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Previous Next Up Topic Public / Dune Buggy ID Help needed - X-Files / Bradley Baron: Help me ID this Buggy (12743 hits)
By Erick D 669 Date 2007-11-04 00:55 Edited 2007-11-07 04:38
I would like to request the help of this community in determining what type of dune buggy this is.  Shown is it with the hard top on and Gull wings removed.

The family has had this buggy in 'cold storage' for some time and I may want to start to rebuild it; however, no one can seem to remember what type it is or anything else.  My father seems to recall it being a Bradley, but everything I have read or seen about bradelys does not match.  Granted the Bradley he is talking about was a local firm to the Minnesota Twin Cities area (or so he seems to think) and the Braldey of GT fame may not apply.

From the conversations I have may know these things to help:

- The frame is your standard VW which has been cut in half and extended.
- The dash panel is matching fiberglass to the body
- The main body is one fiberglass shell, the top is one shell and there are two gull wings (one on each side)

By Paul Moran (DBA Architect) Date 2007-11-07 04:28 Edited 2007-11-07 04:38
Hi Erick - is it possible to get a better picture of the hood minus the tarps? 

I swear I saw another buggy with a similar tail - the way the back fenders drop down low and then the bottom edge raises up toward the middle of the buggy.  Are you sure the hood and body are a single unit (called a "one piece" body) or does the hood bolt on to the body?

I think we can help but some better pictures will make it a lot easier.

Ok - Jay has a lead for us! And it looks your father was correct with the Bradley tie in!

How about a "Baron" by Bradley?

So now we could really use some more pictures. One of the hood, dash, fender (looking from front to back) and an over all body picture minus as many of the tarps as possible so we can update the Buggy Id system.  This is the first Baron we have run into.

All we have at this point is one ad from "Gary's Bug House" in Minneapolis, Mn.

Thanks for posting, Erick!
Chicago, IL
EMPI Imp 1002 ('69)/Subaru EJ20 Turbo/LinkPlus ECU
By Erick D 669 Date 2007-11-09 04:30
More picture should not be a problem at all.  It is currently under a new set of tarps for the winter; however, the next time I am at the location in which it is stored I will get some more images. 

It does look alot like the baron and I am sure that it probably what it is. The only diffrence I see is the number of taillights between 'ours' and the one in the ad.

If I do get around to rebuilding the bug it will not be until after winter.
By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2007-11-10 00:03
Eric, when IDing a buggy, you can't get hung up on things like tail lights. There are very few buggys that were designed for specific tail lights. Most kits assumed you were going to put on whatever lights you had, liked, or were on the donor car.

I think your buggy was one of the easier buggys to ID. You made mention of your dad saying it was a Bradley. At first that didn;'t make any sense to me because I was thinking the Bradley GT, which is NOTHING like a buggy.

When I came across the Baron, I still didn't make the connection... In fact, it was Paul that put those two pieces together! The Baron has a unique feature in the rear fender. The cut out starts flat from the front, but as it approaches the rear, it cups up ever so slightly to take the shape of the wheel. it reminds me of a buggy that has over sized tires that have rubbed into the glass on bumps, but with this buggy, that's not the case.

I had a look at the full sized version of the ad too. (go to this link and click on it to make it full size:)

By John S 2 Date 2007-11-11 04:36
Lights, gas fillers, seats, turn signals....ect.. were not part of the kits, like Jay said, don't get hung up there, people used whatever they found.

Congratulations on being the ONE and ONLY Baron known to exsist.

How's that for RARER than Rare.

Beats a Meyers Manx in rarity EVERY DAY.

Way cool buggy, hold tight to it......and get a storage building.

John Shepard the DBA
By Erick D 669 Date 2007-11-12 16:14 Edited 2007-11-12 16:21
I never was to interested in cars as kid so i never paid to much attention to the dune buggy other then the couple of times I rode in it.  I know the buggy in its prime has been to canada, california, and other buggy hotspots till on day it just didnt move anymore. The engine just failed and the family moved on to other hobbies leaving our vehicles from the past in storage so they may ride again in the future.

My interest in the buggy was captured one night while consuming adult beverages and I was talking to someone in my career field who knew alot about buggies. I mentioned that we had one and it was in dire need of being rebuilt. I know my dad has always wanted to revist the dune buggy as it was part of his youth and we would like to take on a new project.

