x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Bricklin story set for stage

NEW BRUNSWICK // The story behind the ill-fated Bricklin was so full of drama that the tale has made its way onto the stage as a musical. The Fredericton Playhouse, in the capital of New Brunswick, commissioned a musical, The Bricklin: An Automotive Fantasy, to focus on this infamous car and the period in the province's history. "It's a fantastic story and it's made for the stage," Tim Yerxa, executive director of the Fredericton Playhouse, told CBC News. The Bricklin - the car - was the dream of Malcolm Bricklin, who left his native America for Canada to build a sports car. He found investment in the province of New Brunswick, where the premier Richard Hatfield was intrigued by the idea. After a flashly unveiling in New York, orders started to flow in, but problems soon followed. Visibility was poor; there were electrical issues; the headlights refused to pop up; the plastic body was subject to cracks and warping; the windshields leaked; and the gull-wing doors were so heavy that they moved very slowly, if at all. The plant managed to produce fewer than 800 cars in 1974 and 2,100 in 1975. With $23 million in debt accumulated and rising political pressure, Hatfield was forced to abandon the project.