the 1st US Subaru car was imported by Bricklin. The 360 was available as a mini 2 door, van, or truck
this unofficial, independent
website is not authorized or sponsored by Subaru or any dealers. Comments
and updates welcome.
Bricklin: An automotive risk taker and visionary
this is unofficial information taken from many sources. corrections welcomed
click for a page on the 360
Bricklin Collection Plug-in Hybrid Electric Luxury Sedan EVX/LS, 2007/2008
photos courtesy and c. Visionary Vehicles LLC
SV-1, scroll down
Malcolm Bricklin (b 3/9/1939) gets involved with Fuji Heavy Industries
because of the Rabbit scooter...
He graduated from
William R. Boone High School in 1956. Dropped out of the University of
Florida (1958) and built his father's Orlando, Florida, building supply
business into a franchised chain of Handyman stores.
Mr. Bricklin "I had bought a motorscooter company in Boston. When I bought this company, they and their bank got Fuji to assign the contract to me- for the distribution of the motorscooters. And after I sold all the inventory we had, I sent them a letter of credit and they asked me who I was, and didn't I know that they were dismantling their factory and selling it to Israel? So I went back to the bank and the person I bought it from and they said, “oh yeah, we thought you'd work it out.” So in effect, they had defrauded me. So I got on a plane and I went to Japan to see Fuji Heavy Industries to talk them into not dismantling their factory and selling it to me. In any case, that didn’t work, but when I was there I saw the little car (360). And I decided, well, since I was already doing business sort of with them, maybe I could get the little car. One thing lead to another and I got a contract." (note- this text ©themodernist.com thank you)
In 1971 Bricklin leaves Subaru...more below
for those who remember & those who don't
President Johnson doesn't run for re-election.
Robert Kennedy assassinated June 5. Richard Nixon becomes President.
In Vietnam it's the Tet Offensive.
The Redwood National Park established.
Ralph Lauren is 29.
A Hershey Bar is .05c.
Hepburn and Streisand share the Oscar. "Hair" opens on Broadway.
The Doors sing Hello, I Love You, The Beatles Hey, Jude, the Rolling Stones Jumpin' Jack Flash, Janis Joplin does Cheap Thrills and Led Zepplin forms.
On TV it's the first season for both Hawaii 5-0 and 60 Minutes, and Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In is the top rated show.
Green Bay beats Oakland in Super Bowl II, and Wilt Chamberlin is the NBA's MVP for the 4th time.
Volkswagen captures 57 percent of the U.S. import market, selling 569,292 vehicles in the United States. Beetles cost under $1,800 and outsell Mustang, Pontiac, Chevelle, Fairlane, Fury, Buick, Oldsmobile, and Chrysler. (statistics from MS Bookshelf 1997).
A brief history
Subaru continues without it's co-founder... For 1970-71 model year,
Subaru of America introduces the Subaru 1000. Front wheel drive. Costs
$1,699. The 1000 has the unusual boxer engine design still used by Subaru
(as well as older VWs, Porsches, Panhard, and BMW motorcycles).
Starting in 1975 Subaru offers 4x4 as an option and Subaru survives.
in 1985 Subaru re-designs again, this time coming out with the GL/DL models
1990 Legacy, introduced in 1990 is a very successful wagon.
1996 The Legacy Outback is introduced in 1996 (the 1995 model was a trim package only) and sales take off!
1992-1997 Subaru makes the SVX, a performance, luxury coupe. It attracts followers but the high price, quirky design, and lack of any advertising limits sales.
1996 The Outback is a success and cements SoAs reputation as a dependable all-wheel-drive wagon company.
in 2000 SoA sells 172,216 cars, which is 14,351 per month or about 20 cars per hour around the clock every day of the year. The Legacy/Outback line is re-designed.
in the 1990-00s Subaru is the top selling station wagon in the US and 90%+ of Subaru all-wheel-drive cars sold the past 10 years are still on the road.
in 2002 America gets the turbo WRX, a world rally winner. An more powerful STi version is released in 2004.
in 2004 Subaru of America re-designed its largest seller, the Legacy and Legacy Outback and focused on performance and safety. Sound like a family version of the SV1?
in 2005 Subaru introduced it's first full size SUV, the 2006 B9 Tribeca, with optional 7 passenger.
