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In the Garage: 1975 Bradley GT

1975 Bradley GT owned by Michael Findel.

1975 Bradley GT owned by Michael Findel.

THE CAR AND ITS OWNER
1975 Bradley GT owned by Michael Findel

WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING
Back in the early ‘70s, fiberglass “kit car” manufacturers sprouted up to offer dollar-conscious enthusiasts a chance to build a swoopy-looking sports car at a reasonable price. Minnesota’s Bradley Automotive built several thousand such kits in the decade following 1971 before it went belly-up due to sketchy business practices. But Bradley loyalists survive to this day, with most of them mating the fiberglass bodies to Volkswagen chassis and engines, and adding personal touches such as custom paint, unique upholstery and aftermarket parts. For Findel, it was his first car.  “I couldn’t afford a Buick Opel GT at the time,” he says.  “We saw a Bradley drive past and I said to my father, ‘OK, if I can’t buy the Opel, I’ll buy that.’” 

HOW LONG HE’S OWNED IT
Since 1984

WHERE HE FOUND IT
It was advertised in Newsday by an owner in the Levittown area.

CONDITION
“It had no engine,” Findel says.  “It was on the chassis but it wasn’t finished.  Originally, I went through a lot of the assembly manuals and everything to build it as stock.”  But when he found himself competing at car shows against identical rides, he decided to make his GT stand out.  “I changed everything,” he adds.  “I kept updating it and now I’m going to update it again.”

TIPS FOR OWNERS
Good luck,” he advises.  “It’ll take a long time to build one because they don’t make parts for it.”

VALUE
Findel estimates the Bradley is worth $14,000.  “They’re pretty hard to find and are getting up in price,” he says.  “It is not like you can find one for $200 in someone’s backyard anymore.”

THE BOTTOM LINE
“It drives like a go-kart,” he says.  “It’s really stiff.  People are always driving alongside me on the road with their cameras, asking, ‘What kind of car is that?’”

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