In the car-collecting world, we talk a lot about cars with “soul,” “honesty” and “character.” And despite not having seen the SCM Bradley GT kit car in person, I have already seen deeply into its vengeful, dark, deceptive soul.
Paul Dell’Aira was driving the Bradley all around Cincinnati without any trouble. The Bradley looked like it was moving past its problematic — and expensive — history.
So color me surprised when the damn Bradley broke down before Paul had made it 100 miles. This time, it was a bad voltage regulator. After the car languished for five unexpected days in the shop, Paul was unable to make the drive to the Bradley’s next stop. This left the Bradley in Cincinnati without a driver.
I’m certain that this was the Bradley’s way of sharing, with me, some of the stress it carries like an aura. Despite being some 2,000 miles away from SCM World Headquarters in Portland, OR, The Bradley GT gives me the exact sensation of driving it without sitting in its seat.
I cast a wide web — okay, I begged — SCM subscribers in the Cincinnati area to take the Bradley to its next stop. Getting a driver is the easy part, but getting a driver soon enough to stay on schedule, is the real challenge.
A few people inquired, but most people can’t just drop what they are doing and go on an 11-hour road trip — especially in SCM’s Bradley GT. I can’t help but think SCMers would have fought to drive one of our freshly restored Alfa Romeos.
When I was getting ready to accept shipping as my last option, my Kansas driver, Luke Chennell, threw together a ragtag team and offered to get Bradley out of Ohio and all the way to Kansas. Luke is an assistant professor at the renowned McPherson College Automotive Restoration program. Luke brought along SCM auction analyst Brett Hatfield as well. It turns out they are on a barbecue team together. This team isn’t quite as ragtag as I thought.
Luke and Brett drove the Bradley from Cincinnati to McPherson, KS.
Luke wrote me an epic email about their adventures with the evil SCM Bradley GT.
It seems they had quite a drive. A side mirror shot off the car at highway speed. Then there was an issue with a fuel line.
Luke wrote: “You simply haven’t lived until you’ve held, in your hand, a live, spraying fuel line and smelled the immediate vaporization coming from a hot surface less than two feet away from your face.”
You can read his harrowing tale on the Bradley Facebook page.
As of now, the Bradley is in “Luke’s World of Junk,” waiting to have eager McPherson students set upon it with a list of fixes. The Bradley’s getting some upgrades.
Check this space next week. We don’t know what’s going to happen, but we’re sure it will be something lurid and expensive.