Amazonas. With a Volkswagen heart.

With a top speed of more than 160 km / h
ER Classics Desktop 2022

Between the beginning of the Seventies and the early nineties, very strange vehicles were made in Brazil. The measures to protect the home market made imports difficult. And it was Volkswagen that set the crowbar in that market with the establishment of Volkswagen do Brazil.

Because that made Volkswagens Brazilian vehicles. On the home market, many Brazilians had already occupied themselves with making their countrymen mobile, but now it really went wild. And also for the home builders we just talked about, the bottom plates and engine blocks from VW do Brazil were an inexhaustible source of inspiration. We reported a while ago about the wonderful Gurgels. And so the Amazonas was born. A dry, 389 kilo Engine-o-Saurus Rex with an air-cooled VW block as the drive. And provided with sufficient sheeting to make the average bodybuilder very nervous.

The Frankenstein bike

There are two stories about the birth of that monster: The first is about Luiz Antonio Gomi and José Carlos Biston. In short Goni's story was: “I had a Harley and a 'Fusca' (Brazilian for Beetle). That Harley broke or was broken. And the beetle always did. So I thought that I wanted a motorcycle with a Beetle block. ”

The second story sounds a bit overdone, but it's about the unreliability of those twisted Harley's again. In that story, the Amazonas would have been conceived by Daniel Rodriguez. Because the protectionist measures of the Brazilian government had ensured that the army and police were without heavy motorcycles. Their old Harley's were tired and tired of the days. And new Harley's were not allowed into the country. Rodriguez decided to make a heavy motorcycle in Brazil himself. The thing had to be heavy, reliable, simple and 100% 'made in Brazil'. The result was the heaviest motorcycle in the world at the time. Both in cylinder capacity and in weight. And the Amazonas also had a reverse gear. Because behind the VW block was also a VW box.

1.0 solutions

The drive to only one wheel was achieved by welding the differential and mounting a gear on the output shaft. That sounds a bit like cheap improvisation and the Amazonas breathed that spirit. The frame, the control of the gear from hand to foot control, the instruments, the brakes ... Everything was so rude and brutal that even Urals or Dneprs were well thought out bicycles. Or laymen. But yes: the blocks did not remain intact. On the other hand: the Amazonas barely steered, braked and springed.

The bulky, heavy Amazonas were found to deliver the desired reliability. The Brazilian motorcycle police continued to run until the end of the 1980s.

There was also a choice too

For the bourgeoisie there was a choice of four types. The Amazonas managed it until the first half of the 1990s. The story stopped with the 1600 cc. 64 pk strong Kahena. Of the Amazonas there are reportedly such an 500 made. They were bought by Brazilians. Because those twisted input taxes made the purchase of a real heavy engine almost impossible. Enthusiastic owners did everything possible to let the brakes brake and the suspension springs and damps.

Oh yes: there are an estimated 500 Amazonas made. We once found one in Wervershoof and the copy that was recently offered for auction did not reach its minimum price of $ 8.500.

And there was also an 250 cc Amazonas ...

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Now in store

View the 40-page preview via or a click on the cover.

The August issue, containing:

  • Fiat 127 from 1972
  • Heemskerk V-twin, the best motorcycle BSA has never built
  • Restoration Mini Traveler 1963
  • Peugeot 104, a party
  • Volkswagen Golf Country was too far ahead of its genre
  • Driving with a Yamaha R5 (1971-1972)
  • Report Wemeldinge Classic Races
  • Duplicate type designations - Part XVI
cover 8 2022 300

The perfect reading material for an evening or more of undisturbed dreaming. It is now in stores. A subscription is of course better, because then you will no longer miss a number and you are also € 27 cheaper. Not bad in these expensive times.


AWO Simson


Habituation, classics and progression