In 2007 a redesigned Impreza was available.
In 2008, Subaru sales for the year were consistent with previous years and that's one of the bright spots in the midst of a huge recession that saw almost every major producer's sales crumple including Topyota, GM, Honda, Chrysler, Ford and GM etc. A redesigned Forester was an immediate hit and largely responsible for Subarus 2008 success.
In 2009., a completely redesigned Outback and Legacy will be available with an all new CVT transmission.
Back to Mr. Bricklin...
Consumer Reports magazine called the Subaru 360 "The Most Unsafe Car in America." and sales come slow to a stop.
Subaru in 1971 getting 1,000 360s, and starts FasTrack International.
to sell franchises that included 10 Subaru 360s and the right to build
small race tracks.
He then went on to build his own car, the Bricklin. An unusual looking gull-wing car, 2,875 were built in New Brunswick, Canada before the company ceased production in 1975 under a legal and financial cloud.
After the Bricklin car company closed, Mr. Bricklin began to import Fiat after they pulled out of the US market. The company was International Automobile Importers and he renamed the Fiat Spider 2000 the Pininfarina Spider and the Fiat X-1/9 became the Bertone X1/9.
1985, after the Fiat still didn't sell well in the US, he imported another low priced import much like the original Subaru, this time the Yugo from Yugoslavia. These small cars didn't do well in the US market either and and he stopped importing them in the early 1989.
Malcolm Bricklin then formed an electric vehicle company, until 1997 marketing an electric bike known as the 'EV Warrior'.
In the early 2000s Mr. Bricklin became involved in automotive fuel cell technology.
2002: Never sitting still, always trying, Mr. Bricklin reportedly intends to market another inexpensive car from Yugoslavia, the ZMW (Zastava Motor Works). Expected in 2003-04, are 2 and 4 door sedans, a convertible and pick-up, all priced under $10,000.
2005: On December 16, 2004 Malcolm Bricklin reportedly signed a contract with Chery Automobile Co Ltd, a Chinese government-owned car company in Wuhu near Shanghai. The plan is for his new company, Visionary Vehicles LLC, to import 5 models priced app 30% lower than comparable imports. Hopefully starting in 2007, and eventually with a selection from entry level sedan to SUV and crossover, all with a 10yr/100,000 warranty, the goal is 250,000 cars the first year through 250 dealers.
December 5, 2006, NEW YORK; 'Malcolm Bricklin, Chairman and CEO of Visionary
Vehicles LLC today confirmed he has ended plans to enter into
a joint venture with Chery Automobile Company to manufacture and distribute
Chery vehicles in the United States. Today he outlined his plans for the
company going forward with a continuing focus on Chinese manufacturers
as well as U.S. and European design and engineering firms to bring affordable
luxury to the U.S. market. "We have great respect and admiration for President
Yin Tongyao and Chery, but we are no longer negotiating exclusively with
them," announced Bricklin.
Bricklin's decision comes after months of evaluation and study amid continued concerns for manufacturing 5-star quality products within a finite timeline. "The crux of our decision came from the realization that the Chinese need to learn that you can not develop cars for the Chinese domestic market and then upgrade them for the North American Market," stated Bricklin, "You must instead, build for the North American market and then de-option for other markets, never having two standards for quality since great quality is the only option." '
2007: January 9. Bricklin's Visionary Vehicles wants to have a 100mpg gas electric hybrid by 2009 and is in talks with various Chinese companies. Bricklin says "We are driven by innovation yet guided by experience - Visionary Vehicles will mass produce, pure electric hybrid vehicles powered by the most fuel efficient, long-life battery systems that will enable consumers to buy affordable vehicles without sacrificing safety, quality, performance, quality or reliability."
