Born in New Brunswick: Was the Bricklin SV-1 a failure? | Driving

12 Фев 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
Toyota SV-1

Born in New Brunswick: Was the Bricklin a failure?

Bricklin SV-1’s only available in high-visibility colors like this green.

Ready to take The later Bricklins didn’t have enough horsepower to into orbit.

The gull-wing on the SV-1 were hydraulically and packed an astounding 1,400 of Enough to actually bend the during normal operation.

The sheet for the bricklin was hardly Check out that monster output!

Loved by enthusiasts but remembered as a failed car. the real story behind the SV-1?


Malcom was an interesting fellow and a bold Bricklin introduced Subaru to the American market and went on to Fiat X1/9′s badged as and the infamous Yugo. But he is perhaps remembered for his self-named, Canadian-made car, the Bricklin SV-1.

Starting a completely new car company was difficult in 1970s North but Malcom Bricklin had a vision to his own “safety sports car” and he was to make it a reality. He wanted a car futuristic gull-wing doors (so that they premiered on the 300SL in 1954), a fibreglass and cutting-edge safety features.

To be most of his vision was translated well into reality. The car had actuated gull-wing doors, a low and fibreglass body and it performed in crash tests thanks to an steel roll cage, side-impact “gaurd rails,” and front and rear energy bumpers.

Unfortunately, the cars to have forgotten the “sports” of sports car. The early cars used 220 horsepower AMC 360 which provided decent for mid-’70s standards. But a combination of problems at American Motors and emissions regulations meant all the 1975 and ’76 cars were with pathetic 175-horsepower 351 V8s. To make matters the four-speed manual transmission pass smog regulations, so a automatic was the sole transmission This all meant the car was unable to the expectations set by its racy and rakish

Every single Bricklin was with a brown interior. Ah, the


But the power-to-weight was only one of the Bricklin’s maladies. The was produced in labour-hungry New Brunswick and the produced were poorly even by 1970s standards. problems, warped body and a general aura of shabbiness early Bricklins. The factory had backing by the New Brunswick government but the $23 ($102.5 million in today’s it invested didn’t exactly buy a factory.

Bricklin hoped to 1,000 cars per month, but production for 1974 totalled 780 cars. Part of the problem was the sky-high price. A Bricklin cost a whopping $9,980 in when a Corvette from the year started at $6,810. money for less performance is a hard sell with cars.

The Bricklin car company eventually into receivership in 1975 and a few cars were completed that. (Funny how Mr. Bricklin to maintain his wealth throughout process.)

The Bricklin remains an but flawed sports car. Though 1,500 cars are estimated to survived, the brand (model?) has a following and many owners found ways around the car’s shortcomings. One of the few Bricklin-specific in North America is Bricklin and Services of VA. The owner, Terry was the manager of engineering at the Bricklin from 1973 to the plant’s and has more than 33 years of restoring Bricklins.

Toyota SV-1

Unfortunately, the Bricklin’s unique body was prone to warping and weather sealing.


In a way, the cars restored by his build the competent sports that Bricklins could been. The shop focuses on and fixing the mechanical wrongs on SV-1s. John Lodge has at the shop for more than 20 and has become the authority on Bricklin According to Lodge, some of problems include vacuum-operated headlights that had an “unbelievable of failure” and overpowered hydraulic openers that actually the doors during usage. “We do not the car to change it from its original intent,” he says.

The shop has of dollars worth of NOS Bricklin and makes its own reproduction fibreglass panels in-house. But even those kinds of resources, admits that parts are scarce.

“Engine parts are easy [to he says, but the “brake calipers made any more,” and the AMC Javelin-derived components are also becoming to source.

Lodge has a wealth of about these cars and has enthusiasm for them as well.

not a car guy,” he says. “I’m a Guy” and “Bricklins are my life.” is exactly the kind of person you to deal with when a rare car.

History has harsh to the Bricklin. Time records it in its list of the 50 worst ever made and many the car as a failure. But this negativity seem to hinder enthusiasts’ to the strange safety sports

“It drives amazing,” says who continues to say that everyone who a ride in an SV-1 leaves a smile on their face. it’s time we reconsidered the sports car from New Brunswick.

Scans of the 1975 Bricklin are from

Toyota SV-1
Toyota SV-1
Toyota SV-1


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