Saturday, July 16, 2011

Volkswagen Concept: The Girl From Ipanema

A cutesy Volkswagen Brasilia made into a tasty woodie!

It’s a little known fact that Brazil, the country, was named after the precious dye extracted out of her native trees. Interest was minimal at first, but the discovery there of a type of wood containing a valuable red dye, know as brazil, was treasured by the Portugese who quickly exported boatloads of the expensive stuff to Portugal and the rest of Europe.

The Brazilian rainforest, essential to the worlds ecosystem, also provides an appropriate link to this Volkswagen Concept.

The Brazilia, a model Volkswagen sold locally is poised for a big comeback. The ugly duckling of the local VW scene, is a rare bird these days, more so the four-door. The styling, different to say the least, was designed by Brazilian Marcio Piancastelli and was a courageous effort.

The front headlights do bear a slight resemblance to a rare air-cooled prototype, the SP1 and the rear ties very well with the design of the 1st generation Golf (nee Rabbit).

The pointed nose suggest a more nautical theme perfect for this interpretation. The Volkswagen Concept: The Girl From Ipanema is an ideal summer surf wagon for a family of four. The car is best used during the warm summer season at a beautiful seaside neighborhood like Ipanema, located in the southern region of the city of Rio de Janeiro.. Instead of an early T2 Split Panel, or a T3 Square, the Brazilia can be a very enjoyable VW to wood up.

This Volkswagen Concept was very much influenced by the popular song with the same name. "The Girl from Ipanema" is much-loved bossa nova song, written in 1962, with music by Antonio Carlos Jobim and English lyrics by Norman Gimbel. The version performed by Astrud Gilberto, along with João Gilberto and Stan Getz, from the 1964 album Getz/Gilberto, became an international hit, reaching number five in the United States pop chart.

Taking a few styling tricks from the SoCal surf scene, this VW Brazilia is measured and fit from the doors to the rear hatch with a light brazilian hardwood. Once fitted, custom framing is masterfully done by a cabinet maker ensuring a smooth finish. A generous urethane stain protects the wood from typhoons and monsoons. A bright “Pink Blush” House of Color “Brilliance Series” urethane topcoat is sprayed on the hood and fenders, while an eggshell white top and windshield posts adds a little class.

The door panels, twin Bucket seats and the stock rear seats are reupholstered in white vinyl with rose piping, with a set of Batangas embroidered seat covers reserved for formal functions.

Styled as a woodie, the interior boasts more timber than your average daily driver. Wood-grip steering wheel, wood shift knob, wood console, wood speaker boxes. Ultra-durable Abaca Carpet is used throughout and a modest audio-video system provide just enough samba.

17-inch Volkswagen Jetta 7-spoke rims are dressed-up with black center caps and with hi-performance Pirelli radials brighten up the package and provides excellent grip on the slippery stuff.

An otherwise rebuilt IRS suspension, steering, brakes, transmission, and DP 1600 engine with a dual exhaust provide just enough power and economy for everyday use.

Take care of her and she’ll run forever.

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