We just completed an awesome transformation of one of our Bugeyes, Lawton, who just left for his new home in New Hampshire.
This is a 948 equipped Bugeye that we hopped-up for the new owner, and now, formally meek Lawton has found a loud and powerful voice.
We started with a stock Bugeye power plant, originally rated to contain just 43 horses, except this particular engine had already been bored 40 over with a hotter cam and a lightened flywheel. Everything had already been balanced when the engine was rebuilt a while back. Original H1 SUs were fit, with their tiny 1 1/8 inch throats. The car had a somewhat petite exhaust center pipe, mated to a lovely Abarth twin tipped muffler, but you could hear the engine was a little choked, as though exhaling through pursed lips.
So we ripped the engine apart, put in a big valve head, stainless exhaust header, larger HS2 1 1/4 carbs, k and n air filters, larger exhaust pipe and free flow muffler. The result is quite impressive and now Lawton has as much power as many of the stock and perhaps middle aged 1275 engines that we see on these cars.
You can see the stock engine “before” in the first picture shown, and underneath a photo of the small yet lovely tail pipes. The next photo shows the larger tail pipes that we fit (note new LED taillights too). In the lower photos, you can see the small valve head we replaced with the fresh big valve head.
This is a very stock car, with all the right concours level work done. Now, the car still looks nearly perfect, but the driving experience is markedly better. Perhaps now we have about 53HP, but the sound of this free-revving engine makes it feel like a whole lot more.
Take a “before” and “after” drive in the videos below. You should be able to see for yourself that Lawton has now grown up, and runs quite nicely with an exceptional exhaust note.
We hope to do more of these conversions, as this is a nice way to optimize a 948 engine and produce ample power for most Bugeye users. 1275s are great, but they are not needed for all applications.
Lawton drive before:
Lawton drive after: