1982 Puma GTC

Over the last few months I’ve taken a look at a few oddball Volkswagen do Brasil creations that were popular but never appeared here. Most recently was the Karmann Ghia TC, before that was the legendary and fantastic SP2, and first but mostly forgettable was the Brasilia:

1978 Volkswagen Brasilia LS

But the Brasilia’s rather humdrum existence was spiced up by an aftermarket producer known as Puma. Puma Indústria de Veículos SA’s roots were actually in producing rebodied front-engine DKWs in Brazil, but they managed to make the kit work with some refinement first on the Karmann Ghia and later on the Brasilia. The result was the Puma GTE – a pretty slick budget Ferrari Dino knockoff which somehow managed to work when so many VW-based customs didn’t. Puma added a convertible version called the GTS in the 1970s and then renamed that model the GTC for 1980, two years before the Brasilia shut down production. Sold as complete cars in South America and later South Africa, some kits were sent to North America – but this one is an original build and import:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Puma GTC on eBay

Continue reading

1976 Volkswagen SP2

Here’s another alternative air-cooled Volkswagen from Brazil. We saw the Brasilia recently – Volkswagen do Brasil’s answer to the Golf platform and intended to extend the life of the Beetle platform. Here was their attempt to modernize the Karmann Ghia – the infamous SP2.

‘SP’ referenced São Paulo where the SP and SP2 were produced. The early model had a 1.6 liter flat-4, while the SP2 moved up to a 75 horsepower 1.7 air-cooled flat-4 mounted in the rear. The proportions of the body styling seemed to suggest the opposite though, with the long, low hood and hatchback GT profile looking more like a traditional sports car than any VW had before. Other period designs were borrowed – the Volkswagen 411, the Porsche 924 and Audi’s 100 Coupe S all had similar angles. But it was probably Volkswagen do Brasil’s own Karmann Ghia TC (Typ 145) that looked the most similar.

Only about 11,300 of these ultra-rare, Brazil-only SP2s were produced. They’re about as legendary as air-cooled VWs get in the U.S., so when one pops up for sale it’s worth a look:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1976 Volkswagen SP2 on eBay

Continue reading

1978 Volkswagen Brasilia LS

Do you ever wonder ‘What if VW had decided to make the Golf platform develop from the Beetle rather than the Audi 50?

Me either. But it’s an interesting thought exercise, and what’s interesting is that we actually have an example of what could have been. That’s because Volkswagen do Brasil did produce a hatchback successor to the Beetle, and here it is – the Brasilia. The Brazilian branch of VW utilized a Karmann Ghia floor, a 1600 cc Beetle motor and borrowed the styling from the Type 4s to create a small 3- and 5-door hatchback.

It was reasonably successful, too – Volkswagen do Brasil reportedly sold somewhere north of 1,000,000 of them over a ten year production cycle from 1973-1982. They were sold primarily in Central and South America, never making it past the Rio Grande officially, but kits of the Brasilia were also sent to Africa. The Brasilia remains the only mass-produced air-cooled rival to the Beetle, amazingly. Today, an absolutely pristine example is up on eBay:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1978 Volkswagen Brasilia LS on eBay

Continue reading

1966 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Type 34

I don’t spend a lot of time talking about air-cooled models on these pages, and that’s a huge gap in Volkswagen’s history. It’s also not so long ago that VW continued to crank out brand new Beetles alongside their water-cooled replacements. The proliferation paved the way not only for the water-cooled replacement models I tend to favor, but some pretty awesome air-cooled examples, too.

