I’m not going to lie to you – we’re long past that. I stayed up to late making my slides for my talk tonight, so now I’m up and tired and slow on Cold Start. It happens! Thankfully, there’s Volkswagen brochures/ads from Brazil to soothe us, so all is not lost. Let’s just look at a few brochures that caught my weary eyes, and do keep in mind that this is just scratching the surface. Remember, Brazil is to air-cooled VWs what Australia is to marsuipials: a place of strange evolutions, away from the rest of the world.
What I like about that top ad is how it’s touting how the 1980s VW Brasilia – essentially a cleverly re-bodied Beetle – has a dashboard from 2001. It’s some pretty hilarious hyperbole, but I suppose if you compare it to the previous version of the dashboard:
…it sorta makes sense? I mean, it’s more ’80s-modern, with clean, white-on-black gauges and all that, but there’s nothing overtly digital or high-tech-looking, really. Also fascinating to note is that the Brasilia is one of those rare times in the air-cooled era when VW made a fake gauge! You can see the earlier one on the right there, the little round dial with no needle and no reference points that does a great job of measuring either nothing, or the car’s status as not having the optional clock installed (it’s reading 100% for that.)
The new fake gauge makes it small and vertical, mirroring the fuel gauge:
It looks kind of like a vollyball net, seen from above.
I really do admire the Brasilia: putting a modern-looking two-door wagon body with good storage space at both ends on a car platform designed in 1938 is a hell of an achievement. Of all the attempts to update/replace the Beetle in the air-cooled era, I think the Brasilia was the only real success.
I also love this shot from a review of the Brasilia; you’d think the headline would be talking about how they got this thing on almost one wheel there, but, no, it’s about it having four doors and drinking a bit more gas.
One of my absolute favorite air-cooled VWs is the Brazil-only Karmann-Ghia TC, which I’ve raved about here before. What I don’t get about this brochure is the upside-down title text. I get that you can do things like this for stylistic reasons, but everything here is so strightforward, this just feels like a mistake. If you were to put this in like a rack of brochures, would you put it in upside-down, so you can see the name? Or hide the name? I’m confused.