1971 Bradley GT Kit Car

Where do I even start with this crazy tale? This thing was owned by a freind of mine, who bought and sold cars. By this time, I was buying and selling as well, but this guy was in to it big time. I knew him well, and when I needed money in college, I struck up a deal with him to sell my 280ZX for $800. I knew he had this Bradley, I had seen it at his folks house a couple years earlier and somehow I knew he still had it. I always did want that thing. When I finally came home for Christmas and sold him my Z, I asked if he wanted to sell it. He said heŽd sell it for $25. IŽd had to have been crazy to pass that up. So it worked out he gave me $775 for the Z, plus the Bradley. That was the easy part. The 2 hard parts were 1) Getting it home, and 2) even harder, telling my parents. They werent receptive to the idea, but by this time they were getting pretty used to having non-running cars in the driveway.

I went to go see it, and it was buried in the snow, sitting in mud, with 3 flat tires. A lot worse off than I remembered. It hadnt moved in 2 years. I assesed the situation, and felt I could get it home easy. I got a tank of compressed air, and went back later with my tow bar and my dads truck. I filled the tires with air, but they were still stuck in the mud. I dont completely recall, but I think it was somewhere around 2 hours of pushing, pulling, tugging, etc just to break it loose from the frozen mud. All in the cold. Finally, I get it hooked up, and towed it about 1 block before I noticed that its swaying all over the road, not towing neatly behind me. There was no motor in the car, so the back wheels werent straight (without a motor to weigh it down, the rear tired become indented severly). I tried towing it from the rear of the car and that flopped too. I was stuck in a jam. I used my roadside assistance and called AAA, and told them that I had broken down and needed a tow. They sent out a truck, who loaded it on a flatbed, and towed it home. ( See, the tow truck driver knows its a semi-scam... its not really an emergency like AAA is to be used for- but he doenst care, hes getting paid. Besides, the car was in the middle of the road, so it was kind of an emergency, even though it was about 3am at this point and there was no other traffic). On the way home, an unsecured door flew off and shattered. It was brand new, and at $250, significantly reduced the value of the car.

There was one stipulation I made when buying the car. There was about $300 of VDO gauges in the car that the seller wanted to remove before I picked it up. I didnt have time to wait so I gave him a deadline in which to remove them or they would go with the car. I needed to get the car back to my house, before I left for school. When I picked up the car, the gauges were in it.

The only way my parents let me get this car was because I said was going to sell it. I wasnt going to, I really wanted to keep this car. Once I got it home and saw what it needed, I changed my mind. I knew it was worth something, so I wasnt afraid about having bought it. I threw some leftover house carpet in there that I found, and spray painted a few parts to make it look nice. I threw in a radio that didnt work to complete the interior, and put it in the AutoTrader. I put it in for $700. It didnt sell for about 5 weeks. In fact, we wernt even getting calls. My dad was getting nervous. He said that the next call he got, he would tell the person they could have it for $50. Luckily, the next caller offered $500, sight unseen, before dad let the word slip. The guy was happy to get it, and even commented to my dad that it was in much better shape than he expected.

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