Cohort Sighting: Brazilian VW Beetle “Fusca” – Small Windows Still

VW Brazilian Type 1 1200

CC Cohort William Rubano posted these pictures of a VW Beetle that managed to catch my attention. Why? It’s a Brazilian “Fusca”, and not a Mexican one as I first flashed on when I saw those wheels. The big difference: Brazil never got the larger side and front windows that the German Beetle got in 1965, and which the Mexican one did too eventually. But there’s more to the Brazilian Beetle story: it was killed in 1986, but resurrected in 1993 thanks to direct pressure from the President of Brazil.

VW Brazilian Type 1 sfq

The smaller front windshield and side windows are readily apparent here. Anyway, in 1993, the new President Itamar Franco noticed the lack of low price cars in Brazil (due to severe import restrictions), and somehow coaxed VW into finding their old tooling and restarting production.

VW Brazilian Type 1 int

The new Fusca had a twin-carb 1600 cc mill available in either gasoline or alcohol versions, as well as a new dash design unlike any other Beetle. But it didn’t sell all that well, and after a few years disappeared again, leaving the Mexican Beetle as the last one until 2003. I suspect this one is a pre-1986 Fusca, and I can’t explain the two different tail lights.

This one was found in the Bahamas, from the license plate. Did it float across the Atlantic to the Bahamas?