Our goal is to get these cars to 100%. This matters. We are dealing with old technology. And old worn parts. And sometimes, sub-standard new reproduction parts. Sometimes it seems like nothing is working in harmony, and after driving more than 200 of these cars, we can tell when everything is working right. The reward is a car that is blissful to drive.
I know that many Bugeye drivers have not experienced a fully sorted car. I know this because I have had too many customers tell me “I thought it was supposed to drive that way!” No. These car are tight, spirited and a lot fun when they are set-up properly.
We added a sway bar for better handling and less bodyroll, as well as footwell threshold covers for a nicer cockpit. We installed a custom Lempert steering wheel made from Brazilian tiger wood. We fit a spin-on oil filter kit for easier service.
The rear drums were scraping the brake backplates on hard cornering, so we ground off the excess material to make cornering that much more fun. Because of a non-working odometer, we replaced the speedo with a rebuilt unit. The fuel gauge was not reading below half, so we removed the sender only to find a swollen plastic float which we replaced with a metal one. The fuel tank pick up was also missing, which effectively reduced the capacity of this tank to just 3.6 gallons. We fixed that, put in the proper strainer pickup, changed the fuel filter and put it all back together. Now the owner can get a more accurate sense of how much fuel is left in the tank, with a working fuel gauge and odometer.
When all this was done, I still wasn’t quite happy with the rear suspension. I have driven 200 Bugeyes over the same bump in our street, and I can tell by the note that emanates from the boot how we are doing with every bump. In the case of this car, the rear thump over our local hump meant we needed to disconnect the rear shocks and evaluate their condition. Turns out the shocks were weak and the rear dog bones were worn. Once we replaced all that, only then was this car ready to be sent home. (many Sprites need this, so we offer rear suspension rehab kit, linked below).
It’s very satisfying for us to extract that last little bit out of these cars, to make them a joy to drive and enjoy, and to help our owners to have that much more fun! “More sure-footed than ever,” reports the owner.
And that, is the the result of sorting the last 20%.