Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Polauto Pagus, an old Volkswagen-based kit-car from my hometown

Volkswagen-based kit-cars held some popularity in Brazil when imports were restricted from mid-'70s until '90, and the Polauto Pagus was an option for those who wanted a small double-cab pick-up truck. Made in Porto Alegre, the fiberglass body was attached to a Volkswagen Type-3, usually a Variant. It could initially sound a little pointless, especially considering that a T2 Transporter pick-up was already available with double-cab option and offered a bigger cargo area, but the Pagus and other similar models were aimed at those customers who were looking to stand out of the crowd when an imported car was nearly impossible to obtain in a legal way, and more leisure-oriented than a Transporter which was still regarded as a workhorse. Another factor that led it to reach some popularity back in the days was the lower licensing tax for pick-up trucks when José Sarney was the president of Brazil. The canopy over the load bay was an aftermarket accessory.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Karmann-Ghia TC

Made exclusively in Brazil, the '70-'75 Typ-145 Karmann-Ghia TC (Touring Coupé) is not so known among air-cooled Volkswagen fans all around the world as the early Typ-14 and the Typ-34 are. Basically it was a local counterpart to the Typ-34 and had a more conservative design more suitable to Brazilian tastes at the time, even resembling more the Typ-3 TL than the Typ-34 Karmann-Ghia. The 1600 engine with axial cooling fan and two single-barrel downdraft carburettors allowed it to incorporate the dual-trunk feature, while the longer roof provided a little more headroom for back-seat passengers, making it also more practical.
I used to see this '74 light tan Karmann-Ghia TC regularly when I resettled in my hometown in 2008. Apart from the aftermarket sunroof and the absence of the original hubcaps, it was in a great shape for a 34-years old car, especially considering that many of the same model had already succumbed to rust at that time.