Original VW kit-car Bradley GT

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Bradley GT
The Bradley GT looks ready for a run to the beach

You could build just about anything from a Volkswagen Beetle floor pan and a fiberglass body kit, mainly dune buggies, ersatz Porsche Speedsters and the occasional sports car, such as the Pick of the Day, a 1976 Bradley GT.

These kit cars were quite popular in the late ’60s and ’70s, with many backyard mechanics trying their hand at building their own exotic-looking creations.  I had a friend back then whose older cousin, a VW hobbyist, was laboring away on his Bradley GT.  I never did see a finished product.

Bradley GT
The kit car’s gullwing doors have been removed

But here we have a completed Bradley GT that until recently was owned by an Air Force colonel, according to the Cadillac, Michigan, dealer advertising the car on ClassicCars.com.  The car is an original period build, the seller says, that was well-cared for. 

“The car was always garaged kept and upgraded to four-wheel disc brakes, and the engine is totally rebuilt with less than 50 miles on the car,” the seller says. “The body is in great shape with original stripes and graphics.”

These GTs were notable for their trendy gullwing doors, which were also notable for rattling, shaking and coming loose.  Like most Bradley GTs you see these days, the doors are removed, making the car a T-top convertible.  The removable doors and an uninstalled center console are included in the sale, according to the ad.

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Bradley GT
The VW engine is freshly rebuilt

The engine is a Volkswagen 1,600cc, dual-port flat-4 that was recently rebuilt by a professional VW mechanic, and it has just 50 break-in miles, the seller notes.  

“Everything works! All the gauges including the tach, all the lights, wipers, horn and turn signals,” the ad says. “The clutch is brand new, brakes are great and transaxle shifts as it should.

“The car has great-looking wheels and tires, and is a ton of fun to drive.”

Bradley GT
The interior is simple and unadorned

With their lightweight fiberglass bodies, Bradley GTs can be quite quick and fly through corners due their low centers of gravity.  This one looks very clean and, as noted, should be a blast to drive.  The VW drivetrain ensures reliability and easy maintenance.

Bradley GTs were always a poor man’s exotic sports car, and this example is affordably priced at just $9,195.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

 

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Fun car! Built one in the md 70’s Modived the engine to a 1850cc with 2 barrels and big valve heads and cam. Real fast and lowered it also. Went on many fun road trips!

    • I remember being a kid (18-20?) in the late 70’s, building a "shag-mobile" from an old Singer sewing machine van. Saw an ad in the back of a van magazine for one of these kits. Sent off for the info. Got the info + the dealer info and an application to become a dealer. My thoughts were "WOW they are desperate." Never went any further with it.

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