1966 - 1995

Gurgel 

Information about Gurgel 

Gurgel, a Brazilian car manufacturer, was founded by the visionary engineer João do Amaral Gurgel in 1969. Known for its commitment to producing vehicles with exclusively national components, Gurgel’s early creations included fiberglass bodies mounted on Volkswagen Beetle chassis. This pioneering approach birthed a range of vehicles, notably the Gurgel BR-800, Brazil’s first car developed entirely domestically, launched in 1988.

The BR-800, a compact city car, embodied Gurgel’s innovation with its unique Enertron engine and distinctive Plasteel body. Despite its novel engineering, the model faced tough competition when Brazil opened its market to foreign cars in the early 1990s under President Fernando Collor’s administration. This policy shift, coupled with economic challenges, led to the decline in popularity of Gurgel’s vehicles, overshadowed by more affordable imports.

By 1994, Gurgel was forced into bankruptcy, a poignant chapter that ended its manufacturing operations. Despite this, the name survived, albeit detached from its original glory, now associated with a small-scale importer of tricycles. The legacy of Gurgel’s ambitious projects, however, continues to resonate, with many of its vehicles still seen on Brazilian roads, supported by a dedicated community of enthusiasts.

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