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Ordem & Progresso – DKW VEMAG and the post-war boom in Brazil

From May 21 to October 17, Audi Tradition was highlighting the company’s history in the country hosting the 2014 World Cup. This special exhibition used rare exhibits to show how Auto Union GmbH accompanied the post-war boom in Brazil with its DKW cars.

DKW: Mobility in two-stroke time

“Ordem & Progresso” (Order and progress) is the official motto of Brazil. The automobile played an important role in the 1960s as the country strove to achieve prosperity. Volkswagen supplied the Beetle and Auto Union supplied parts for the local assembly of the DKW F91 Universal. It wasn't long before Veículos e Máquinas Agrícolas S.A., or “VEMAG” for short, produced entirely in São Paulo. The models were named Candango, Belcar or Vemaguet. In the mid-1960s, VEMAG was the third-biggest carmaker in the Brazilian automotive market.

The car for Brazil's middle class

DKW was the car driven by Brazil's middle class and it is still revered today as the only Brazilian brand. The DKW Fissore developed by VEMAG combined German engineering with Italian design. The DKW GT Malzoni, produced a mere 35 times, conveys exotic Brazilian flair. The sports car designed by Genaro “Rino” Malzoni is considered a valuable rarity by DKW enthusiasts.

The only DKW GT Malzoni in Europe

There are thought to be only twelve DKW GT Malzonis left worldwide. The specimen acquired by Audi Tradition in 2007 is the only one in Europe and represents one of the highlights of “Ordem & Progresso.” Two additional highlights are the DKW Fissore and DKW Belcar, one of the last Brazilian DKWs.

Before and after the DKW era

Also being exhibited was the Wanderer W 24 – a car that embodies the 1930s. Auto Union models were already being sold in Rio and São Paulo at that time. The exhibition also featured cars from the time following 1967, when the takeover of Auto Union by Volkswagen ended the DKW era in Brazil. Exhibits from this time period: the DKW Puma GT and VW Puma as well as two additional VW models for the Brazilian market – the Volkswagen EA 97 and the Volkswagen SP2.

Three fascinating showcase exhibits

Accompanying the automotive treasures were three special exhibits showcasing the Brazilian lifestyle and the creativity of the post-war boom as well as the crash. A pavilion with light boxes documented the courageous development of the new capital city Brasilia as a modern metropolis in the geographic centre of the country. Visitors could listen to samba and bossa nova music in two “sound chairs” and “O jogo bonito” (the beautiful game) – football – was shown on two video walls. These present highlighted from Pelé’s performance in his three World Cup titles and the most exciting goals scored by the Brazilian World Cup team in 1982.