Come to Lime Rock

Sunday September 2nd you can see Gumby at the Lime Rock Concours, class C2. Come say hello, we’ll be right at the start of the straight.

Also in our class, Ron’s Bugeye “Goldie!” You’ll see two Bugeyes we built in the same Concours class!

How to make a Bugeye Sprite Tach cable fit

We’ve had a bunch of requests from catalog customers in the past few weeks for a longer tach cable. Seems a bunch of folks are having trouble getting the tach cable to reach from the dashboard to the generator. We never had that problem before, so I thought this post might help explain how to properly set-up your tach so that the stock cable will reach.

First, the proper location for the tachometer is in the inboard (large instrument) hole in the dash. This effectively shortens the cable run. So start by making sure your speedo is outboard and tach inboard. If your tach is closest to the fuel gauge, your cable might not reach the generator.
Secondly, you need to make sure you have the tach cable coming through the correct hole in the firewall. In the photo above, you can see tach cable, wiper motor wires and windshield washer hose, from left to right, filling the three holes outboard of the battery. Make sure your tach cable is in the proper hole, or your cable might not reach.

In the photo below, the blue car has the wiper wires and tach cable reversed (the washer bottle is missing and that hole in the firewall is plugged). This routing will put undue kinks in the tach cable behind the instrument, and make it more likely that your gauge will be jumpy. Mr. cable likes a nice fair curve.

Speaking of a nice curve, the cable also needs to run aft of the heater box and forward of the battery. Note green “Boyd” below, where the cable makes a nice gradual “S” from the dashboard to the generator, to the eyelet at the solenoid, to the tach drive on the generator. The blue car (above) has the the cable routed incorrectly.

Now look at the blue car below which is done incorrectly, and you can see the cable running in front of the heater box and beneath the heater valve. To make the 90 degree bend to the tach drive, the cable has to make a much tighter radius, which stresses everything. You should be able to see the nice gradual curve made by the cable in the photo above.

The mechanical tach cable, drive and tachometer has to be set-up right if you want it to work reliably. Make sure you have the routing correct (or you can try one of our new electronic tachometers if you want to go with a more modern electronic system-click here to check those out).

Bugeyeguy Clothing closet

Every Bugeyeguy needs a good wardrobe in their Bug-cave. This is not my clothing closet, nor is it the staff dressing room at Bugeye central (although Russ could use some new jeans!). Instead, this is a photo we received from friends traveling in Northern California who found this unique display in a men’s clothing shop.

Who knew that a Bugeye nose could enjoy such a relaxing retirement, albeit working each day to ensure every item sold comes pre-dusted with primer and surface rust.

Classic Mini! 1961 Classic Austin Mini Estate Countryman (Woody) For Sale

Price Reduced! Now $14,995! That’s a lot of fun for not a lot of money!

A ’64 Mini Cooper was the car I owned just before I bought my first Bugeye way back in the 70s, so I have a particular affection for early cars like like the Mini you see here. This one is a head-turner, and a joy to drive.

In September of last year, we performed a major service to this car and made it into a wonderful driver. We replaced shocks, ball joints, wheel cylinders, drums and shoes and a host of smaller issues, all with the eye to make the car easy to use and ready to go for the former owner, who used the car sporadically and recently decided to simply sell it to us.

The car is fit with a 998 cc engine with a four synchro later gearbox. The engine and gearbox are presumed to be from a later classic Mini. The car runs great and shifts smoothly.

Drum brakes are fit all around and they work wonderfully, the car stops straight and true. Nice 165/70×10 Yokahama tires are fit to ten inch minilights for a great performance ride.

You can now jump in this car and drive anywhere. It starts up easily, runs well and the brakes work great!

If you like these woody wagons, this one will provide exceptional summer fun! Call if you would like to take this one home!

This one is registered as a 1961 Mini and it has early door hinges, latches and windows, but a more modern interior and dashboard, complete with comfortable headrest equipped seats and a nice wooden dashboard. The car drives great and would be the ultimate beach cruiser with your surfboard on top!

PS: What is the difference between a Traveller and a Countryman?

Answer: Very simply a Morris Mini estate is a Traveller and an Austin Mini estate is a Countryman. Some people wrongly think that one model had the wood and the other didn’t, but both the Morris Mini Traveller and the Austin Mini Countryman were available both as a Woody and as an all steel version.

PPS: Ever driven a RHD English car? It’s a hoot! My wife regularly drives our RHD Morris Traveler, no problem! If you are unfamiliar you’ll find it takes about 5 minutes to get used to it, and the rest is pure fun. RHD amplifies the attention one gets with a classic car. Totally legal and easy to register anywhere in USA (or elsewhere, we’ll help).


