Canadian Supercar! 1986 Fortvac Bernardi

Only eighteen Fortvac Bernardis are thought to have been made in St-Henri de Levis, Quebec, Canada, at least that’s how the legend goes.  They were marketed as a gull-winged “production” supercar rather than as a kit car. The 1986 Fortvac Bernardi offered for sale on eBay here is one that will require some real spit, determination, muscle, and lots of long green cash to get it tearing up the road once again.  Currently priced at $6,685 USD (or $8,800 Canadian), the car does NOT come with an engine or trans, a driver’s seat, glass in the driver’s side gullwing door, or a back window. But yet, she still looks like she just wants to take off.

The Bernardi sits on a 98” wheelbase and is 78” wide.  Its ground clearance is just 5.5” and the original sales brochures offer the car with a 2.8l V-6 engine, a 350 V8 or, a 455 Oldsmobile engine coupled to a transaxle.  Transmission options were either a four-speed manual or a THM425 automatic found typically in the Olds Toronado until 1978, several motorhomes, and the Cadillac Eldorado. The car listed on eBay includes the rims and tires but the seller cautions that the tires have to check on the sidewalls.  Seller Marc narrates a YouTube video, the link available here.  Bernardis were all equipped with four-wheel independent suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, and power steering. That is a serious rear wing that must make 737s envious.  Parts to complete the rear light assembly are included but not yet mounted, according to Seller.

Scuttlebutt on the internet mentions the Fortvac car in the same breath as kit cars like the Cimbria, which was indeed a kit car body to be placed on an altered VW chassis.  The distinction is that Fortvac may have very similar body lines (leading some pundits to opine that the molds for the Cimbria may have wound up in Mr. Fortier’s hands—can not confirm this) but Fortvac did manufacture a complete body and chassis and had approvals, apparently, from the Canadian DOT.  This car’s forward-tilting hood is missing its hinges and some work will be required to fit new ones as seen in the video.  Since the engine is mounted amidships, under the hood we find the fuel tank and fuel filler location as well as access to the master cylinder and windshield washer tank.  Not a whole lot of room for the wife’s birthday present or golf clubs – maybe the scorecard?

The dash is simple and compact.  In fact, the cabin is pretty compact, not roomy like a new Tahoe–the roof sits only 41” off the ground.  The driver’s seat is missing and it would have to be reproduced from the remaining passenger’s seat (or replace both).   Still and all, entrepreneurship in bringing car brands to market should always be applauded because the barrier to entry for something as complex as a car is so very high. Without a cast-iron will and stainless steel stomach lining, even Elon Musk’s venture could well have easily become just another small car builder relegated to the “thought it was a good idea” file.  Good luck to Marc, the seller of this 1986 project car that once upon a time kept Fortvac founder Richard Fortier awake at night thinking about the grand possibilities.

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Comments

  1. William

    Looks like a cheap 1970s VW based fiberglass kit car to me.

    Like 7
  2. Tony Primo

    I think that you would be farther ahead in the long run if you got something like this.
    https://dailyturismo.com/v8-ferrari-dino-fake-1978-kelmark-gt/

    Like 4
    • Al

      The gull wing doors on your ferrari-dino-fake work the wrong way.

      Is there a worm-hole to get to the driver’s seat from the trunk?

      Like 5
      • SubGothius

        Wrong way? What, do they flip down instead of up?

        Like 1
  3. Rosko

    OMG. Step away from the french curve sir. You’ll also need to surrender your artistic licence.

    Like 4
  4. Big Len

    What a massive chin. Needs a lift system.

    Like 3
  5. bobk

    Looks like a Sebring kit car but with gull wing doors instead of the whole massive center section top that lifts.

    Like 3
  6. Fahrvergnugen Fahrvergnugen Member

    Fortvac? More like a blend of an APV with a shop vac.

    Like 4
  7. daniel wright

    Looks like a Bricklin did a whole lot of bad drugs and had a baby with its cousin….This thing is FUGLY!!!!

    Like 5
  8. Stangalang

    I can only imagine what would happen if this thing had a 455 torque monster in it..on the other hand sounds like fun..now let me make sure my life insurance is paid up!!

    Like 4
  9. Al

    Je pense que c’est une belle voiture. C’est dommage que le manuel soit en français. Tant pis!

    Like 7
    • Mike Tarutis Staff

      D’accord.

      Like 5
  10. Ike Onick

    Le fartvac.

    Like 6
    • Mike Tarutis Staff

      There was probably a little room for some more marketing analysis in choosing the brand name. I can see Ike and perhaps a few others may have a problem with word association and the chosen brand name.

      Funny nonetheless, thanks for all of the comments.

      Sometimes the heaviness of car talk can use a little lightening up. Hope to hear from more members!

      Like 3
  11. R Soul

    Fugly!

    Like 1
  12. OIL SLICK

    Looks like a Cimbria to me.

    Like 1
    • Bill McCoskey

      The body is by Cimbria, on a purpose built frame for the Fortvac.

  13. KEVIN

    The Bricklin’s uglier sister

  14. Carl Willmon

    Kinda looks like a shark trying to bite a stick the stick being what i can only guess is a front bumper

  15. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $9,545.26

    Like 1
  16. Doug Adams

    Was based on a Cimbria with larger cabin, flared fenders, ground effects, larger rear end to make room for the big v8’8.

  17. Liam Bartel

    dose this car have an engine or dose whom ever gets this car need to buy an engine?

    • Douglas Adams

      The car doesn’t have a engine

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