Be kind to your Bugeye Sprite gearbox

I love old British transmissions, and their non-synchro first/reverse gears are just not an issue. But I have noticed from riding with a lot of new classic car owners that they sometimes accidentally catch first while shifting from second to third. Grinding is the result. It’s easy to avoid on a 2/3 shift, you simply keep a tad of pressure to the right as you push the lever forward, and the shifter will jump over slightly so it easily aligns with the synchronized third gear.

People also habitually try to engage first gear while sliding through a stop sign, which also results in grinding. The fix is to come to a full stop and engage first. Alternatively, you can roll through while staying in second.

The other cardinal rule is to be gentle with the shifter, and to use light pressure. With good timing, the gear box will almost draw the shifter into gear, instead of the driver applying excessive force. The goal is to shift quickly but gently. Challenge yourself to be 100% grind free.

If it’s grinding, seek help, you’re doing something wrong, or something is wrong with your driveline. If you keep grinding, your gears will (sadly) come to look like what you see in the video below.

We always have rebuilt smooth and ribbed case transmissions in stock, and we can sell you one or install one in your car, but hopefully this post will help keep your gearbox alive and well for generations to come!

Bugeye Sprite on Comedians in cars getting coffee…

Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 1.28.25 PMClick Here to watch a fun new video of Jerry Sienfeld’s web based car/coffee series!

I spoke to the series producer several times about Jerry using one of the Bugeyes we shipped to the West Coast but it didn’t work out. I don’t know the specific car that was used, but it’s a fun video of a nice Bugeye. Enjoy!

1960 Bugeye Sprite for sale! Great silver Driver! Great fun!

IMG_2626Dustin is our favorite holiday Bugeye, worth celebrating because he comes in one of the best color combos, silver and burgundy. These are not stock colors, but really striking on the car and a personal favorite. You can put Dustin into your holiday gift basket for just $13,495.

AN5L 44828 was built late in 1960 and perhaps among the last Bugeyes to ship to the states, sold and titled in 1961. He shows 63347 miles and has a stock 948 engine and upgraded front disk brakes and wood steering wheel, as well! Take a test drive below!


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61 ways to improve a Bugeye Sprite

We just shipped-in a nice red Bugeye that the owner wanted optimized, and here’s a video that shows the wonderful pile of parts we’ll install to make this nice car superb.

We can do anything to these cars in our building, and while we sometimes make big changes like installing five speed transmissions and superchargers, we are always focused on small changes to make a somewhat squirrelly car a joy to drive once again. Each system will get our attention as we take this “restored” car, and restore it! By tightening up a string of worn components, and upgrading others, this Bugeye will be a joy again for generations.

We are privileged to have become a national service center for these wonderful cars! And if you want one that is ready to go, please check out our current inventory of bugeyes for sale. We’ll post an update soon so you can see this car transform!

Check that Bugeyed Sprite off your bucket list

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Mark drove home his new red Bugeye Sprite “Hudson” yesterday, finally checking “Bugeye Sprite” off his bucket list. Congratulations Mark!

You can too… we have another Bugeye driver available called Hank (shown in the lower photo), and we completed his makeover this weekend. We removed his engine in order to replace the transmission (which was jumping out of second), and Hank now has a great rib case transmission installed along with a brand new clutch. We had to remove the nose of course for this upgrade, and as an added benefit we adjusted the fit upon reassembly, so now Hank looks and shifts better than ever. The nose now fits beautifully!

We’re inspired by Mark and as an added incentive for anyone else wanting to check “Bugeye” off their list, we have lowered the price today by a $1000… you can now take Hank home for $14,995. This is a lot of car for the money–Hank has lots of expensive upgrades! You can see a video drive and read more about Hank by clicking here..

Hardtop season opens for Bugeye Sprites

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“I got this.”

This is an iris blue Bugeye I call “The Egg” because it looks like a baby Robin would live inside. Bodhi and I drove Egg to Armonk, NY this past Sunday to visit friends, and what a joy to have a hardtop. While it was about 35 degrees outside, we were pretty warm inside for our 125 mile round-trip on interstate 95. These lids really help extend Bugeye season.

I have sourced all the previously hard to find gaskets and latches for hardtops and you can find them for sale on the accessories section of our site by the end of the week, so you can finally restore your hardtop. Or if you prefer to buy a completed top, we have a few in stock from nice to immaculate. We also have a crate we can use to ship you your top. Send an email if you want a complete top, and you’ll be able to order the parts online from us shortly!

And remember Bodhi’s rule number one when driving your Bugeye… make sure your outfit matches!

Another Bugeye Sprite transformed!

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Here’s what we have been up to… Luigi came to us from Montreal looking good but not optimized, and after roughly 50 improvements, the car is transformed. Like most Bugeyes (and old British cars in general) there are issues that have not been addressed over the years, and we are getting quite good at sorting them out after the 140 Bugeyes that have passed through our door. It’s a constantly evolving process as we learn from every failure in the field, and push towards perfection. It’s never easy, since we are dealing with more than 50 year old pieces, and often new parts that are inferior. It’s a dance of blending old and new with a lot of fabrication and innovation, all to keep these cars on the road and working beautifully. We’re not perfect, but every car teaches us how to make these cars better than ever.

