Fete du Canada – 1975 Bricklin SV-1

There’s nothing to make a Canadian’s heart swell with pride like talking about the home automotive industry. Recent cars include the full-size Ford Crown Victoria, but along with Volvos and various American cars (including some Canada-specific brands and models like the Acadian), there was nothing that was exclusively Canadian in the way this car was. That’s right, it’s the unsuccessful attempt at a sports car known as the Bricklin SV-1, a sort of safety car for people with a vague idea of fun that includes gullwing doors, a 351 Ford with C6 automatic, and AMC Hornet suspension and brakes. Check out this 1975 Bricklin SV-1 for sale for $2750 in Fort Collins, TX.

1975 Bricklin SV-1 left front

The non-original silver-on-black color scheme makes it look like it’s pretending to be a DeLorean. Though labeled as a safety car, Bricklins were criticized by the press for not actually having much passive safety in the way of padding, etc. to protect passengers, as well as large A and B pillars, which compromised visibility. The large safety car bumpers sustained no damage up to 12mph, but that really helped the insurance companies more than the car’s owners. This particular car looks to be in straight condition, but the mismatched paint and odd bra on the front, along with the cheap NASCAR-look wheels, take away from the overall impression. On the bright side, contemporary wheels really help modernize the look of the car from the OEM turbine-style wheels.

1975 Bricklin SV-1 right rear

Rear glass and tail lights are said to be included, though it looks like the rear glass is flat anyway, and the lights are from a 2-liter Alfa Berlina, though you’ll have to fight other exotic car owners for the remaining supply. The car does look like someone’s abandoned project, but that’s expected at this price level. Interestingly, Bricklins had comparable performance to a contemporary Corvette, and people on the west coast were said to be paying premiums to have a car before the Saint John, New Brunswick plant’s production had fully ramped up.

1975 Bricklin SV-1 interior

The interior was criticized for having kit-car-like quality, though its looks suggest something less amateur. Seats were panned for being non-supportive, which probably explains why this one no longer has its original seats – in fact, these appear to be costly, though it’s not clear what make they are and they do show some fading. The door panels are missing, dash is cracked, original wheel is damaged, and other minor bits and pieces are probably missing, so it’s best to check with the seller for details. A quick search does seem to turn up several parts vendors.

1975 Bricklin SV-1 engine

The engine is said to be sporting a new carb and to pull strongly. Emissions gear is included along with a box of extra parts, so hopefully you’ll be able to bring it back to running project form. It is said to need body work, though it’s not clear what that is – crazed fiberglass, impact damage, or something else? One thing’s for sure, driving around in a car with gullwing doors will get you a lot of attention. So if you want the performance of a Malaise-era ‘Vette with the excitement of heavy and failure-prone powered lift-up doors, or to talk with every New Brunswickian (that must be what they’re called?) look no further than this car!

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5 Responses to “Fete du Canada – 1975 Bricklin SV-1”

  1. 1977chevytruck Says:

    Actually, the Manic is even more Canadian, albeit it was produced in smaller numbers, since the Bricklin was named after/founded by an American.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manic_GT

    Thanks for remembering Canada has a car market, though! I liked this Canada Day special.

  2. 1977chevytruck Says:

    “Interestingly, Bricklins had comparable performance to a contemporary Corvette…”

    Car and Driver agrees with you. Here’s a contemporary comparison test, which is still a fun read.

    http://www.caranddriver.com/comparisons/chevrolet-corvette-stingray-vs-bricklin-sv-1-comparison-test

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