This morning, 6:05am to be precise, I received a text with an instagram link from a buddy. Confused as to what car he was looking at.
Let’s just get this out in the open now. I just don’t know. What I do know is it’s clearly a Volkswagen kit car. Despite the European car show seen in the rear, it immediately struck me as a Brazilian made ‘kit’. You see, in Brazil, Beetle/Fusca based cars weren’t exactly kits cars. They were designed and assembled the same way, but weren’t perceived the same in South America. Brazil and many other South American countries had importation restrictions when it came to cars. The cars had to be built locally. This is where things became interesting. The above photo immediately got me thinking of Gurgel.
Gurgel built visually more utilitarian versions of the VW chassis. It’s all the same Beetle and Vanagon chassis, just now with much more square, fiberglass bodies slapped on and advertised for more rugged use. This was common practice down in Brazil, as VW kinda gave free reign to anyone who felt they could build a new model. There’s endless companies, but another one of the many was Miura.
Although their truck was not VW based, most if not all Miuras had some sort of borrowed VW drivetrain. This was such a popular practice that VW themselves participated in low volume, Brazil only models like the VW Puma pictured below in multiple versions.
There was even a much more official VW car sold to the public in Brazil, the VW Brasilia.
The VW Ventura, pictured above, is another example of a Brazil only, VW Branded, fiberglass sports car.
Pulling a bit away, but still on the VW ‘kit’ appeal, was an Italian named Rino Malzoni who often played in the territories of making offbeat factory like, sports models of existing bodies and drivetrains. You can find more about him here. One of my favorites is the Malzoni GT, pictured below.
Straying further from the VW roots entirely is our last few cars for the day. Including the Santa Matilde, another Brazilian only car. Chevrolet Chassis, front engined, rear drive.
My cut off today, before I get too lost into the world of South American cars is the Argentina Market Dodge 1500. No, not the truck, the car. Also sold as a VW 1500, both a rebranding of the ever so infectious Hillman Avenger.
Today’s additional Content:
Nigel decided to show us his latest acquisition! Let’s start with the Details.
Update: Today’s Drawing