Stored For 30 Years: 1972 Bradley GT Kit Car

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Here’s a nicely preserved example of a popular kit car that the seller claims was a barn find that had been stored for 30 years. Now looking quite fresh and in better condition than many of these VW Beetle-based creations that haven’t been laid up for three decades, the seller claims all he did was buff out the paint to have it look that good. Other parts of the Bradley have been gone through and updated, and aside from old rubber, there’s not much here that’s stopping the next owner from simply getting in and using it. Find the Bradley GT here on Facebook Marketplace for $4,900 in Missouri.

Now, I have to admit – seeing one of these in person was one of my greatest automotive disappointments. Not because it wasn’t well built or didn’t look like an amateur should be assembling it but because it was so damn small. The tires were skinny, the wheels were tiny, and the whole thing looked like it might snap in half in a stiff breeze. It’s definitely the kind of kit car that benefits from an aggressive tire/wheel package, and this one is helped by what looks like a set of vintage Aunger Hotwire wheels (someone correct me if I’m wrong.)

The bucket seats look to be barely used, which may indicate this particular kit car didn’t get much use after it was built. Usually, when you discover a barn find Kelmark or Bradley, it’s been in pieces for years. That’s why I’m always excited to see one that remains intact, much like the Kelmark we sold off of my friend’s property in Georgia last year. Sure, it needed work – but it was solid inside with nicely preserved buckets and a gorgeous vintage dash. Seeing the interior in this Bradley look as fresh as it does would inspire me with all sorts of confidence if I was a potential buyer.

The Bradley does run and drive, but the seller recommends getting new tires before going too far. Since taking ownership, the seller has installed a new TMI Beetle carpet kit; refreshed the brakes with new wheel cylinders; and replaced the front brake lines and hoses. The engine is said to run well, and benefits from a new ignition coil, spark plugs, wires, and other tune-up parts. Overall, if you have to own one of these, buying one that’s as complete as possible is the smart move, and smarter still is buying one that someone has already gone through. Still, I’d try to make an offer on the asking price given the limited market.

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  1. Rex Kahrs Rex KahrsMember

    I remember these from the ’70s…I thought they were dorky then.

    Like 3
  2. Tony Primo

    Holy crap, there is enough tailpipe sticking out there for 3 or 4 cars!!!

    Like 12
  3. Kenbone

    Wonder how much burnt skin is on those pipes

    Like 8
    • Ian C

      About the equivalent amount of skin that the standard trailer hitch in a parking lot would be my guess. I have had a couple dang near shatter my shins before.

      Like 6
  4. Weasel

    Are those rear bumpers or some sort of tool being stored on the rear of the car?

    Like 0
    • FBM

      From experience… yes they are bumpers.

      Like 1
  5. AnalogMan

    With little of the original shrouding/tin around the engine to direct that all-important cooling air flow, plus the uncertain airflow around the back of the funky body panels, I wonder if the engine runs hot. Thermal management didn’t seem to be a high priority in the design.

    Like 1
    • FBM

      On mine, never once had a problem with running hot.

      Like 3
      • Ian C

        Mine either. It had a built twin carb 1835.

        Like 1
    • Russell

      And, looking at the engine, plugging all those holes/vents in the fan shroud (ie where the heater tubes used to be) would be first on the list …
      As for “uncertain airflow” the engine driven fan would more than compensate for lack of ducting…

      Like 2
  6. Adam Schmit

    What ever happened to kit cars, it really is a shame that they just disappeared.

    Like 2
  7. Chris M.

    I’d say store it away another 30+ years.

    Like 1
  8. FBM

    My father and I built one back in the 70’s. Was on a ’67 VW chassis that my then girlfriend rolled. We had to add about 300lbs. to the side bulk heads to get rid of the positive camber. After the plexiglass gull wing doors broke, we made two piece fiberglass and plexiglass doors. Had a plexiglass panel in each top panel and removable plexiglass side curtains. Chrome metal flake exterior with oxblood red interior. Had a racing carb and distributor with headers and a single chrome muffler. Got unbelievable gas mileage. When I came out of any store, I had to fight my way thru the crowd surrounding the car. Would love to get it back………………

    Like 5
  9. 433jeff

    Those long tailpipes are an option,?its so you can stand on them and polish the car. This is the only one ive ever seen done, For years ive only seen projects. Chris M. Is spot on , put it back in storage for a 30 years

    Like 0
    • Chris M.

      As well as the repugnant Bricklins!

      Like 0
  10. Solosolo UK ken tillyUKMember

    At least the Bricklin had a bit of style IMO.

    Like 2
  11. Kenn HIldebrand

    Would love to see the answer to “what happened to kit cars?” Did folks today just get lazy? Speaking as someone who built the Popular Mechanics sports car piece-by-piece. ie: NOT from a kit. At age 17. P.S. I hope that was a joke about the use of the tail pipes. That car is low enough to reach everything needing polishing.

    Like 1
  12. James Williams

    Is this car still for sale or sold, I cannot find it listed. I am VERY interested

    Like 1

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