Like many things our family has held onto from the past there is not much information about them today in any print or strangly on the internet.  I came her hoping this community could guide me in knowing what type of buggy it was and where I may find more information, unfortunitly time seems to have gotten the better of the buggy era and the Baron was lost to time itself.  Heck even this 'expert' on buggies and vehicles never heared of a Bradley Dune Buggy.  I know I never had.

Rebuilding the buggy will take some time to do correctly; however, I think the rewards will judtify the time.  The sole problem I see with the rebuild is going to be the condition of the chasis and engine.  I know the engine is shot but the condition of the chasis is unknown. given the vehicle will move, i.e. the tires will rotate.  I will toe the vehicle to the shop and start tearing her apart.

Perhaps one day the Baron will ride again.

edit: the buggy ID system has the add for the Bradley Baron and a quick comment about it being an unimpressive buggy design minus the manx style hard top with gull wings. Thats offensive (j/k).

edit 2: Given I have never been to any Dune Buggy Gatherings Id have this question: Have any of the sysops here?  I am interested in knowing if the Baron did not sell well, was not a good kit, what factors may have contributed to it being lost to time.
By Jay H (X-20) (ManxVair CC) Date 2007-11-12 17:03
Eric, there were hundreds of buggy manufacturers out there who got into the craze. The fact that your buggy may not have sold well is only a testament to the design features at the time. Honestly, it may well contribute to its value today. I happen to think it is a sweet looking buggy! I would love to run that thing around. Talk about unique!

Oh.. also don't worry about the condition of the running gear or the engine. Beetles are plentiful enough if it is too far gone, to use as a donor. If its just the floorboards that are bad (along with the engine) then you can weld in new floor pans to the tunnel.

You know you're looking for a new engine anyway, so don't sweat that.

She's going to look great when she's done.

One thing I dont think you've addressed yet... do you have the gull wing doors for it still? If you don't I would imagine any fiberglass shop worth anything could manufacture some for you if you wern'e info the 'glass fab.

By Erick D 669 Date 2007-11-12 18:21
i have everything, gull wing doors and all
By SurviverBlues Date 2007-11-12 23:10
Erick D,
Please do not get hung up on the fact that it isn't a Manx or whatever your idea of a "buggy" is.  Buggy (any buggy) = unique.  Restore it and make it yours.  I guarantee that people will smile & wave, thumbs up, "wanna trade?", follow you to your next stop for a better look, etc... 

I personally own a Surviver (blue one in the id).  So far there are 3 that have been verified to exist.  Mine is as different from a Manx as you can get.  I have been told that not many were sold and that the original molds were destroyed in a fire in 2003.  I have also been told that given the popularity of jeeps today that my particular model was before it's time.  I also realize that not everyone will feel that way -

I am currently in the restoration process (with ALOT of help from my brother. husband, and dad).  When finished (hopefully spring 2008) I will post pics.  I will hope that my fellow buggy addicts will have nice things to say.  I am certain that no matter what is said, my buggy will be mine and priceless to me and my family.  I am hoping that my children and grandchildren will grow up with fond memories of the time they spent with me in the Surviver.  I would be thrilled if my son would someday take over my addiction and continue the tradition with his children and grandchildren - what a legacy!!!
By Erick D 669 Date 2007-11-12 23:46
I hope I didnt present a face of distast towards the bug.  The truth is far from it.  I dont care if it is not a manx, up untila few weeks ago I didn't know there was a 'manx'.  They are all dune buggies no matter their spots.
By SurviverBlues Date 2007-11-13 00:12
Erick d,
I looked all over the internet for another Surviver.  I gave up and just looked for idea's.  Then I decided to google one more time(2 years after I started my search) and hit the jackpot.  Last spring another showed up on ebay.  My Dad swears he saw one in AZ last winter, but it was gone before he could turn around.  Look around at the buggy sites for idea's of what you like and who knows, maybe another will show up one day.  There probably aren't as many barn finds as there once were, but they are still out there.... just waiting to be rescued by someone to bring them back to life and come searching the net for more info.
By Denny S 5672 Date 2020-02-06 20:45
I recently acquired a Bradley Baron am am looking for someone with knowledge of the buggy. i have seen everything available on the internet but would like to converse with someone with additional info. what were the years of production? what were the production numbers? how many are known to exist? It doesnt sound like it was ever a popular model and am glad to have one being from Minnesota where they were made.
By Lloyd B 2301 Date 2020-02-07 03:43
It might take a while for someone to respond about your buggy.  Also check on this page on Facebook, He is also here, but not often.
Previous Next Up Topic Public / Dune Buggy ID Help needed - X-Files / Bradley Baron: Help me ID this Buggy (12743 hits)

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