Of those my favorite certainly must be the Type 34. I dissected Volkswagen’s first attempt to move upscale in an article on The Truth About Cars last year:

Volkswagen’s Other Karmann Ghia: the Type 34

Basically, like the Phaeton, the Type 34 was a sales failure. It was too expensive – costing about 50% more than a normal Type 14 Ghia. But that didn’t mean it wasn’t a very good looking failure. While the underpinnings were shared with its less exotic 1500 cousins, the upscale Karmann Ghia was aimed squarely at making peasants feel like landed gentry and certainly looked the part. Sweeping character lines ran the length of the car, giving it its signature “razor” nickname. Added to the upscale look in terms of desirability today is rarity. Never imported to the United States, the Type 34 only achieved about 42,500 units – less than 10% of the total number of the more popular and familiar Type 14 Karmann Ghia. But we’re lucky to find one today in Michigan:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1966 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Type 34 on eBay

Continue reading

Funny Fiber Double Take: 1974 Bradley GT II v. 1980 Aquila

Kit cars don’t get much love on these pages. Well, to be fair, they don’t get much love, period. But kits cars do offer something; exotic(ish) looks on a pedestrian budget. And strangely enough, some kit car and limited-manufacture cars have begun to be considered collectable in their own right. So when I came across two unique Volkswagen-based bits, I thought “why not?”

So today we have two very limited production examples of fiberglass laid over a VW chassis. Which is the winner? Let’s start with the Bradley GT II:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1974 Bradley GT II on eBay

Continue reading

1968 Porsche 912 Coupe

I do miss the days when I could come across a Porsche 912 and feel confident its selling price would be reasonable. We seem to have long passed those days as price tags above $50K are very common with some even approaching $100K. Those examples are few and far between, but, of course, it never stops other sellers from attaching similar figures to their cars hoping to capitalize on a few big sales.

In theory, this 912 should be pretty reasonable. It isn’t original or numbers matching. Bidding even is quite reasonable and we could hope that with some time that bidding would be taken into account and the asking price will come down. For that we must wait. Either way, here we have a very pretty 1968 Porsche 912 with a Polo Red exterior over a Tan interior and a reported 58,628 miles on it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1968 Porsche 912 Coupe on eBay

Year: 1968
Model: 912
Engine: 1.6 liter flat-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 58,628 mi
Price: Reserve Auction

1968 Porsche 912

Karmann bodied 912 with appreciating value
One of only 7,458 912 models sold in the United States in 1968
Polo Red exterior with tan interior
1586cc flat four-cylinder engine from a ’66 Porsche
Dual DeLorto carburators
Five-speed manual transmission period correct for 1968
Koni Shocks, with Weltmiester Adjustable Spring Plates
Nardi steering wheel with engraved signature and Bird’s Eye Maple dash trim insert
VDO gauges, Hella lights and dual Durant sideview mirrors
Optional 15-inch chrome wheels
Documentation includes original owner’s manual and some service records
MotoeXotica Classic Cars is proud to offer this 1968 Porsche 912 for your examination. This is a Porsche you can take out and drive, either as an everyday commuter or on weekend club runs. This 912 is a California car and currently on a California title from San Diego.

Originally delivered to Porsche Cars Northeast in Bedford, Massachusetts on December 18, 1967. This 912 is finished Polo Red with a tan interior. Both the engine and transmission have been changed, with the transmission slightly newer, but still correct for the year. The engine is from a 1966 vehicle but appears to have been rebuilt as it runs extremely well.

Structurally and mechanically the vehicle is very sound, with many newer parts – Koni shock absorbers, Weltmeister adjustable spring plates and bushings, brake lines, rebuilt calipers, brake rotors, master cylinder, shift couplers, transmission linkage, tie-rods, DeLorto carburetors and a 050 Bosch distributor.

The car’s paint and trim are in overall good order, presenting as a nice driver quality 912. The windows are clear, intact and haze-free. The car’s Hella lights are in similar very good order, intact and crack-free. The car rolls on good-looking Michelin radials, 195/65R15, surrounding the original and optional, 15-inch chrome wheels that sparkle. Its spare tire is in place and looks to be in good order and the front and rear bumpers are in great shape, too.

