The Bricklin is back for the Bell Aliant Backstage Bash
A Motown-era icon with New Brunswick roots will be attending the Fredericton Playhouse’s Bell Aliant Backstage Bash on March 21.
With four wheels and a lot of history, the SV-1 Bricklin will be hanging out backstage with the party guests.
Produced between 1974 and 1976 in New Brunswick, the futuristic gull-winged car arrived when Motown was bringing in a new era. Artists like the Jackson Five, Stevie Wonder and a solo Diana Ross and Smokey Robinson were blasting through the airwaves. The backwash of the revolutionary ’60s made people feel like anything was possible, which was the spirit behind the Bricklin.
The car was the creation of Malcolm Bricklin. After a failed attempt to sell his idea for manufacturing in Quebec, he turned to New Brunswick. Enticed by the prospect of a world-famous New Brunswick car, premier Richard Hatfield agreed to take it on. With $3.6 million in loan and funding guarantees, the Bricklin entered production.
The fiber-backed glass acrylic skinned car made its debut in a glitzy party at the New York Four Seasons Hotel. As Malcolm Bricklin showboated the car’s space-aged design features, many were excited for the car’s massive success.
But the excitement was short lived.
Though the expensive Bricklin looked swanky and luxurious, as it hit the road, issues began to arise. Vehicles faced electrical issues and poor visibly. The headlights failed to pop up and the shiny plastic body easily warped and cracked. The heavy gullwing doors were slow and the windshield leaked.
With $23 million in debt, the company went into receivership in the fall of 1975. Only between 2,854 and 2,857 Bricklins were made.
Though the Bricklin had a costly downfall, it has left its mark in Canadian history and culture. It’s appeared in magazines like Playboy and has been featured in television and movies. It has also been memorialized in music, a coin and a Canadian stamp, and it was the star of a music put on by The Playhouse and Theatre New Brunswick in 2011 called The Bricklin: The Musical.
It’s estimated that 1,800 Bricklins still exist. Many owners are a part of the Bricklin International Owners Club, which holds yearly meetings and publishes a magazine.
The Bricklin will once again take centre stage at the Bell Aliant Backstage Bash, where it will bask in the sounds of its era and relive its glory days. It’s a homecoming you don’t want to miss!
Tickets for the Backstage Bash are available at www.theplayhouse.ca, by phone at 1-866-884-5800, or at the Playhouse box office. Split-tax receipts will be provided. For more information on the Bell Aliant Backstage Bash, please contact Dean Brokop at 506-459-6207 or firstname.lastname@example.org.