Driving a 1974 Bradley GT kit car from Miami to Monterey was never bound to go smoothly.
Our first driver, Richard Lincoln, picked the car up from an SCMer’s house in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Richard drove the car around town, fixing some little problems in the process.
The car appeared to be sound as Richard set off in the early morning to Charlotte, NC. That all changed really fast.
Richard woke me up 3 a.m. The Bradley wasn’t running.
While Richard’s distant voice reported that the car had died 70 miles out, thanks to some shoddy wiring and a bad distributor, I had flashes of what my life will look like from now until Monterey Car Week.
Why did I take on this task?
Luckily, the car chose to break down near a repair shop. Better yet, Richard’s friend owns the shop. Richard’s pal came in to fix the Bradley — while Richard slept in the garage next to some racecars.
Finally back on the way to Charlotte, Richard donned a pair of swim trunks because the roof was so leaky. Richard also put on a tank top to combat the lethal combination of the Bradley’s poor airflow and the Florida summer heat.
It was nail-bitingly close, but Richard got the car to a friend of his (Chip Lamb) in time to make his flight back home. The car would spend a couple days with Chip while the next driver Brian Barr came down with a trailer (just in case).
Brian got his share of Bradley surprises. From faulty brakes to worn suspension, the car failed to proceed.
After a $2,000 repair bill, the Bradley made its way to Cincinnati to the third driver: Paul Dell’Aira. Paul took the car to a Cincinnati Cars & Coffee and found another running Bradley GT.
As Paul prepares to make it to Minneapolis to pass the Bradley to Dave Tobin, three things are clear: this car makes its own adventures, mechanics across the United States are going to make money — and this trip is just getting started.