1960s / Brazilian / German / Volkswagen

This Brazilian-built, Volkswagen-based buggy has us stumped

Yesterday, we showcased a Beetle-based EMPI Imp displayed in Volkswagen’s ZeitHaus museum. The Imp is significant because it’s the first buggy built by a supplier officially affiliated with Volkswagen. Today, we’re taking a look at a different kind of buggy — and hoping that our readers can shed light on what we’re looking at.

Here’s what we can tell you: the buggy you see below was photographed by a relative last month in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He walked past the car on a regular basis for a few weeks and he never once saw it move. The bolt pattern suggests this buggy is based on a pre-1967 Volkswagen Beetle, but the styling is much more modern than the Manx, EMPI, and Karmann buggies that were popular during the 1960s and the 1970s. The “Streetmachine” emblem up front is a generic plastic unit bought from EMPI, and the Firebird emblems are… well, Firebird emblems. They’re just for show; we highly doubt the car uses a single component stamped with a Pontiac part number.

Interestingly, it looks like this buggy is equipped with an automatic transmission. We only see two pedals, and they’re much further apart than the clutch and the brake are normally on a Beetle. Of course, the pedals might not be original, and the junk in the car could be hiding the accelerator.

Can anyone identify the make and model?

2 thoughts on “This Brazilian-built, Volkswagen-based buggy has us stumped

  1. Judging from the clear glass front lights, the side indicator light, and the steering wheel design (plus maybe the mirrors, the bevels around the tail lights, and the gear shifter knob):
    I would say this car was build (or possibly rebuild) between mid/end-1990s and mid-2000s – it all reeks of the tuning scene from that era. But, I could be wrong.

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