What kid in the mid-seventies didn’t dream of the red Lamborghini Countach on that poster on their bedroom wall becoming flesh? Oops; wrong poster; the Farrah Fawcett was the one reserved for the flesh. I meant to say aluminum, or perhaps fiberglass. Well materializing Farrah might have been nigh near impossible, but the Lambo wet dreams were just a big shipping box away, thanks to the obliging folks at Bradley.
I’m hardly an expert on the field of fiberglass replicas, but from the sheer number of ads in the magazines, it seems that the big boy in the field was Fiberfab, which got its start making custom panels for the new Mustang back in 1964. The went on to make an astonishing array of kits to transform a number of production cars, especially the Triumph TR3, TR4, MGA, Austin Healey, and of course most commonly, the Volkswagen. They even went on to create a GT40 replica with its own frame to take a mid-engined V8, the Valkyrie. Amazingly enough, Fiberfab is still making the Valkyrie, very similar to this Corvair powered Avenger above.
Of course Fiberfab spawned a raft of imitators, and in that crowded field Bradley somehow manged to carve a relatively prominent place for itself. The gull-wing doors may have been what did it, but I can’t be sure. This example resting in a weedy lot either lost them to…what would someone do with them? Maybe some sort of lightweight shelter for a homeless person? But it did once have them, and here’s the plexiglass proof:
And to give you an idea of just how well the Bradley managed to insinuate itself into popular culture I give you:
Liberace’s own Bradley, featuring that ubiquitous Liberace touch that he bestowed so bountifully on his collection of cars; his version of star dust. Looks like even his pampered GT is suffering from that most common malady, Bradley Drooping Eyelid Syndrome. I suspect the owner (if there is one) of our CC Bradley resorted to that also common cure for it: the Radical Bradleyectomy.
Looks like this one has also suffered an enginectomy too. Yes, a VW engine making somewhere between 36 to 60 hp once lived there (unless it had been massaged), but with the typical noisy glasspack stinger exhaust, one’s imagination only needed to be…overly healthy to mistake it for a V12 ripping down the street. That’s ok, because how many girls in Keokuk in 1975 actually knew what a Lamborghini really sounded like? “Want to go to the Dairy Queen?”
Well, the girls who got into this one probably hoped they were wearing panty hose under that miniskirt (or am I stuck in the sixties again?). Let’s try that again…hoped they were wearing hot pants when they took up that offer, because those seats tend to generate a healthy dose of upswing of the thighs. And you better not have asked one older than 25, because those hard shells definitely weren’t very conducive to any but the most youthful of bodies.
Ah, the sweet memories this Bradley GT must afford its former owner…all those nubile young girls with their thighs pointed skywards in that seat, heading off to…well, as the ad for the Bradley says: “You’ve made your mark”.
Or did the dream turn out to be as elusive as Farrah? Did this Bradley even ever get finished, or is it the incomplete cast off dream fragment, like when you wake up in the middle of one , and you ask yourself…did I really dream that? Whew…I’m glad I woke up.