The history of these unusual cars began in 1964, when a Brazilian farmer from the town of Matao, in the state of Sao Paulo (Matão, San-Paulo), built a sports car with a plastic body with his own hands. The name of this passionate car lover and avid racing driver Rino Malzoni (Rino Malzoni), he called his creation DKW-Malzoni (based on the engine DKW). The design turned out to be very successful - in 1965, Malzoni, driving his brainchild, won five victories in a row. This prompted the farmer to think that in addition to sugar cane, you can start producing sports cars.
Malzoni developed the design of his new creation, clearly being influenced by the Italian school. But he didn't just copy Ferrari or Maseratibut created something unique and recognizable. In 1965, the Puma GT model was shown at the 5th Brazilian Motor Show. The car weighed about a ton and could accelerate to 145 km / h, the same engine was used DKW. The interior was surprising - it did not have the usual nudity characteristic of sports cars, but there were claims for comfort and luxury. The model attracted close attention of visitors to the car dealership - in the same year, 35 units were sold. Realizing that he could not cope alone, Malzoni founded a company with a group of partners. Puma.
In 1967 Volkswagen absorbs Vemag - a Brazilian company that produced engines DKW. So on subsequent versions of the Puma GT, engines were already installed Volkswagen. In the same year, 170 cars were already sold.
| Puma Coupe. This car now lives in France,|
where he came from Brazil in 2004.
That period was a golden age in the history of the company. The Brazilian government banned the import of sports cars from other countries, so the absence of serious competitors had a beneficial effect on the development Puma, on the expansion of its model range. Not all of them used engines from Volkswagen, models from other manufacturers were also used, for example Chevrolet. Gradually Puma began to be exported to other countries, first in South America, and then in Europe. These cars with a recognizable and stylish design enjoyed a small but stable demand. In the late 70s, "Pumas" were produced in thousands of copies.
But the history of the brand is not over. These cars are still manufactured in Cape Town, South Africa. Or rather, almost these. Bromer - the company that creates them (works since 1973), simply installs plastic cases on the chassis of the Volkswagen Beetle (Beetle). The resulting 750-pound miracle does not have the sporting spirit of the former Puma, but these models are popular enough for the existence of the company.