Inside, the tan interior is in overall very good shape, from the reupholstered front bucket seats, to the matching carpet and headliner. Facing the driver is a Nardi wood steering wheel with engraved signature and the instrument panel has a Bird’s Eye Maple trim insert to complement its VDO gauges. The inner door panels and shift lever, topped by a complementing wooden knob, are in very good order. A whimsical touch, the car’s seat belts are red, echoing the exterior. Completing the interior is a Clarion AM/FM stereo with CD player.

The Porsche 912 was manufactured between 1965 and 1969 as its entry-level model. The 912 is a nimble-handling compact performance four-seat vehicle, capable of up to 30 miles per gallon fuel. This is possible because of a high-efficiency engine, low weight, and low drag. A variant of the Type 911, one of the most famous and successful sports cars of all time, the Type 912 initially outsold the 911, boosting the manufacturer’s total production until success of the six-cylinder 911 was assured. As production of the 356 model concluded on April 5, 1965, Porsche officially began production of the 912 coupe. Overall, Porsche produced nearly 30,000 912 coupes. This is one of 7,458 912s sold in the United States in 1968.

In 1968, the United States Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) imposed mandates that would significantly change the Porsche 912. No longer permitted were glass lenses that had enclosed the headlights, and in their place were large chrome bezels that housed the lenses directly. Windshields were made of composite glass for increased strength. Instead of silver, windshield wipers were painted matte black to reduce unwanted reflections. And to increase wanted reflections, Durant side mirrors were enlarged considerably. Door buttons were more recessed. For U.S. cars, colored reflectors were also fitted to the sides of the car. Inside the car, the 1968-only the rear-view mirror was attached to a spring-loaded release attachment located on metal window frame, between the sun visors instead of the chrome plated metal type bolted to the roof of the car. Easier to read white lettering replaced the green Porsche had historically used on all its gauges. All interior fittings, from window cranks to ashtray pull, were now encased in soft rubber plastic, which was deemed to be less damaging to occupants in the unfortunate instance of a collision. In addition to safety concerns, the U.S. D.O.T. also imposed environmental regulations for 1968, which Porsche was able to comply with by introducing a vacuum advance 050 Bosch distributor, split-shaft Solex carburetors and an air pump that pushed more air through the tail pipe thus lowering emissions but only as assessed expressed in terms of parts per million, and not overall.

For 1968, 912 door panels were a unique one-year only design and doorframes in were now aluminum instead of chrome-plated brass. For added stability, wheel width was increased from 4.5 to five inches. For more reliable braking, a dual circuit master cylinder was introduced. A larger 420-watt generator charged the battery faster.

Looking for a German sports car you can drive regularly versus one with a “look but don’t touch” vibe and that will still appreciate in value? Then visit MotoeXotica Classic Cars to check out this late 60s Porsche 912 before someone else takes it home.

This car is currently located at our facility in St. Louis, Missouri. Current mileage on the odometer shows 58,628 miles. It is sold as is, where is, on a clean and clear, exempt mileage California title. GET OUT AND DRIVE!!!

VIN: 12802427
EIN: 747006

The big points we need to take into account with this 912 is that neither its engine nor its transmission are original to the car. The engine is an earlier unit from 1966. The seller says it appears to have been rebuilt, but it’s clear that this seller did not install the engine and may not know much about who did and when. The transmission is said to be period correct and slightly newer. Again, there’s little information. A PPI should tell us if each unit is in proper working condition and well maintained. Obviously, being non-numbers matching is not ideal, but if your goal were to get a driveable 912 for lower cost, then this would less of an issue.

The interior, which looks quite nice though obviously refurbished, also has some non-original additions. These would be my biggest quibble, though I will admit the wood additions fit the general character of the car. I just think the wood is all wrong. Why not attempt to replicate the look of the wood dash in a ’65 or ’66 911? Those are beautiful and possess wonderful vintage character. This wood looks too modern. Some may enjoy it though for that extra dash of modern luxury.

