Thursday, October 21, 2010

Volkswagen Concept: El Toro

In July 1958, DMG Incorporated, the exclusive assembler and distributor of Volkswagens in the Philippines started delivering VW Transporters, initially with the Kombi model. The following months saw the arrival of the other Type2 VW’s - the delivery vans and pick-ups. Soon, the famous Beetle made their appearance and were available through 17 dealerships.

BY 1969, DMG introduced the Sakbayan, considered the first Filipino car. Next model introduced was the Trakbayan, a commercial vehicle. Both used the VW Type 1 engine and VW components.

With the popularity of the Volkswagen model line in the Philippines, DMG embarked on "Project Toro". The sporty Toro was intended to provide local car enthusiasts with a "sporty" model designed and built by DMG. Andy Ferreria was the chief project leader of the "Toro Project" back in the early 70's.

Information on these elusive VW models are courtesy of fellow VW enthusiast, Gilbert Chan. As far as he knows, and based on little bits of info Gilbert has been able to gather from other local enthusiasts, there were several versions of the Toro made. No one is sure of the actual production numbers but if Gilbert is not mistaken they were all based on the Type14 chassis. The more common ones had Ghia floorpans, Ghia windshields, door glass, and door hardware. There were subtle differences with the exterior trimmings. Some used Brasilia headlight and tail light assemblies while others used generic rear light assemblies that looked to have came off of the Sakbayan/Trakbayan parts bit. There were also 2 or 3 variations of the hood. Some were rounden while others had a sunken-in portion. The rear C-pillar (flying butress) also differed somewhat in that some had Empi-like scoops fitted to feed air into the engine bay, while others had grills on the decklid. The front seats also came off of the Type14 Ghia or Brasilia depending on the year model. The design of the Toro itself is commendable. In side view, it pays homage to the VW SP2, one of the most beautiful VW "specials".

Heavy-handed approach to the headlight and tailight design was dissapointing to say the least but still incorporated off the shelf VW parts. All in all, a handsome design.

Volkswagen Concept: El Toro aims to resurrect local VW passion by re-inventing the car imagined by the DMG engineers of decades past. An abandoned VW Toro was quickly located for the basis of this build. The VW sat in a backyard for over 30 years but the fiberglass shell was intact. Almost everything else was worthless but a good solid 70s Beetle donor car provided enough parts to make this Toro whole. Complete ball-joint front and IRS rear suspension assemblies were removed, cleaned, inspected for wear and parts replaced as necessary. A complete floorpan rebuild with fresh high grade metal pan halves provide a strong foundation while performance shocks and brakes complete the rejuvenation. A set of polished 15 inch original Porsche Fuchs wheels (4.5 inch front, 5.5 inch rears) were donated to the project along with Nankang performance radials (195/50x15 fronts, 205/70x15 rears). A High-speed transmission was sourced and installed along with urethane motor mounts and fresh linkages. An 1835 engine was built for moderate performance with Dual 44 Weber carburators providing enough grunt. An aircondition was installed as well as a 75 amp alternator. The elecronic distributor does away with the flimsy contact points and a merged header system completes the motor.

VW Concept: El Toro is covered by deep black urethane paint that highlights the expert body work done to the ageing fiberglass panels.Early Brazilia talights and Beetle H4 headlights complete the Vintage look.

The interior boasts seats and door panels covered in black ultraleather and black german wool carpet adds elegance. A Porsche 944 steering wheel was used, a complete set of Speedwell gauges were refurbished, and a Sony sound system installed.

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