A Bugeye is an excellent yardstick for the dexterity of an aging community. What’s your personal Bugeye-Access Index number (BAI)? This empirical measurement is often measured with a grunt-o-meter. And to cut to the chase, if your neighbors hear you grunt when it’s time to sit down and go for a ride in your Sprite, it might be time for a smaller steering wheel.
For the loudest grunters, the LWB stretch Bugeye is the ultimate. Above is a photo of a 13 inch steering wheel fit on that car, which would allow the largest Bugeye drivers to still have a go. If you are unfamiliar, this is the car we lengthened five inches for a big guy, and then fit a tiny steering wheel to make it even easier for him to play.
Next you can see Allen’s yellow “Buzzbee” Bugeye with a 14 inch wood wheel, here from Georgia. Great access here as well.
Our favorite is a 15 inch wheel as shown Matt’s Bugeye below, in our shop from Idaho. This is the best compromise, easier access but great steering feel.
Next you can see Concours Betty, the white car below with the correct original, which measures a whopping 16.5 inches.
This is all relevant because the original wheel has the best balance when you input steering corrections to your Bugeye. There is a particular sweetness to the balance of a large wheel and a small car. The smaller the wheel, the more you lose, so don’t go too small. After driving a mind-numbing number of Bugeyes, the ones I like best have the biggest wheels. So if you want to try a smaller wheel, go easy, 15 inch is best if the stock one is too big for you.
Beer (and ice cream) flows, guts grow, cars rust, seams crack, oil leaks, untreated surfaces surface rust when they get wet. We’re all doing the best we can in spite of these immutable universal laws. So grab the wheel and go! (and if you want to buy a smaller steering wheel, click here for options including a removable steering wheel)