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We all have fallen in love with a few photos and no info. Sadly I am part of that group too.  ;-)

For me it is a matter of garage space. If I could I scored it , I'ld  swap the 2110 with the 1835 in my IM.
Also it has been a year or so since I have seen a PUMA in person. As I recall they are pretty dang small.  At 6' !' might be a bit tight...

Even so  : if ,would, could... pretty pictures.

One thing to keep in mind is the title. With luck it will have a VW title. If it is titled as a PUMA, you might want to check with your DMV about getting a title in your state. Often they require special inspections etc. I had to fill out piles of paper work to get my IM with a clean Florida title moved to Ga . Took about 6 frustrating months of bureaucratic bs. 
Don't let that be a deal breaker.
I am glad I went through it and have my IM, just look into it so you will know what is ahead.

The guy who owns the Puma is a 73 year young car enthusiast that has owned 3 other Pumas, he appears to have the same strange mental twist as we have. We have much in common in our tastes, he has owned and raced some Devin sports cars, Porsche's , Vw's and many other odd ball bastard type cars that seem to always prick our interest. He seems like a straight shooter and isn't rushing me to close the deal which gives me time to do this thing the right way. By the way those who haven't met me, I am the perfect height for a Puma ,5'7". The owner and main builder of this Puma was a Porsche mechanic from Texas where the car came from last year. It has disc brakes all around , drop spindles on the front . 2110 with 48 Webers? if confirmed and said they are tuned well. It has a freeway flyer trans of some unknown gear ratio but he said about 3200 at 75, I assume the 16" wheels help this as well.The original Puma alloy wheels and other cool parts come with the car. He said the engine doesn't leak at all. This will be a delight to see if it is in fact true. More to come in the days ahead my Puma fans and friends. Engine pics coming tomorrow.

Puma GTE 2110 1Puma GTE 2110 4Puma GTE 2110 3Puma GTE 2110 5Puma GTE 2110 2


Images (5)
  • Puma GTE 2110 1
  • Puma GTE 2110 4
  • Puma GTE 2110 3
  • Puma GTE 2110 5
  • Puma GTE 2110 2

It has one and he said the engine doesn't run hot and keeps good oil pressure. The guy he bought the car off of built or had the engine built and the info is scarce for now. I have a feeling I will get a pile of paperwork to look thru.. I am going Friday to check the car out. It has full gauges oil temp,pressure and head temp. I will know if the engine runs hot. I will check a bunch of stuff out. The car has a rhino case trans with full kafer bar setup supporting the trans/engine. All in all I am still excited about the car. The price is such I feel I can recoup all or more a few years into the future. My motto is this. Some of my money is spent on toys that can be sold for what I paid plus or minus 10%. The last 30 years I am way up and have had a ton of fun. If I wait and say someday I will get one of those that day may never come because we aren't guaranteed a tomorrow. The seller is a 73 year old car nut who has a menagerie of cars like a Deserter mid engine dune buggy, a V8 manta, a Jaquar replica built on a Corvette, a Devin sports racing etc. Kindred Spirits.

I searched a bit and found where the Puma was listed from the Texas owner and the following info was found:

1977 Porsche GTE Additional Info:

1977 Puma

1977 Puma GTE
Very rare Brazilian sports car by Genaro Malzoni. Stunning design of Anisio Campos. The first generation cars were built in tiny numbers from 1969 to 1980 at about 85 units per year. Manual transmission with 2,624km (1,630 miles).
Offered here is a 1977 Coupe with low miles on its upgraded VW air cooled engine 2110cc (90.5mm X 82mm), close fin type 2 oil cooler. Super cool tins. Porsche 912 rods, genuine Porsche bearings. Fly wheel 12lb. CB forged counterweighted crank.
Dynamically balanced 2024 T-3 aluminum pushrods. Berg 297 cam with CB race followers, 8.2 CR. CB 044 ultra mag heads w/1.25/1 ratio rockers. REAL 481DA's with custom air cleaners. Stage 3 Kennedy with Kush Loc disc. Jacob Ultra hi-power ignition.
The trans; Rancho 4.12 final with welded side pllate. Steel shift forks. Sway away axles. Stock gear ratio's. Kafer bars. KYB shocks on the rear. Disc brakes front & rear. All gauges rebuilt with new VDO parts except fuel gauge. Restored original powder coated aluminum rims.
The Puma also comes with bubble plexiglass headlight covers (not installed), a custom tow bar, an extensive file on the car history, receipts, invoices, etc.
The puma GTE in its' first generation iteration was a styling masterpiece. Fun to drive like an early Porsche, and rare in its build totals like an early Lamborghini.

