As you probably know, E.g. and I went to the weekly Kingston Peninsula market on Saturday. It’s much like our provincial capital’s market, without the disadvantage of being in Fredericton.
The market has two locales about a quarter-mile from each other. We found everything we needed at the first locale, and nothing at the second. But we did find this:
Nope. Not a Corvette.
Not a Ferrari.
This shot will help:
Yep, it’s New Brunswick’s own native child, the Bricklin.
For its brief existence, this car was the darling of the province. Parts were made in Minto and assembled in Saint John.
Not only did the two auto plants provide jobs to New Brunswickers, but the car itself was exciting: shark gill vents, low-slung chassis, buttonless bucket seats, fibreglass/acrylic body, five vibrant colours, and these:
Gull-wing doors. More space-age than those of the later-built DeLorean used in Back to the Future, the Bricklin’s hydraulic doors opened at a touch of a button.
That is, they did if you’d driven the car on the highway for half an hour and warmed the engine. If you were simply going three blocks for a carton of milk, they might not let you out.
The sweet-tempered owner, who has had the hydraulics problem repaired, opened the door and encouraged one of us to sit for a picture. He’d acquired the car only recently, and is still loving all the attention it garners. (See first photo for evidence. Woman holding bread is a longstanding friend of his.)
The Bricklin company had manufactured fewer than 3,000 vehicles between 1974 and 1976, when financial difficulties forced its closure. Most of the cars were sold in the States; for the new musical, “The Bricklin: An Automotive Fantasy”, the props crew had to purchase one in Florida and drive it all the way to Fredericton.
E.g. and I are taking her parents to see the musical this coming Saturday. It has gotten rave reviews, and promises to be a lot of fun.
The only disadvantage is that it’s playing in Fredericton, where probably no one would dream of opening their driver’s door to let me pose.