I had a friend who owned a green Bricklin back in the 1970s and it was a really fun car to ride in. The Bricklin with its gull-wing doors was the space-age hot little car! The gull-wing doors were "adopted" by John Delorean for his car in 1981. It certainly looks a lot like a Delorean.
His Bricklin did have electrical issues causing my friend trouble with the doors not opening and closing properly. He sold it after a few years as I recall.
Since we did a story last month on the Opel GT I was planning to post about the Bricklin soon. Well, today my favorite Classic-Race-Muscle car online magazine Hemmings Classic Car beat me to it! So I will share their story as it is great.
Surrounded by controversy, 1974-’76 Bricklin SV-1 was a cleverly conceived sports car
In the early 1970s, building Experimental Safety Vehicles (ESV) for research and auto show display was a popular theme with automakers around the globe, and it seemed the topic had finally reached widespread acceptance.
It was into that environment that a young entrepreneur launched his unique new sports car, which lit off with a firework’s bright energy, and just as quickly, fizzled out.
Orlando, Florida, is where an ambitious 21-year-old college dropout named Malcolm Bricklin founded a home-improvement hardware store franchise in 1960; he would sell his interest in that business, dubbed Handyman, for a substantial profit a few years later, and get his real first taste of success.
Working out of his Romulus, Michigan studio, veteran Chrysler and Ford designer Herb Grasse (Batmobile and Bricklin designer) was tasked with turning Bricklin's idea into a realistic form, starting with the creation of a more practically styled clay model of a two-seat sports car with a useful, large rear hatch.
Grasse would work closely with Ford body engineer Garth Dewey and race car chassis builder Tom Monroe, along with a selection of hired clay modelers, designers, and technicians.
The period when this concept was being turned into a workable automobile was a hectic, fascinating one, Grasse told author Wick Humble in the SV-1 drive report that ran in Special Interest Autos #68, April 1982:
The Delorean sure looked like a Bricklin SV 1
“During this three-month period, we had some very interesting people stop by: Paul Newman was involved, he was a friend of Malcolm’s.
Another was John DeLorean—and this was well prior to any De Lorean vehicles; John just came by, (hmm) looking the clay model over. We had no idea at that time that he was interested in starting his own company.
Zora Duntov and a few others from GM, as well as Don De La Rossa from Ford, paid us a visit. A lot of the auto industry was interested, and wandering in and out!” READ FULL STORY
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