For years we’ve seen Bugeyes fit with lousy carpet kits that seem to have been made by people who never actually fit one into a Bugeye before. We got tired of complaining and made our own kit that works. We are proud to introduce a fine new product, that includes all the pieces you need to cover the interior of your car from trunk floor to foot well. (click “read more” to view more pictures and to order)
We are building a long-idle tub into a special Sprite, with the best mods and all the wisdom provided by the 162 Bugeyes that have come before it.
In this video, you can see more pieces going on, as we prepare the car for a rebuilt supercharged 1275 engine and final paint. The rear disk kit takes a lot of time and fabrication to get it all to fit and work on a Bugeye, but we love the end result.
I have also included a second period video circa 1960 about reliability testing at BMC. While no Bugeye is featured, you can see the same stock 948 Bugeye engine put to the test in the featured Morris Minor and Austin A40. Back then, 25,000 miles of engine life was a daring claim! Check it out!
This Bugeye came to us in a bunch of boxes. Our job: to mold the contents of these bins and boxes into the ultimate Sprite. Our intention is to leverage everything we have learned, from the 161 Bugeyes that have passed through our workshop, into the construction of a wonderful sportscar.
We stripped the old primer off the tub, mounted it on a rotisserie, and produced the sealed tub you see in the video, coated in Porsche Boxster silver. Next we prepare for disk brakes all around. Then we mount a supercharged 1275 engine mated to a five speed transmission.
The result will be the best Bugeye we have ever built.
Stay tuned for updates.
We are proud to announce that we attained a gold award in the concours class at the Austin Healey Enclave in Gettysburg, PA this week! Our 1958 Sprite AN5L 552 scored 965.5 points. Gold is awarded for 950-1000 points. This was a huge achievement for us!
Each car starts with 1000 points. Then four judges pour over every nut and bolt on the car for two full hours, deducting points for any imperfection. Owners get to watch and learn, while hoping that the points don’t come off too quickly!
This is the first of a series of posts I’ll share about the event. It took us a year rebuild this car. It was a wonderful restoration, but we had to undo a lot that was done on this car and redo it with concours standards in mind. That meant taking off a lot of accessories that help drivability, but which were not factory correct. It was an arduous process, and we now have a lot to celebrate. This car is now the oldest Gold level concours Sprite in the world. (make sure to click “read more” below the photo to see a short judging video)
So many old British cars get completely ripped apart, with the intention of blasting, stripping, washing, removing and renewing every last inch. Most people love new, clean, and sterilized… ready for another long run on the open road.
With this particular barn find, however, the owner took a different tack, and hired us to preserve and refresh, without losing the weathered charm. Anyone can strip and paint a car. But to preserve a car’s patina is a different matter.
The mix of old and new is inevitable, and the fine line between the two must be managed carefully. Too mildewed and weathered and no one will want to ride in the car… and too painted and clean means that the car is, like so many other restored cars, perhaps a bit too sterilized.
Meet “Beans,” a 1960 Bugeye we prepared for a discerning collector, who wanted the car faithfully set up just as it was when new– cleaned up, refreshed, renewed, mechanically sorted, but not restored. We started with a remarkably solid car needing only new footwells, which we welded in place. The engine was toast after 40 years of hibernation, so we rebuilt it. We rebuilt the original transmission. Replaced the fuel tank and pump. All the rubber was perished so we replaced it. Shocks and hydraulics were all leaking, and replaced. The original paint was hammered, but we carefully brought it back to life, still weathered, but now with some gloss. Seats were too far gone, so the owner framed them in clear boxes to hang on the wall next to the car, and asked for nice new ones to match the originals.
The result is a great driving and clean one-of-a-kind Bugeye.
Tom and Judith were married in 1961 and honeymooned in this car. What an honor to restore it for them this month, so they can celebrate their next anniversary with their old friend! Tom purchased the car in 1961, had it painted in 1985, and it has sat ever since. We spent three weeks restoring the mechancicals, front end and now 30 year old paint for this wonderful couple, so their their next Bugeye summer could commence!