Heinrich Nordhoff, the first VW chairman after the war, is widely regarded not just as a innovator but rather as an absolute keeper. E.g. one accuses him of having detained too long time on the principle of the rear engine with air cooling. Looking more closely, under his aegis were created not only prototypes without relevance for the series.
There is the currently (2011) very pointed out relationship with Karmann or the purchase of Audi and the development of the luxury class (Audi 100). This category also includes the plant in Brazil, whose new boss Rudolf Leiding he allowed a lot of freedom since 1968 (or have had?). One of the products of this freedom is the Sao Paulo. The interpretation of these two letters, however, is doubtful.
A leader once must give free rein its designers and engineers, otherwise the motivation for the everyday work gets quickly to an end. The plant in Brazil goes bad at the time and the whole is (one of) Leidings crucial tests, which will lead him finally to the executive chair at VW. But back to the task to build a sports car from as possible standard parts.
We do not know so much about the taste of the Brazilian population, but can already say that the body has a distinctly sporty and emotional touch compared to other VW derivatives of the time. By the way it is manufactured in Brazil by a branch factory of Karmann in Osnabrück. Unfortunately, the engine does not compete because it comes from the VW Type 3 including the chassis, incidentally, not of the German type 3 but in principle by the Beetle. So the SP-1 with 40 kW (54 hp) remains not spared a wallflower existence.
Fortunately, general director Nordhoff has left certain freedom to the Brazilians even before Leidings time. Thus, an engine with larger displacement exists for the local Type 3 and that comes just in time and brings the car to acceptable sports car performances. The success of the SP-2 adds the necessary zest to the sports car concept. Just a pity that Europe never benefited from these VW development. Few try to import it, which of course is possible only as a used car under the difficult work and customs regulations.
There one can witness the (self-selected) suffering of a classic car fan literally in slow motion. Where it do not even concern real classic cars because of the relatively young age. But their condition is correspondingly, or worse. It seems to give virtuosos of the sheet metal replica in Brazil which also do not shy away from bringing a fantastic lacquering to a run-down inner life.
Woe, one is fooled thereof. Then is required sheet metal reproduction in miniature, which of course cost endless time (and possibly money). Additionally there are the problems with assemblies, the one considers actually identical with the of local VW types, but which exist only in Brazil. There should have been trips to Brazil for licence plate lamps.Therefore, dear reader, you should be given the unusual fortune to meet one of the rare SP-2 (of course except the by the Volkswagen Foundation), the owner once specially tap on the shoulders, because he has brought to a successful end a perhaps a bit hasty childhood dream.
And why the factory itself does not offer the car here in Europe? Then of course the daughter would have had a little advance compared to the mother and so far their freedoms yet do not reach under Nordhoff's reign. Only much later Audi succeeded to surpass VW in different areas. Not always advantageous, because some development must then be submitted to the parent (for example: diesel direct injection). 03/12