By on May 19, 2011


As we all know, 99 and many more nines percent of VW-pan-based fiberglass kit cars were never completed, instead clogging up garages until enraged spouses and/or landlords gave them the heave-ho. That makes the ones that actually got finished extremely rare… and well-built, good-looking examples? There’s probably one per time zone.

This Bradley GT was parked at the LeMons HQ hotel during our Loudon Annoying journey, and it looked incredible with its metalflake bronze paint (a Chevy Aveo factory color, according to its owner) and matching interior.

Yes, that’s a Samuel Adams beer tap as a shifter. Powering this lightweight plastic machine is a 57-horsepower, 1600cc VW air-cooled engine, which is plenty for a car that probably weighs about 1,200 pounds.

This would have been the ideal pace car for our race, but the owner couldn’t make it to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the green flag.

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13 Comments on “Down On The New Hampshire Street: World’s Nicest Bradley GT...”


  • avatar
    CJinSD

    The Bradley GT was one of my favorite kit cars. Chopping the roof off this one did away with the gull wing door/windows that seem to have been a common failure point on BGTs. There was one in my home town that had the curved plexiglass doors replaced with tin sheets with tiny dart shaped windows cut in them.

    I’m familiar with the uncompleted kit syndrome, but I think most of the ones that didn’t make it to the road were the more ambitious Pinto or Mustang II based kits. VW kits were simple enough that there were plenty of plastic MG-TDs, Porsche Speedsters, Meyers Manx clones, and dramatic wedges running around in the late ’70s and early ’80s.

    • 0 avatar
      econobiker

      VW kits also suffered from the time/space concurrence in the lowering of prices of used VW’s versus ongoing floor pan rot out versus the rise in VW bug collectiblity. Plus the mid-1980s saw the reproduction hot rod scene grow which would have pulled people in who would have built a VW kit car previously- why bother with some Bradley GT or an MG-TD, etc when you could build out a Cobra kit car or a fiberglass body fat fender street rod…

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Only one completed Bradley GT in each time zone? Hmmm…this is the ONLY one I’ve EVER seen complete in the last 35 years! It looks pretty nice, though, although I’ve always preferred the classic dune buggy – now those were all over the place in the late 60′s and early 70′s and they were really cool!

    Having said that, when the Opel GT came out, that took my love away from kit cars. There’s actually an Opel GT owned by someone at our local Wally-World. Looks decent enough for a “Down on the Street” article.

    • 0 avatar
      Slow_Joe_Crow

      Although they may not be concurrent this means there were at least two Bradley GTs in the Eastern TZ. Around 1976 there was a Blue Metal Flake Bradley GT with the original gull wing doors that street parked in White Plains NY. I remember thinking how chintzty the bent plexiglass gull wings looked in real life compared to the ads in the back of C&D.

  • avatar
    obbop

    Where’s the VW Bug with the Rolls Royce type front end?

    Saw a few now and then back before history for many of you dang-burn younguns were even carpet crawling had commenced.

    Get off’n my shanty’s dirt.

    Scat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      …And stay off my well-manicured lawn, too!

      Really large wind-up keys stuck on the VW’s back side were popular, too!

    • 0 avatar
      econobiker

      The VW Bug Rolls Royce front trunk and rear deck conversions were a staple of the JC Whitney mail order catalog in the early 1980s. Unfortunately the fiberglass parts (plus “Truck shipping only.”) were always more expensive than a junkyard replacement hood and front fender when repairing a front-end damaged bug.

  • avatar
    lmike51b

    Pretty decent example. Had a friend in high school, back in the 70′s, whose dad had one. Not much on the details, except that it was white. I think a review by Jorts Baruth or M. Karesh is needed for one of these.

  • avatar
    skor

    The McBurnie Ferrari kit-car(Vette chassis) was the only kit-car I every wanted. I would tune in to a certain TV show every week just to see the car.

    http://www.imcdb.org/i021083.jpg

  • avatar
    mazder3

    Sorry to be a buzzkill, but that Bradley is way too nice and too “un-New Hampshire like” to be a Loudon Lemons pace car. Proper New Hampshire Pace cars:

    1) Mid-90′s green Subaru Legacy wagon with local Democrat bumper stickers.
    2) Very rusty late-’80′s Toyota Pickup with a wooden bed and “Support your local farmer or watch the houses grow” or “Save a Tree: Wipe your ass with an owl!” bumper stickers.
    3) Late-90′s Ford Taurus with at least 2 “Support our Troops” ribbons and a McCain/Palin bumper sticker.

    Drive on any of our two lane roads and you’ll get stuck behind at least one of the above.

  • avatar
    Junebug

    I liked that TV car too, almost cried when they destoyed it with the LAW rocket. Hey, the 80′s ruled!

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    As a teenager in the mid-70′s being a car geek and curious I ordered the Bradley catalog from the back of a magazine. After I received it before you know it the salesman from Bradley called my house. I told him thanks but I don’t have the cash or room in the driveway for one but thanked him for the cool catalog. Bradley offered a whole host of accessories for these hardtop, luggage rack etc.

    Myers Max which was not as refined as a Bradley would make a good profile as well. I remember the Sears catalog sold a Dune Buggy kit and of course JC Whitney.


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