When automotive entrepreneur Malcolm Bricklin set out to create a vehicle bearing his own name, he wanted a car that was completely different, one that would expand the boundaries of safety, style and performance. The result was a resounding flop, but it has become a funky collector car for offbeat hobbyists.
The Bricklin SV-1, a two-seat sports coupe with gullwing doors and a body made of acrylic resin bonded to fiberglass, was built with such safety features as an integrated roll cage and impact-absorbing bumpers. The SV in its name stood for Safety Vehicle.
The Pick of the Day is a 1975 Bricklin SV-1 in bright yellow, with 13,310 miles showing on its odometer after being in the same family for 43 years, according to the private seller in Piper City, Illinois, who is advertising the Bricklin on ClassicCars.com.
Malcolm Bricklin was a bigger-than-life character who charmed the Canadian government into investing in his automotive venture, with the cars built in economically depressed New Brunswick. But the timing was terrible for launching a V8-powered sports car, right into the jaws of the 1970s fuel crisis, and the Bricklin’s styling was, shall we say, controversial.
Bricklins also were plagued by design and quality-control issues from the beginning, including problems with the electrically operated gullwing doors that could fail and trap people inside.
Fewer than 3,000 cars were produced for 1974-75, with the leftovers sold as 1976 models, before the brand went out of existence amidst the fog of bankruptcy and political scandal. Not too many of them are left, although there is a national club of enthusiastic Bricklin owners.
AMC 360cid V8s powered the first batch of SV-1 coupes, with later cars were switched to Ford 351cid engines, all fed through automatic transmissions. This Bricklin appears to be powered by the Ford engine.
The owner of the Bricklin says it runs well, although it could use some TLC. There is, however, an ominous warning: “The gull wing doors do experience problems occasionally.”
The asking price is cheap enough, at $9,500.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.