Take Luigi’s carbs for example… we could see that the front and rear jets were set at radically different heights, and even though the car ran reasonably well, we knew that the asymmetry was a clue that we could do better. Upon disassembly, we discovered that the float jets were mismatched, the carb springs were uneven and mismatched and the float levels were different. We rebuilt everything with rich needles which seem to work better with today’s ethanol fuel, and the car now runs far better with much improved throttle response.

And that’s just one system that we improved… when each system on the car is optimized, the driving experience becomes pure bliss. Lots of Bugeyes are tentative when we get them (especially ebay cars), feeling somewhat loose and unstable. Luigi’s owner and I tossed the car around a bit in the parking lot to demonstrate that the car is now solid and tight, and the resulting driver confidence is what makes these cars so much fun to drive.

We also transformed the cosmetics on this car, by wet sanding the entire exterior to bring the paint back to life. You can see the before picture above as Luigi gets striped of his former orange peel. This work too must be done really carefully because burn through is a constant risk. But the final result is a deep shine for great looks and great performance.

Whether you buy one of our cars (we have six for sale at present, see “current inventory” in the right margin) or you send your car to our facility for transformation, we strive to make these cars into blissful little machines.

Own this Best in Show winner! 1957 MGA for sale, immaculate body-off restoration!

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IMG_2231Here’s a unique opportunity to own an instant hit at any car show! This car won best in show at “Wheels Across the Pond” in Florida this past winter, quite an accomplishment at a huge all-British show! This car was owned by the same collector who won his class last year with our burgundy and cream 100/4 too… he has great taste! He purchased our 1959 100/6 so he has something new at the next car show (his third car from us) so now this exceptional MGA can be yours! [Read more…]

New Bugeye Sprite head fairing takes shape

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Our new head fairing is almost ready! Here are some pictures of Gumby, my Bugeye since high school, out for testing with the prototype in place. People ask me “what is it?” I say a head rest that makes the car look like a Jaguar D-type, one of the coolest sports cars of all time. Thus our “B-type” head fairing is born, and will be available for sale shortly. I took these pictures on the street in New Haven, Connecticut on a recent trip to the Apple store,

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1960 Bugeye Sprite project car for sale

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Available now for $1,595!

Looking for a project? Here’s a Bugeye that deserves to be saved and this is your lowest entry price into the world of Bugeyes. It would have been a parts car years ago, but with prices climbing and rarity increasing, this is a rebuildable car, especially since there’s still integrity to the spring boxes and bulkhead.
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Why wait to add a Bugeye Sprite to your life?

According to this new Bugeye owner… “Don’t be the guy whose kids have to buy you a Bugeye for your 75th birthday.”

Congratulations David and Lynn, we wish you many wonderful miles with your new Bugeye “Cat!” We took this great car and made it spectacular, after about 45 repairs and improvements custom-tailored to the needs of the new owner. We currently have about six great Bugeyes in stock–call if we can build-out one just for you!

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Fantastic restored 1963 356 B T6-Drive anywhere-For sale!

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Here’s a wonderful Porsche full of Bugeye personality. This very well-restored 1963 Porsche 356B is elegant and sophisticated, a stylish gentleman compared to a rugged and toss-able nimble Sprite. These sold for about $4,200 when new compared to the Bugeye’s $1,795 new price, so of course, everything is quite different. The interior is more luxurious, the car is quieter and simply more elegant while retaining great sports car fun, racing heritage and service simplicity. The 356 is full of personality and lovable curves, just like a Bugeye and that’s why I like it so much. And the car is tons of fun to drive and admire. Everyone needs one of each.

Check it out in the video below, and click the “read more” button to see more information, pricing and a great photo album! NEW! Exhaust is now re-painted and looks great from behind!

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Stunning turn-key 1959 Bugeyed Sprite for sale

IMG_1809This is one of the best Bugeyes we have ever had yet a few people couldn’t get past the color matched red wheels, so we have changed them to the correct silver ones! Today we re-introduce Aiden with his new wheels. And he’s looking quite handsome.

This is a smashing 1959 Bugeye built by one of the best restorers we have encountered. This builder was meticulous and produced a super-solid Bugeye that will outlive us all. The car looks fantastic, in fact I took it to his first show two weeks ago and won first prize. Aiden is better than ever.

I sold Aiden a few years ago to a collector in Santa Barbara, who recently wanted to change-up his collection and offered me the car, which I was delighted to buy back. Come for a drive with me in the video below. The car is tight, rattle-free and powerful, with an uprated 948 engine that’s quicker than most 948s. Everything was built to a very high standard! (click “read more” below the first video to see two more videos about this car!)


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