I owned a 1975 Bricklin (VIN 975) for about 3 years. I made a number of improvements to the car not the least of which was to install a 1969 351-W 4 bbl engine with 10.5:1 flat top pistons, an Edelbrock performer manifold, 650 double pumper Holley carb, a Competition Cams 280 Magnum cam and lifters, and a set of race-prepared 289 cylinder heads. The heads had screw-in studs, guide plates, competition springs, were fully ported for maximum flow, and were installed with Manley hardened push-rods. I also ported the exhaust manifold and installed a 3000 stall converter, a shift kit in the FMX transmission, and a full 21/2" dual exhaust system with performance mufflers. The car had a 0-60 time of just over 4 seconds (even without much traction) and ran the quarter mile in the high 12's. My Bricklin also handled great and was a blast to drive. Needless to say, there weren't many cars around (Vettes or otherwise) that could keep up with me. The car could rev to 7200 rpm and also had tremendous low end torque. People often thought I had a high performance 427 in it. I always loved the styling of the car and felt that it should have the power to match its looks. When I sold the car in 1985, I removed the engine and put the stock one back in, but I left the manifold and carb and with the performance exhaust system (and minimal pollution controls) it was still a strong running car (easily faster than any stock '75 Vette). Anyway, someday I might try to find another Bricklin to restore and re-power. Despite some problems with the doors and a few other things, I always enjoyed that car and often wish that I had kept it.
#1 Don't ever "mod" classic cars. These are supposed to be like time machines, not your local teenager with a fartcan on their crappy honda. #2 Bricklins from 1974 have the AMC 360 in them, which is in FACT a much better engine then the Ford 351. That's all I am gonna say.
Hey Greg From AZ, obviously you have no idea about Bricklins because you said that swapping in a 4bbl carb would be a good idea. Hello? Bricklins already have a 4bbl carb, so I don't know what you are driving, but its not a Bricklin.
I was a teenager when the Bricklin was built, and there were two in the family since 1976. I've known these cars for a long time (30 years).
Yes - the car has flaws. Heavy, costly (at the time), leaky, poor fit & finish, etc. True, true.
Was it the fastest thing on the road at the time (in its class)? The 1974 model compared favorably to the same year Corvette (I believe it was the 7/1974 issue of Car & Driver). The 1975 model year took a sizable hit in horsepower and did not, but the performance is still not bad.
Did I kick a lot of butt with a 1975 in the mid to late 70s? Yep!
Could it be made to go faster? You bet! Many owners have done it. Plenty of options for either the AMC 360 OR the Ford 351w.
Do I care? Not in the least - this car is all 'WOW'. You'll be the cause of neck injury wherever you go as folks do double-takes. They built just about 2,900 of these cars - you just don't see them, and when you do it, attracts attention like no other car you've seen.
I just bought a 75 SV1, and its beautiful, all original... but the outside has cracks in the acrylic paint or whatever they used. Spide like webs. How does one restore the outside of a bricklin to looking new since it was made differently then other cars.
But if the car you bought has spiderweb cracking it's impossible to fix, other than priming and painting the whole car or buying new panels (if it's isolated). In the past some used a wax this latex in it. As you can see the acrylic doesn't like this much. If it's the larger cracks usually found on the roof, door and A pillers, it is possible to to grind them out with a dremel and fill. This at best is a short fix and over a year or so you will see them reappearing...
Hey Guys Just thought we'd make comment on the Bricklin, but first of all who are we LOL. We are called the Bricklin Boyz of Canada, and have owned 27 Bricklin in 5 short years as well as have done countless frame off restorations for others as well. For tech info, one could easily visit Bricklin.org.
Here some of our thoughts on the Bricklin. A person made comment about the longevity of this car. Here is the scoop. Officially 2855 where totally completed by the Bricklin co. The VIN numbers do go a little higher than 3000, but they were either finished on the assembly line by a buy out team called Byers Chrysler Ohio, or they were put together by individuals that bought parts during the bankruptcy. Between the club's data and our own, there are over 1800 Bricklin known to be in existence today (30 years later) with more and more showing up every day. Don't know of any production automobile that can say that approx 2/3 of their 30 year old cars still exist today.
As for performance, we have had many clients report their top speed in the area of 130+ mph. One guy even tracked himself with the GPS at 141mph with a stock Bricklin. Do they kick butt LOL. I'll take on a vintage stock Vette any day. We also have a newspaper clipping of a guy that was caught on radar in a Bricklin at 240kph, thus approx 144mph!!
Do they draw attention, well let's just put it this way, I had to contact the police department one day and tell them to back off, as we got stopped 5 times on the same day by the local police on false pretenses. They simply wanted to check out the car.
We have been followed often by other muscle cars, new and old, so that they can see the car. To the point we stopped in at a local Ford dealership just to have approx. 40 mechanics come out and check the Bricklin out. It got so bad that management got on the PA system and called in the mechanics to report back to their bays Now how many stock collector car owners can say that!!
Not to mention the attention every time we take them out, we are overwhelmed by public that come running up to us. Often time the partner and I will take a couple out at the same time. We have driven into the market where they have tons of restaurant patios, just to have their clients stand up from their seats and gawk. The one patio I swear over half of them stood up as we waited for the lights to change. Yes, it is a thrill to have pedestrians point at us in our Bricklin and many shout out the name "BRICKLIN!!"
Have owned many a sports cars in my life, but not one, I do repeat not one, has even approached 20% of the attention our Bricklins get.
Great cars with a few little flaws that can be overlooked. Some do leak, some do get spider webbing, but then again so did the Corvettes way back when.
Easy to work with, as the partner and I are a prime example of this, as neither of us knew diddly squat about cars, as we were both pencil pusher all our lives, but here we are today 5 years later, doing complete frame off restorations, and not to mention renowned across Canada and the USA, as well as overseas for our knowledge in Bricklins. Because of our recognition and quality of our Bricklin work, we now fetch the highest bucks on resale of stock Bricklins. So if we can totally restore a Bricklin, so can the average layman.
Should you ever want to buy a yesteryear's auto, look into it, but if you are the type that doesn't like to draw attention, nor has the time to say hello to the plenty of curious out there, stay away from the Bricklin!!
Do not overlook the Bricklin the next time your thinking of buying a classic. We still have 6 Bricklin in our coral at this time, and will be purchasing more to restore.
The Bricklin is a sports car totally years ahead of its time, that still today turns heads, and is totally undervalued by all standards.
Rick and Shawn