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Nelson Almeida

Nelson Almeida


Nelson Almeida pioneered organized off-road activities in Brazil starting in 1974. He purchased a World War II-era Jeep from an Army surplus yard and spent two years restoring it.  Along the way, he became friends with other Jeep and 4x4 owners in Brazil, which led to the founding of the first off-road club in Brazil, the Brazil Jeep Club.

Prior to Nelson's involvement, 4x4 activity in Brazil was minimal, and off-road vehicles were mostly remnants from the 1940s and 50s, destined for scrap yards.  With Nelson's involvement and promotion, new 4x4 activity was created, spurring greater interest in newer vehicles, competitions, events, and recreational activities.

Above: Articles by Nelson Almeida were featured in many off-road publications.

Nelson Almeida timeline:

1981 - Established the first Brazilian association of 4x4 vehicle owners, the Brazil Jeep Club.  The Club created and organized events for 4x4 vehicles, including tours, meetings, obstacle courses, and rallies.

1983 - Created and edited the first South American off-road dedicated magazine, 4x4 & Pickup.

1984 - Founded "Via Terra", the first company in Brazil focusing on organizing 4x4 events.

1985 - Developed the first 4x4 driver training course in Brazil.

1986-1989 - With his company Via Terra, Nelson helped organize many important off-road events in Brazil, including the International Camel Trophy and 50-year festivities for Land Rover Brazil.

1992 - Developed and edited a special 4x4 section in AutoSport Brazilian magazine. As a journalist and special consultant, Nelson wrote articles for magazines in Brazil, Japan, Australia, and the United States.

1995 - Established BORAC, the Brazil Off-Road Adventure Club, focusing on long-distance expeditions and 4x4 tourism.

1996 - Published "Todo Off Roader e um Amigo", which translates to "Every Off-Roader is a Friend", with basic ethics and principles for groups and off-road clubs on how to behave in social, environmental, and competitive situations.

2022 - Nelson, now in his early 70s, remains active, consulting for off-road event companies, building test tracks, teaching off-road driving courses, and organizing 4x4 expeditions and tours in Brazil.

ORMHOF congratulates Nelson Almeida on nearly 50 years of dedication to off-roading in Brazil.



Submitted by: Barbara Rainey
Created: June 22, 2021