Electric Bugeye Sprite first drive, videos

This is one of the best cars we have ever built.

How could this be? Am I really claiming that a completely electric powered vehicle is better than our best gas-powered wonder? Well, if I told you we had an iconic classic car that needed a fraction of the maintenance of its petrol brethren, always started, leaked no oil, never overheated and never needed another gearbox rebuild, wouldn’t that interest you?

And I haven’t even gotten to the performance… this thing is a rocket. Imagine squeezing the throttle and inducing oversteer any time you want, with acceleration times finally getting in the neighborhood modern vehicles. This car gets to 60 mph faster our best 1275 supercharged Bugeye. Faster with fewer headaches is no small feat.

You DO have to keep it charged. There is that minor detail. Sparky needs to be plugged-in every 100 or so miles, or you will get to tow or push home this car (just like any gas-powered Bugeye). It does have “limp home” mode, which automatically activates when your power level gets below 30%, and it drives you home at 30% of normal HP (a mode in which it is still quite a bit faster than a 948 Bugeye).

We have fit the car with a 110 receptacle in the fuel filler cap that will take any household extension cord. We’ve also fit a 220 fast charger, so you can revitalize the power plant in as little as a few hours if a 220 wall charger is or public charging station is available. These home wall units BTW are about $300 and require a 220 line. So, yes, you do have to keep it charged, but don’t most Bugeye owners generally make sub-100 mile trips anyway?

I did not expect to be so smitten by this car. Perhaps it is the balance-the car feels light and neutral, we got the weight bias right. Or it’s instant acceleration at all throttle settings. These are very seductive qualities. But I am most smitten about how much better this performs than the gas powered equivalent. To get this kind of performance from a gas Bugeye is very hard, almost precarious. Every system starts to suffer when you push gas Bugeyes to these performance levels. They were not designed to handle more than 100 HP (remember the stock 948 engine was about 45 HP. But this electric drivetrain is not being taxed at all when you press the throttle to the floor. Nor is the clutch suffering, or anything else. This feels like it can take it, and will be able to take it for generations to come. We’ll let you know as we build some test miles…

When you drive this car, you start to understand why so many major performance car companies are using electric motors in their new supercars. The technology is that good.

I had a long talk today with one of our typical customers, late 60s male, grew up around British cars, now owns a Westfield Eleven, Bugeye and Big Healey, and loves these cars because they evoke the sounds, smells and sometimes problems that remind him of his youth, and great adventures he had before the age of the Internet, cell phones (and maybe even fast food). When I asked him about the electric Bugeye, he replied, “keep your day job.” For this man, an electric Bugeye sounds about as attractive as a vacation in Baghdad.

I imagine a few of you readers probably feel the same way. And don’t worry, we will continue to build great dinosaur drive Bugeyes with the same enthusiasm. In fact, we have petro-cars in our shop from all over the country for sorting, that will keep us busy for the next three months. But it’s difficult to disregard electric drive when it works this well.

We will next complete the cosmetics on the FrogE, and finish detailing a number of fun accents to give this unlikely recipient of high tech wonders some dirty fingernails (and a Prince of Darkness sense of humor) of it’s own.

It is, after all, only a Bugeye.

1952 MGTD, great car at a great price!

New photos! New Steering wheel! New driving lights! New needles and seats and carb tune-up. Starts the first time and drives great!

This is a wonderful car available now for just $17,495. This is a below market price. Check it out! We are selling it for our friend Scott, who bought the car from us and has sold his house and needs the space. The car is in Rhode Island. If you are looking for an inexpensive way to have a whole lot of British car fun, check out this timeless classic and call!

I’ve owned this car several times. Scott has had it for the past 5 years and drove it very little (has has about 12 other classics).

The car was fully restored with a custom engine turned dashboard that looks stunning. New tonneau, great radial tires, and just a blast to drive. Not a rickety-bias-ply ride, but instead a real sportscar that rides on smooth radials. Great handling, great ride and great fun! Super clean-especially in the engine bay. Also has a spin on oil filter conversion to simplify service.

The car shines nicely and looks stunning. There is no rust and there are no dings. The engine runs great and was completely rebuilt less than five thousand miles ago. Call with questions or for more information.

This is a vintage roadster that is tons of fun, with a whole lot of style and grace for not a lot of money.

Drive-by video below! (note: some microphone distortion due to low-tech old camera, but engine sounds great!)

Bugeye people

You never know where our cars will show up… here’s Dave P and his daughter-in-law Marenda in “Red,” (our 222 sold) at the Tennessee Soybean Festival parade in Martin, TN. this September. I am honored one of our beans was present! Could be the first time a Bugeye ever appeared in a Soybean festival. Looks like fun!

Striking 1960 Super Sprite for sale!

Here’s a chance to purchase a superb Super Sprite. The car was carefully built by Liberty Motorsports in Southern California, where the owner Jim is a passionate Porsche 356 restorer who builds cars to the highest level, including a first place car for the Amelia Island Concours in 2018 and invitations to Quail and Monterey Concours in the past. He always wanted a Bugeye and indulged himself with this build. We provided lots of parts to help him realize his vision and when he decided to sell the car, we were happy to help. This car was delivered new to LA per the heritage certificate, and has been a California car all its life (delivered new in 1960 to LA). It’s solid and beautiful.

