Thursday, August 30, 2012
"Malcolm Bricklin earned a fortune in the hardware business and at age 26 he retired," explained James. "He wanted to build a super car but he wanted it to be safe." In fact, the SV in the car's name stands for Safety Vehicle.
James bought his Bricklin 13 years ago "because I always wanted one when I was growing up."
The car has an amazing 3700 original miles on it, making it the lowest mileage Bricklin on the road. "I don't drive it very often," said James, making the obvious point. "I'll take it to a couple of shows but mostly I keep it in the garage.
"People would get tired of waiting around for their car and move on to something else," explained James.
The one area Bricklin maintained control was with the body panels. "There's no pain on these cars," said James. "It's acrylic bonded to the fiberglass. If you get a scratch on it you just buff it out." In fact the color was the only option available on the SV-1. In fact, there were only five colors available.
Bricklin never was able to get any financial traction with his car and before the 1976 run the company went into receivership. Technically there were some 1976 cars released, those were assembled by a company who bought up the remaining parts and finished the cars that were sitting on the assembly line.
A number of factors contributed to the rapid decline and failure of Bricklin. There were rumors that the car cost three times more to build than it was sold to dealers for. Add to that the fact that Malcolm Bricklin had a habit of putting friends and family who had no idea what they were doing in positions of control and disaster was just waiting to happen.
James points out that his SV-1 is serial number 1714 and was completed on May 29, 1975. The company went into bankruptcy in September of that year.
Today there are an estimated 500 Bricklin SV-1 cars on the road of the under 2900 that were manufactured. Still, with the problems and short life, Bricklin managed to make a very safe car.
"If you see one on the road, it's not the car you want to run into," said James. "It's the car you want to be in."
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Recently, the Village of Moscow, home to the Zimmer Power Station, brought a different kind of power to a riverside park: horse power. Here are some more cars from the 5th Annual Village of Moscow car show.
Monday, August 27, 2012
Sunday, August 26, 2012
I normally don't post these kinds of things in this blog but I came across this on line and shared it with a car group and it generated quite a bit of debate. So now I'm curious it anyone here wants to weigh in on this topic. Which of these do you agree with and which do you think don't belong. And which cars that you think belong are missing? Here's the link to the Yahoo story: http://autos.yahoo.com/news/the-10-most-beautiful-cars-of-all-time.html?page=1
Friday, August 24, 2012
"My brother had an Austin-Healey Sprite in high school but wanted the big one, the 3000," he added, explaining his history with the Austin marque. His 3000 is actually his second Austin-Healey.
His first was a 100-6 that he bought in 1974. "It was a project car," he said of the condition when he purchased it. "It was rusted, nothing worked. I got it running and drove it for 25 years." That is when he sold it and bought his 3000.
Pointing out that he had had enough of the fixer-uppers, his 3000 was in "good original shape" when he bought it. "I had to do some work: weld in the floor boards, paint it, do some upholstery work but it was in pretty good shape when I got it," he explained.
"The best part of the car is just driving it," said Mark. "We like to go touring. Fall is the best with the leaves changing colors."
While this isn't a daily driver, Mark said he isn't afraid to take it out of the garage. "We drive about 3000 miles a year," he explained. Most of that is actual driving since they only go to about three car shows and a few cruise-ins each year.
"You get on a really windy road and it is a lot of fun. You can go 35 but you feel like you're going really fast," he said with a smile.
While he has had good reliability with his 3000, he did have some problems with his first Austin-Healey. "I was driving on the Pennsylvania Turnpike and smoke started coming up from the floorboard," he said, recounting the situation. "The muffler had blown and caught the carpet on fire. I was driving along going 55 and stomping out flames."
Today, that story is a fond memory as that car is part of his past. Now, he has the car he always wanted, the big Austin-Healey.