Bradley GT: one of the coolest looking VW kit-cars ever?

We’re always on the look out for eyecatching kit-cars based on the Beetle and we reckon this wonderfully retro looking gullwing Bradley GT is a possible contender for being one of the most attractive. Take a look and let us know what you think…

Okay, so it looks a lot like the third generation Corvette Stingray made from ’68 with its pop up headlamps, narrow track and muscular rump – and oddly enough, the original GT bears a somewhat closer resemblance to the more angular Mako Shark II prototype upon which the ‘Ray was based. But underneath, as you’d expect, the Bradley has little in common with the small block V8 muscle car because, yes, that’s right, it’s based on a humble VW Beetle

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Bradley Automotive was based in Plymouth, Minnesota and they started making the distinctive gullwing Bradley GT from the late 1960s, the earliest ones (below) having an unusual recessed headlamp arrangement. The kits could be purchased in various stages of completion and obviously there was lots you could do with that Dub engine so there was plenty of room for customisation.

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The retro looking kit sold over 6000 units and remained largely unchanged styling-wise until 1977, when the GT II was introduced. The less angular GT II was more refined and better made although the fact that it featured more bespoke items such as custom made window glass, upholstery and body panels makes it harder to find parts for today than its predecessor which borrowed more from cars in mass production which makes their supply more plentiful.

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The Bradley company was also responsible for other whacky products, such as a single wheeled travel trailer and a small recreational boat. Sadly, despite a brief foray into electric cars, the firm closed in 1981.

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One of the most famous examples has to be Liberace’s 1972 GT (above) which featured gold metalflake paint and a silver candelabra emblem on the sides. If you’re ever in Vegas, go and have a look for it in the Cosmopolitan Hotel – it was on display there at one time…

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It’s unlikely that you will find a Bradley GT for sale in the UK, although incredibly we spotted a late model example for sale on eBay in the US recently (above) which, with a bit of tidying, would have made an excellent project. If you did want one, we reckon the Bradley GT Car Club might be a good place to start your search. One thing’s for sure, it would certainly turn heads – and the running costs would be a fraction of the Corvette!

Ian

The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of VW Heritage

 

 

 

 

 

One response to “Bradley GT: one of the coolest looking VW kit-cars ever?


  1. my name is glenn i am in cleveland i have a 1970 bradly gt 1600 4 speed almost done looking for a few more parts if you can help can you please call 216 862 2797 thank you god bless aney help will be very help full cant find parts for this car

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