Automobile Magazine’s Jamie Kittman came to our shop recently, in the 641 HP McLaren 650S you see parked in these photos, to ponder the rise and rise of British sportscars from Bugeye to McLaren. He drove two Bugeyes; the 43 HP box stock Nevada Beige Bugeye barn-find we recently restored for a client from Ohio (above), and the modified Sprite “Cole,” with a 110 HP 1380 cc engine and five speed transmission (below). Then he let me drive the McLaren (two Bugeye drives for every supercar ride? Perhaps a fair trade…).
I never drove anything quite like this $332k supercar, and while it was blindingly fast, I felt more like I was sitting in a moving computer than driving a sportscar. It shifted for me, and teased me with some paddles which didn’t really do what I wanted, unless I kept pulling to keep the car from shifting. Perhaps if I read the manual I would figure out how to find manual mode. But for now, I would have to say that the big orange Mac was a bit like a smartphone driven thermostat that requires a proper WIFI hook up before you can lower the air conditioner a few degrees (and sadly, I can’t remember the password for the network). Sometimes, an old honeywell thermostat with a big plastic dial works just fine. But then again you might expect such a perspective from a Bugeyeguy.
It was a great visit and we had a blast discussing flings we’ve had with cars. Click here to read his dispatch from our bastion of 1950s technology.