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The Bricklin SV-1 was a gull-wing door sports car assembled in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. The body panels were manufactured in a separate plant in Minto, New Brunswick. Manufactured from 1974 until early 1976 for the U.S. market, the car was the creation of Malcolm Bricklin, an American millionaire who had previously founded Subaru of America. The car was designed by Herb Grasse. Due to Bricklin’s lack of experience in the auto industry, coupled with the funding problems, the Bricklin factory was not able to produce vehicles fast enough to make a profit. As a result, only 2,854 cars were built before the company went into receivership, owing the New Brunswick government $23 million.
The model name (SV-1), stood for “safety vehicle one”. The original idea for the Bricklin SV-1 was a safe and economical sports car, but due to the added weight of the safety features, the car was inefficient and simply a safe sports car. The Bricklin was designed for safety with an integrated roll cage, 5 mph (8.0 km/h) bumpers, and side beams. The body was fiberglass with bonded acrylic in five “safety” colors: white, red, green, orange and suntan. The cars had no cigarette lighter or ashtray. Non-smoker Malcolm Bricklin believed it was unsafe to smoke and drive. The Bricklin is the only production vehicle in automotive history to have powered gull-wing doors, that opened and closed at the touch of a button, as standard equipment.