Friday, January 20, 2017

Feito no Brasil: 1981 Volkswagen Puma GTI

The Volkswagen Beetle was used for a number of kit-style cars over the years -- but don't think for a minute that you need to settle for some homebuilt project, because a few crazy people in Brazil built a legitimate production car using bits of old Beetles...and it doesn't look bad at all.  Find this 1981 Volkswagen Puma offered for $6,000 in Mokena, IL via craigslist.

The Puma is a small rear-engined sports coupe manufactured in Brazil that was exported engine-less to qualify as a kit car and then a locally sourced aircooled Volkswagen or Porsche flat-4 was added for motive power.  The fiberglass body is surprisingly good looking and thankfully isn't a blatant rip off of an iconic design (550 Spyder, Cobra kit, etc).

The Puma looks like the bastard love child of a Ferrari Dino and Alpine A110, and why shouldn't it -- it was the product of an Italian born but Brazilian based racer and businessman named Genaro "Rino" Malzoni.  Rino's initial Puma product line used DKW mechanical bits, but as the DKW brand was finally put to pasture by their Audi owners, Rino changed the Puma parts to Volkswagen components. 

See a better way to rock a brazillian?


  1. Nice find. It's easy to find a kit car that looks original, and possible to find one that looks good - but it's a rare find indeed when you come up with a kit car that is both.

  2. Wow, what else looks that good for 6k ? California smog for this car would be ?

  3. These were sold here in Canada in the 80s. They were nicely finished, but I never took the time to drive one. Still looks exotic and the design has aged well.

  4. Nicely done. Really put together well, doesn't have that kit car feel.

  5. The earlier model with glass covered headlights and smoother lines look AMAZING!
    Even better on Porsche wheels and lowered!

  6. So many cars, so little timeJanuary 21, 2017 at 2:49 PM

    Agree that it's pretty and has aged well, but wondering if the driving experience is pure Beetle.

  7. These look like a love child from a 280z and 911...but I like

  8. These were not KIT cars and were in fact production cars on new VW chassis that were shortened in a factory in Brazil... with new VW mechanicals. so the term kit car does not apply any more than it would in the case of a Ferrari where they used some Fiat and Lancia components...


Commenting Commandments:
I. Thou Shalt Not write anything your mother would not appreciate reading.
II. Thou Shalt Not post as anonymous unless you are posting from mobile and have technical issues. Use name/url when posting and pick something Urazmus B Jokin, Ben Dover. Sir Edmund Hillary Clint don't matter. Just pick a nom de plume and stick with it.
III. Honor thy own links by using <a href ="http://www.linkgoeshere"> description of your link </a>
IV. Remember the formatting tricks <i>italics</i> and <b> bold </b>
V. Thou Shalt Not commit spam.
VI. To embed images: use [image src="" width="400px"/]. Limit images to no wider than 400 pixels in width. No more than one image per comment please.