Rare And Clean: 1975 Bricklin SV1

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Name a another car who’s commemorative stamp and coins sold better than the car itself? And did you know that Bricklins weren’t American, but Canadian? This rare plastic-bodied “safety sports car” is one of the nicest ones I’ve ever seen. It’s located in Sarasota, Florida and is offered here on eBay with a buy-it-now of $14,000 or you can make a lower offer.

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That long nose includes a safety bumper system. It may not be the most attractive car in the world, but I’ve never seen as smooth a body on a Bricklin. The door fit on this example is by far the best I’ve ever seen. The plastics used in Bricklin bodies are not known for staying straight, and where the different types of plastics were attached, their different coefficients of thermal expansion have caused many fit issues over the years. Wow, I do remember something from that engineering degree after all! The seller does detail a few small flaws in the body, but none are major.

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The gull wing doors are obviously a feature of Bricklins, and this one shows them off well. The car was repainted in its original color about 15 years ago and has been garage kept by the seller since 1978. They state that it runs perfectly and has received several updates recommended for Brickins post-production. Many Bricklins have cooling issues, but these have apparently been solved in this car.

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A lot of mechanical work has been done over the years as well to the original 351 Ford V8, and with only 25,000 miles on it the engine should be good for a long time yet.

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While I can’t say I would prefer the automatic, at least it’s a good one. I think the carpets have faded a little, but I’ve had good luck with dyes over the years if it’s necessary to recolor.

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Just think, that could be your seat to get into! The tire you see in the back of the picture is one of the replacements, which have few miles but are showing their age through cracking. The seller also has the original set of tires with only 22,000 miles on them as well as two NOS tires. Personally, I think this is a great deal compared to a similar Corvette–what do you think?

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Comments

  1. Donnie

    Bricklins where not painted // the plastic was died our something like that I think

    • skloon

      yep moulded in the plastic like a bathtub and good it has the air door conversion otherwise you can get stuck

    • Chuck

      They were molded in color

  2. Donnie

    I may be wrong

  3. DRV

    Gel coat colors probably wouldn’t be the orange or green colors that these had originally.

  4. rmward194 Member

    My brother owned a 1974 Bricklin in this color. It was fun to drive, at least that’s how I remember it as a 19 year old kid. The air door conversion, which this one has, is very important. The electric doors took forever to open.

    The plastic body panels, especially the roof, were notorious for cracking. The carpets and the seats weren’t the highest quality material and it doesn’t surprise me the carpets are faded.

  5. Charles

    This car sure looks clean. All of that plastic scares me also, however this is a nice example.

    A fellow in our town has one of these in about the same condition as this one. He has not experienced any serious problems with his car.

  6. joeinthousansoaks

    “coefficients of thermal expansion” Jamie, did you google that? Very impressive!

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Actually, that comes from being a mechanical engineer in my past :-) Fond memories of solving problems…

  7. Fred

    Probably like anything else- keep it out of extreme heat, maintain it well and it will stay looking good (or as good as a Bricklin can look)

  8. grenade

    Nice car. Bodywork isn’t something to be feared, it’s just a car. If something’s wrong with it, fix it. This looks great, I’d rather it was black or red- even orange and a manual shift- but these things are cool.

  9. Bobsmyuncle

    I’ve only ever seen automatics so I decided to look into it. Only 137 cars from 1974 were ever fitted with a manual gear box. However that source also claims that they were only available in red, green, orange, white, and this colour, suntan yet there is a silver car with only 1500 kms for sale here;

    http://m.kijiji.ca/classic-cars/windsor-area-on/rare-1976-bricklin-sv1/v?adId=1090438971&ck=CK&from=Search&ts=1457707327934

    Made in Canada but never sold here.

    • rmward194 Member

      Silver was not an original Bricklin colour/color

  10. Bill

    This is an original colour. (Colour… how you spell it in Canada) The colour is in the plastic and essentially it’s made of the same stuff your Bath/Shower combo is. It polished up nice, but it is possible to paint and the results are good. the panels do warp, but if you are painting anyway… they drive nice. Not ‘Vette killers perhaps, but nice touring car that get’s a lot of looks and Flux capacitor jokes. (yes I know…)

    • Bobsmyuncle

      Yeah sorry if I was unclear, THIS is “suntan”, the colour ;) I was questioning was the silver.

  11. OhU8one2

    I had for years an original sales brochure for a Bricklin. I remember all the color’s had the word “safety” before the actual color. Example “Safety Orange”. The gel coat was color impregnated,so if you had a scratch you could sand it away then buff out the finish. I also remember that the car didn’t come with a cigar lighter or ashtray. Why? Good old Malcolm Bricklin thought it was unsafe to smoke and drive at the same time.

    • Bobsmyuncle

      Yeah the car focussed on safety that was supposed to be a selling feature. The body had an integral rollbar and side impact beams.

  12. moosie Craig

    nice wheels,,,,,,,,, stock? I’d rather have a similar year ‘Vette.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Craig, I’m pretty sure they are aftermarket. Factory was a finned wheel.

  13. moosie Craig

    Thank you for that information, the wheels on the car posted are nicer ,,,,,,,,,,,, in my opinion.

  14. Blueprint

    IIRC, Bricklins had an AMC 360 V-8, not a Ford engine.

  15. Robert A

    Actually: AMC 360 for 1974,
    Ford Windsor 351 for ’75 and ’76

    • Bobsmyuncle

      That’s correct.

  16. pantera1973

    The body on the Bricklin was actually fiberglass with a thin body colored acrylic plastic laminated to it. It was never designed to be a true “sports car”, especially with a 175 horse power 351 Windsor, 2-barrel carb, and auto transmission, rather it was marketed as a “safety car”. In period magazine tests however it was pretty much neck and neck with the corvette back in 74-75 in terms of performance.

  17. Jim

    I recall a neighbor had one in the 70’s and it got scratched and another neighbor was going to “help” him and buffalo it out smooth again. After slapping on whatever stuff he brought home from the body shop he worked at, then went at it with his buffing machine and went too deep and had a gray wave going down the side if the fairly new red Bricklin! I learned new cuss words that day, but I was so glad I didn’t help. Everyone thought the color was through the material, oops. The dealer replaced the panels for him. I didn’t follow it after but I remember the yelling.

  18. AMCFAN

    The car of choice is the 74 with AMC power. The car was designed using the AMC 360. The suspension and undercarriage was all Javelin. Many of the components to name a few like master cyl., steering column, switches washer fluid bottle, shifter and bezel are all American Motors parts.

    When AMC couldn’t keep up with engine production the 351 Ford and transmission was adapted. Think of it. You have a car and company in its infancy being produced. Production changes were made right on the assembly line daily. Then when things started rolling the assembly line has to stop. The most critical process has to be changed to make something else entirely different work. The engineers did the best with what they had. But because of this the car was doomed.

    The Ford engine variation sits more forward then the AMC. This created a weight bias. The AMC sitting further back toward the firewall plus being lighter. Handled much better. Having them parked side by side you can really see the difference. The 351 put out 175 HP compared to the 360 @ 220.

    I have owned both. Real world mentality? More Ford enthusiasts then Rambler/AMC = 75-76 are better cars because of the 351.
    Just NOT the case!

  19. Chuck

    My Brick is a 74 Saftey Suntan 360/4spd car AMC :-) I am the third owner and have had it for 20+yrs. 43,000 original miles.

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