Thursday, 10 January 2013

The Acadian Car

Last night I went for a brisk walk. The weather was nice and warm, considering we're in the middle of winter in January, when it's supposed to be the coldest and with the most snow. But this week, everything is melting. So walking around was great. There was almost no snow or ice on the sidewalks and it was easy to get around. It was very wet though with a lot of slush everywhere. You had to be careful not to step in a deep puddle. As I was going around the Plateau Mont-Royal, there was a car on Saint-Denis that stopped me dead in my tracks.

What the....!!!

I couldn't believe it. I had heard of those before. I used to have a collection of file cards with pictures of automobiles from all around the world and many different eras on them and their specs and everything. And I remember seeing this one, which looked pretty sporty, and was Canadian! The car was built in New Brunswick. It's an Acadian car! And no, I'm not referring to the Pontiac Acadian. (or Chevrolet Chevette depending on where you were from.) I'm referring to the Bricklin SV-1. What the fuck is a Bricklin you say? I know. They were produced for two years between 74 and 76 before the company went bankrupt. The story goes that they couldn't build them fast enough for the demand and the cost to build one car was too much compared to the sales they were making. That's why they are so rare! And SV stands for safety vehicle. Yep! The plan was to make the safest sports car on the market. But, because they tried too hard, it added weight to the car to a point it had trouble pulling it's own weight.

The car had a couple of neat features for its time though. First of all: gullwing doors. Everyone remembers the DeLorean DMC12 right? From Back to the Future? With Doc Brown and Marty McFly? Well the Bricklin SV-1 had them before they were cool. Even better: they were ELECTRONIC! You had NO door handle. Instead you had a button next to the door that you pressed and the door opened up or closed by itself. That's right! You never had to touch the door to either open or close it!

See what I mean?

Other than that, the car has a pretty sporty look. But, when you look closer, you notice that the thing is built of some kind of plastic. It looks super cheap. What do you do if you have an accident in one of those and need to do some bodywork? Do you have to get another piece of moulded plastic? The doors on this one looked like they didn't quite fit in their holes. It was a bit off. The owner of that car obviously didn't care much about it. I mean who would drive a rare car in the middle of the winter? No matter how crappy the car is? I wouldn't! It's a real shame I tell ya. Anyway, I'm pretty happy that I got to see one up close. It's really surprising the amount of special cars I get to see around this city.


  1. Hey Steph, cool blog!

    I'll be on the lookout for those cars now that I know their rarity, just another thing to look out for such as the "Whistling Spiderman" somewhere in downtown that I heard about..

  2. Oh yeah! There are a ton of weird people downtown who ask for money with different stories or shows. The dancing spiderman is one, there's the banana guy who'll pretend that he's pulling a gun on you when it's actually a banana, or he'll go "are you my brother from another mother?". Some creep me the fuck out too. There was this old man once dressed up in a pale grey suit with a brim hat who asked for change outside of a pharmacy with a ghastly voice. He looked just like the old man in the movie Poltergeist. Almost crap my pants.