The Bricklin SV-1 was a gull-wing door sports car assembled in Saint John, New Brunswick,
Canada. The body panels were manufactured in a separate plant in Minto, New Brunswick.
Manufactured from 1974 until early 1976 for the U.S. market, the car was the creation
of Malcolm Bricklin, an American millionaire who had previously founded Subaru of
America. The car was designed by Herb Grasse. Due to Bricklin’s lack of experience
in the auto industry, coupled with the funding problems , the Bricklin factory was
not able to produce vehicles fast enough to make a profit. As a result, only 2,854
cars were built before the company went into receivership, owing the New Brunswick
government $23 million.
The model name (SV-1), stood for “safety vehicle one”. The original idea for the
Bricklin SV-1 was a safe and economical sports car, but due to the added weight of
the safety features, the car was inefficient and simply a safe sports car. The Bricklin
was designed for safety with an integrated roll cage, 5 mph bumpers, and side beams.
The body was fibreglass with bonded acrylic in five “safety” colours: white, red,
green, orange and suntan. The cars had no cigarette lighter or ashtray. Non-smoker
Malcolm Bricklin believed it was unsafe to smoke and drive. The Bricklin is the only
production vehicle in automotive history to have powered gull-wing doors, that opened
and closed at the touch of a button, as standard equipment. (The later DeLorean DMC-12’s
gull-wing doors must be operated manually.)
The first Bricklin concept car, latter dubbed Grey Ghost, was built by Bruce Meyers
of Meyers Manx dune buggy fame in California. Its initial powerplant was a Valiant