View original topic: 1981 Puma GTB S2 Project Page: 1, 2, 3  Next
dcat917 Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:53 pm

For my next restoration, I have something really unique to work on. It is the only one of its kind in America. Yes there are other Pumas out there, but this one does not have a VW chassis or a VW engine. It has a Brazilian Chevy Inline6 mounted to a GM 4 speed and a GM rear. Stock engine produces 168HP and the final drive ratio is 3.08. Here are some photos from the for sale listing.

I could use some help in finding a parts supplier or a list of parts interchanges would be great. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Petfisheric Tue Aug 25, 2015 4:52 am

Very cool. The interior is looks like some of it will interchange with the GTI and GTC and you can get some of it from:
Once you start work document every thing before you touch it and don't throw anything away broken or not. Some othe swithes were made from unobtanium and can't be replace by mere motals.
I would love to get a closer look at it to see what else may cross over. I may have to make a trip over to Greenville to see it. That means I would have to take US 129 and cross the dragon to get there.....Oh yeah!!!!

dcat917 Tue Aug 25, 2015 8:56 am

Thanks for the feedback Petfisheric. I was thinking the interior should be common between the models as well.

I am a fanatic about documenting and saving old parts, it comes from my Studebaker background. Here are some links to my prior projects:

1950 Studebaker:
1951 Studebaker:
1953 Studebaker:
1971 Karmann Ghia:
1981 Puma GTB:

The driveline I think I have covered as far as sourcing parts, it's the rubber, glass, and trim areas where I will be scrounging. Stay tuned, this should be exciting.

dcat917 Tue Aug 25, 2015 4:00 pm

Here she comes out of Stuart, FL to Greenville, SC where I will clean her up and wipe her down.

dcat917 Wed Aug 26, 2015 4:21 pm

and here she is:

Petfisheric Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:36 pm

Way cool. You also need to post over on the other puma owners will love it. I would sugest you go ahead and print up an answer sheet to hand people when that start asking you what it is.

dcat917 Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:42 pm

Thanks Petfisheric, I feel like such an orphan, not really a VW like my Electric Ghia is but there are other Puma owners here. Which site gets the most activity, since I hate to keep 2 blogs going?

dcat917 Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:19 pm

Today I started the deconstruction. The passenger seat bolt/frame in the rear were completely gone and the seat tilted forward on the front two bolts when I tried to push it forward. Big struggle but I did get the seat out.

This is whats under the carpet, factory fresh :)

I pulled up the carpet and tar board and scraped it clean. Much easier to get down to the fiberglass than my Ghia's floorboard. I made my first clean spot :D :D :D

This is the bottom of the fiberglass body. The orange factory gel coat has delaminated due to moisture. This car must have had major leaks in it.

dcat917 Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:03 pm

Day02 of deconstruction, pulled up more carpet and removed the rear bench seat. These are very toasted from the FL sun, The leather from the factory was real thin to begin with, now its like brittle paper. I will not be putting the seat bench back in, that area is for my speakers and maybe a Nitrous Bottle. :shock: :shock:

dcat917 Sun Aug 30, 2015 4:02 pm

Day03 of deconstruction: Started by getting The car up on jack stands and getting a view of the chassis. No floor board rot :D . I took about 100 photos of everything I could see. I did find a rust hole in the frame right up front where the bumper bracket would be.

The whole exhaust system is gone, and will need to be replaced. The handbrake will need a new cable to the yoke that pulls the drum brakes out. No leaks from any wheel cylinders, but the wheels are sticking. Overall in great shape so far.

Guess what, no heater in the car. Brazilian's don't need no stinking heaters :lol: Next I attacked the passenger side back carpet. The window was broken years ago and never replaced. This caused extensive water damage to the passenger side. The area was covered in dark blue leather stretched over 1/4" foam underlayment that was glued to the fiberglass tub.

Then came the door panels. They were in great shape and may be able to be reused. I'm so glad I did my Ghia prior to this project. The door latches are VW parts, the only VW parts I have seen so far.

Now I could see the door mechanism and the motor for the power windows. The motor will need to be replace I think, or the window are really binding. Then I noticed the window frame was rotted at the bottom. These frames are going to be hard to replace due to the curved glass.

Rebuilding the doors will be a challenge. Now with all the old carpet out the musty smell is fading and the mental image of what I want to do with the car becomes more focused.

I did get my first big break, I located some new tail lights on eBay... BAM 8) 8) 8)

Petfisheric Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:25 pm

The Puma power window motors were never much more than slow much like the windshield wiper motors. I think it has a lot to do with poor grounding on with the fiberglass bodies. It looks like your window regulators are more inline with a typical car and not reliant on the pully belt system in the GTI/GTCs.

dcat917 Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:00 pm

Got any tips on how to get the glass out?

Jim Schield Tue Sep 01, 2015 11:40 am

Unfortunately, the company that made the Puma electric window motors went out of business in 1989. A few parts, like the fiber/nylon gear seem to be available on Brazil's version of eBay, but be careful. Lots of bad feedback. Your set up looks to lend itself to an aftermarket US motor. The electric window set up on by 1983 GTC is different, and is going to require some creative machining.

dcat917 Sun Sep 06, 2015 9:48 am

I have added a video to youtube on the restoration status.

Here are some photos of my steering column.

Jim Schield Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:06 am

Any more progress?
Best regards,

PlacerPuma Sun Sep 13, 2015 1:48 pm

Congrats on your choice, of a rare car, in this region of the world. Obviously a labor of love, since there will be no possible upside of ever recouping your investment. I applaud your effort.
You already connected with the other Puma folks on another website. So spare parts should start to flow soon.
Looking forward to seeing this car getting some much needed attention.
There is some interesting Puma clubs in Brasil, you can find them on FB, language barrier can be overcome by a mutual love / respect for old cars.
Good Luck with your GTB.

dcat917 Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:37 pm

Thanks Jim Schield and PlacerPuma. This week I finally got 220 AC in my garage and a new compressor for the project. Getting a sand blast cabinet and air dryer later. I LOVE NEW TOOLS :D

Not getting much response from PurringPumas on my part list. I did get back on Facebook to make contact with the Brazilian Puma crowd. I'm hoping to find a person to be a buyer for me on the MercadoLive site since I don't have a CDN number (like our social security).

Thursday the glass guy is coming over to see if he can remove my front/rear glass and save the seal. My major concern now is getting the glass/seals and who did the suspension. I sure hope I don't have to go to Brazil to get ball joints. If I do, I'll probably put something like a Mustang front end on it.

Here's the video of where we are today:

Jim Schield Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:00 pm

Don't forget VWAntigoBrasil for parts. Nice folks, fair prices.

Jim Schield Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:03 pm

dcat917 Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:26 pm

I got some great feedback on youtube from Renier Costa on my post about being the only GTB in the States. He turned me on to a lead about another in CA. I did some research and found out that there is another GT here. This is and old auction listing of the other car:

The owner states his is one of two here. Alfredo at Purring Pumas says there are three?

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