The Larricks and “Ducky” the Bugeye have arrived (under their own power) in Mount Sterling, Illinois, about 130 miles Northwest of St Louis! They have now traveled about 1400 miles in their “new” Bugeye.
If you are new to this story, they left our shop in Branford, CT about one week ago, went on a brief New England drive and then took off westbound to Gettysburgh, PA, across Ohio, Indiana and now across most of Illinois. Nowadays, we cross states with ease, well-insulated. But the Larricks have barely put up their top, and are out there feeling and seeing it all, and on this trip, every state they cross is a significant accomplishment.
The car has performed flawlessly, with zero issues. Here’s what TJ had to say about the trip a few days ago while they were still in Indiana:
“Stopped in Lebanon Indiana tonight and have done 1,150 miles so far and beautiful weather with no problems. Had the top up to reduce the sun but with the side curtains on, there is a lot of cool ventilation. Even had to wait and idle on fresh blacktop for over 1/2 hr and the aluminum radiator did fantastic. I check the car every day thinking that I will have to repair or replace something but no such luck so far- we have driven 1,155 miles so far and are getting about 28-32 mpg… Karen is still smiling. Some of the upgrades I particularly appreciate now because I have never had so much fun in a British sports car in my life and no breakdowns- I have have seven English cars in the past- don’t get me wrong, I loved every one… but this one is a blast!????”
We get cars in our shop all the time that will barely make it around the block, so we are celebrating the milestone of making it nearly halfway across America in a 948-powered 45 HP car. But there are some steep hills ahead.
How did we did we prepare a car that could run at 65 MPH for hours on end and then idle for 30 minutes in traffic on the hot August Interstate while road crews repaved the road in front of them?
Each system was upgraded for maximum reliability. This is how we look at every clasic English car and the parts we sell in our catalog. Each individual system has to be right and only then can all systems function in harmony. For example, the cooling has to be improved or they would have surely baked the engine by now. The aluminum radiator, upgraded fan and bigger water pump help to do the job.
The fuel system has to be perfect. A new gas tank eliminates any debris that would otherwise block fuel flow, clog a filter, and potentially shut down the engine on the highway. The hydraulics have to be optimized. We replaced the potentially leaking wheel cylinders with new calipers on all four corners, because front and rear disk brakes are much more likely to be leak-free and consistent for a good long time. (Plus, they are self adjusting.)
We replaced the master and slave with premium products, to restart the clock on these wear items. And we put on new HS2 carburetors to improve reliability and consistency of the engine tune as well as to reduce the risk of fuel leaks. A new distributor with new bushings and electronic ignition, a premium rotor and wires… all these components are crucial to keep that little 948 moving down the road. New tires. New seat foams for comfort, etc. Nothing is left to chance.
Next week, Ducky will head further west to Kansas City, and then on to the Rockies, the long way home!
If you want your car made as reliable as possible, give us a call or send an email. We’ll pick up your car and turn it into a highway road warrior. Barring that, call us for parts support, as we sell in our catalog every part that is keeping Ducky moving Westward. Whether you are planning a long trip or just a run to the store, we’ll be happy to support you to make your Sprite as reliable as possible.