View Full Version : Bricklin

08-08-2004, 04:26 AM
https://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayIS...p;category=6472 (https://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=2486280415&catego ry=6472)

I keep seeing these on E-bay, what is the story on them?

08-08-2004, 08:37 AM

Built in the province of New Brunswick (Canada) by Malcolm Bricklin [he's the same guy who imported Subaru 360's into the States during 1969/70 and later on the Yugo in the 1980's].

His company was American, but the cars were built in Canada because New Brunswick gave him some financial backing.

They were meant to be a "safety" sports car, designed with many safety features. Sales were never strong enough however and I believe the last car was built in 1976 after about two years production.

Arcane fact... while they were built in Canada they were never actually offered for sale as new in Canada.

Anyway, to either back me up or prove me wrong on some of the above points wrong (was going off the top of my head) here's a website to look at... www.bricklin.org (https://www.bricklin.org)

08-08-2004, 08:59 AM
I don't know what the connection between Malcom Bricklin and Arizona was, but for a brief period, the Scottsdale, Az. police had a few that he had donated to them, perhaps for field testing, as he didn't have his own proving grounds. It was strange to see a Bricklin being used as a police car!

Bruce Bowker
08-08-2004, 09:10 AM
I recall when these first were on sale there were rumors (or fact??) that the electrics were a problem and people where getting stuck inside because of electric door openers failing.

Again this could have been hype from competitors not unlike Tucker cars.

Geo Hahn
08-08-2004, 01:05 PM
..They were meant to be a "safety" sports car, designed with many safety features....

[/ QUOTE ]

Including the colors. I think all were 'fire engine' type colors -- the most common seemed to be a bright orange.

As for the rumor about the doors -- I think the lift mechanism came from American Motors (possibly from an AMC convertible top mechanism?) so it might be true.

08-08-2004, 10:44 PM
Thanks for the info. I was just curious, and obviously need the info. I had it stuck in my mind that they were British for some reason. Thanks for setting me straight. They are still kinda nifty.

Mark Jones
08-09-2004, 09:56 AM
These cars were sold new in Canada. I grew up in Fredericton, New Brunswick; just 30 miles from Minto, where the car was assembled, not Saint John as noted on the website. I remember a metermaid driving around in one. After about a year she had a bungy cord holding the driver's side gullwing closed. Quality control was a big problem with the cars. Also they didn't give a lot of thought to the door design because if someone parked a bit too close to you, you couldn't open the door without hitting the car next to you.

08-09-2004, 11:42 AM
I think that I read somewhere (WSJ?) that Malcolm Bricklin was now preparing to import Chinese cars to the US. It seems to be a hobby of his. :-)

08-09-2004, 12:02 PM
Last I heard he was trying to import Yugos (under a different name) back into the US. Anyone that gives him money is a fool though.

08-09-2004, 03:30 PM
The Bricklin's model designation, SV-1, stood for "Safety Vehicle 1". It had a number of novel safety features and the company never actually called it a sports car. I would guess that the police cars were an experiment to see how agencies would respond to those features and to drum up publicity (didn't work for Bricklin, did work for FORD a few years later.

The electric door lifts were excruciatingly slow (not a good thing in a cop car). If your battery died you couldn't open them. Then, you had to crawl in/out the rear hatch. They did have an extension cord in the rear hatch to plug in for charging.

I was in a parking lot a few years back and saw a lady walk up to an SV-1. I told the person I was with to watch how slow the doors were. To my amazement they opened instantly. I asked the lady about her car and she said she had installed a gas strut replacement kit. Apparently the kits are quite popular with SV-1 owners.

Bricklin also imported the FIAT Spyder and X1/9 to the US after Fiat picked up their marbles and went home.


08-09-2004, 08:55 PM
Speaking of Bricklin's...

I saw a interesting piece on them on Discovery Channel, one of their daily "Daily Planet" shows. It was an interview with a man who been into them for many years. Eventually he started a business that restores and services Bricklin's, he also said (related to what has been said previous) that he has worked out many of the bugs in the original design.