Big Time in Brazil: 1980 Miura MTS

1980 Miura MTS 1.8

There was an abundance of VW-based kit cars roaming the earth in the 1970s, a phenomenon that only seemed to grow more rampant as you moved south of the border. This makes sense, given Volkswagen’s active operations in Mexico and other countries. This 1980 Miura MTS here on craigslist is a bit more than a kit, however, as the Miura brand still enjoys a serious following today in places like Rio de Janeiro. It could be worth restoring, either as a cheap-to-operate project or for eventual exportation to a country with a loyal fan base.

1980 Miura MTS

It’s easy to see the Lotus influences in the car’s side profile. The rear-mounted engine is sourced from a Volkswagen, and most sources seem to indicate it has its origins with the B1 generation Passat, a car not sold in the U.S. The 1.6L four-cylinder was likely an easy engine to source for swapping into the Miura since Brazil was one of the countries where the B1 Passat was assembled. Miura was formed in 1976, and continued operations until closing its doors in the early 90s. This coincided with the opening of the Brazilian market to imported vehicles, which likely put small, home-spun operations like Miura out of business.

1980 Miura MTS Interior

That interior appears to be a fine place to spend some time behind the wheel. Of course, it needs restoration, but it’s easy to envision the potential. I see some Scirocco influences in the cockpit as well. From what I can discern, the seats and steering wheel are original to the car. If you do a quick Google Image search for the MTS, you’ll see some gorgeous interior photos. When new, this had to have been the car to be seen in, especially in a market with limited options to begin with. According to enthusiast websites, Miura also pioneered the use of ABS brakes in 1990, possibly making late models as safe as they were attractive.

quatrorodas.abril.com.br
Photo courtesy of quatrorodas.abril.com

And here’s how the car could look when restored. These are the original wheels, which remain with this project MTS. They’ll need to be polished if you want them to shine again, but that’s what wheel shops are for. If you’re handy with a translator or can speak Portuguese (or even Spanish), there are endless web resources for more information if you’re looking to take on a rare project like this Miura MTS. And of course, there’s always the fun you’ll have telling people you have a Miura in the garage.

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Comments

  1. Stephen

    The B1 Passat was sold as the Dasher in the U.S. from 1974-80. Not many left here. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_Passat_(B1)

    • Jeff Staff

      Stephen, I did not make the connection. Thank you! And you’re right, they are all but extinct.

  2. Dan h

    Looks like it could be a fun car. At least it doesn’t have an air cooled engine in it.

  3. Dolphin Member

    I wonder if Lamborghini ever complained about their use of the model name Miura, which they used for their mid-engine supercar from 1966-1973. Companies usually police that sort of thing pretty closely.

  4. MountainMan

    Don’t recall ever seeing one if these. It would really look better in a different color I think. This one doesn’t seem to be too far gone and I think that if it were me I would want a more powerful engine to power it. It really bugs me when sellers don’t price a car as this seller has done. Throw some number out there so potential buyers have some idea if you are realistic or not.
    Oh, and those wheels are awesome!

  5. Scot

    Like the look of this. How telling is it that this is a 1980 and the seller is willing to trade for a pre smog car.

  6. Jason Houston

    Hey, how can you go wrong for $2?

  7. Jasper

    Cool wheels.

  8. MR FRIEDMANN

    The MIURA, PUMA, SP-1 & SP-2, MP LAFER, AVALONE, and many others had the VW engines in them. Easy to swap and easy to source. Fun cars to drive and the girls loved them.

  9. Larry

    I purchased this car and am in the process of transporting it. It is my second, I have an 82 with a ford 2.3L engine. See more http://www.miurasport.com

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Thanks for letting us know Larry! Please keep us updated.

    • Placido

      Hello Larry, how’s the Restoration going? Let me know if you need any assistance with parts once I m from Brazil and I am part of the Miura Club from Rio.
      Regards,
      Placido

      • Larry

        Placido, Thank you. Right now, I need door glass for both sides, front and rear signal lights and bumpers. The bumpers are less important as I can fabricate from aluminum. The door glass is necessary to keep the build on track. Follow progress here: http://www.miurasport.com

        I think I have someone to handle the transportation from Brazil if I can find these items.

        Thanks again

  10. Larry

    FYI, Miura is a name given to a certain breed of bull that is bred for the bullfight. This probably explains why the name could be used without a problem with Lamborgini’s model name.

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