Cohort Pic(k) of the Day: 1992-1997 Ford Pampa – There’s Still Some Renault 12 Lurking In There

Eliminator shot and posted pics of a car that has not yet seen the light of digital pixels at CC. The Ford Pampa was built in Brazil between 1982 and 1997, and was an early exponent of the compact FWD unibody pickup there, a concept familiar to us from the VW pickup and the Dodge Rampage.

The Pampa is based on the Ford Corcel, which was a Ford in name only, as it was actually a Renault 12 dressed up in new Brazilian duds. The Corcel and its offshoots, the Belina, Del Ray and the Pampa, went through a number of iterations, and in the end, even had VW drive trains. The Pampa’s solid rear axle took it even further away from its R12 origins, but there’s still some of that Renault DNA hiding in there.

Here’s the original 1982 version. It wasn’t the first of its kind in Brazil, as the Fiat Fiorino, a 147-based mini-ute beat it to the market. But the Pampa became the best-selling coupe-utility in Brazil for some years.

It was powered by various versions of the Renault Cléon-Fonte pushrod four, an engine built in many guises from 1962-2004; one might say it was the French SBC . By 1984, Ford had developed its own variant in Brazil, dubbed the CHT. There were 997, 1341 and 1555 cc versions.

Starting in 1989, due to the Ford-VW Autolatina JV, the VW 1.8 L four was also available as the top engine option. There’s no indication as to whether that was used with VW’s transaxle; I assume so, as the 4×4 version was not available with the VW engine. Both the Renault/Ford 1.6 and the VW 1.8 were available right to the end in 1997, so there’s no telling which is under the hood of this one.

The Pampa got a 6″ wheelbase stretch to make room for a decent sized bed. Those straight-edged wheel houses look to be fabricated, not just a single large pressing like we would expect to see here.

Not much to see here…

The R12’s solid rear axle with coil springs was replaced with a solid beam axle suspended on semi-elliptic leaf springs. Load capacity was 620 kg (1367 lbs).

The familiar Ford “lamellen” (louvered) front end was essentially taken from the Del Rey, which had expired in 1991. And yes,t the front end is long, as these cars have their inline fours ahead of the front axle centerline, a key R12 feature, as well as the three lug wheels.

Ruben’s in-depth history on the Corcel is here:
Curbside Classic: 1969 Ford Corcel GT – The Confusing History Of A Multinational Brazilian Classic