In the mid 1960s, Luiz Roberto Alves da Costa, Milton Masteguin, Mario Cezar de Camargo Filho, and Rino Malzoni founded a new automaker in Brazil and gave it the name Puma Automóveis Ltda., or simply Puma. It was focused on building small trucks and sports cars, and the GT was their greatest hit in the early years of production. A rare example of the Puma GT is currently available for sale in the United States, showing what the company is famous for - lightness, vintage design, and simplicity of the construction.
This particular example was manufactured in 1979 which means it’s from the latter and slightly updated version of the sports car. Apparently, the car was legally imported into the country and is currently listed for $20,500 by a company located in Florida. The seller even offers worldwide shipping, which means you can buy this rare sports car wherever you are reading this article from.
Gallery: 1979 Puma GT for sale
The GT model debuted in 1966 and was initially based on a DKW platform. Just two years later, when Volkswagen discontinued the company, the Puma GT moved to a VW chassis and this particular example uses a 1.6-liter VW-sourced four-cylinder engine with two carburetors. Mated to a four-speed manual gearbox, the engine was sending enough power to the rear wheels to accelerate the little sports car from 0 to 60 miles per hour (0-96 kilometers per hour) in claimed 10.4 seconds.
If you find the exterior a little too Porsche-like, you’ll probably appreciate the interior design. It’s minimalistic and there’s a lot of legroom. More importantly, this Puma GT comes with an air conditioner, power windows, and leather bucket seats, something you wouldn’t expect from a 1970s handbuilt low-series sports car from Brazil.
As a final note, it’s worth mentioning that Puma was resurrected in 2017 when the company announced the launch of the new Puma GT Lumi with a Chevy-sourced 2.0-liter engine. The automaker’s site currently shows the new model, though we don’t know if you can actually buy the sports car.