Our long wheelbase project is taking shape nicely. The door extensions are now welded and soon we’ll be ready to paint the car. Once the color is uniform, it will be easier for all viewers to decide if it looks better or worse than a stock Bugeye! (I personally like the look a lot!)
We have lengthened the drive shaft and we are working on lengthening all the plumbing so we can hook it all back up and take a test drive. We’ll have more videos when we make our initial drives.
This is a car that many people would have scrapped. It had a lot of rust in the rear bulkhead, floors, trunk and rear fender arches. It was an EBAY purchase that looked worse and worse the more we dug into it, with multiple rust issues that were not disclosed in the listing. The car required an extensive amount of rust repair and welding to make it strong once again. We gave this car a new life, while most would have found another candidate for their restoration, and let this one go.
The idea to make the cockpit longer was originally inspired by a 6’5″ former Bugeye owner who said he remembered these cars being roomier back in the 60s. We were also motivated to build this car for customers for whom the gap between the front of the seat cushion and the lower door hinge is a bit of a problem when getting in and out, given their physical limitations. I’ve met a lot of these customers at our shop, and they are among the most passionate of Bugeye fans, who grew up when these cars were in their heyday.
So our goal with this project is not just to save another Bugeye, but also to make Bugeye driving an option again for some of the original Bugeyeguys who were there in the beginning, and who actually bought these cars from the BMC dealers in 1958-1961. Without these people, (who actually liberated the Bugeyes from the dealerships), there would be no Bugeyes for any of us to enjoy today.
Our hope is that at least one of these pioneers who was there when it all began will get a second chance to enjoy Bugeye driving once again.