I am curious who was the owner and builder in Texas?  There are lots of VW interest groups, especially in the Austin and DFW areas and reputable builders.  I have attended the Texas VW Classic for many years and it is amazing the number of quality VW and VW based builds that would attend.  I do not remember ever seeing this car, but curious where it was built.

Beautiful car and should be a ton of fun!

The story given to the current owner is that the car was owned by a retired Porsche mechanic and he built the engine. The engine build sheet is reasonable, the compression ratio is lower than what I would have built but has been an issue of debate with these aircooled wonders.  The parts are all nice. The stage 3 clutch is way over kill. I  have a stage 1 on my 180Hp suby and it never slips. More info to come.

I like that they're neither fish nor fowl. The Puma's I've seen look for all the world like very nicely done turnkey "kit cars" (or tributes, or whatever), clearly cribbing from the Dino notes.

... but they were a legit (at least in Brazil) car company. I spent 3 months in Brazil in the early 1980s, and was stunned to find a 2nd (and 1/2) world country producing cars. Everything was based on tariffs-- imported stuff was heavily taxed, which was why car companies built stuff in San Paulo for use "in country". Puma just filled the niche that this system created. They were essentially rebodied Fuscas (Beetles), but there was enough of a market for them to be a legit manufacturer. It's to our benefit that what they built was as cool as it is. What aircooled idiot can resist a sub $20k fiberglass Dino with a Type 1, that isn't a mere replica?

Not this kid. And clearly not Jimmy, either.

Last edited by Stan Galat

Yes, I have been watching them for the past couple years and then Reincarnation had the article on one and really got me going. I was hooked when I saw the listing. I will have it in my possession Saturday.

Carey's Dad Kevin was involved with the Puma and has one of the Stinger prototypes that they were getting Mohamed Ali to endorse and it fell through. I would say his car is worth something. Any pics and info you can share Carey?

Last edited by Jimmy V.
@Jimmy V. posted:

WNGD That was an off the wall question. Why do ask what I think the value of my Speedster is "in this environment"? Don't it wrong I just don't understand why you are asking? Are you interested in it? I wasn't thinking about selling it but as they say (especially with me) everything is for sale. I am looking forward to your response.

It was off the wall for me too. It crossed my mind that perhaps you'd be selling the Speedy but it's more I really like your car (and Toys Superwide) blue color combo and wondered what yours would be worth with the CMC/Suby now vs a newer VS air cooled. My interest is in the future as I'm currently doing a 2-Speedster addition to my house and still have 2 kids in university, you never know lol but importing into Canada has its intricacies. Kinda hoping the might loosen up the restrictions one of these days


Here's what the original Puma engine cooling shroud looks like.  Not sure why they used a different than normal stock VW one.  Maybe its one the Brasilia (donor car) uses or the engine lid is lower?  The Puma shroud seems to bring a premium price ($150-400) for some reason. Link to $150 one on Samba.


Image result for puma engine shroud

Last edited by WOLFGANG

The Puma arrived this Morning. My Friend who picked the car up said the seller was actually crying as the car was trailered away. I am very happy with the car. Ride quality is very nice, it has a smooth quiet ride even with the windows down. I have been spoiled by the torque and large power band of my Suby engine. I would think the 2110 this car has is putting out 140-150 HP and I had the passing thought of having the car converted to Suby power like my Speedy. Will I do it? I highly doubt it, but think of 200 hp and also having air conditioning. I will probably pull the engine and go through it, I see a couple things I would do differently. The car has a stage III clutch which is crazy, the clutch pedal is super stiff. There is no reason this light of a car with this HP would ever need a clutch this strong, my Speedster with the 180HP Suby engine does fine with a Stage I, so the stage III has to go.

 These little Puma's are really cool. I will keep you posted.

Puma GTE 2110 23Puma GTE 2110 22

Puma GTE 2110 20Puma GTE 2110 21


Images (4)
  • Puma GTE 2110 20
  • Puma GTE 2110 21
  • Puma GTE 2110 23
  • Puma GTE 2110 22

Actually the car would be a good candidate for something like a Subaru conversion because it has been modified somewhat from stock form already. I estimate the conversion wouldn't be all that intrusive. I am in love with the design and shape of the car not so much the drive train. I took the car up to the corner gas station and the first guy that pulled in asked me if the car was a Ferrari. I will let the idea sit awhile.

