Saturday, May 8, 2010

Puma GTE and GTS - Brazilian sports car without attitude

One of the first cars I considered myself buying was the Puma GTS. What you see in the picture is the frontside of the A2 brochure they printed in the early 80ies. But the text was "wild" also: "PUMA is a wild CAT .. sleek and slender. It PURRS. Wide track .... this CAT. Bold and ready to move at your command. A body lighter and stronger than steel of PRP, hand molded and finished by experienced craftsmen, who love to stroke it. "
Or, "Not for everyone ... this PUMA. PUMA is for important people. For those who command and merit respect. For those who dare to be different. Easy to handle, stable on those curves; PUMA adheres to the road at high speeds."
What I liked specificially was "Serviced everywhere where cars are sold".
The car was simple, built on top of a Volkswagen platform, showing a nicely designed fiberglass body. Initially there were only Coup├ęs but then they added the GTS. With Pirelli Radial CN 36 tyres (185/70 HR 14 front, 195/70 HR 14 rear) it looked much faster than it was. They claimed 0-100 km/h in 9.9 secs and a top speed of 182 km/h. With 90 hp SAE this sounds really fast, though the low weight of 750 kg certainly helped. They wrote that it would reach up to 35.4 mpg.
At the end I never owned one. But Puma was quite successful producing more than 21'000 cars between 1964 and 1997, 3'595 cars in the best year. That's for example three times as much what TVR did in a very good year. They cars were affordable and as you can imagine straight forward to maintain. Of course they sound was like the one of a Volkswagen Beetle, but today that would add to the excitement. There are certainly a number of cars left, but not many have found a way to Europe. I still like them when I see one.

1 comment:

phantomphondler said...

nice one little article. i have one of them pumas. south african version. they are really fun cars that look good and are exotic. me like