Gurgel Classic Cars for Sale

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Gurgel Motores started manufacturing motor vehicles in 1969. Gurgel was a Brazilian company founded by João do Amaral Gurgel, which had a specialisation for making off-road cars and buggies. The early cars were constructed using fibreglass, but this was changed to a mixture of steel and fibreglass that was done to a Gurgel patent. The BR800 was the first Brazilian car that was manufactured and designed in the country.

The history of Gurgel

The first car that was built by Gurgel was the Ipanema. This was followed by the X-10 (Xavante). The X-10 went into the showrooms in 1973 and was the first success of the company, mainly because of its use of the Plasteel system, which made it resistant to corrosion. A highly sophisticated version of the X-10, the X-12 proved to have even more commercial success than its predecessor.

Gurgel experimented in the development of the electric car in the mid-1970s, though; the limits of the battery caused many problems.

In 1979, the X-15 went on the market. This was a van, which had the capability of carrying seven passengers. At this time, Gurgel was expanding and doing very well in the automobile market. The company became Brazil's first exporter of 'special vehicles.'

A milestone for Gurgel happened with the release of the Gurgel BR-800. This car had an engine that was very similar to the VW Beetle Boxer and included a sealed water-cooled system and had the Gurgel Plasteel bodywork.

The Decline of Gurgel

The demise of Gurgel was linked to the Brazilian market being opened up to foreign competition. Because of the influx of cars from the US, Germany, France and Japan, it was hard to survive. The Gurgel Carajás, which up until the start of the 1990s had been the top-selling car in the country, could not cope with foreign competition. With the arrival of the Lada Niva in 1991, production of the Carajás ceased.

In 1991 in a desperate attempt to get a bigger share of the home market, Gurgel put the Motomachine in the showrooms. This was a two-seater roadster that took its inspiration from the BR-800. Only 177 of these were sold.

Problems were compounded with the promise of funding and backing by the Brazilian government that never materialised. Gurgel did not have the necessary funds to survive cheaper foreign competition and closed in 1994.