Friday, October 01, 2021

Volkswagen Beetle and Opel Corsa B: two remarkable generations of "people's car" in contrast

It's undeniable the Volkswagen Type 1 Sedan had a significant role to define a "people's car" in so many countries where even the Ford Model T retained some sort of a "luxury" image, such as Brazil where the rear-engined rear-wheel drive configuration with all-around independent suspension rendered the Volkswagen a popular option among rural customers until mid-'80s. Locally refered in Brazil as Fusca, often portrayed in the '50s as somewhat revolutionary compared to the American full-size sedans which used to be the standard throughout Latin America, the cult status it achieved on a worldwide basis also reflects among Brazilian enthusiasts who may often not even really care about its utilitarian origins, to the extent of being ultimately more excited about the nostalgia aspect. Even the HoodRide/RatVolks derelict-looking style, mostly associated to the so-called "Cal-look" and often resorting to accessories which were not so usual in Brazil such as "Safari" windscreens and rear luggage racks, makes it easier to justify saving some otherwise underappreciated survivor Beetles from a scrapyard.

Another small car which had a noticeable role at the time of its release both in Brazil and Mexico, and a fierce competitor to the Beetle by the way, the Opel Corsa B was rebadged in Brazil as Chevrolet Corsa and in Mexico initially as Chevrolet Chevy. Even though its technique was quite austere in accordance to the European perspective in '93 when it arrived in Mexico initially imported from Spain and in '94 at the beginning of local production in Brazil, this model is noticeable for undeniably turning the "people's car" segment all-around, as the first real contender to the Mexican Beetle locally called "Vocho", and in Brazil its relevance as a world-class small car going as far as pioneering the electronic fuel injection for entry-level models. Eventually the Opel Corsa B may not reach a similar cult status as the Beetle, yet it had a comparable role in a time when the "people's car" concept in Brazil had already been highlighting the preferences of a more city-oriented customer base.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Only comments written in English are published. Not so rigid about the grammar, but some regional slang should be avoided to make it clear and easily understandable.