Watch: The History of the VW Brasilia

By the late 1960s, it became clear to VW that if it wanted to hang onto the Brazilian market, it was going to have to make some models specifically for the country. Its first attempt was the Brasilia.

Based on the Beetle platform, Volkswagen do Brazil wanted their new creation to be more practical, more spacious, and more economical than the car that was such a star there and around the world.

And they really tried hard, making more than 40 prototypes and eventually landing on something that used the 1600 cc engine from the Beetle, the floor from a Karman Ghia, and a body based on the Type 3’s.

Anything but perfect, the Brasilia did the trick, with as many as 1,000,000 sold in its 10-year life.

Still, though, it could never live up to Beetle’s example, going out of production in 1982, well before the Beetle stopped selling in Brazil.