Don't listen to that devil on your shoulder(Stan that's YOU!).

Check out the 2110 as you are planning, remove that filter/pump. Yes, they are restrictive. Full flow it and bring it back to health. If you still don't like it you can sell a newly freshened 2110 and you won't have much money in it, even if you get the heads redone and buy new jugs and bearings. As long as the case is good, you'll spend less than $1000 and could easily sell it for 2x that. Then get a Suby..........

My take: If both toys have the same motor, it would be a bit boring.

Very cool car Jimmy!  What carburetors are on it? How high does it rev with power? Any details (cam? headwork & valve sizes? compression? exhaust size?) on the engine?  I've heard it said the filter/pump combos are ok 'till about 6,000 rpm; after that the smaller passages in the cover can't pass any more volume and will eventually break off the pump drive tang.  I have heard of guys trying to re-work them so they flowed more but don't know how successful they were.

@Stan Galat posted:

I prefer to think of myself as the angel of speed, whispering truth into the ears of those who just need a little nudge. 

The Angel of Speed- I like that Stan!  

And yeah, I think 1 of them should be really fast  

As the engine is now it doesn't have much power. The specs ALB are further back in the thread. The engine was supposedly built with 8.2:1 CR. which is low to me for a performance engine. It runs and drives but doesn't feel like it has any torque to speak of and no power band at all. So I would suspect once I check that the compression is way low from worn rings or burnt valves or both. The parts supposedly used to build the engine are good so I should be able to do something with it for a reasonable amount. Not sure why someone would build an engine with 044 ultra mag heads with valve combo 44/37.5 and set the CR at 8.2:1. Asking you aircooled  hot rodder's, would this make good power? I seem to remember some of Pat Downs builds that have been dyno'ed online have made good numbers with lower CR. not sure how that works. I thought 9.5-10.5 would be the min. to make a snappy engine. The guy who built this car did some things that you would do if it was going to used for drag racing. The stage III clutch, kafer bars and solid mounted reinforced case welded gusseted trans with 4.12 R&P all point to someone wanting to drop the hammer and go fast for short bursts in a straight line. I will have fun sorting the car out. It has a lot of potential and is very solid. It came with the original alloy wheels that are in super shape. A brand new set of Recaro high bolster high back seats in the box and wrapped in plastic. I new set of headlight covers that cost $210.00 14 years ago from a Brazilian Puma parts place. How about "Purring Pumas" for a company name.

Last edited by Jimmy V.

Never mind, I figured it out, the 12 mm plugs in my engine take an 18mm socket. I pulled all the plugs and did a compression test. it is in line with the low power the engine has. cyl,#1-95 psi , #2-100 psi #3-60 psi with and without oil in the cylinder, #4- 91 psi.

 So out goes the engine for a rebuild. I messaged the seller to let him know about the engine and how his description was somewhat different than reality . I know it's on me, the buyer beware thing and all that. I was happily surprised, the seller offered to refund me $1000.00 as compensation (so we are actually splitting the cost of the rebuild ). Thanks Dennis ,you are a true gentleman.  

 I will probably pull the engine when I get back from a week in Hilton Head and send it to Westerfeld Enterprises in Cincinnati. I will have him build it back with 94mm P & C's to make a 2276. 

Thought Gene Berg or some famous name like that was a low compression partisan. This would've been years ago though. The Raby 1914 I bought is 8.5-1CR; that whole series of engines he made for Cary & Co. were set up so duffers wouldn't (necessarily) ruin them. 

Since it's toast seems like a 2.5 SOHC Subaru might make sense. FWIW I'd pull that gearbox too and replace either with a Rhino-cased stock ratio setup with a 3.44 R&P or a 5 speed. "While you're in there...".

  The only way I would go with a Suby conversion (not that I am) is if Carey did the job and that would run in the $15K neighborhood. I am going to get the Type 1 engine fixed regardless. I want to drive it awhile with the aircooled power. As I said the over all ride quality is very smooth and rattle free for the most part, surprising for a plastic car.

Last edited by Jimmy V.

It was Berg. His lies and untruths just won't die for some folks. Some things he said still matter. His company still continues to make GREAT parts. Some of his "articles" were nothing but a snake-oil salesman selling you his parts.

The low compression thing went along with his "sem-hemi" heads.

Jimmy,  8.2:1 might be a good ratio depending on cam/heads/lifters/carbs/exhaust.

