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Sunday, April 27, 2014

CUSTOM CAR, MAYBE? CLAYMOBILE TO PUMA,MUHAMMAD ALI

 This may be the only picture of it from back in the day out there
This for sale ad is the only source of info about the car 
 The tires give up more secrets it is the Claymobile, a 1965 Corvair
The car winds up in Alabama in the 90's
 It gets stolen in 2009 and is never seen again!






It is a crazy one because there seems to be no proof it was built for Cassius Clay who changed his name to Muhammad Ali about the same time?
Stock Corvair for reference 
The Golden Angel Wing
 Ali's custom Mercedes adorned with jewels and gold
The Greatest had a greater taste in cars

 Mother of Pearl and 24 Karat gold
 Ali obviously liked cars of the upper crust
Was the Claymobile actually built for Ali as a bold declaration of change and a tribute to Cassius Clay who no longer existed with a car Muhammad Ali probably would not be seen in?
Who built it and for whom was it built for, where is it today?
In the mid 80's Ali becomes essentially the middle man and contracts to export 400 modified Puma convertibles and sedans built in Brazil to Sheik Al Fassi of Saudi Arabia for distribution there.
 They were to be called the Al fassi
Only 2 prototypes ever were assembled 
 Stylish little cars 

 Air cooled VW power?
 Strikes me as some very well done kit cars!
 From 1966-1995 Puma cars were assembled in Brazil associated first with DKW then VW in 1967.
Last of the DKW powered Pumas. 
DKW became Auto Union and it eventually became Audi
Puma stayed with VW produced in Brazil and exported to South Africa, molds were then shipped to South Africa and some cars were assembled there starting in 1986.





Brazilian production ended after company restructures in 1995 and left a few unfinished cars in its death 

 Towards the end a front engine, although a Chevy inline 6 made it out there


 Even a pickup came out
It is said an attempt at a South African Puma revival may have happened in 2006, but can not find anything to back that up

 An Italian kit car named Puma popped up as well.

Now there is a Ford Puma sold in Germany and the UK based on the Fiesta platform.




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