1974-1975 Bricklin SV-1

Reviews of the Bricklin SV-1
Despite a 30-percent price hike, nearly three times as many 1975 Bricklin SV-1s were built as 1974s.
Despite a 30-percent price hike, nearly three times as many 1975 Bricklin SV-1s were built as 1974s.

Reviews of the Bricklin SV-1 were a mixture of praise and criticism for everything from design to performance. Here is a sampling of what the automotive press had to say:

Motor Trend (May 1975):

  • The Chevrolet folks dismiss the Bricklin as a feeble effort with little to redeem itself save the flying doors. It is still the only other plastic bodied two-seater in town.
  • The secret pretender to the throne is not yet in the same ballpark with the Corvette, but the problems are all correctable.
  • Driver environment is a contrast between excellent and poor. Dash layout is excellent with a full set of instruments, but the engine gauges are unlabeled. Although the quality of the interior vinyl is excellent, the trimming is poor.
  • Those grand and glorious doors are really a kick for the first couple of days. Then you enter phase two, where the novelty has worn off. Phase three is when you remember the time it takes to open and close the doors -- eight seconds.

Car and Driver (May 1975):

  • Out of the tears, toil, money and show-biz flackery, a tangible threat to the Corvette has appeared. Skeptics be damned; the Bricklin lives!
  • On paper, [the Corvette and Bricklin] are almost interchangeable-with the Corvette enjoying a small performance edge. But live with them and they become completely different cars. Each has a character so individual that you know immediately if your mount came from St. Louis or New Brunswick.
  • The Bricklin's interior problems ... soon cancel much of its tremendous novelty advantage over the Corvette. Every furnishing seems to work against basic comfort. The roof is too low for headroom, the throttle pedal raises your right knee into interference with the leather steering-wheel rim and the lumpy seat doesn't offer any support for your thighs.
  • And it's a hard car to see out of as well. The thick-section A-pillars block a fat wedge out of your forward vision, and a belt line hiked up to earlobe level cuts off the side view.
  • ...Bricklin's engineers would do well to take a careful look at the general quality level of their materials. The car looks a little too much like a carefully finished Fiberfab with its glued-down vinyl trim, carpeting that doesn't quite cover the fiberglass floor and flimsy plastic shift gate...
The interior on this Bricklin is tan and brown. Note the suede-like seat material, which the Bricklin brochure said 'not only looks great but gives the driver and passenger no-slip security.'

Road & Track (April 1975):

  • ... the high box-section perimeter frame and the encircling rollcage structure should provide occupants with considerable passive safety and the massive bumper system is claimed to have better-than-legal impact resistance.
  • Most of the body panels fit poorly and neither the hood nor the decklid would release properly.
  • There is no weatherstripping between the doors and sills, so air and water pour through the openings.
  • We have only one thing to say about the 4-speed: don't order one. Only a masochist or a circus strongman could endure its 90-lb clutch effort and its unacceptably high shifter effort for long.
  • On rough roads . . . the Bricklin's live rear axle and high unsprung weight betray the car and the back end hops and skitters more than the Corvette's with its independently sprung rear wheels.
  • We'd suggest that what the Bricklin really needs now is less creativity and a lot more basic Detroit-style practical automotive engineering, plus a measure of European-style weight saving.

To see how the Bricklin SV-1 reached the end of production, continue to the next page.

For more information on cars, see: