Never Seen One: 1981 Puma GTB S2

1981 Puma GTB S2

Barn Finds reader Jim S spotted this unusual 1981 Puma GTB S2 here on eBay, and it may be the only one in the country. Puma vehicles were never officially exported to the U.S. from their home market of Brazil, but this one somehow made its way here. Economic conditions made it cost prohibitive for Brazil to import foreign cars, so they had to make do with whatever engineering resources were available within country limits. Many Puma vehicles share parts with Volkswagen and General Motors, which both had manufacturing plants there. This rare GTB S2 features a Chevrolet inline-6 and rear wheel drive, and while the looks are subjective, I think it’s a decently attractive car. The leather-wrapped dash is a nice feature, and I dig the Euro-market Cibie headlights. Since the seats need recovering, I’d put those on the shelf and swap in some Volkswagen-sourced Recaro seats to enhance the interior and call it a day! If you’re near Palm City, Florida, it could be the only time you’ll the chance to lay eyes on a car like this.

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Comments

  1. don

    sorry, not worth the 24k asking price!

  2. Dolphin Member

    A real oddball GT car. A decent body design, a nice 1980s interior, and a way to own something that nobody else owns or even knows about. But……

    The Chevy I-6 is solid but not exciting or refined. Front end is just a tad blunt. Back end is the best part of the design, but there’s always that solid rear axle under there that makes you wish for something better. Too many limitations. And waayyy to many limilitations for $24K.

    Interesting, but I’d rather have one of the much better looking Puma GTs. There are a few ’70s & ’80s models to choose from that all appeal more than this GTB.

  3. Bobsmyuncle

    Funny I was thinking the front and rear styling was on point and fell apart in the rear!

    Pretty decent interior for 80s like the wheels too.

    I was shocked by the price.

  4. Bernardo Heller

    This guy is oput of his mind… Pretty decent GTBs here in Brazil, in “near perfect” shape, would cost around 10k to 15k USD…. If that thing sells, I’ll star exporting them in no time!

  5. splod

    Looks like a Brazilian Pinto

  6. Olaf E

    One out of 1,589 (701 of Series 1 and 888 of Series 2). No export to North America or Europe, but Wikipedia mentions that at least one is known to be in the USA. Could this one be that one?

    Never seen this car before, but I like it! (I have a weakness for underdogs) But looking at the nose and rear lights it’s getting all a bit too modern for me, plastic.

  7. fred

    Did the company also make dirt bikes? The names sounds familiar.

  8. randy

    Test question, can you pronounce Cibie?

    • John

      See Bee Ehh.

    • John

      We have now identified ourselves as old farts. (But I still have a set.

  9. scottymac

    The DOHC inline six from the TrailBlazer, with 275hp, would be perfect for this. Love the looks, not the price. Don’t know much about the Brazilian market, except the ’66 Ford Galaxie was kept in production (with modified front and rear ends) until 1984.

  10. randy

    Old farts indeed! This website is a gas, I love the trips down memory lane!

  11. grant

    It looks like the spawn of an unholy union between a Pinto and a Monza. Yuck!

    • Joe Howell

      My thoughts exactly.

  12. Horse Radish

    Cost inhibitive, because the Brazilians charge ridiculous customs (100 + % ??) for importing cars to safeguard their own Products.
    A new Escalade or Excursion cost around us$100,000…
    which brings me to the claim of most expensive Brazilian Car for 10+ years running, ONLY if you exclude ALL imports….

    And I am afraid the $500 deposit is what anybody might offer.
    Interesting what Bernardo says above….not that anybody else would import (to the US) a sinister backyard built vehicle like that when you can buy Aston Martins or Jaguars for less. Far too many other choices, and therefore only one in the US.
    Interesting car, enough for a post like this, but never to buy,

    Ooohh, E-bay….it’s worth a shot, no ?

    Oh, and fiberglass body usually means cheap construction, beware !

  13. Doug Towsley

    Maverick meets a Pinto, a little Monza thrown in, and a Euro type back end, kinda Italian or Perhaps Citroen, Interesting car, not so much the price, nor the “Satiny Six” I6 as GM at one described those 6 bangers. a high revving 283 with power pack heads would be a nice transplant,

  14. Jack T

    Having covered collector auctions for car magazines, I’ve seen several of these offered
    at west coast venues. They always need work, and sell well under 10K.

  15. David Carter

    I have the car now. Started the restoration last week and parts are going to be an issue. I plan on doing a frame off restoration but not back to stock. I will be scrounging parts for sometime I’m sure but looking forward to challenge. You can follow the restoration at http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=7794566&highlight=#7794566

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Thanks for the update David! Good luck with your new project.

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