(if a car is not pictured here, it has been sold)

Everyday winter driving in a 1959 Bugeye Sprite

This is Gumby, the Bugeye I have owned since 1979. I found Gumby through the New York Times Sunday classifieds and first met Gumby parallel parked on the street in New Haven, CT with no top or tonneau covering his teal seats, and lots of dents in his gray-primered exterior. Since then we have covered a lot of miles together and swapped engines a few times. In the 80s we painted Gumby Jaguar British Racing Green, which is now ready to be redone.


Before you come to the conclusion that the car would run me over for taking him out in this weather, I would have to say we have both been having a grand time sliding our way to the shop on our commute each day, in spite of what seems to be the worst February on record in terms of snow fall and road salt application. The wife has the Volvo wagon and Gumby just happens to be in the ideal state of mid restoration such that he’s the perfect winter fun car. We cut out the rust last summer and welded in new patches and sprayed them with self etching primer. So what’s a little road salt over primer anyway?


Snow plow drivers find our ride particularly amusing, and several have passed me with huge grins and enthusiastic waves as they rush to rescue homeowners with SUVs that require freshly plowed driveways. There is something remarkably refreshing about driving a rear wheel drive car that just plain stinks in the snow. I can get away with it because I travel just five back-road miles to the shop. It wouldn’t work if I had interstate or traffic to contend with. But modern snow removal technology is so sophisticated, the roads have mostly just been wet anyway.


I remember my first car, a 1966 MGB, which I once tried to drive to High School in a snow storm. I made it to the end of my street before the car bottomed out in the snow and the already rusted away rocker cavities filled up with snow too. That was when we did dumb things like this, and became sports car lovers, and had our DNA imprinted with the need to play with such toys, and break them, and fix them again.

With my heater “on full” and dog on my lap, this February has been just a little bit warmer. Bodhi is not sure this is such a good idea, but he’s still young and foolish, and always happy to go for a ride…


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