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.