Friday, October 4, 2019

Brazilian Kit Car: 1971 L'Automobile Ventura

The Ventura was a fiberglass rebody of a Volkswagen from Brazil --- similar in concept, spirit, and styling to the awesome Puma.  If Volkswagen made a rear-drive GT car that preceded the Scirocco and Corrado, and it looked half as good as this does, they would be everywhere. Instead, the Ventura got the "just another kit car" label and is largely forgotten. Information and comparable examples are hard to come by, but we know it was made from 1978 until at least 1992 using mostly VW parts, and most were shipped to America sans engine.  Find this 1971 L'Automobile Ventura offered for $7900 in Arroyo Grande, CA via craigslist.

 From the seller:

1971 L'Automobile Ventura
condition: excellent
cylinders: 4 cylinders
drive: rwd
fuel: gas
paint color: custom
title status: rebuilt
transmission: manual
type: other
Introduced in Brazil in 1978, the Ventura took over where the VW SP2 left off. The body is fiberglass and because it uses all SP2 window glass, the shape and profile are very similar to the SP2.

Although it’s not an SP2, the Ventura shares many parts with the SP2 including:
• Drive Train
• Chassis (floor pan), Suspension, Steering and Brakes
• Gauges and Switchgear
• All Window Glass and unique driver’s side Windshield Wiper
• Fuel Tank, Parcel Shelf and other interior trim
• Hardware (hinges, hood springs, window lifts, door latches, etc.)

It also shares a few parts with the VW-based Puma including the outside door handles, windshield washer reservoir, steering wheel and steering column controls (wipers and blinkers).

Bought as a derelict in 2013, I’ve spent the intervening years doing a full restoration/rebuild including the following:
• New steel floor pans welded in
• Bodywork and paint to match the original color
• Correct Western Turbine Wheels with new 165/80-R15 tires
• Reconditioned brakes with new parts as needed
• New rubber window seals
• Cleaned and coated fuel tank
• Low mile 1600 VW Type 3 engine with rebuilt heads

• Low mile 4-speed manual transaxle

Interior was reassembled using mostly original parts, all cleaned or painted or otherwise reconditioned. Headliner is new.

Original seats were missing so I replaced them with some nice after-market fully reclining cloth-covered seats mounted on sliding tracts.

This car starts, runs, drives and stops as it should. All that's left is to install carpet (which I didn’t do to leave the new floor exposed for inspection by potential buyers).

Price is negotiable. I would consider trading for a nice Squareback or Notchback.

For more on the Ventura, go to:

 See a better way to drive something strange?


  1. It looks really good, very similar to the Porsche 924/944 except it does not have the annoying flip-up headlights.

    1. I like it, it looks kinda like the Puma's too.

    2. I was thinking it looks a bit like a Lancia Scorpion. Looks a lot better than your typical VW kit car, that's for sure. Although for some reason it hasn't escaped the cheap dune buggy bucket seats... but that's an easy fix.

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