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						Bradley Gt 1
This 1980 Bradley GT Is A Switch Hitter

1980 Bradley GT II for sale

By Jeff Bruss

Well before bathroom bills were a hot button topic, the Bradley GT shared its identity crisis with the world in more ways than one.

A cross between a Corvette Stingray, a dune buggy, a Ferrari 308 and a Bricklin, the Bradley GT was sexy in its own 1970s, feathered-back hair kind of way. The Bradley GT II was designed by John Chun, a former employee of Shelby American who also penned the lines of the classic 1960s Shelby Mustangs. The design of the final generation of Bradley was modern and quite advanced for a kit car, featuring gull wing doors, safety glass, and more structural rigidity than previous models. Development is said to have cost in excess of one million dollars for this fancy little kit.

The company's founder was even confusing, a made-up character named "Gary Bradley" who was a fictional morph of two of the actual founder's names: Gary Courneya and David Bradley Fuller. Courneya would play Gary Bradley in real life as required, and would be the primary person pushing Bradley sales. Bradley collected leads with the heavy use of print ads in all the car magazines of the era, and then followed up with high-pressure sales over the telephone. Sales were made before the first cars even existed.

Bradley Gt 5

The Bradley GT for sale here, a 1980 model GT II, must have left the Plymouth, Minnesota factory just days before the company spiraled into a legal mess of bankruptcy and accusations of consumer fraud. Like most kits of the 1970s and ’80s, the early Bradleys were dependent on a VW donor. In 1980, that would all change, as it was Bradley's vision to morph into the Electric Vehicle Corporation (EVC). Sadly that business plan never came to fruition, and the plug would be pulled on the company within a year.

This car is reported to be one of the first 50 Bradley GTs built in 1980, which records indicate to be all electric cars. Yes, all electric a full 35 years before the first Tesla ever stopped for a recharge. Although little information exists on the mechanicals of this model, it's now powered by a longitudinal four-cylinder engine out of a Volkswagen Scirocco, instead of its eight Sears Diehard-looking batteries. Early Sciroccos put out around 75 horsepower, and I would surmise this is an earlier engine. No mention of transaxle, but I suspect the four-speed manual is a modified unit from the Scirocco or an adapted Beetle transaxle.

Changing this Bradley over from electric to a mechanical engine seems like no small feat, and I question if this car was perhaps a petrol model all along despite what the serial number might suggest? A peek under the bonnet shows a fuel tank where the batteries should have sat. The interior appears to be too factory and well-finished to have been torn apart and retro-fitted with a shifter and clutch pedal. The only hint that this car may have actually been electric, is the waterproof exterior power outlet just under the trunk lid that looks like it was lifted from the side of your garage.

The all red interior looks like it provided inspiration to BMW for the E36 generation of M3 coupes that shared the same interior tone. A hefty dose of Hawaiian Punch colored vinyl covers every square inch of the interior, the lone exception being the faux wood grain center dash and glove box cover.

The exterior features turbine wheels that I find quite attractive and still stylish some 40 years later. The white paint shows signs of crazing and age, but still shows well. The red accent stripe is tasteful and accentuates the Bradley's sexy seventies curves. At just over $3,000 with only a day left in this auction, the price on this switch hitting GT is more than reasonable. If you've longed for a Bradley, this one seems solid, and despite its transformation from gasoline to electric and back to gasoline, it's still a solid piece of kit car Americana.

See the Bradley GT II here on eBay.

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