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The original Ford Pampa was a light utility vehicle manufactured by Ford of Brazil between 1982 and 1997. It was derived from the Ford Corcel and Ford Del Rey and was the bestselling car-based pickup in Brazil for several years.

The Ford Pampa was replaced by the Fiesta-based Ford Courier in the small pickup market of South America.

The launch

In 1982 Ford of Brazil launched the pickup based on the Ford Corcel II. It was the second such vehicle in the segment, then after the Fiat Fiorino (known at the time as the City), pickup derived from the Fiat 147. The name Pampa alludes to a horse, that has the body all threshed. The Pampa had the comfort of a car in the cabin but the robustness of a utility vehicle with a more superior load capacity than its smaller competitor. It had the front of a Corcel II and a loading bay inspired by the much larger US-style F-1000 pickup of the time. The difference between the Fiat pickup and the Ford is that the former used the same independent back suspension of Fiat 147 whereas the Ford had a rigid rear axle and adopted semi-elliptical springs in place of coil springs, more suitable for carrying heavy loads. Due to its success, other brands soon followed suit in launching their own derivatives, Volkswagen with the Saveiro (appearing in the same year, it was derived from the Volkswagen Gol hatchback) and Chevrolet with Chevy 500 (derived from the Chevette) in 1983.

Technical specifications

Using the same 1,600 cc engine and a four or five-speed manual gearbox from the Corcel, came with the differential of Corcel 1:4 to better use to advantage the force of the engine. It also had the front suspension of the Corcel, with stiffer springs and shock absorbers to support bigger loads. Thus, the Pampas was perfect for the transport of loads up to 620 kg (1,367 lb). With regard to the Corcel, the distance between axles was also increased. The fuel tank in the Pampas was soon moved to behind the cabin, and its doors were made smaller - identical to the ones of the four door Ford Del Rey. With the 1600 cc engine, the Pampas developed 66 hp (49 kW), perfect for the transport of the most varied loads and 69 hp (51 kW) with the model which ran on alcohol. The Pampas pickup had very good general performance. Its maximum speed was of 100 mph (160 km/h) and its fuel tank had a 76 litre capacity. The Pampa’s options included a digital clock, air-conditioning, adjustable head restraints, radio and inertia reel seat belts. Many of these items were found in the luxurious Del Rey.

1984-model revisions

Revisions for the 1984 model year included the Pampa receiving the CHT engine which was more powerful and economical. The 1,600 cc CHT engine developed 75 hp (56 kW) in alcohol form and the petrol version 73 hp (54 kW) giving the Pampas a maximum speed of 160 or 156 km/h (99 or 97 mph) respectively. Also for the 1984 model year, a 4x4 version was launched, which would be only Brazilian pickup derived from a two-wheel drive car to be offered with four-wheel drive. Externally, the 4x4 Pampa had few differences compared with the 4x2 version. 4x4 had squared-off grating in the grille, off road tyres, free wheeling wheel hubs and over-riders on the bumpers.

1986-model revisions

In 1986 L and GL models were introduced and Pampa models received the front from the 4x4 version. For the 1987 model year, the Pampas got the new front from the Del the Rey and the Ghia version was added to the range with the luxury equipment of the Del Rey Ghia, including electric windows. However air conditioning was only an optional extra. The Pampa in 1989 the larger VW AP-1800 engine became available for the L, GL and Ghia versions although the 1.6 L CHT engine remained in the L and GL 4x4 versions. For 1991, the S version arrived, with the same 1.8 litre motor as the Gol GTS and Escort XR3. This was more powerful and quicker, enabling a top speed of 106 mph (171 km/h). Standard equipment included side rubbing strakes, a dipping rear view mirror, optional hydraulic power assisted steering, alloy wheels, front spoiler with integral fog lights and items which were standard on the Ghia version.