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Bricklin SV-1

Model Year: 1975

Location of Manufacture: St. John, New Brunswick

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Bricklin SV-1

American promoter Malcolm Bricklin always wanted to build his very own American de- signed sports car.

He has a passion for both business and automobiles. But over the years, his reputation has dwindled. Though his head is filled with great concepts he has difficulty bringing them to the finish line. Lured by guaranteed loans of $2 880 000, and another $500 000 for a 51% control of the shares by the government, he opens acrylic body fabrication plants in St.John and Minto, New Brunswick.
The Government at the time, while involved in the endeavour of building this automo- bile, soon begins to have its doubts. Meanwhile, Malcolm Bricklin is spending like a sailor while maintaining an eccentric lifestyle. He uses private planes and sleeps in the most luxurious hotels. Eventually, production is delayed due to technical problems with items such as the butterfly doors and the poor quality of the body work, just to name a few.

During this time, the designer exhibits the automoblile everywhere he can, but clients still canʼt get their hands on one. The Bricklin is supposed to cost around $4000, but the price tag soon climbs up to $7500, and then finally settles at just around $10 000.

Design problems quickly appear on the first units to hit the streets. Of note, the acrylic fiberglass body changes shape according to the weather. The doors wonʼt close prop- erly, and uneven body joints make it look like a home made car...

Mechanical components came from Detroit. In 1974, 780 cars were produced, all of which were equipped with American Motors 360cc, 220 horsepower V-8 engines. How- ever, American Motors was having difficulty delivering the engines, so 1975 models were equipped with the Ford 351cc, 175 horsepower V-8 engines, with a total of 2062 cars being produced that year.

The companyʼs debt toward the Provincial Government quickly grows to $23 000 000, and the Government refuses to advance more funds to the carmaker unless the private sector can come up with 50% of the money needed. The private sector turns down the request, and the company goes into receivership.

Ironically, during the events of September 11th 2001, many airplanes had to be rerouted towards Moncton. Among the passengers, a certain Malcolm Bricklin, who had previ- ously sworn never to set foot again in New Brunswick.

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Automobile 2010
Television program produced by TV Rogers

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