Puma Rome is the only company that continued to produce items similar to those Buggies. Its beginnings date back to the seventies and was imposed as one of the most appreciated companies in the sector. Buggy made the classic American "Desert", always using mechanical Volkswagen, and marketed under the name "Puma" at the price of 1,300,000 lire with motor preparation or 440,000 lire in mounting kit.
A copy of the Buggy "Puma" in 1974 was the protagonist of the film "Altrimenti ci arrabbiamo" played by Bud Spencer and Terence Hill.
The Buggy could be equipped with a hard roof and doors that could open or with a canopy type top (an absolute novelty in this type of vehicle). With the name "pulci of the desert", the company founded by Adriano Gatto was devoted to the simple conversion of the Custom "Maggiolino 1200" (VW Beetle) by providing it, among other things, with elongated fenders fiberglass, and a wide wheel base that exceeded the limits of the body.
Later, in the eighties, Puma began the construction of a sports car, the "Big Brother", made with a 1200cc VW engine as the "Maggiolino" was available in kit assembly. Equipped with a body by Vitroresina and a line of particularly attractive and aerodynamic look. The "Big Brother" took some sporting aesthetic concepts of the past, like the grille of the lunette later recalled that Lamborghini "Miura" look, lights fairings, etc ...
The last engine mounted in a model was the 50-hp 1500cc Volkswagen engine. The maximum speed of the "Big Brother 1300," according to its builder, was 150 km/h and consumed 7 liters to every 100 kilometers. The Roman factory also produced a similar model called GTV-033. This sporty, available only as an assembly kit, similar in appearance to the "Big Brother" nut differed at the headlights and you could remove the roof to turn the car into a Spider. The last model produced, was a model with an Alfa Romeo boxer engine, a 4-cylinder 1186 cc water-cooled, capable of developing 63 hp at 6000 rpm and reaching 180 km/h. Puma produced some copies of other vehicles whose lines were inspired by a Jeep called the "Ranch", equipped with a VW engine of 1385 cc and used a original type of tubular chassis.
The glorious history of the Puma company began from a trip to the United States where Adriano Gatto (born in 1943), while twenty-two, was a guest of a family wedding, saw his first Dune Buggy. Fascinated by the style he decided to import it to Italy in mounting box to change it later on an estate of his father in Ronciglione (VT). Here shaping by hand with chalk lines two boxy 'Dune Buggy Americano', turned his ideas into real pieces of fiberglass. He drove his completed work around the streets of Rome, attracts the attention of passers-by until one day, insistent upon request of a friend, he decided to sell it. Flattered and determined not to be deprived, Adriano, decided to import a new box assembly thus giving life to a new Buggy "Made in Italy", to which he chose to give the name Puma Gatto Spiaggia to look cool and adventurous. Dall 'huge success for the numerous requests received, he decided in 1968 to give birth to " PUMA company "based in Rome near Conca D'oro resort Montesacro.
The company in addition to producing the Dune Buggy, has also produced sports cars and SUVs, all based on the chassis of the Beetle. She also performed specific processes of this same car.
In the '80s he also made a dragster and in the subsequent years had produced electric cars such as the PUMA BOXER 90 presented at the Bologna Motor Show.
Currently Adriano Gatto and his son Gianluca are again active in the field of cars. Recently, it has been anticipated in the journal QUATTRORUOTE of April 2013, the new project Microcar Made in Italy that will be produced at the historic Puma Roma.
Templates designed by Cat and Domenico Lombardi, the young technician who followed the development of all products by the company, were seven:
1968 Gatto Spider Spiaggia (Cat Beach Beach)
A very classic Dune Buggy on Volkswagen standard chassis (other competitors instead preferred to shorten it) which was mounted on the original Beetle air-cooled 1192 cc engine, clothed with a body made of fiberglass panels. It was a big commercial success due to the quality and price. The car was sold in kit that is already assembled. The kit that included the bonnet complete the dashboard fiberglass monocoque, the laminated glass windshield, chrome brackets, rubber seals for the windshield and the hood, two front headlights 150mm, various bolts and brackets d 'attack, the Personal wheel type competition, two bucket seats as well as the executive floors of assembly, was sold at the low price of Pounds 440,000 . For those who wanted to buy the "Puma GS", according to the manufacturer's declarations had a curb weight of 560 kg with a maximum speed of 120 km/h and gradeability up to 65%, the selling price was Pounds 1,250,000 excluding registration. The same car was used in the movie "We're Mad" with Bud Spencer and Terence Hill and a copy was also sold to well-known singer Claudio Villa.
Puma GT (1973)
Evolution of the 'Gatto Spider Spiaggia', appeared as the previous model, the Volkswagen chassis, this time shortened on which was mounted the same 1200 cc engine with more refined interior upholstered in velvet and carpet that looked a lot better for aesthetic effect. The front, always in fiberglass, with a line almost had to wedge a trend down-force act to increase the grip of the front axle. The projectors were partially recessed into the fenders, a solution to this favorable both esthetics and aerodynamics. In the central part of the front hood sticking up the bulk of the gas tank cap chrome and carefully aligned with the line of the bonnet. Later the fiberglass shell covering the entire engine of Volkswagen derivation of which, however, glimpsed the details below that are carefully polished chrome, gave a greater determination to "Puma GT." It came in two different versions including GT , characterized by a line even more aggressive and the other with an optional hard top with doors opening to gull wings that facilitated the use of this buggy throughout the year. He rode the front tires 195 x 14 "tires on 8 x 14", while the rear tires 225 x 14 "tires on 10 x 14". The cost of the car excluding the registration was 1,650,000 lire . This version was instead the protagonist of the film: The Girl Off-Road (1973), The masters of the city (1976), To koritsi vomva (1976).