I'd put thick wall 92's(or Mahle 94s, that's what I have) on it, and have the heads rebuilt/checked out. Then get a cam, rockers, and lifters designed to work with high compression. Flycut those heads after all the other calcs to make it exactly what you want. It ALL matters and needs to be engineered to work together. I'm running 10.2:1, but all parts of my particular combo make it work.

I wish I lived closer, we could do it together. It would be fun!

Gene Berg was a man of conviction, and moved the ball down the field for this hobby. We're all standing on his shoulders to some extent.

His low CR thing was because he came from a time when 99% of the cars these engines went into were full-bodied sedans, 99% of the engines were under 2L, and 99% of the people who built them wanted them to run for 100K mi w/o issue.

We've got different expectations. I'm not looking for more than 50K mi out of a leaned on T1, I haven't run an engine under 2L in 15 years, and and I'd like "snappy" acceleration from whatever is back there.

It's all about the heads. Street head porting is an order of magnitude better than it was back then, and @Pat Downs keeps moving the ball further and further down the field with CNC head porting. We can run higher compression with better heads. Cam design is lagging a bit, but there has been progress there too.

How much CR any of us can run is all about what cam and heads we use. If Jimmy's "got a guy", I'd imagine we can talk all day and it won't make a ton of difference.

I'm anxious to see how this unfolds.

I think there was a very good technical/engineering reason compression ratios precipitously dropped in the 1970s, but I don't have any idea what that reason was.

I also think there's probably a good technical/engineering reason compression ratios have gone up over the past 30 years, and that reason probably has a lot to do with volumetric efficiency, combustion efficiency and, well, torque.

I also think advances in combustion chamber design, better understanding what the flame front does and how to control it, made those higher CRs (Good LOrd, 10 to 1 static CR plus 15 lbs of boost?? In an econobox?) conceivable, but huge advances in computerized engine management systems and variable cam profiles made them practical. 

With that understanding, it's theoretically possible to build a Type 1 engine to 10+ CR and turbo it AND have it last a long time. All you would need is like 8 knock sensors, Some kind of variocam system on your rocker arms, special heads, EFI and crankfire ignition (of course)... And probably a new kind of case with five main bearings and a special crank to go with it. 

@edsnova posted:

With that understanding, it's theoretically possible to build a Type 1 engine to 10+ CR and turbo it AND have it last a long time. All you would need is like 8 knock sensors, Some kind of variocam system on your rocker arms, special heads, EFI and crankfire ignition (of course)... And probably a new kind of case with five main bearings and a special crank to go with it. 

Easy, Ed. It's like you are TRYING to throw down the challenge to Stan.

Last edited by Michael Pickett

Ed, don't hurt yourself. I'm running 10.2:1 static compression now, today. With carbs and yes, crank fire ignition. Jake Raby, supplied me the engine in 2002. 

It's the dynamic compression that needs to be worried about. If you have really good heads, plenty of cam and rocker, you can run a high static. I'm proof. Anand's motor is proof.

Last edited by DannyP


@edsnova posted:


...I think there was a very good technical/engineering reason compression ratios precipitously dropped in the 1970s, but I don't have any idea what that reason was...



Not an engineer and don't play one on YouTube, but I'd guess it was the cheapest way to quickly meet new emission standards, while still using most of the iron already in the parts bin.

That, and suddenly stratospheric gas prices meant no one wanted to be pumping high-test anymore.

Remember, this was before computerized engines let you tweak everything in software.

More here.



Easy, Ed. It's like you are TRYING to throw down the challenge to Stan.

"New Stan" here. I'm gonna just leave that gauntlet laying there. I'm struggling (in vain, it seems) to keep my current project from spiraling completely out of control. I'm presently out of energy and money to shovel into the boilers of progress.

Regarding turbos-- they are far too cheap and effective for consideration by me. It's much better to chase big numbers by taking a platform to its physical limits, then put an enormous cam in it and try to hold it all together to 7000+ RPM.

I ask you, where's the fun in sticking with a mild(ish) displacement, a stout bottom end, and a mild cam-- then hitting it with a few pounds of boost and matching the numbers attainable for 3x the money with a NA engine?

That's just crazy-talk.

I never doubted you, @DannyP! And I do think many Speedster and Spyder owners can build and run engines to higher static CRs than was common 20 years ago in VW engine world. 

Aside from better spark control, and better heads, it's just true that these cars are usually a bit lighter than a Beetle sedan and—most crucial—their drivers are less likely than the average person to lug the car up a ski jump in third gear with nine frat boys piled on it to "set the record."

