Estate Find: 1976 Bradley GT

When somebody passes away, the sad reality is that those left behind have a mountain of things that need to be attended to. That is the case with this 1976 Bradley GT. The seller’s father passed away earlier this year, so it has been left to the son to organize the sale of the vehicle. Unfortunately, we don’t get a massive amount of information, but what we do get is the chance for someone to purchase an interesting kit car. Located in Brookhaven, Pennsylvania, the Bradley has been listed for sale here on eBay. The seller has set a BIN price of $4,000, but the option is available to make an offer.

Being a kit car, fit and finish can be something of a lucky dip. That’s the case with this particular car, and this is best demonstrated by the fit of the headlamps in the nose. The front turn signals also aren’t original, but the rest of the car does appear to be complete. The car was originally finished in Silver, but this has deteriorated quite markedly. There will be plenty of cosmetic work required to bring the car’s appearance up to scratch, but at least the majority of this could be tackled in a home workshop. Under that fiberglass body lies a Volkswagen frame and floors. We have no indication of their condition, but addressing any problems with those is not a particularly difficult job.

The photos provided by the seller are all exterior shots, so we don’t get a look at the state of the interior trim. Depending on the skill levels of the person who initially built the car, interior trim quality can vary anywhere between pretty nice and pretty awful. One positive is that the interior of a Bradley is not a complex environment, so this would be the chance for the next owner to tailor the interior trim style and material to best suit themselves. The same is true of the drive-train. This will be standard VW, with a rear-mounted flat-four engine and 4-speed manual transaxle. Once again, we don’t have any information, but at least if any work is required, parts are cheap and plentiful.

There are plenty of people who aren’t sold on these Volkswagen-based kit cars, and to a certain extent, I can understand this. The quality of fit and finish can be a lucky dip, and the styling of some is definitely better than others. One of the great attractions of these for me is that the finished car is almost invariably lighter than the donor vehicle, and has a far lower center of gravity. The result of these two characteristics is that the kit car almost always has better performance and handling than the original car. If someone bought this who had some skills with fiberglass, they could certainly improve the fit and finish of areas like the headlamps, and with a fresh coat of paint, it would then be a fun and attractive car.

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Comments

  1. CapNemo CapNemo

    A lucky dip. Right.

    Like 5
  2. Russell

    A Bradley… wow, it was my first “kit car” project. One learned a lot about cursing. It was a very simple (step up) dune buggy in disguise. Meaning it kept you as dry during a rain — those Gull Wing “Doors” (augh). My second “dip” was with a V8 Kelmark. The complexity of that project turned me, sadly, off kit cars since. But, would love to get my hands on another Kelmark … No, yes, no

    By the way, those front turn signals… the owner must have been a semi-trick driver. Wow

    Like 4
  3. JagManBill

    I’m thinking he’s about $2-3k high and I want one but not that bad

    Like 1
    • Chris M.

      P.O.S. same for all Bradleys for that matter.

      Like 4
  4. Little_Cars

    You talk about build quality…with these VW based ones.. or a pair I had the pleasure (!) of prepping for the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville. Two Reptune…look them up. Based on the Austin MINI, the original body molds along with two running vehicles were brought first to my buddy’s shop and then delivered to Jeff Lane. All the personality of a MINI sans style, questionable body mount location, thin chrome plating and plexiglass instead of safety glass. A design concept only the mother of the envisionist could love. I’ve seen one of the Reptunes up high on a rack almost hidden from view in the museum’s holding cell. Something of a curiousity, but rarely did the buyer have the time, patience, and wherewithal to do these kit cars justice.

    Like 1
  5. Billieg

    I worked as a foreman for a custom shop and we did a lot of these cars. The inside is easy to customize. They are a blast to drive (I owned one for about 6 months) but don’t get caught in the rain in one. No heat, no air and no roll up windows. When it got cold I used a 12v hair dryer for heat but there were so many openings it just went out as fast as it came out of the dryer.

    Like 2
  6. Stangalang

    Not a bad looking car parked beside the Bradley but I can’t quite tell what it is..maybe a Catalina??

    • Tony Primo

      Most any car would look not too bad parked beside a Bradley!!!

      Like 1
  7. Edward Skakie

    IIRC, the name for the Reptune GT came from a almagalmation of Reputation Tuning, a British automobile auto repair/tuning & accessories sales shop, also dealing in British cars, co-owned by 3 partners, I believe. An argument led to Dennis Prophet, one of the partners, splitting off to form Reptune, and I believe he is the one who made & sold the Reptune GT. A slippery character, he had at least one run-in with a customer calling the police over a consignment car he was selling, and, I think, would not release either the car or maybe the money. He hornswoggled did me on a $100 check for used parts. If you ever deal with him, make sure he keeps both his hands in sight, and on the bible at all times. The gray van in the background may be his UFO tracking/chase vehicle. Rumor has it that more than a few got swoggled.

    Like 1
  8. Little_Cars

    Sounds about right. Luckily, any swoggling in the deal for the two Reptune company cars and the bucks for more bodies went through my buddy and his business partner. They seemed pleased with the transaction. If not, at least the cars and their story can carry on in middle Tennessee!

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