Let's open with a Bricklin SV-1

Source: Wikipedia
Source: Wikipedia

Malcom Bricklin thought he could do it better, that he could predict the future by inventing it himself. The SV-1 (SV = Safety Vehicle) looks like it’s from 1980, a full six years ahead of its actual launch.
The acrylic-bonded-to-fiberglass construction was ahead of its time, as were the integrated roll cage and 5-mph bumpers. It beat the next failed eponymous wannabe sports car to the whole gull-wing doors thing, too. The Bricklin’s flappers were even powered, a feature never seen before or since. Good thing, too: they weighed 100lbs each.

Alas, that From the Future pointy front end had some airflow issues, resulting in chronic overheating. The acrylic-fiberglass construction wasn’t ready for prime time, resulting in painfully slow production rates. The company went into receivership after just 3 model years of operation.
But don’t let the extinct company, unrepairable body, or overall flawed design scare you away. The upside to Bricklin’s upstart status meant the SV-1 was an assemblage of Big 3 off-the-shelf parts.  The front and rear suspension come from AMC. Provided you can avoid even the slightest bit of body damage, parts should be regularly available from your local Ford or AMC dealer. Because we’ve all got AMC dealers nearby, right?
Our seller didn’t even bother to title his Craigslist post with a hint of Bricklin, instead going for the more common (but mystifying) “Ford Corvette”. Thinking “no, you idiot…” we click through to learn today’s example is powered by the semi-ubiquitous Ford 351C and FMX automatic (because the Windsor and C6 are just too mainstream). The seller just finished up a new Flowmaster-equipped exhaust for it.  For the bargain price of $4950 (OBO), you can have a car that’s one of less than 1000, along with the privilege of ceaselessly pointing out it’s not a Nissan/Datsun 300ZX.
So why open with a Bricklin? Now we’ve got nowhere to go but up.
[Alas, the craigslist ad went down as I wrote this (if you’re the buyer please let us know how it works for you!)]
Reference: Wikipedia

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11 responses to “Let's open with a Bricklin SV-1”

  1. jeremy! Avatar

    and thats not all!
    “…in five “safety” colours: white, red, green, orange and suntan.”
    “The cars had no cigarette lighter or ashtray.[2] Non-smoker Malcolm Bricklin believed it was unsafe to smoke and drive.”
    i want to know how the doors are powered, cantilever? gears? chain? nylon rope?

    1. tim Avatar

      the doors came from the factory as hydraulic. most have been converted to a air system.
      while there are alot of faults these are a kick to drive on weekends and to shows. john delorean actually worked for bricklin
      the only accessorie available was believe it or not a spare tire and jack. i currently own #48 off the line in 74

  2. Jeff Glucker Avatar

    It looks like what the Delorean would have become if given a few more years…

    1. Tim Odell Avatar
      Tim Odell

      Ah, but that’s the thing: it predates the DeLorean by 7 years!
      Far ahead of its time…

  3. Deartháir Avatar

    Ah, a proper Canadian car. You boys make me proud.
    Chop Cut Rebuild did a very nice reworking of one of these. I wasn’t a huge fan of the wheels they chose to put on it, but other than that, with a minor reworking of the bumper, it ended up as a gorgeous car. These things did have very nice lines, way ahead of their time, considering these were, what, mid-70s? And built by Newfies? Amazing.

  4. Plecostomus Avatar

    I am one of the few who has actually seen one of these in a junkyard. I was SHOCKED to find it. Naturally, it was mostly gutted, but there it was; a damned Bricklin. I had no bloody clue what to pull off it, though, so I left it alone to rot.

  5. privatechoolTony Avatar

    This would be the most awesome first car.
    I gotta tell my dad, he’s been looking for a new project car since his e55 has been finished,
    he informed me of Bricklin and his documentary.
    As a businessman I have the utmost respect for him, the man brought the yugo, subaru, his own line of autos, and almost brought the Chinese into the American Market.
    That would’ve been a game changer.
    But back on topic, less than 1000 made easily serviceable engine, and gullwing doors, nice price.

  6. RJ Crager Avatar
    RJ Crager

    I ran accross a Bricklin in 1981 at a used car dealer in Rockester MN The first thing that attracted to me was the Wing-tip doors Asking price was $5,999 it was silver and the Salesman told me it had a stainless steel body
    ………………. Does anyone know if they made stainless bodies?

    1. Bruce Avatar

      No they did not make a sterling body all were fiberglass with acrylic overlay, I own one

  7. SpiroAgnew76 Avatar

    It all started here….

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