7/21/08 Subaru co-founder Macolm Bricklin sues former partner, Chinese automaker Chery. Bricklin is suing China automaker Chery over a failed agreement to import the Chinese cars to the U.S.. Bricklin, who with Harvey Lamm brought Subaru cars to the US in the late 1960s, has been involved with the Fiat X1-9 Bertone, Yugo, powered bicyles, and the Bricklin SV-1 which was ahead of it's time. Bricklin's current company, Visionary Vehicles, intended to import Chery's, but Chery has since signed an agreement with Chrysler. GM had previously accused Chery of copying its Daewoo Matiz/Chevy Spark in a previous lawsuit. (The Chery/Chrysler agreement failed, Chrysler declared bankruptcy and partnere3d with Fiat.)
is working out the specs and design and powerplant details on the proposed
electric car, a Plug-In Electric hybrid vehicles or PHEV
These are concept images only of a Bricklin Plug-in Hybrid Electric Luxury Sedan EVX/LS.
Proposed specs MSRP: $35,000, Length: 205", Height: 57", Width: 78", Wheelbase: 124", Curb weight: 3900 lbs, Passengers: 5, Power: hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), Acceleration: 0-60: 5.9 seconds, Range in miles: 850, 100 miles per gallon
With the closing of
many US auto plants, Bricklin has talked of siezing the opportunity
and reopening one or two factories to produce cars fitted with PHEV or
Links related to Visionary and Chery:
March 21 2006
Malcolm Bricklin, SoA co-founder, has financing and still plans to bring
the China built Chery to the US in 2007, from Washingtonpost.com
Feb 2006 Midwestern Auto Group has paid for exclusive rights in the Columbus area to sell vehicles by China’s Chery Automobile Co, working with Malcolm Bricklin
November 2005 The president of Chery Automobile poured more cold water last week on plans to sell vehicles in the United States.
July 05, Bricklin's life as a movie?
Detroit News 4/22/05,
Autoblog 4/15/05 ,
Int' Auto Dealers Assoc 4/8/05,
MSN Money 4/16/05
... thestar.com, thecarconnection.com; chicagotribune.com; autonews.com;
Stay tuned for further developments...
Safety Red, Safety Green, Safety Subtan, Safety White, Safety Orange. You
can tell what the focus was.
||The Bricklin had
gull-wing doors that opened and closed at the touch of a button.
Only 12 inches was needed on the sides to open them. These doors were portrayed as a safety feature, opening out of the way of traffic.
Total built: 1974:
790 with a V-8 from American Motors
|Engine: Ford 351-W
V-8, 175 hp @ 3800 rpm. 2 barrel carburetor
Rear axle ratio 3.15:1
Steering: recirculating ball
Brakes: power 11" front disc, 10" rear drum
Overall length: 178.6
Overall height: 48.15
Curb weight: 3,470
Ground clearance: 4.8'
Fuel capacity: 21 gal., unleaded gas
the interior was a tight fit
a Bricklin dealership sign above a 1935 Steyr (Austria), with Snoopy as the Red Baron
stylish cars.... Bricklin and Citroen SM (Citroen Maserati)..
BUT WAIT... whats that in the upper corner above trhe circus wagon? Could it be a ... Subaru 360?
When was the last time you saw a 360 and a Bricklin in the same photo? At the Lemay Museum, 2011
Bricklin and Delorean- 2 classics of the time. At the Lemay Museum, 2011
All of this info was culled from various sites and sources.
Int'l Web Site http://hometown.aol.com/brickliterature/myhomepage/index.html
MotorCities.com - 1975 Bricklin SV-1
The Bricklin: Heritage Resources Saint John
'I sold mine'
California Bricklin owners home
Midwest Bricklin Owners
Bricklin Vin #782
CanadianDriver: Motor Memories - Bricklin
Restoring The Bricklin Racecar
Missing or incorrect information? Know of a link that should be here?