Puma GTV (1978)
A sporty coupe, 1.80 m wide 1.10 m high only, whose line was designed by Richard Oakes for Nova, of which the GTV was a licensed version. Volkswagen also used the platform on which was mounted a Volkswagen engine 1200 cc version developed by Lombardi up to 1385 cc in order to achieve higher performance slightly, though inadequate to the expectations connected to a line so sporty. The remarkable feature of this car is access to the passenger, also borrowed from the Nova Eagle, hinged to the base of the glass, the roof (roof and windshield) is lifted and rotated forward allowing easy access not just to the passenger , but highly effective for a line so extreme. The sporty "GTV PUMA" proposal was for sale at a price of 8,950,000 lire and was the star of several movies, including "VELVET HAND" with Adriano Celentano (1979), "THE TEACHER AT SEA WITH ALL CLASS " with Alvaro Vitali and Lino Banfi (1980), "THIS IS" with Renato cockpit. Currently they have been recorded 35 of about 100 specimens produced by the company.
Puma Ranch (1982)
An off-road vehicle from the line strongly inspired by the Jeep Wrangler, but with an opposite arrangement of mechanics, as on the Ranch and the engine was behind the front rack. The chassis was an original creation of the company, built on a rectangular section metal tube was installed in the usual German engine led to 1385 cc with tires 235/70 x 15 "mounted on wheels 10 x 15". Upon request, you could mount a 1.6-liter version and the body was as always in fiberglass. The "Puma Ranch" could be approved as a truck for two people and mixed use for four people. Maximum speed 120 km / h with a consumption of 1 liter per 14 km The "Puma Ranch" was used in the film: "SING SING" Adriano Celentano "BOMBER" with Gerry Calà and Bud Spencer.
Puma GTV-033 (1984)
The second series of the GTV is characterized by a different body from the engine change and replaced with the "boxer" 4 cylinders derivation "Alfa Sud" 1186 cc. The snout was shorter compared to the first series with the headlights recessed into the body almost to invoke the front of the "Puma GT", the latter was more square and the sides were not curved at the bottom, their new angular shape was inspired to skirts of racing cars of that period. The sale price was 9,800,000 lire plus VAT and registration.
GTV 033-S (1985)
The most rugged line of Puma GTV-033, was very favorably received by the public, who still preferred the curved sections of the first series. He was born from the idea to use a cat Adriano longer snout and rectangular headlights groped to move closer to the original style of the GTV and that version was called GTV 033-S . As regards the engine, the "boxer" 4-cylinder 1186 cc Alfa Romeo Alfasud cooled water was preferred to the Volkswagen engine air cooled. Due to the higher power gave the most brilliant performance of the car. The second series remained in production until 1991, the year he was presented with the boxer 90. The sale price was 10,500,000 Lire + VAT and registration.
Puma Boxer 90 (1991)
By now the sinuous lines of the original GTV have disappeared, and with them also the complex system of opening the car, replaced by two gull-wing doors, a solution, however, also very uncommon and very scenic. The line was still aggressive and the interior were taken care of and was also a version with leather interior and burl. This greater complexity meant that many buyers chose to buy it already assembled rather than mount it on your own. It was equipped with the engine of the Alfa Romeo 33 1490 cc carburetor that produced an almighty power of 105 hp, coupled with the exchange rate, however, only VW 4-speed, with a distinctly favorable power to weight ratio due to the total mass of only 700 kg. La " Puma Boxer 90 ", in the basic version, costing Pounds 32,000,000 excluding VAT and registration. Following the remarkable success achieved with previous models, including the "boxer 90" was offered on the market in kit form at a base price of 5,800,000 lire + VAT. Construct a machine with their own hands, contrary to what one might think, did not need an expensive equipment it nor required special expertise, with a time of mounting no more than 200 hours of work. This car finally having an original line, riguardevoli performance, paving the way for the production of the new model of there soon to come, by making the leap to the company Roman. Currently they have been counted only 18 of about 40 units built and / or endorsed by the company.
Prototype Puma 248 (1993)
The heir to the Boxer 90 is the Puma 248 , made in a single copy. This car was built on a new chassis, leather interior and improved thrust this time, by a 1,700 cc engine - 16V always the House of Arese.
Moreover, Adriano Gatto in 1993, forced the Italian legislation which in the meantime had become more restrictive to the Car Kit-effectively blocking the activity of small manufacturers, for reasons of bureaucratic and unable to bear the high costs required for the approval procedures of their models, they decided to close the business, converting and selling in other areas, hence, the name "Puma" at Ford. Adriano Gatto leaves the automotive industry, and together with his son Gianluca, boating enthusiast, they realize the new design of vessel Pleasure: the "Max Power 21" .
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