0-60 time for an Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite

How fast is your Bugeye?

I spent some time this week in a very technologically advanced Bugeye. In fact, next to our FrogE electric (coming soon!), this may be the most modern Bugeye on the road today. Why? Because of our new GPS powered speedometer, a tiny instrument that comes loaded with a slew of modern electronic and digital features.

Why would anyone need this in a car that is all about elemental simplicity? This is a car that doesn’t even have external door handles, let alone door locks.

Because it’s fun.

One of our more intrepid customers “Farid” routinely uses this red Bugeye for trips from NYC to Milford, CT. His speedo was working erratically, and he wanted it repaired. We diagnosed a loose drive gear in the transmission, a chronic Sprite problem that requires a complete transmission disassembly to fix. An easier repair was to install our new GPS powered electric speedo. One of my favorite features available after this fix is the 0-60 timer, which helps us to answer the perennial question, how much faster is a 1275 Bugeye than a stock 948? Watch below:

The video shows my first run, not too aggressive with a bit of an uphill, at 17.50. My fastest time to 60 was 15.84 seconds. While this sounds very slow compared to modern cars, it’s plenty fast to merge with highway traffic on Interstate 95. And if you want to go faster, this instrument gives you a novel gadget for evaluating tuning improvements. In 1958, Road and Track reported the stock Bugeye 0-60 time as 20.8 seconds. Now, everyone compete for the best time!

I have to confess I was mesmerized by the rock solid analog speed indicator. It never wavered. All my life, speedos and tach have floated through a range of values, as mechanical cables told the gauges what to say. Now, the electronic age is available in your Bugeye cockpit. And I confess I found it quite entertaining.

Other functions you get with the GPS speedo: compass heading, altimeter (86FT), an accurate digital trip odometer (that actually works), time of day, maximum peak speed (which also moves the analog needle to simultaneously display the value and quarter mile time. Check these out in our catalog by clicking here!

You can see pictures of the other screens in the album below. You scroll through the functions with the rubber button on the gauge face. Shown here in the album are compass heading, time, trip odometer and altitude. For 0-60 runs, you hold the button down when in this function to zero the digits. Once you begin moving, the timer begins. When you hit 60 MPH, the times freezes, and only resets when you hit the button again or turn off power. Distance traveled to 60 is also displayed…

Super Sprite #003 now complete

Here’s our latest build, our third “Super Sprite,” (our ultimate Bugeyes), custom built to the owner’s specifications. This one has a stock 1275 engine with a four speed transmission. Most upgraded is the appearance and attutude, with head fairing, hard tonneau, brooklands screen, performance exhaust and custom color scheme. We also converted the hubs to run new wire wheels. The car will head home to Alabama this weekend.

Everything is new and driving the car is a delight. The small screen shields your head more than one might think… I put about 30 miles on the car in 80 degree weather and found it quite pleasant. The only downside of the small screen is that the wind wanted to steal my Bugeyeguy baseball hat.

What is a Super Sprite? Every Sprite is “super,” but after the 230+ we’ve sent out the door, the three that stand out the most are our custom builds with special graphics and features that have them turn heads just a little more than usual. Each time we fit and stripe a hard tonneau on a Bugeye it activates my D-Jag passion. There is something so appealing about the flat-topped “aerodynamic” racing sports cars of the 50s and 60s and a hard tonneau evokes that spirit.

The head fairing also feels like it belongs and reinforces the message–all the business happens on the driver side. Everything else is built for speed, and whether 45 or 65 or 100 HP, it’s just plain fun to have a Bugeye that looks like a miniature period racer.

#001 Morgan (silver) was supercharged with a fuel injection. #002 Gumby (green) features four-port injection with a cross-flow aluminum head. This white car (#003) is only mildly upgraded as far as performance is concerned. They’re all probably slower than mom’s new mini van. But if you want to burn a smile into your face that will last for your entire trip inside the grocery store, we’d like to build #004 for you.

Also worth noting is “bees knees” (AKA “Goldie”) another super car we built for Ron from Rhode Island (below). This is another impressive custom Sprite that delivers a similar look with different components. Ron chose a single hoop roll bar with integrated pillow and many of his own Super Sprite modifications. This car retains the original 948 engine with a fantastic exhaust note that makes the car feel like a giant-killer.

If you like these modified cars, you can see Gumby and Goldie at the Lime Rock Concours on Sunday September 2nd. Come say hello!

Contact us at or call (203)-208-0980 during business hours