February 5, 2023
Cars from Brazil have become coveted jewels in America, surpassing Ferrari

Cars from Brazil have become coveted jewels in America, surpassing Ferrari

Older Brazilian cars, particularly Volkswagen models with air-cooled engines such as the Beetle, Combi and Brasilia, have become an export product, with prices soaring since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Corona virus🇧🇷

Due to the devaluation of the real against the dollar and the euro, original copies in good condition could easily sell for R$200,000 to collectors in the United States and Europe.

A resident of Orlando, Florida (USA), since 1997 the businessman from São Paulo follows the same path as foreign enthusiasts: he imports cars from Brazil and today has about 25 national classic cars.

Business executive Carlos Alberto Calcada Bastos, 69, owner of seven units of the Brazilian VW SP2, outsells machines from brands such as Ferrari and Lamborghini at auto shows and events in the US – where his cars are regularly offered.

Its collection consists of the best models with engines Volkswagen Air and fiberglass body like Puma, Miura and Bianco S – very rare cars with market and high rating in North American country.

“Since childhood, I’ve always loved anything with an engine, but my passion is the Brazilian sports cars that were introduced in the 1980s. In them, you feel more of the car, because no Hydraulic steering Or no assisted brake,” says Bastos.

Is the Bianco S better than the Ferrari?

1979 Bianco S (left) next to 1975 Puma; Brazilian cars are conspiracy enthusiasts in America

Image: Personal archive

The owner of a Ferrari 599 GTB, modern and equipped with a V12 engine, says the executive would rather drive his Bianco S with a VW 1600 engine than the popular and expensive Italian brand’s coupe.

Built in Brazil by Tony Bianco, the national sports car bearing the Italian designer’s last name can easily cost more than R$ 160,000.

“The Bianco, Puma and Miura are very rare cars in America and spark interest. My off-the-shelf cars with fiberglass bodywork and a Volkswagen Beetle engine get more attention at events than Ferrari and other famous brands” .

VW SP2 models 'pull up' in convoy with Lamborghini, Porsche, Ferrari and Chevrolet Corvette - Private Archive - Private Archive

VW SP2 ‘Bull Q’ models in convoy with Lamborghini, Porsche, Ferrari and Chevrolet Corvette

Image: Personal archive

With the help of his son Daniel, who trained as a mechanic, Carlos Alberto maintains the cars in the collection in a workshop he set up in his own home and says he continues to drive them with his Brazilian sports cars – the businessman claims to have driven nearly 400. Km in one day with one of her jewels.

Considered by many experts to be the most beautiful Volkswagen of all time, the SP2 also holds a special place in Bastos’ collection.

The VW SP2 beats the McLaren

The SP2 shined at the Florida Auto Show;  A copy of Orange was already presented at the Classics event - Private Archive - Private Archive

The SP2 shined at the Florida Auto Show; The Orange copy was already presented at the Classics event

Image: Personal archive

With more than 10,000 units produced between 1972 and 1976, the beautiful coupe was only available in Brazil and there is an example in the Volks Museum in Wolfsburg, Germany.

The originals, an orange 1975 SP2 and another beige 1974 were already offered by the Executive at shows in the US – says the proud businessman.

“In one of these events, the organizer put my SP2 in the best position at the exhibition. At the end of the meeting, everyone was taking pictures of the Volkswagen. There were people who turned their heads to admire the exit of the SP2 and ignored it. McLaren was next”, recalls Carlos Alberto.

He says he bought all domestic cars in Brazil except the Puma, which he bought in the US.

Puma (left) and Bianco S at this year's Orlando Auto Show - Personal Archive - Personal Archive

The Puma (left) and Bianco S impressed at this year’s Auto Show in Orlando

Image: Personal archive

They came to North America as collectors’ cars and were registered and tagged to their new home.

Many still have the Brazilian front plate – Carlos explains that, at least in Florida, only the back plate is mandatory and must have the North American standard.

Before, any plate can be used, with decorative purpose.

Collector concludes by saying that every now and then there are polls and proposals to sell his sports cars and he doesn’t want to do that.

“A lot of people import Brazilian cars like the VW Brasília and the SP2 for resale here in the US. Every now and then someone comes up speculating the price of a particular car in my collection, but I don’t want to close. A deal”.

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