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Hooniverse Asks- What’s South America’s Hottest Car?

Robert Emslie November 28, 2012 Hooniverse Asks 125 Comments

A couple of weeks ago I asked for your opinion on what might be the coolest Canadian car, as our neighbors to the North really have a lot for which to be proud. Today we’re looking for a little Latin love as we try to determine the South American automotive product that is – as they say – the most muy caliente, or if you are Brazilian, muito quente.

South America is rich in automotive history, Ford having opened its first sub-equatorial assembly line in 1917 in Buenos Aries, Argentina. Henry also maintained plantations in Brazil – 2.5 million acres along the Tapajos river – to produce rubber. Volkswagen too set up shop in South America, following what was purported to be a stream of Germans fleeing the Fatherland after the war less they be punished for their wartime activities. Is it safe?

Brazil – the largest economy on the continent – is to this day a world leader in alternative fuels, having mandated that the nation’s rides run on sugar cane-derived ethanol years ago. Yeah, it didn’t work out so great, but the country is in a better position than most in the face of oil supply disruptions. Plus, thong bikinis for everyone! Skimpy swimsuits aside, there’ve also been a number of sexy cars to come out of Brazil, as well as the other South American nations’ factories. Which of those do you think is the most desirable? What is the hottest South American Car?

Image: [carsnshit]

Currently there are 125 comments on this article:

  1. lilpoindexter says:


  2. $kaycog says:

    Ford Maverick Station Wagon. Brazilian Ford dealer, Souza Ramos, converted Ford Mavericks in 1978 and 1979.

    <img src="http://stationwagonforums.com/forums/gallery/files/1/mavsw1.jpg"width="500"/&gt;

  3. Vavon says:

    I would LOVE to have a brand-new low-budget hot-hatchback in Europe… The Brazilians have one…
    The Sandero GT-Line! Its 115bhp are probably not low budget there, but here it would be dirt-cheap…
    <img src="http://www.listadecarros.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Renault-Sandero-GT-Line-8.jpg&quot; width="600/">

  4. Tanshanomi says:

    <img src="http://www.tanshanomi.com/temp/H-vw_gol.jpg&quot; width="512">
    At 66 HP, it's not really "hot," but if there's anywhere on the Net where a Gol should get some props, it's here.
    A vaguely Rabbit/Scirocco-esqe body with a front-mounted air-cooled Type 1 motor? Gotta love it!
    I love the parts-bin engineering that VW Brazilia did back in the day.

    <img src="http://www.scirocco.ro/forum/files/vw_gol_80_86_30_678.jpg&quot; width="512">

    • dukeisduke says:

      Are any of those running around loose in the States? I'd love to drive one of them. Hearing that engine sound coming from the front would surely get peoples' attention. And is that a fire extinguisher I spy under the front edge of the driver's seat, in the cutaway view?

    • Michael Thorntorn says:

      The Gol was never air cooled. It's a VW Fox/Gacel (ex Audi 80) hatchback

      • Victor Silva says:

        What do you know about Gols? Dude, I'm Brazilian, my grandfather had one of the early BX Gols (air-cooled).
        And no, it's no Audi 80, it's a 100% brazilian project.

      • Tanshanomi says:

        While it was based on the VW B platform, the 1st Gen Gol most certainly did have an air-cooled beetle motor.

        <img src="http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/5817/dsc000893ek.jpg&quot; width="512">
        From Wikipedia:
        1980-1993. The BX platform, developed Volkswagen's Brazilian subsidiary (Volkswagen do Brasil), again borrowed heavily from the Audi 80 (Fox/4000) of the day. The BX platform was used for the Brazilian Volkswagen Gol, Voyage (Gacel or Senda – In Argentina, and Fox in the U.S.), Parati (Amazon in U.S.), Saveiro (pickup) and Furgão (van) models. The Gol/Fox was quite unique in that it started life with a four-cylinder Volkswagen air cooled engine (borrowed from the Volkswagen Beetle), and eventually ended up with a more modern watercooled engine, being sold in the US for the first time as a 1987 model. The VW BX family was restyled in 1987 and 1991.

