Diecast: Automodello’s 1974 Bricklin SV1 Scottsdale Police
Bricklins were unique in their day, the mid-1970s, but even more unusual were three white over blue Bricklins with sirens, a bubble gum strobe and other police gear. They were part of the Scottsdale, Ariz., police.
Malcolm Bricklin basically gave the Scottsdale police the three cars in a publicity move. His corporate offices were in Scottsdale so he leased the SPD the cars for $1 each. The move created cars that were unusual enough for Automodello to rework its fine Bricklin mold from a few years back to create the car in 1/43 scale, and with its gullwing doors closed this time.
The SV1 was a sports car, think along the lines of a Toyota Supra or Nissan Z-car, but more than just a sexy body with good power. Bricklin designed the car with a frontal energy-absorbing crash zone and integrated roll cage. Reportedly the SV in its name stood for Safety Vehicle.
But Bricklin wanted his car to be both fast and safe, so he dropped in a 360-cubic-inch AMC V8 (one could argue that choice) that got 220 horsepower, a substantial amount for a two-seat sports car. While fast, the SPD rarely used them in pursuits, instead the cars ended up mainly as public-relations vehicles and cruisers. Those gullwing doors were hard for cops to get out of fast, so the police weren’t too thrilled to be using them for chasing speeders or other bad boys.
Yet the SV1s were fully equipped for police work with sirens, police radios, strobe lights on the roof and a fire extinguisher in the trunk. So is this model.
Automodello had made several Bricklin SV1 models in a variety of colors. But creating this one required changing the mold from one that showed the gullwing driver’s door posed open to being closed. For lovers of the Bricklin’s lines, this is even more attractive. Seams are well executed and the paint job is flawless on the resin model.
As always, it’s the detail that makes this Bricklin special, from the large red strobe on the roof with its silver siren casing, to the thin silver antenna in a square platform behind the strobe. Police markings are more tame than in most communities, but then Scottsdale is a prime tourist town with many upscale residents and visitors. So who wants a garish police car pulling you over, right?
There’s a small vehicle number on the nose and hatch and a small white on blue Police label centered near the front of the hood. A City of Scottsdale seal with a small Police logo below it is on each door, and the car is labeled Team 2.
Impressive are the thin black trim three-quarters of the way down the car’s sides, reflectors on each quarter panel, delicate blue mirrors, black window framing and the fact the treaded tires are labeled BF Goodrich Radial T/A. Most models these days have no tire branding.
Inside, the tan interior includes a detailed dash and snazzy black steering wheel with silver three-spoke center. Plus there’s a big white and black screen on the console that the police used as their communications center for the vehicle. While in back is a red fire extinguisher under the hatch window.
Automodello plans 150 of the police car model, each going for $119.95, plus 75 that are available with Malcolm Bricklin’s autograph. Those models go for $149.95. So production is extremely limited.
Vital Stats: 1974 Bricklin SV1 Scottsdale Police Dept.
Stock No.: AM43-BRI-SV1-SP