Thursday, 15 September 2011

Willys Interlagos

There's more to Willys (pronounce it 'Willis' to avoid hilarity) than just WWII jeeps. The Interlagos represents an unusual Brazilian fusion of American nous and French engineering; you've probably already spotted that there's more than a hint of the Alpine A108 in there, and this is due to the whole project being spearheaded by Alpine founder Jean Rédélé. Manufactured betwen 1962-7, the Interlagos was one of a number of global Alpine derivatives, with similar projects taking place in Bulgaria, Spain, Mexico... anywhere, in fact, that the Renault Dauphine (on which the A108 was based) was locally manufactured.
Available as a fastback, coupe or convertible and powered by an 854cc four-cylinder engine, it was surprisingly perky in its performance - due to its fibreglass construction, leading to a low kerb weight of 540kg - and was able to crack 90mph.
So, it's beautiful, lithe, swift, light... and really quite rare. So rare, in fact, that you may never see one. But at least you know it's out there...

Photos via Paulo Keller.

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