by: Editor , 08-03-2018

As is often the case in countries where there is a prohibitively high taxation on imported vehicles, homegrown alternatives spring up using new parts available locally. This was the case in Brazil in the 1970s where, due to a complete ban on imported vehicles, an industry of unique and unusual machines was driven by local entrepreneurs. In 1976 import of vehicles was completely stopped, leading to the overnight emergence of local car companies eager to make their fortune. Most of course didn't and barely produced a handful of cars, but some producers created machines that today are quite desirable yet not particularly valuable, making them an interesting and unusual choice for import to Europe. Often looking expensive and exotic they were usually based on the locally produced VW floorpans and drivetrain although some utilized more powerful drivetrains. These were far from kit cars because unlike the UK, the local market demanded finished cars. And the finish was often outstanding, some like the Santa Matilde SM 4.1 more than rivaling European build quality. Ironically it was the exacting standards of the founder that became the downfall of the SM 4.1 after his quality control technique of reportedly slashing interior upholstery and scratching paint on the production line led to his workers revolt. The next time you find yourself dragged down the rabbithole of online image searches, 1970s Brazilian sportscars can yield several hours of education. We love the Puma GT.  Shortened Karmann Ghia or Brazilia floorpan and at first front drive DKW power then rear drive VW flatfour power, it has Alpine A110 meets Ferrari GTO looks. Not really surprising as the Willy's Interlagos was a Renault A108 built in Brazil under licence.Tune that 1600 flatfour and with such a lightweight fiberglass body and low centre of gravity you'd have a very fun machine. Some of these cars can still be found at car auctions in Brazil and we'd love to sell one via our online classic car auction, so if you're reading this and have one in the garage please get in touch! Ok, so not quite the full Brazilian....we could go on for hours, but instead here's a snippet of some of the best offerings.  Eclectic!

Category: News

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