That said, I think you—the Weber Whisperer with the fastidious tuning habits—are about the ideal candidate for a 10+ CR Type 1 and, were I an engine builder, I would consider you a different sort of customer than say, Lane Anderson or myself. 

Not necessarily "better," just "different."

And yet here we are, in a world where literally any junkyard Subaru mill you can find comes with a static CR at 10 or above. 

That's the difference, isn't it? To run 10-1 CR with 1930s tech, you need to know something about engines and act on that knowledge. With 2000s tech it's just standard equipment; adjust the valves at 100,000 miles.

Well said my friends! I have enjoyed your dialog immensely(Not being sarcastic either). Here is the short term and long term plan for the blue bomber, My VW wizard returned my call and is ready and willing to go thru the sick 2110, let me know what he finds, recommend and build an engine to fit my stated goals. I am leaving for vacation Wednesday or I would have the engine to him this week. As it is I won't be able to get the engine to him for 2-3 weeks. This is phase one of my master plan. While the engine is being done, I plan to work on a few little cosmetic things and have it all ready for the engine to go back in. Future plans, I spoke with Carey and he said he loves Pumas and has had a few of them over the years. He said he would like to tackle the job once he gets some breathing room, They have gotten behind further than usual because of Covid-19. He estimated a possibility of being able to do the conversion  this coming winter. So I left it at that and plan to  touch base with Carey this fall. I will be saving my nickels and dimes for the conversion. I will run the rebuilt type 1 engine until then and sell it to help offset some of the transplant costs. I am thinking of a Suby 2.5L 180Hp NA engine, Rancho Pro suby Transaxle, heated and air conditioned. This bad boy can be a daily driver.

Last edited by Jimmy V.


While I can't find data on the numbers and percentages of Subi turbo vs n/a engines, it's safe to say that your statement of 10:1 CR only applies to n/a engines.  I believe n/a engines are in the minority with Subi, and, with improving turbo technology and mpg and emission requirements, likely to stay there.  Turbo engines usually have a CR of low 8's (8.1-8.5).

Nothing wrong with n/a, but the thrust of tuning efforts don't include them.  You can slap a turbo on a n/a engine, but, by the time you lower the existing CR, you have more time and money invested than you can recoup.

For engine swaps like our hobby uses, turbos bring their own set of challenges, to be sure.  However, those are the engine types that tuners choose.  N/a engines are reliable and long-lasting, but not good candidates for increased horsepower.  

In My case I have the luxury of knowing how a brand new EJ2.5 L Subaru engine performs in an 1800 lb. car and it is as near to perfection as I will get. So I am confident a similar setup with make the Puma super enjoyable. There is a part of me that is saying go with a WRX STI engine but to be honest the cost would raise at least 50-60% on the front end and the car would become a true monster and much harder to keep running cool and more prone to break downs. The sweet spot for me is a stock (think about the concept of an engine like this being called stock)  NA engine which in stock form has 10.5:1 CR., 4 valves per cylinder, hemi style over head cam heads and utilizing variable cam lift technology all to put out 180HP / 178 Ft lbs  of torque and not over heating or stressed in any way. I am  very impressed with Subaru engine technology. The engines run like Swiss sewing machines, I love it. 

Jim is correct you have to be satisfied with 180 ish hp with a SOHC engine but if you go with an older 4 cam with Atom ECU and cam you might get over 200, and elastically 220hp but you can't do any more without being disengenous to yourself and others.  Words from a ralley racing engine builder north of the 49th. 

A turbo WRX engine setup would be more than enough for our PCCA cars for sure and can be found for a lot less money used.

Marty has a GT 240hp ish and is quite pleased. 


Update:  I ran an exercise once to get pricing on a new engine with 200hp and more in a N/A and I had heard some say you could get 220-240hp and my local guy subie tech was telling me that it was impossible to get it and even 220 he felt they were exaggerating their results and says to me those numbers are reported in Cali. 

In the end he says to me a small turbo can get you there for little money compared to a new NA especially if we find a good used low mileage engine. Still in the planning stage.

Last edited by IaM-Ray

I wouldn't get too crazy with power in a Puma. It is basically a pan Speedster.

Yeah, let's throw a 250 hp turbo mill in there. Torsion leaf front suspension, recirculating ball steering box, etc..... Let's throw some turbo power in there, just so you can REALLY upset the very marginal chassis at 180hp, just add 60-70 more. Make sure the brakes are stock too, for that extra pucker factor.

Marty and Ray and Bob can get away with a lot in an IM tube-frame with 911 suspension.

I'd wager the Puma would not do as well.

My two cents.

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