        And if you think Wikipedia is wrong, just Google "Air Cooled Gol" …or we can ask Syrax and BЯдΖǐL-ЯЄРΘЯΤЄЯ to settle it. They both live there.

        • brunollo says:

          I live here in Brazil too. Yes, one of the versions of the Gol, called the "BX" had the beetle engine. But no, you can´t drive one of those at the LeMons races, because they cost well over 500 grand! These first Gols (either equipped with the beetle engine or that omnipresent 4zyl watercooled VW engine) are adored by brazilian gearheads because they are light and fast, and their chassi adjustments cope well with powerplants that deliver 150-200hp with minor tweaks such as wider tires. Sure, the most powerful Gols delivered 150hp, and they at that time were fast. Up to today, these cars are very common at track days. They are a lot of fun for a relatively low cost.

        • You (and Wiki) are absolutely right.

  5. Maxichamp says:

    Ford Taunus fastback de Argentina, de acuerdo.

    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/k6iIb.jpg"/&gt;

    • longrooffan says:

      Hooniverse has seen this beauty previously. Nice.

    • Perc says:

      Europe had the Taunus Coupe as well, but only during the 70s "Knudsen" taunus era. This one looks newer, and like they just grafted the newer style lights onto a carried-over Knudsen body. The coupe was probably a marginal seller that they couldn't justify new body tooling for. They did the same thing with the estate, and various escorts.

  6. scroggzilla says:

    Puma GTE
    <img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3591/3386400388_a8d48bdccf.jpg&quot; width="500" height="317" alt="70 interlagos souza ramos puma gte">
    IKA Torino 380W
    <img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2503/3944486429_ef7607663c.jpg&quot; width="500" height="362" alt="69 marathon de la route ika torino 380w pits">
    Dacon-Porsche Karmann Ghia
    <img src="http://www.curtoegrosso.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/3597517099_70106e6f9d.jpg"&gt;
    Malzoni GT
    <img src="http://gomotors.net/pics/DKW/dkw-malzoni-01.jpg"&gt;

  7. Number_Six says:

    Once Brazil Reporter posts his Opala we're done here.
    <img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4048/4647871674_e69224f115.jpg&quot; />

  8. Eduardo_CL says:

    Ford Maverick GT Quadrijet, only few were made and it has 250 ps
    <img src="http://puntataco.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/ford-147.jpg&quot; width="550/">
    The Dart based Dodge Charger R/T 1971
    <img src="http://img159.imageshack.us/img159/1518/rt71ud6.jpg&quot; width="550/">
    FNM JK (a rebadged Alfa Romeo 2000)
    <img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3584/3661067561_44c38ed4d5.jpg"&gt;

  9. brunollo says:

    I simply do not believe no one remebered the Chevrolet Opala. A brazilian design, that combined an american engine (the six cilinder 250´s Chevy) and an european base (the Opel Rekord), created one of the hottest cars of his era, and it is still today! The car itself is much better looking than the dull Rekord, and performs much better than the secretary six could anticipate. Chevy at that time neglected to offer us one small block for this muscle car wannabe, and gave us a secretary six that has been upgraded by rodders even today, good for 500 hp! And, of course, bolting a SBC on those beauties is easy and relatively common around here. I had one about ten years ago, metallic green, good for 300hp. Her name was The Hulk, because of the colour and the performance. I had plans to bolt a SBC on her, but sold her for a new apartment instead… that´s life.

    <img src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_PSmCzzD8dN8/R8WeIkoVswI/AAAAAAAAD4E/lycfCexlyVU/s400/opala ss.jpg">

    <img src="http://www.streetcustoms.com.br/revistas-carros/images/stories/ss/opala-ss3.jpg"&gt;

    <img src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_18uN9GrVdPg/TJwUVZpFj4I/AAAAAAAACTs/aTo9mSSj3-M/s1600/morcego8.JPG"&gt;

    Oh, yeah, the second one (the orange one) has a 350 SBC on it. I know the car, it is really hot.

  10. Maxichamp says:

    For all you Brazilian car lovers, Flavio Gomes' blog rocks, even if you can't read Portuguese.