What I love about this car is that it was built to look like it was modified in the early 60s, with period bits to evoke a very nostalgic feel. The interior in particular has a very analog feel, and the builder used period rally clocks and gauges to stay consistent with the theme. He also fit a rebuilt Judson supercharger, which looks fresh out of the back pages of a 60’s copy of Mechanix Illustrated. Lucas “Flame Thrower” driving lights were also custom mounted on the bumper. An NOS Abarth twin tip muffler was also installed, a wonderful period muffler for the 948 power plant. A sweet vintage exhaust note is the result. He also fit a custom dead pedal in the driver footwell-he used a spare 356 gas pedal and rubber cover.

Jim fit our head fairing, and hard tonneau, to make for a sleek and flat look. He also added a custom stitched mini soft tonneau, with matching primrose piping and fat stitching. He also fit an EGT gauge and probe in the main pipe as well as a voltmeter. Tasteful black pin stripes are nice additional accents.

A Hertiage certificate is also included, which verifies that the original engine is present. Front disk brakes were also added, as were color matched wheels and a front anti-roll bar for best handling.

The car is ready to go. A new clutch kit and rear crank seal was installed about 250 miles ago. At that time the generator was upgraded to an alternator, and an electronic conversion performed to make the tachometer work with the alternator. An aluminum radiator was also fit at this time, very helpful for Southern California (and similar) cooling requirements. An electric cooling fan is also present, another cooling system enhancement.

Brooklands windscreens are currently fit on both sides as shown in the photos but the original windshield is included, as is a soft top and bows should the new owner want to use the weather in cooler or inclement weather. The car is currently in Southern California. A color matched original hardtop is also included, with custom black padded headliner. The underside is as clean as the topside, as you can see in the photo gallery.

Many of you have asked if I would sell Gumby, my green super Sprite… that one is not for sale, but if you want another show-winning custom Sprite, this is a very good alternative. It is finished to a very high standard, with lots of fun accessories. It cost thousands more than the asking price to build. The owner needs more space, so here’s a chance to own something very special built by a master fabricator.

Call or email if you are interested!

1960 Bugeye Sprite for sale, exceptional and beautifully restored!

This is “Tanner,” a rotisserie restored all-stock 1960 Bugeye Sprite, done to a very high standard and ready for a new home. The car is now back in our Connecticut facility and new pictures are posted below. We had hoped to sell the car while it was on the West coast to a customer in that region, but now that the car is back here, we can confirm this is still one of the nicest mostly stock Bugeyes on the road today. If you are looking for a fully-restored Sprite that looks like it just rolled off the showroom floor, this is the car for you.

Tanner shows just 399 miles on the odometer since it was restored. The car is finished in Olde English white with a red interior, exactly matching the creamy vanilla factory color scheme. With fully restored chrome, paint and an all-new interior, the car is a real head-turner. The top is nearly new too, stored in a fleece lined pouch so it looks new when you need it. And the car has a great new tonneau.

We originally purchased this car in 2012 when it was a fresh rotisserie restoration with everything brand new. We then sold it to Nick in British Columbia, Canada, where it has lived garaged inside a special “CarCoon” garage storage air capsule pretty much ever since (that’s the red oxygen tent shown below). He has only put a few hundred miles on the car, driving it only on nice days, and it currently looks exactly as it did in 2012 when it was fully restored.

The underside is immaculate. The car comes with new side curtains and top, as shown in the photo album. The switches and gauges are all in the right places, just like the original. Only the attractive wood Moto-Lita steering wheel is non-stock. Also, the aluminum trim strip above the dash should have been covered with red vinyl to match the dash. We can correct this if you prefer, but the polished existing trim strip looks great too. Some people like front bumpers. We have those too. It’s personal preference. As with all of our cars, we can help customize or fine tune any aspect, so that the new owner gets exactly what they want!

Give a call if you like the best of the best, and you want to make this stunning Bugeye your own!

Lime Rock Concours recap

We had a nice line-up of Bugeyes in our class at this labor day annual event. Three Bugeyes in one concours class was a major victory for the marque, it was great to see such a strong Bugeye presence. Judging from the response by the spectators, Bugeyes are more popular than ever. It was a particular honor for us to have two of our cars in the same Concours (a first). The third (silver) Bugeye was one I had not seen before, from North Carolina.

It’s difficult for a Bugeye to be acknowledged by judges in a mixed-make concours. Up against the most beautiful (and expensive) sports cars of the period, we don’t stand a chance. So in our class (C2), trophies went to a racing xk120M, twin cam MGA with racing heritage and a beautifully restored xk150S. That’s fine, if I owned a perfectly restored 150S and a Bugeye took my trophy, I would not want to be the judge who had to defend that choice.

This is always an impressive show and for 2018, the Bugatti owners were there in force. I was most impressed with the interiors of the many Bugattis on the track. The leather work was exceptional, most of it with a stunning patina, which is understandable when you consider the conditions each cars sees courtesy of the adventurous pilots. Peppered throughout this post are some pictures of my favorite seats.

They are an intrepid bunch–I met one fellow from Belfast who brought his 30s era Bugatti from Ireland to England where it was shipped in a container to New Jersey so he could drive it to Lime Rock and other New England events this month.

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