Nice Piece of ‘Glass: 1968 Hebina Gazelle
Part AC ME3000 and part Matra 530, this conglomeration of influences is mostly VW, as you may expect. Then something brilliant happened; the VW pancake motor was exchanged for a Mazda rotary, thereby reducing the kit-car-ness by at least 50% and miraculously transforming it into something you want. Find this 1968 Hebina Gazelle for sale in Hillsboro, OR for $2,500 via craigslist.
Starting life as the un-sexily named Hebina Plastics Company Gazelle, the name was later changed to a far more glamorous Voegele Industries Amante GT. Both titles sound absolutely exquisite when asked “What is it?”. After all, a Hebina Plastics Company key chain carries some serious clout when laid out on the bar. The glass, which you may recognize from the AMC Marlin, almost encloses the cabin though some solution is needed for the side windows. I suspect it will be Lexan as there doesn’t appear to be an inner door frame for it to slide into.
Upon popping the hood, the motor is presented to you suspended in space by the powers of the Ghost of Unfinished Kit Cars. Most of these engine bays were populated with Type 3 VW motors, however, Corvair and Porsche mounting packages were available, should you have either parts car bestowed upon you. The fact that this has a Mazda rotary instead is hugely appealing, though I’m quite curious about how the power is transmitted to the wheels. Perhaps this is up to you, the buyer.
Unlike the pontoon-boat-spec tapestry of self-tapping screws and vinyl stretched over rough-cut plywood found in most completed kits, some creative sourcing was done for the dashboard, console, and seats. Though the Gazelle and Amante GT cars came with molded dashboards, this would appear to be pirated from a first generation RX-7. Other than the ominous black mass sitting above your head, the interior seems like a great starting point.
See a kit to complete? email us here: email@example.com
Matt, a self-proclaimed bottom-feeder of the classic car market, spends half of his time buying cars, half of his time retrieving them, and the remaining third on keeping them on the road.
So cool looking. Like a Fiat Dino, Puma, Sonett mix.
So wait, it can be found in Hillsboro
Or it can be found on Craigslist? :p
Joking aside, this is a very nice looking car and one that I don't recall seeing before. And I was kid of the late 70s/80s who hoarded stacks of Kit Car magazines. The only "Gazelle" kit car I recall was a 1929 Mercedes SSK replica. This is now towards the top of my list of desirable VW kits, right up there with Puma.
Also it appears your embedded link is a little screwy — here is the link for anyone else who wants to see all 9 of the marginal photographs and read all 21 carefully chosen words in the description.
Oh also, the ad says it's a 1968, not a 1969.
Corrected, thanks for the tip! Thankfully, this car shares only the VW pan with those Gazelles that pop up all over craigslist as "1929 Mercedes". No common lineage there.