The Puma is a Volkswagen based specialty sports car built in Brazil.
Strict Brazilian regulations which restricted imports to encourage
domestic automobile production led to the development of the Puma and
other specialty vehicles.
Production began in 1964 using DKW components, with a switch to VW
components in 1967.
This necessitated a change from front engine, front wheel drive to rear
engine, rear wheel drive.
The first Pumas were built strictly for racing, but it was not long
before they were being built for street use.
Pumas were sporadically imported to the U.S. during the 1970's and
Although the Puma was not designed as a kit car, the cars were imported
in kit form.
The "kit" was actually a complete car less the front suspension,
transaxle, engine, wheels, and tires.
The missing components were available from the distributor, or the
buyer could supply the needed parts.
Less restrictive regulations permitted the importation and marketing of
complete cars in Canada.
Pumas were also popular in South Africa, and an assembly plant was
Exports to Europe were limited to small numbers through a distributor
Puma built some front engine rear wheel drive models based on Brazilian
Chevrolet components, but these were not exported.
Once the Brazilian market was opened to imports, the domestic market
for the Puma declined significantly.
The original Puma company went into receivership in the mid-1980's, and
production ended for a time.
Production of both the VW and Chevrolet based models resumed when the
Araucaria company bought the machinery and tooling.
After a short period, production was taken over by Alfa Metais.
A few rear engine Pumas with water cooled VW engines were made during
the final years of production, but sales of these were low.
Over 22,000 Puma automobiles were produced over the life of the marque.
Puma also produced a line of special bodied light trucks, which
continued in production after Puma automobile production ended.
Owner: Alan d'Escragnolle
Puma History has been provide courtesy of Bill Jackameit. Click Here to see his Puma Page
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