Double Take: 1975 Bricklin SV-1
I can say yes. At least now I can. A couple of days ago my answer would have been no.
Over the weekend I was hurrying to get somewhere before closing and saw this familiar- yet not familiar-looking sports car parked in a lot to the side of the boulevard. It had a bright “For Sale” sign in the window.
Thankfully it was still there on my way back, but so were some lookie-loos.
The Cadillac Classic
Up to this point, I still wasn’t sure what this yellow car with the bright orange sign in the windshield was. Parked directly behind the peculiar vehicle was a Toyota pickup. The owner and who appeared to be his son were inspecting the sporty car closely.
The dad looked fascinated (by the doors particularly) while the son, probably right round driving age, seemed hard to read.
I’m going to digress here for a moment. I’ve mentioned before that one of the few things I feel confident about is my ability to identify vehicles. I just need to see a few details and its memorized. It’s not a unique ability, many have it. Most don’t.
I always thought it fun in casual conversation to ask someone what they thought the brand and model of a particular car was and they’d have no idea. Or, more often, they’d play the odds and throw out some generic car name. For instance, my personal favorite was when a 1989 Cadillac DeVille was identified as a Cadillac “Classic”. She said she’d seen them on the road before but, not being a car junkie, never bothered to pay attention to the details. So the model was generic “Classic”.
I pride myself on always being able to identify a car; night or day. For the most part, I’m usually aware of the makes and models of all the cars around me.
But this, this was my Cadillac Classic.
It was heartfelt observing this act of bonding between this man and his son–but I’d been sitting in the car, with my finger on the shutter button, waiting for them to leave so I could get my shots, and the sun was setting.
Finally they got in their pickup and drove off; young passenger staring back at the car the whole way down the street. But now it was my turn to scrutinize.
As it turns out, Bricklins are a pretty rare commodity. There were only 2,897 cars made between the 1974 and 1975 model years. (There are reportedly unofficial 1976 models that were built from remaining parts.)
It was touted as the “safety sports car” with prices ranging in the ball park of $7,500 to $10,000.
The reason the Canadian two-seater was called the safety sports car is because of its safety-oriented design. The emphasis on safety could be seen most everywhere. It had an integrated roll cage and bumpers that could withstand a 5 mph impact.
Similar to the Corvette, one of its perceived rivals, its body panels are made of fiberglass. Unlike the Corvette, the SV-1 had gullwing doors. Moreover, those doors were power-operated by switches and hydraulics. The picture above left shows the exterior driver’s switch and lock. The power-lift doors came standard on the the SV-1.
The Bricklin originally came equipped with an AMC-sourced 360 cubic-inch V-8 that produced 220 HP. Later Bricklin switched to a Ford-sourced 351 cubic-inch V-8 producing 175 HP.
I don’t know the mileage on this example but, being relatively rare, and in relatively good condition, I was shocked to see an asking price of only $6,500. It isn’t in great condition but certainly not bad condition either. It seems awfully cheap for a piece of history. The asking price for the 2002 Camry sitting next to it was $7,500 and the 1965 Mustang to the other side was $11,500.
If you find the Bricklin interesting, check out this really cool web site: Bricklin International Owners Club. It even has a listing of the location of all known remaining Bricklins. Sure enough, there is one listed in the city where I saw it.
To be clear, I do not know the person selling this vehicle and have absolutely no arrangement with them; however, if you are interested in purchasing this car, I have the contact information, so feel free to contact me.
Continue below to the photo gallery.