Bradley Automotive

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Liberace's 1972 Bradley GT personalized with a gold metalflake finish and silver candelabra emblems on the sides. The car is kept at the Liberace Museum

Bradley Automotive was created by Gary Courneya and David Bradley Fuller and sold the Bradley line of kit cars from their facility in Plymouth, Minnesota.

The original concept for the company was to build kit cars based on the original Volkswagen Beetle chassis.

The models sold during the company's tenure were the GT and GT2. As with other kit car manufacturers, these vehicles could be bought in various stages of completion. The Bradley corporation eventually went on to become the Electric Vehicle Corporation, selling electric drive versions of the Bradley GT II but financial problems and kit quality issues eventually led to the company's filing for bankruptcy and eventual collapse in 1981.[1]

Bradley kit bodies were all fiberglass, 2-seater gull-wing cars. The original GT sold over six thousand units and was largely unchanged from the late 1960s to 1977 when the GT II was introduced. The GT II was a more refined kit with more of a production quality to it, but today suffers from a lack of GT II-specific parts such as window glass, upholstery and fiberglass body components. The original GT borrowed many more components from production automobiles and are still in plentiful supply today.

Bradley also manufactured other products including a 1-wheeled travel trailer, and a small recreational fiberglass boat.

The production run of the Bradley GT was from 1971 to 1981 according to the BradleyGT.com website and owners of the last GT II vehicles to be produced although many of the parts for the vehicles may date back to Volkswagens, Chevy Corvairs and other vehicles from the 1960s. Photographer Edwin R. Beeman, whose Grandfather invented the Gas Garden Tractor, and Great Grandfather had the "Mary Tyler Moore"/BEEMAN Mansion built on Lake of the Isles in 1890's was the main company photographer until he died of 2nd heart transplant at U of M 1979. He also participated in Gumball Rally from NYC to CA non-stop drive event, and did the Fiberglass Boat photo shoots in late 1960s.

Variations[edit]

A few variations of the Bradley GT popped up over the years. These variations included the Scorpion GT by VW GT Conversions Inc and the Lithia GT. These cars retained the rear end of the Bradley GT but had front end with more "curves".

References[edit]

  1. ^ Minneapolis Tribune 8/4/81