Wednesday, May 13, 2015

10k: Orange or Lemon? 1975 Bricklin SV-1


 The Bricklin SV-1 was brainchild of billionaire Malcolm Bricklin, noted Philadelphia-born entrepreneur, businessman, con artist, and original importer of the Subaru 360 & Yugo.  Bricklin decided that importing cheap and terrible cars wasn't good enough, so he created his own version with the help of legendary Batmobile designer and beard enthusiast Herb Grasse.  Find this 1975 Bricklin SV1 here on eBay currently bidding for $9,388 with 4 days to go, located in Canton, GA.


The SV-1 name means Safety Vehicle 1, which indicates a woefully unrealistic expectation that they would build another model.  According to internet lore, Bricklin build 2,854 of these funky looking fiberglass machines before the company went belly up.  This one has only 8,186 miles on the odometer, which doesn't explain why all he panels faded at different rates.


The SV-1 was powered by a 5.7 liter Ford 351 Windsor V8 - which would have produced 300 horsepower when this car was conceived on paper but smog choked back to 144 horsepower by 1975, becoming an actual anchor for this fiberglass speedboat.  Similar to the DeLorean, a construction method that results in an extremely heavy & shoddily built vehicle powered by a dog of an engine equals a performance/sales disaster.


On the inside...okay, I give up....what is the deal with the oranges?  With the SV-1, a lemon would be more appropriate, but the seller has included a carefully placed orange in almost every photo.  Logically, it should be a reference of some kind, but for what? For scale?  For color?  For citrusy smell?


See another overpriced orange that comes with a free car? tips@dailyturismo.com

18 comments:

  1. Maybe its supposed to be a peach. Definitely weird.

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  2. It's possible that without Bricklin there would be no Subaru here in America. Or in the very least, not till later historically. He may have done some shyster-like things but considering what he was actually able to achieve, there is no doubt that the man is a legend in the automotive world. Comparing him to DeLorean is quite accurate, in my opinion. With better construction and a better engine choice (or at least options) would have made the SV-1 more of a collector's item and less of a curiosity. Too bad because it had massive potential.

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    1. And...I love those wheels. Neat period pieces that remind me of another time, back when things like that weren't dime-a-dozen. Now everybody has "custom" wheels on their car...from the factory, no less. That would be a neat trivia question; what was the last make and model of a car that offered plastic wheel covers? Or maybe some automaker still does...?

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    2. Many still do.

      Those 'turbine' wheels on the Bricklin are definitely a '70s artifact.

      Delete
  3. Re "the orange". This seller has been around eBay for a long time. He always puts the orange in the picture for scale and color. He used to mention it in his listings. I always thought it was kind of silly given that the size and color of oranges vary at least as much as the paint on Bricklins. I guess he figures its now expected of him, much like the guy at Smokeymountain includes the pictures of his daughter/girlfriend/local model who is in all of his listings.
    Personally, I miss Hirschfeld.

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    Replies
    1. I hope daughter, girlfriend and local model aren't one and the same. (Couldn't help it).

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    2. Yeah but...are they hot?

      (Couldn't help it).

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  4. Replies
    1. The current operation

      Frankly, his chassis design for the mid-Scooby looks pretty damn good.

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    2. @mrkwong - thanks for that link. I agree about the mid-engined Subaru set up. Could be quite a car.

      Unfortunately, the whole website seems to say that he is not selling kits or chassis at the moment, just parts for older Sterlings. Too bad.... I certainly would prefer a Sterling to this Bricklin.

      Delete
  5. I figured the orange was a distraction, to pull your eyes away from a wart, or some such. But then he took pictures of the warts too... Hummmm

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  6. I never understood from a design perspective nor an engineering one why the Bricklin and DeLorean had this clubfoot shoe body design. I recall back in the mid seventies when these came out. The emphasis was on the safety aspects which I thought ridiculous given that people had been driving cars.....some pretty rickety........since the turn of the century. Foreshadowed the nanny state mentality of todays car buyers who think that the number of air bags and safety warning stickers on the window equate to a better car.

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    1. The Bricklin came in at a point where the US auto industry was basically in collapse.

      The government's idea of what a car should be, as depicted in the 5500lb 'ESV's that the Feds were funding, was bitch-slapped by reality in the form of the Arab oil embargo that sent buyers scurrying off into Datsun 1200s and Honda Civics.

      The smog-control technology of the time was (in the fashion that cost-obsessed Detroit chose to implement it) ruinous and the state of the industry being what it was no one was investing one dime of capital

      The technologies that came along later and permitted a lot of things to be done fairly cost-effectively (digital engine managment and computational fluid dynamics design and modeling software) were still dreamworld (though not as far off as we thought then; the EEC-IV that's still broadly seen in the Ford-tuner world is now 30 years old).

      The Bricklin's shape was not bad for its day (have a look at a Triumph Stag or a Datsun B210) but it's clearly a function of the limitation of the materials used (an acrylic surface layer molded over the fiberglas underbody, you're not going to get sharp contours/details doing that) and probably a time-compressed and budget-limited development process.

      Delete
  7. Orange? Funky Fiberglass Car?
    Movie Reference?
    Becoming more like K2?
    [img]http://www.imps4ever.info/specials/centaur/durango3.jpg[/img]
    [img]http://www.adamsprobe.com/_wp_generated/wp7b8cabd0_0f.jpg[/img]

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    Replies
    1. Nice one!!!! Welly, welly, welly! You have been assimilated. :D

      Delete
  8. The '74 Bricklins were AMC powered, the Ford 351 came along in '75.

    The Bricklin and DeLorean parallels are fairly apt, in that both were:

    (a) vehicles of at best middling performance trading primarily on 'safety' (though latterly gullwing doors have become regarded as a substantial rollover booboo) and unconventional body materials

    (b) conceived by and named for salesmen of no particular engineering ability

    (c) who managed nonetheless to get government funding for their projects

    (d) said governments being left holding the bag when the project failed.

    The DeLorean was a far more ambitious design (the chassis of the Bricklin being basic ponycar) but hobbled by its pathetic PRV V6.

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  9. +1 on the government financing fiasco. Bricklins were built in New Brunswick, about as far from the center of Canadian car mfg as you can get. The gov't kicked in millions of dollars and was left holding the bag when this folded. Later the New Brunswick provincial gov't would do it all over again providing funding for the Sprung greenhouse project, trying to grow cucumbers in Atlantic Canada. Another fiasco.

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    Replies
    1. About as far from the center of anything not involving cod as you can get.

      FIFY.

      ;)

      Delete

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