Our adventurous Bugeye warriors were last seen in the Florida panhandle, heading west. They have now put about 2900 new miles on their odometer since purchasing “Molly” three weeks ago. This week, they passed through Hershey, PA and then down the Skyline Drive and south to Florence, South Carolina, and then Charleston.
In Georgia, they stopped to see how their Bugeye measures up to an alligator, and they are now heading West toward Texas.
A few of you have asked if they have music for their journey. Other than the exhaust note, they are carrying a Bose bluetooth speaker (the black cylinder you see above) that is normally held to the firewall in front of the shifter by a few bungy cords. They can charge their phone from the cigarette lighter we installed and blue tooth does the rest. This is a superior system to a dash mounted radio, which requires a somewhat invasive installation, while the phone driven solution is portable and easily removable with better sound quality than most basic car stereo systems.
This past week the alternator quit on the car, and Vic was quick to find a workable replacement from a local Napa store. The wiring is simple… just two wires come off the alternator to feed the battery… but Vic had to fabricate a new adjusting bracket to tighten the belt. A friendly customer at the parts store lent his shop, vice and belt sander to the project, and below you can see Vic cleaning up his bracket to make the new alternator fit the Sprite.
Wired-up and ready go to, an inexpensive voltmeter from Walmart confirmed that juice was flowing in the right direction.
The other failure this week was a lost park light lens.
Park light lenses are held in place by a locking ring that lives in the groove of the rubber cup shown above. As the rubber ages, it becomes easier for the lens to fall out, especially when you bomb down dirt roads in The Okefenokee Swamp, chasing gators. It’s not hard to knock these lens out of the socket while opening and closing the bonnet.
Fortunately, we have a large inventory of spare lenses and rings in our warehouse, as we have knocked out more than our share in our own building. You may want to check your four park lights by wiggling them, and if they are just hanging on by a thread because the rubber is cracked and aged, best to replace the rubber socket for a more positive fit. (we have those here)
Most of the trip has been with the top in the boot and the tonneau fit when parked. Even in a squall as seen above, our travelers would get wetter stopping to put up the top then if they just keep on driving. As long as you can keep moving, you stay pretty dry, other than your outboard shoulder.
2900 miles in a 948-powered Bugeye is no small feat, even with a five-speed transmission upgrade. 500 miles per year is probably the average for most classic British classic car owners and Amanda and Vic still have another 800 miles to go.
Of course, people used to do this sort of thing all the time when our classic British sports cars were fresh. In case you are wondering, there were 180 million people in America in 1960. Today, we have closer to 330 million. There’s still plenty of room for one more Bugeye. Thank you Amanda and Vic for inspiring us all to come out and play.
Who’s next? We want to build the next cross-country cruiser! Each one of these trips helps us upgrade reliability, improve our parts inventory and build a better product. We hope that more of you make your “bucket list” trip this year.