28 June 2011

Smeggy's Garage- GURGEL

Welcome to Smeggy's Garage, where I'm going to blather on about some of my favorite cars and if you're so inclined you may add your comments and observations.
Gurgel was the brand name of Gurgel Motores (later Gurgel Motores S/A), a Brazilian automobile manufacturer, named after its founder João do Amaral Gurgel. The company was founded in 1969 and first specialized in buggies and off-road vehicles. Early models were fiberglass bodies installed on Volkswagen Beetle chassis and machinery, but VW bodies and chassis were later replaced by a unique solution made of Plasteel - which consists on fiberglass and steel joined together, a system patented by Gurgel. Gurgel also introduced Brazil's first fully domestically designed and manufactured car, the BR-800.
The 800, foiled by a tree.

The trade mark Gurgel expired, and have been bought from another business, now used by a small Brazilian importer of tricycles. The current Gurgel has nothing in common with original Gurgel company, except the name.

The vehicles produced by the original factory are still running on Brazilian roads nowadays. It is not uncommon to see X-12, Tocantins, Supermini or BR-800 models on the streets, despite of the reduced number of specialized workshops and lack of specific parts for replacement.

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