World Cup 2014: Brazil's 5 Coolest Classic Cars

Someone mentioned that there's some kind of a sporting match happening in Brazil over the next few weeks called the "World Cup." At the very mention of Brazil, though, all we can think of are the cool cars of the 1960s and 1970s that came out of that country's absolutely HUGE automotive industry. Native designs mated to existing chassis resulted in some of the coolest cars this side of Australia.

Volkswagen SP2
World Cup 2014: Brazil's 5 Coolest Classic Cars
Based on the Volkswagen Passat, the Volkswagen SP2's air-cooled four-cylinder wasnt much to write home about, but styling is what makes the SP2 significant. Penned in-house by VW do Brasil designers Marcio Piancastelli, José Vicente Novita Martins and Jorge Yamashita Oba, with engineering input from Senor Schiemann, it is a stunningly pretty automobile, with a long front overhang and brooding quad headlamps, a rounded, a Porsche 924-esque rear fastback, accented by gills aft of the rear quarter window. RELATED: Sports Car Face-Plant: 1972 to 1976 Volkswagen SP2 Interestingly, the SP2’s front styling is identical to that of the much more successful Volkswagen Brasilia, which Piancasteilli and crew also designed, an everyday staple in Brazil until the mid-1980s.

Chevrolet Opala Águia

World Cup 2014: Brazil's 5 Coolest Classic Cars

Chevrolet marketed Opel as a model in Brazil, with a slightly altered Opel Commodore. At the Sao Paolo Auto Show in 1972, Chevy wowed the audience with the Opala Águia, with sporty features like a black grille and bumpers, painted Torq-Thrust-style wheels, fender-mounted sport mirrors, and a screaming chicken straight out of the Pontiac parts manual, interestingly four years before the hood bird ever made it to a Trans Am show car at the 1974 Chicago Auto Show. PHOTOS: Full Galleries of the Stunning 1975 Opel GT/W Geneve Concept Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that the "Opel Eagle" ever made it to production. Willys Interlagos Berlinette
World Cup 2014: Brazil's 5 Coolest Classic Cars
French car. Sold in Brazil. By Willys. Ok, we think we've got it. The Willys Interlagos Berlinette was the result of Volkswagen producing the predecessor to the SP2, the popular Karmann-Ghia. Willys was selling cars at a pretty substantial clip in Brazil circa 1965. Partly owned by Renault, Willys set out to beat Volkswagen to the punch with a small sports car, and produced the Willys Interlagos Berlinette before Volkswagen could launch the four-seat sports car. PHOTOS: Full Galleries of the Renault Alpine A110 Willys based the Interlagos on the first Renault Alpine, which is about 2/3s the size of the Karmann-Ghia. Like the SP2 that would come later, under the sexy bodywork is the most mundane powerplant available. It was an 845cc inline four from the Renault 4CV, although it was breathed on a bit by Renault tuner Gordini. Just over 800 were ever produced between 1962 and 1966. Dodge Charger R/T
World Cup 2014: Brazil's 5 Coolest Classic Cars
Chrysler was a going concern in Brazil, and sold a version of the United States' 1967 to 1976 Dart until 1982. The Dart-based Charger R/T had unique bodylines similar to the 1968 Charger sold in the US, but only in a smaller scale. In 1975, they were available with a 2-barrel 318 providing 198 hp, and stepping up to the Charger R/T, you could get 215hp with a four-barrel carb and a four-speed transmission. PHOTOS: Full Galleries of the 1968 Dodge Dart GT According to Valiant.org, "Production continued with few changes until the 1979 lineup, when the Dart name gave way to LeBaron for luxury and Magnum for sport (replacing Charger). Magnum was a status car according to Status magazine, partly because of covers attached to the rear side windows that hid the rear seat from view." And who knows more about status than Status magazine? Puma GTE
World Cup 2014: Brazil's 5 Coolest Classic Cars
In 1966, high import tariffs made imported cars off-limits to many of Brazil's citizens. Puma started building cars in Brazil, using DKW and more succesfully, Volkswagen drivetrains. The design, which remained essentially unchanged from 1966 through the early 1980s, drew heavily on the Lamborghini Miura. PHOTOS: The Completely Unrelated, Yet Nevertheless INSANE Youabian Puma From 1969, the standard engine was the 1600cc Volkswagen horizontally opposed four-cylinder. To build more power, Puma also offered hop-up kits straight from the factory. A convertible version, the 1600 GTS, came along in 1970, right at the time when Puma started to export "kits," complete bodies, without drivetrains, to North America, other South American countries and Europe.
GM Brazil showed off the Chevette S/R, a concept intended to replace the sporty but slow 1976-1978 Chevette GP. Aside from the spoilers, skirts, hood and covered headlamps, the S/R featured a 1.6-liter engine – a whole .2 liters bigger than the engine that then powered the Chevette. Carro Antigo notes that the S/R did go into production in 1981, though sans the body cladding and on the hatchback body style. - See more at: http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2009/05/13/the-coolest-brazilian-chevettes-ever/#sthash.66mXcx8a.dpuf
GM Brazil showed off the Chevette S/R, a concept intended to replace the sporty but slow 1976-1978 Chevette GP. Aside from the spoilers, skirts, hood and covered headlamps, the S/R featured a 1.6-liter engine – a whole .2 liters bigger than the engine that then powered the Chevette. Carro Antigo notes that the S/R did go into production in 1981, though sans the body cladding and on the hatchback body style. - See more at: http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2009/05/13/the-coolest-brazilian-chevettes-ever/#sthash.66mXcx8a.dpuf
GM Brazil showed off the Chevette S/R, a concept intended to replace the sporty but slow 1976-1978 Chevette GP. Aside from the spoilers, skirts, hood and covered headlamps, the S/R featured a 1.6-liter engine – a whole .2 liters bigger than the engine that then powered the Chevette. Carro Antigo notes that the S/R did go into production in 1981, though sans the body cladding and on the hatchback body style. - See more at: http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2009/05/13/the-coolest-brazilian-chevettes-ever/#sthash.66mXcx8a.dpuf

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