It seems like every hot rod enthusiast in North America knows the popular cars from the Big Three. Chevelle, Mustang, and Challenger are all names that perk many an ear. But, in the history of hot rodding, there has been a multitude of beastly muscle cars reserved for OCONUS release.
Take the following muscle car, for example. Chances are many of you haven’t heard of this one.
The Puma GTB (Gran Turismo Brazil) was a muscle car for the Brazilian market. It was based on General Motor’s Opala and hit the scene in 1973. Produced until 1984, the GTB spawned three generations. All were powered by a 4100cc-inline six-cylinder making 169hp.
The Puma’s body was comprised primarily of fiberglass, unlike the heavier Opala. The lightweight construction and aggressive styling made it a trendy car among enthusiasts in Brazil. The Puma GTB remains rare and sought-after today.
Okay, enough about foreign muscle history. Maybe you have heard of that lesser-known piece of horsepower history, but that’s not the point. The point is there are more than just “American” examples of muscle out there. GTBs like the one pictured above were native to South America and weren’t even available in the U.S. market.
Having such cool cars in other countries has spawned an automotive aftermarket – as much outside the United States, as inside. A perfect example of this is America Parts and America Parts Motorsports, a pair of online retail outlets founded by Brazilian-native Jonas Anderson Vidmontiene. Both sites stock all sorts of aftermarket goodies for hot rodders in the U.S. and abroad.
We caught up with Jonas last year, and he broke down his build and how it sparked his idea to create a web-store for American and Brazilian enthusiasts alike. You can get all the details about his wicked ’74 Camaro Z/28, here. But, the America Parts Motorsports website is where the real story is.
As you might imagine, if we are lusting after vintage Brazilian muscle, our enthusiast counterparts from abroad do the same thing over American Muscle. So, Jonas created a space where those enthusiasts can get parts from U.S. manufacturers and build their dream cars. Think of it as the Summit or Jegs of Brazil, called America Parts.
Building on the strength America Parts had in Brazil, Jonas and his team have expanded and launched America Parts Motorsports – essentially a North American division. The new branch operates out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida – giving American enthusiasts easier access to the same parts.
The Brazilian website is in Portuguese (Google Translate will take care of that). But, we encourage anyone to take a look at what America Parts has to offer. Whether you are overseas or in the U.S., it is a valuable resource when building your project. (The America Parts Motorsports website is still being updated with the thousands of parts it stocks, but the same parts can be had through either site. There is just currently more to look at on the Brazilian site.)
Google Translate is a little off in terms of direct translations, but just taking a look at the departments America Parts caters to is impressive. All the major classic brands are represented – Cadillac, Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, Pontiac, and Oldsmobile – to name a few. There are even options for Volkswagen, Harley Davidson, and Jeep if you’re so inclined.
We typed three of the most commonly modified classic car brands into the search bar, starting with Chevrolet. We were immediately impressed with the variety of available parts. Sourcing performance and restoration parts from brands you know and trust like Tamraz’s, Holley, and ISKY, America Parts has everything you need to soup-up your Chevy – even the Opala! (If you have one send us a pic, those things are awesome!).
Speaking of Opalas, America Parts even has some hard to find camshaft options for the Opala’s straight-six. The 250ci engine has proven to be very popular among not only Brazilian enthusiasts, but anyone with a GM straight-six equipped car. GM’s straight-six 250ci was offered as the base engine in almost every North American car or truck made from 1975 to 1984.
What’s more, they were also produced for the Brazilian market up until 1998. 1975 to 1998 – that’s a 23-year run! Suffice to say, there are a lot of these little engines out there. Finding parts for them hasn’t always been easy, but America Parts has stepped up and filled a void in the marketplace.
Another popular classic car in Brazil is the Ford Maverick. While Chevy was cranking out straight-six powered Opala’s as far back as ’68, Ford was still trying to find a way into the marketplace and started selling the Maverick in 1973. To entice buyers to the new model, Ford slapped a small-block V8 in the little powerhouse. Of course, a straight-six was still offered and was probably more common, but the V8 was an option. So, it comes as no surprise that there is a generous amount of parts catering to the Maverick.
Lucky for anyone in the midst of restoring one, America Parts offers all sorts of restoration parts for the Maverick – including body panels and drivetrain components for both the inline-six and V8. It doesn’t stop at simple restoration, though – they offer completely built 302ci and 347ci Stroker engines. That’s gotta be a big hit with Brazilian enthusiasts who are more “muscle purists.”
So, if Brazilian car enthusiasts love American Muscle, that means they enjoy a roaring V8. Out of the Big-Three American auto manufacturers, Dodge was the only one to enter the South American market flexing full-bore displacement. From the time Dodge began offering Darts and Chargers to the wanting Brazilian public, there was only one engine option.
As such, America Parts offers a multitude of aftermarket parts catering to Dodge’s venerable 318ci LA engine. From “day-two” electronic ignition conversion, large-diameter headers, and monster bumpsticks, to restoration parts like windows and bumpers, there’s something for everyone.
America Parts even has 408ci stroker short- and long-blocks to take those 318ci-powered Darts and Chargers from mild to wild!
While the America Parts Motorsports site isn’t as up-to-date as its Brazilian counterpart yet, it does showcase a plethora of products.
Everything on the Brazilian website can be had through the newly established American distribution network, and the America Parts Motorsports website seems to have more modern offerings for the pro-touring, swap-crazed crowd.
America Parts Motorsports even handles installations and international shipping if there’s a certain foreign-only ride you’ve been eyeing.
So, if any of the rare or hard-to-find parts on the Brazilian website are on your list, or if you’re looking for more modern pieces for your build, give the professionals a call at (754) 223-0936.