Tulieta GT by Tulio Crespi

Crespi Automotive of Buenos Aires was an Argentinian auto manufacturer

founded by Tulio Crespi, a former racing driver.

Crespi was the first "modern" Argentinian sports car manufacturer. Their most famous model, the Tulieta GT, it was lightweight and unique sports car.

The first Tulieta GT (Grand Tourer- at first it used to be written “Tulietta” and “Tulieta”, but now “Tulieta” prevails), was finished in the beginning of 1972. This first version was mounted on a Renault 6 platform with a 1,020cc engine. It was a coupé with fiberglass and reinforced plastic body designed by Tulio Crespi, a prolific Argentine race car maker.

Tulieta GT had a coupe and a convertible versions. Its gearbox had 4 gears and the reverse shift. It had front wheel drive and the engine was in central position. Front suspension was independent with swingarms and torsion bars and hydraulic shock absorbers. Rear suspension was independent with two bars. Breaks were original Renault brakes, and so was the rack type steering.

The electric system used 12 volt power. Tulietas GT included 2 reclining seats, an original Renault heating system, a Beltex MR 510, auto stop stereo cassette player with FM MPX/AM radio and a Nippon electric antenna placed on the right-hand rear mudguard. They were equipped with folding headlights.

Instrument boards, though some were custom made (as were a few of the other characteristics in Tulietas) were equipped with: speedometer, tachometer, fuel and temperature indicators, oil pressure gauge and ammeter, all of them Jaeger originals. These instrument boards were designed exclusively by Crespi for Tulietas.

From 1972 through 1981, around 50 Tulieta GT were made by Tulio Crespi (the number is not exact because accurate records were never kept) at his garage in Chacarita, Buenos Aires, Argentina. 70% of them were convertible and only 30% had a rooftop.

Although the year of each car corresponds to the year when the platform donor was made, the ‘chassis number’ inscribed in the engine compartment is a good indicator of the order in which they were made. In the year 1975 (although erroneous versions place the event in 1976), Tulio Crespi presented a Tulia GT and a Tulieta GT at the Salon de l’Automobile de Paris (that is another very unusual, interesting story).

 

We managed to trace that Tulieta GT’s path from Paris 1975 up to 1992, when it burnt down in a tragic accident. At the Salon, the Tulieta GT was greatly admired for its modern design and versatility.

Measures for Tulieta GT, taken in 1981, where the following:

length: 4,000 mm width: 1,500 mm

height: 1,250 mm

distance between right-hand axles: 2,443 mm

distance between left-hand axles: 2,395 mm

front track: 1,279 mm back track: 1,252 mm

total weight: 750 kg fuel tank: 26 litres

tire size: 175/ 13

wheel rims: light alloy, exclusive design.

sump (oil deposit) capacity: 3.5 litres

gear box capacity: 1 litre

maximum speed: R4/ R6 engine: 150km/h

R12 engine: 170 km/h (only one was reported to be made with a Renault 12 engine).

Photo credit Martin Gomez

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