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ABOUT PUMA SPORTS CARS ...

Read the article that was published in various newspapers - Puma gets ready to roar again

Puma GT - A South African Sports car --> Download the full article here

The Puma GT was originally designed by an Italian, Rino Malzoni who lived and worked in Brazil. Based on VW running gear he designed a very pretty sports car. Volkswagen do Brazil had no qualms about selling parts and subassemb''es to Puma whose factory produ,°.d about 30 units a month. The SOULh African connection started when a businessman called Vic Borcherds became aware of thc. Brazilian Puma. As South Africa was already producing the Beetle with many local parts and assemblies. Vic reasoned that he could produce the cars in South Africa. He imported a Burnt orange coloured Puma to test the market. Unfortunately the quality of Brazilian tires was so bad that he lost control during a rainstorm and wrapped the car around an Armco barrier. It is not clear whether he imported other examples as well. As the Brazilian puma was based on the wider Karmann Ghia chassis, the body was redesigned by Puma Brazil. A brand new beetle chassis was purchased and sent to Brazil for the moulds. A few months later the car arrived at the docks in Durban. My Uncle Abel Pienaar was by that stage heavily involved in the negotiations and setting up of the South African assembly plant.He took Vic to the Docks to pick up the new car. On the way home He followed Vic, at an intersection He saw the Puma's brake lights come on but no stopping of the car. At the next moment he saw Vic pull in at a Tire dealer where the Puma's tires were swapped for a set of Dunlop sports tires. Vic then told my Uncle that the car skidded over the intersection as he applied the brakes. This first Puma allegedly the first right hand drive Puma in the world was painted a bright blue metallic and looked really stunning. This car differed from later Pumas in that the Chassis was fitted higher into the body than later Puma's thus restricting headroom by about 50mm.