ARO IMS Series
Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures
The first off-road vehicle built by the Romanian carmaker ARO was the IMS57, and it was built under a Russian license for the GAZ69.
After WWII, Romania fell under the Soviet occupation and built what the “Big Brother” said. There was a high demand for off-road vehicles since the roads were in terrible shape, if they even existed. The government bought the rights to produce the GAZ69 Russian off-road vehicle under license in a factory, and that’s how the ARO brand was born.
Like the GAZ69, the IMS (an acronym for State Mechanical Factory) followed the same design as its Russian sibling, with a high, V-shaped engine compartment. Its rounded hood and flat grille with vertical slats were reminiscences from the pre-war design. The flared front fenders supported the headlights. Its steep, folding windshield was divided and flat. There was no roof or other body panels to protect the occupants. The IMS57 was available only as a convertible vehicle, with a military-grade cloth cover and plastic windows.
Inside, IMS offered the 57 with either two seats at the front and a pair of side-mounted benches in the rear or a bench in the back. The dashboard featured four dials in the center and a grab-handle in front of the passenger.
IMS 57 featured a ladder chassis with solid axles both front and rear. There was a 3.2-liter diesel engine paired to a 4-speed manual gearbox and a transfer case under the hood. IMS produced the 57 only for two years, and it was improved in 1959, leading to the IMS59 model.