As I said above, this 912 should come in at a reasonable cost due to all of these issues. And it is a really nice looking example both inside and out. Bidding is following suit sitting at only $17,300. That in itself would be a very attractive price if everything is in good mechanical condition. Alas, the seller’s asking price is a good bit higher. Something will have to give and we’ll have to see if bidding eventually comes up to the seller’s ask. I don’t expect it to so with patience a buyer may still get a pretty nice price in the end.

-Rob

Wilder West: 1973 Volkswagen Microbus Wild Westerner

The Volkswagen Van was, and is, a part of our culture. It’s like Peter Frampton Comes Alive!, Pet Rocks and Star Wars; not the best of their ilk, but they enjoy near universal popularity. The VW Van appeared everywhere. It was ubiquitous with the Hippie movement. It was counter-culture, yet eminently practical as transportation. It was pretty uncool as a design, and yet massively cool. And, it should come as no surprise that it has created a cult-like following.

Yet, we infrequently look at them. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because they’re cliche?

I learned how to drive in a VW Microbus. It had no clutch, so you had to start in gear. If you were really clever you could get into second, but most of the time I just felt pretty special crawling around the fields behind my house in first. But I feel no particular attachment to the model, unlike my first car.

Still, they make me smile, and when I came across this lightly modified one, I wanted to take a closer look. I’m not sure if it was the Porsche Phonedial wheels or the color scheme that most attracted me, but I have to admit I was a bit surprised when I looked closer:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1973 Volkswagen Bus Wild Westerner on eBay

Continue reading

Motorsports Monday: 1969 Porsche 912

The Porsche 912 was originally conceived as a budget model because the 911, quite simply, had become too expensive compared to the outgoing 356 model. On the surface, you got the updated looks of the 901 – but underneath was a more simple and frugal flat-4 similar to the unit from the outgoing 356. This helped to keep costs down but performance was less exciting, and for a long time the 912 was the “also ran” compared to 911. But stratospheric rises in prices – especially of early 911s – meant that it was no surprise to see the 912 get drawn up as well. The simplicity is almost more appealing than the 911 in some ways; as the adage goes, it’s more fun to drive a slow car fast, and a 912 is just the type of car that you can drive flat out without worrying about lighting your hair on fire and jumping backwards off a cliff. As with all Porsches, some of these 912 have been modified to race, such as this 1969 example:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1969 Porsche 912 on eBay

Continue reading

1974 Porsche 914

IMG_9539_zpsf7900cc8

914s have been on my mind again for the first time in a long while. One of my first attempts at misguided car purchase was well before I even had my license, was a call to a guy on a forum advertising a $950 914 project. “Yeah, I’ll save and fix it up by the time I can drive!” I thought. “What the hell is my seventh-grader doing on the phone discussing buying cars!?” my poor mom asked. Well, the basest of Porsches seemed like a fun way to tinker, and the go-kart from Stuttgart had my mind working over time. Now again, I’ve been longing for a weight-free tossable treat, and some choice 914s in the area have them back in my consciousness. None are as sweet as this though, which had just one owner and covered less than 70k miles in the first 40 years of its life. A beautiful repaint and cared-for interior have it looking like a showroom example. There aren’t many out there like this and it’s going to command a commensurate price, but as vintage 911s rise beyond the reach of many, the 914 is still a quick and fun option available to most.

Click for details: 1974 Porsche 914 on eBay

Continue reading

Heap of the Week: 1974 Volkswagen SP2

Recently, a Facebook fanpage called Flussig Magazine – centering on watercooled Porsches – did an interesting comparison of side drawings comparing the 944, Ferrari 365 GTB/4, and Volkswagen SP2. While that may sound like a very interesting assortment of unrelated cars, the reality is if you put them side by side, there are pretty similar profiles to the designs. That’s a big compliment to the much more affordable Volkswagen and Porsche models, though the SP2 is a rare to see treat. There are very few kicking around the U.S., and while you can import one here it’s not the most common model to bring here. Is it worth it, then, if there’s one already here that needs some work?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1974 Volkswagen SP2 on eBay

Continue reading