We’re about to find out! Meet TJ and Karen Larrick, new owners and pilots of “Ducky,” a 1958 Bugeye we sold a few months ago (our 308th). Above you can see them at our shop, and they will soon be on their way home to Mt Vernon, Washington. That’s 2989 miles from our door.
(And they are heading in the wrong direction currently, touring New England this week, so that mileage is going to climb). We will be curious to see what their new GPS speedometer reports for their total mileage when they are done! (I don’t put much weight on any British odometer, but since this is a new GPS unit, we will get reliable mileage data for a change!)
This car has become a very special test bed. We have thrown every imaginable reliability upgrade at this car with the sole purpose of making the journey mechanically stress-free. The 307 cars we prepared before this one have taught us a lot, and so anything that has ever broken on any prior Bugeye has been carefully inspected and replaced, repaired or upgraded. While Ducky was our 308th, we have sold a total of 319, and if every one of those cars has driven an average of just 3500 miles total since departing our building, that’s about 1.1 million Bugeye miles. We put that experience to work and built this car for maximum reliability.
The build sheet was massive. Countless hours were spent. Our team checked and rechecked everything. We tried to retain the original look and feel, while improving systems along the way. For example, we installed an alternator, not because the car needed one, but because we have not had one break. Generators have failed and we didn’t want to take a chance. Hopefully, Ducky will enjoy a good consistency flow of juice throughout this crossing.
We’ve also been agressive with the brakes. We added disk brakes at all four corners, not because they make such a big difference in brake performance, but because we have replaced countless front and rear wheel cylinders, and very few calipers. Calipers are more reliable. Braking with disks is more consistent. No adjustment is needed. So Ducky’s brakes will work just as beautifully at mile 3000 as when the car left our building.
We’ll be watching closely for the next 30 days, anxious to see how we did. While I am quite confident we produced a great product, you’ll probably find me pacing and distracted and eating lots of junk food for the next 30 days. If we answer the phone this coming month, “TJ, is that you?” you’ll know we are still wound a little tight. This is our baby. We are anxious to see if we found and addressed all the potential issues. This is a big test.
Before departure, I set up my 2021 BugiPhone to track this 1958 Bugeye, using that “find my” function on my phone. “Siri, find my Bugeye!” “I’m sorry Dave…” Below is the first tracking screen shot…
Oops! We had sent them on our local Thimble Islands boat tour, and, phone in pocket, it appeared that Ducky went for a swim!
Back on land, and they are off, and I’m like an expectant parent stalking a new teenage driver. “Bogie’s on the move!” There’s going to be a lot of yelling and cheering in the coming days, as Ducky quacks his way across the US of A. We’re all gathered around my iPhone, giddy and high-fiving, because as I write this our intrepid travelers have arrived at the Mystic Seaport.
This is one small step for Bugeyes, one giant leap for Bugeye-kind.
Check out the reliability video tour of the car below:
By the way, after the above video was made, we changed the header and exhaust system because of pin holes we noticed in harm’s way, and the leaf springs, to stiffen the rear, as the original and somewhat tired (understandably) springs were sagging a bit.
We’ll get you updates on trip progress as they become available!