  11. Gadernal_GT says:

    Fiberglass body in tested chassis resumes the formula to a brasilian car of 80's. Puma GTE, Puma GTB, Puma GTB S2, Santa Matilde, etc.
    In my brasilian opinion: Puma GTB S2 are the best.

  12. TDI_FTW says:

    Chevrolet Montana! This should speak to the hearts of the El Camino lovers among us.

    <img src="http://0.tqn.com/d/cars/1/0/Y/l/chevrolet_montana.jpg&quot; width="600">

  13. Victor Silva says:

    Puma GTB. Fiberglass, 6 cylinder engine, RWD.
    <img src="http://gomotors.net/pics/PUMA/puma-gtb-s1-01.jpg&quot; width="600">

    • brunollo says:

      that car is incredibly cool (or hot). It was a small series built over the Opala platform, but it is lighter and shorter. It is a lean mean burnout machine. And I do believe there is room for a SBC under that hood. I do believe that they built no more than one thousand of those beauties.

  14. Tanshanomi says:

    Neither "hot" nor "car." But no discussion of South American cars is complete with mention of the Gurgel G15/X15.

    <img src="http://hooniverse.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/gurgel_g15_81_03.jpg"&gt;
    <img src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_OPed7AgJH1M/SsNYkifea2I/AAAAAAAACRA/Q9e0DwZxxj8/s400/x15b.jpg"&gt;
    They look like shipping boxes for Dodge A100s.

    And here's a bonus Gurgel X12, just 'cuz…
    <img src="http://gomotors.net/pics/Gurgel/gurgel-x12-06.jpg"&gt;

  15. Devin says:

    I'm going to declare that the Chevrolet Veraneio is cool.

    <img src="http://www.motorstown.com/images/chevrolet-veraneio-03.jpg"&gt;

  16. BigDaddyStrong says:

    Obviously, it's Carla Veloso.[youtube G1GY00irjq8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1GY00irjq8 youtube]

  17. CABEZAGRANDE says:

    I will second all the Puma GTB comments. But for something more unique, this Puma GTE Baja racer.

    <img src="http://blog.hemmings.com/wp-content/uploads//2010/04/1969Puma_01_700.jpg&quot; width="600">
    <a href="http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/tag/puma/” target=”_blank”>http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/tag/puma/

  18. Number_Six says:

    Is it possible Hooniverse has become Brazil-centric? Where are the Argentines? No secret Suriname products we should know about? Chile, we need to know what you've been driving!

  19. CABEZAGRANDE says:

    And the Isard Royal T700.

    <img src="http://www.testdelayer.com.ar/pruebas/isard-royal-700-1.JPG&quot; width="600">

  20. mr. mzs zsm msz esq says:

    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/2e/Simca_Vedette_Marly.jpg/640px-Simca_Vedette_Marly.jpg"&gt; I've got a thing for the Ford Vedette, they made the later Simca Vedette in Brazil. This is the wagon version, the Simca Vedette Marly. Also in Argentina they made Ford Falcons that were updated. They had bad connotation thanks to the police driving them during some dark times, but still the later wagons look really good to me. <img src="http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj45/mms58/Internet/1981FalconWagon.jpg"&gt;

  21. BobAsh says:

    This. The Dodge GTX. One day, I will go to Argentina and bring one of these to Europe… http://gomotors.net/pics/Dodge/dodge-gtx-02.jpg

  22. Stéphane Dumas says:

    No one mentionned the Renault Torino alias Rambler America with the old Kaiser OHC engine?
    [youtube GG-3RelRGmk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GG-3RelRGmk youtube]

  23. MembriyO says:

    Dodge GTX (318 V) and RT (slant 6) from Argentina

    [youtube 7cM5qBk1IGc http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cM5qBk1IGc youtube]

  24. mallthus says:

    I'm not sure that it's "hot", but it's kind of epic that you could still get a gen 1 Falcon in Argentina in 1982.

    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b0/Ford_Falcon_Gh%C3%ADa.jpg&quot; width=600>

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