Inside, the distinguished sports an upholstery design that combined the seats and side panels in brown or black colors. The aluminum steering wheel mark was Sandrini (exclusively designed for this model), three-spoke leather-wrapped together in a jar of change, also of unique design. The tachometer indicated the yellow caution zone between 5750 and 6000 rpm, accusing the "red zone" above the 6,000 laps.

 

Another detail that characterized and identified, was the symbol of SP at the top of the glove, but it is clear that is not the same as the outside.

 

Its engine was a high performance, delivering 132 hp, making it the most powerful of the range, whose acceleration was 10.4 and the final speed exceeded 180 km / h. His heart had some differences from the GT, on whether the engine was the same, 2.3 liters, but had some internal reforms and some obvious. He had a new camshaft to the head (OHC) design which was different from the GT version, a carburetor Solex 36-36 simultaneous, new intake manifold, exhaust manifold with individual steel tubes (4 to 2 and 2 to 1), new charter, renewed ignition system (distributor and spark plugs). The cooling system had a larger fan blades and flexible (system "Flex Fan"). 

 

The suspension was airbrushed to high speeds, had the hardest springs, larger diameter stabilizer bar. Also covered are the shod with 185/70 R13 Radial Maxi Fate also for high speed. We can say that this version was the most distinguished by its unique design sports accessories, with respect to his predecessor of 1981 and the very SP5. The old SP line (TC1) was sold for one year and four months.

Heart of the SP

 

 

The first days of 1981 marked the most visible change in the line Taunus, a product of "Teresa project" it produces the only major change in your body, so with the restyling of the Taunus produced the birth of a global vehicle The coupe fastback TC3. Auto manufacturing and national development, designed in the Design Center of the Ford Motor plant in General Pacheco Argentina by the Engineer Jorge Tomadoni.

 

No doubt the change was at the right time, with the entry of vehicles imported to the domestic market, the Taunus had been relegated if it evolved. He was also such a sales success, which again appeared in the highly prized dealerships GT SP version.

 

This new SP, but had a wide range, but limited, only 5 colors, combined with a sport ornamentation, which we will see in the following table:

 

Ornamentation Color

Body Color

 

Moorish Red

White Tunisia

Cloud Gray

Inca Gold

Ebony Black

Ebony Black

X

X

X

X

 

Cloud Gray

       

X

 

This ornament is accentuated sporty, lay on its hood, its low side, the lower pane of the trunk lid and the continuation of the rear windows. The central frames painted in black came as the previous version and this model did not have mouldings side, as if outfitted with the GT version. Factory equipped with covered are the 185/70 R13 Michelin ZX.

 

 

The interior had leather seats in Walnut or Natural color canvas "Huntsman" Gray exclusive Design Competition, there were upholstered in fabric type Huntsman in brown. He outlined a four spoke steering wheel wrapped in leather, which like the knob of the shifter design was sporty and exclusive to this model. In the compartment had a new center console with pressure gauge oil pressure gauge and voltmeter, gray board, intermittent wipers, electric windshield wash and steady heat. As a detail, the first SP that came out until almost the end of '81 had the console girl, who equipped the SP model above, as well as color of the board that was black in the former and later became gray in the '82 series.

 

Mechanically recorded changes in the relations of the differential, 3:31 to 1:00 as the entire line Taunus. Was added to the carburetor automatic primer and a fuel return to tank. Inside the engine compartment was eliminated servo chrome.

 

The tachometer was the same as equipping the previous SP GT, since the engine was the same, the only difference was the dry air filter (although the former kept coming with moist filter oil bath), mouth of air inlet facing forward, whereas in versions L, GT and Ghia point to the left, passing over the valve cover, thus remaining on the exhaust manifold.

 

Photos of the product launch - Archive 1981

 

On the outside, except for the lines, the absence of SP mouldings and emblems that lodged in the front fenders (like above), was similar to the GT, such as alloy wheels were the same design as those outfitted to the GT and the Ghia. Other additions were the electric pump windshield and rear window wash temperature.

 

As detail... researching and reviewing files and information at the time, we have recorded pictures of some SP (the first) not incorporated in the timber upper side of the upholstered interior.

 

 

Finally, on 5 April 1983, presented the latest version of the SP, which was in our country, the top line of the Ford Taunus and manufactured just for this year. 
 
The big difference with the rest of the range, was a 5-speed box Hummer, Ford became the first Argentine to h.ave a box of 5th., So the SP changed its name ... was called SP5.

 

Were available in a limited range of colors (only 4) and also not to lose the habit, combined with the sport ornamentation.

 

The colors were blue with white stripes Space Tunis, Tunisia stripes White Orange Gray Red stripes Albatros Moorish and Morisco Red color with yellow stripes, the low side in all cases was black. Besides the slots are combined with black lines marking the aggressiveness of its lines. SP5 had the initials at the top of gas tank and the other side at the same height in the same color as the stripes. Taunus that was the only addition to the central studs, adding the front in black, combining the door with the windshield in that color.

 

On the front was different from the rest of the range for your grill that was body color, the only Taunus in our country in such detail, the rest of the range was black, and some versions of L in 1984 were gray. This grill was Hella brand and had two built rectangular halogen headlights reaching the same mark, that could be activated in conjunction with the high beams.

 

Following tradition, in their front fenders were placed the initials SP that identified her.

 

This version had no special style wheels, while alloy were were the same that equipped the GT and the Ghia.

 

Combination of colors and lines of the GT SP5

 

 

The engine was the same as that came across the line using SP, but the big difference was the 5 speed box , this time is aimed more at comfort and economy of strength, while delivering 132 HP.  Also included is a drum reclaimer radiator return water.

 

 

The interior was more harmonious, had a different center console, which housed the command of the air conditioning and two gauges, one for oil pressure and a battery voltage, also the air conditioning equipment was better integrated to the board and was smaller in all equipment used SP5  Nippondenso.

 

The steering wheel was four spokes, but no special design as previous versions, was the same as similar to the rest of the range, except the L version, which was two spokes. It incorporated a multifunctional clock on the roof (time, date and stopwatch), where he was housed the interior courtesy light, and mirror it relocated, going to be stuck on the windshield with a double-jointed arm.

 

Photos of the official presentation in society - Archive 1983 

 

Both the lid of the glove, as the air diffuser ventilation system on the passenger side were lined and padded, as the torpedo, was no longer following the similar set of wooden board, just joined in the center console.

It also added a drawer slide under the glove box. The lower instrument panel was dark gray.

 

 

Many of these elements are incorporated into the rest of the range from the next year, even as an option, 5 speed box (Including the humble 2.0L !!!). The hydraulic steering and air conditioning were standard. Note that the GT was the Taunus SP5 more equipped in the range, which was manufactured in our country. The last unit was manufactured on 17 December 1983.

 

 

 

TECHNICAL CARD

Report: SP Inside

Redaction: Lucas (29) / Carlos (01)

date: 01/10/2002

Edition: Carlos (01)

Investigation: Lucas (29) / Carlos (01)

Colaborationn: Ford Argentina S.C.A.

 


Buenos Aires - Argentina 2002 Club Taunus Argentina