Keith’s Blog: The SCM Bradley is on BaT!

 

The SCM Bradley GT is one of a kind. When was the last time you saw one actually running and driving?

And now you can be part of the adventure. It’s being auctioned on Bring a Trailer at no reserve, with the auction closing this Thursday at 2:40 pm, Pacific time.

Our good friends Matt Crandall and Josh Bryan at the Avant-Garde Collection prepared the listing for us, and the Bradley has never looked so good.

These shenanigans started when I was at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale a couple of years ago. A Bradley GT crossed the block. It wasn’t in terrible condition, and it brought about $9,000.

I started thinking about owning a car that had the same name as my 11-year-old son. That’s enough reason as any for me to buy a car.

Soon enough I found a Bradley in Fort Lauderdale on eBay, and dreamed a scheme to have subscribers drive it to Monterey in time for Car Week 2017.

I recall the staff meeting when I announced the plan, and asked, “Who thinks this is a good idea?” Suddenly everyone was checking their text messages and looking the other way.

As dedicated SCMers know, the Bradley did get to Monterey, after testing the mettle of Luke Chennell, Robert Lincoln, Brett Hatfield, Paul Dell ‘Aira, Don Welch, Daniel Nelson, Todd Wilson, Allen Stephens and many more martyrs.

It made a triumphant appearance at Concours on the Avenue, where Alain deCadenet said, “It reminds me of a bad acid trip from the ‘70s.”

It then proceeded to be feted at Legends of the Autobahn. However, with Pierre Hedary squeezed behind the wheel, it was denied entrance to Concorso Italiano (“That ain’t no Italian car that I’ve ever seen,” said the gatekeeper).  The Bradley showed its displeasure by losing 2nd and 3rd gears. The passenger door also fell off.

I had it shipped back to Portland. The shipper’s condition report was covered with scary emojis.

Once we had it in our possession, it went to Always V-Dub where it was finally ministered to properly. This included a total brake overhaul, a fresh transaxle, a tune-up and more.

Now that it has completed its time with us, it’s in better condition than it ever was on the trip.

Fifteen is the magic number for the SCM garage. We have that many slots, so when something new comes, something old has to go.

With the recent acquisition of the Bertone 308 and the Junior Zagato, we needed to find a new home for one of the cars before something was pushed out into the rain. So, it’s farewell to the Bradley.

The Bradley has proven to be a triumph of gearhead love over logic. Its underpinnings are from an early 1960’s Beetle, a primitive car when new. The ergonomics of the car appear to be from the “Kukla, Fran and Ollie” school of design.

However, once you are on the road, it’s actually kind of fun. Like so many old cars, it “feels” faster than it is.

It attracts an outlandish amount of attention. I’ve stopped counting the number of emails I’ve gotten offering me partially completed Bradleys. These projects seem to come in pairs. It seems that when someone got stuck assembling one, they responded by buying another half-finished one. That’s gearhead logic at its best.

I’m afraid to look at the financial ledger here. I will say it doesn’t appear as a profit center on our books.

We’ve enjoyed the Bradley and the friendships we’ve developed through it. And I’m sure that it will be a never-ending source of entertainment for the next owner.

When I told Bradley I was going to sell it, his response was simple: “Dad, can you change my first name to Aston before you buy the next car named after me?”

 

Keith Martin

Keith Martin has been involved with the collector car hobby for more than 30 years. As a writer, publisher, television commentator and enthusiast, he is constantly on the go, meeting collectors and getting involved in their activities throughout the world. He is the founder and publisher of the monthly Sports Car Market and bi-monthly American Car Collector magazines, has written for the New York Times, Automobile, AutoWeek, Road & Track and other publications, is an emcee for numerous concours, and has his own show, “What’s My Car Worth,” shown on Velocity.

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