Part of the process for the concours judging car 501 will undergo is the scrutinization of bits that the standards refer to as “Loose Equipment”. One of the components of this section of the judging is the tool kit that came with each Frogeye. There are eleven different and unique components present in the tool kits that came with most Frogeyes (the first 42000 or so cars came with the eleven-piece kit. The kit was streamlined after this to a seven-piece kit that eliminated some of the smaller and less helpful bits).[Read more…] about The Right Tools For The Job
Each day we spend with car 501 is another day closer to completion. In preparing this historic Bugeye for the Austin-Healey National Enclave later this month, we have run across multiple cases in which a concours correct part needs to either be fabricated, modified, or is completely unobtainable altogether. Such was the case for the air inlet hose for the heater assembly. However, we have finally been able to find a solution that will meet our needs, and in the process have launched an exciting new product!
The concours standards call for an inlet hose made of ” thin rubber with a helical spring inside” with a “seam spiraling around it from one end to the other”. The factory original hoses, due to their construction, did not survive the “harsh” conditions of a Bugeye engine bay. In the years since, there have been reproductions on the market but none of them are correct. But we have finally discovered a solution that has the correct look![Read more…] about 501 Update & Some Cool Green Cars!
Welcome to another chapter in our Concours 501 story. We are working out the final details on car 501 (the first production Bugeye) for the September 18 Austin-Healey Club Enclave and National Concours in Pennsylvania. This week, we finished making our proper boot compartment spare tire tray, and we’re excited that this detail is now made right for our special car. We are even more excited to be offering this as our newest product!
The earliest Bugeyes (chassis number AN5L 4684 and prior), had a tray in the boot for the spare tire, not just a flat mat. In the photo below, taken from the factory parts manual, you’ll see what exactly the factory had in mind with this component (16 is trunk tray, and 16A is the later car flat mat).[Read more…] about Junk In The Trunk!
As we continue on our quest for Concours Gold status for AN5L 501, we sometimes come across components of the concours process that can become a bit of a grey area. On some things, the judging standards aren’t very clear on how a part is assembled, or what hardware is used, or whether a component was used only on early cars or only on late cars, and we have to use other research methods to draw a conclusion on how that component should be handled.
We want this car to be exactly accurate, to win the gold medal in Concours judging of course, but also to leave behind a Bugeye legacy that looks exactly like the day it left the production line. Long after all cars are electric or flying or teleporting for that matter, we hope that Bugeye #1 will be the gold standard for anyone who wants to know how these things were long ago once built.[Read more…] about 501 Floor Mat Fact-Finding!
National concours judging is a difficult game that requires meticulous builders. It’s a nerve-racking scavenger hunt, and at times it’s not even all that clear what is needed to win. It’s easy to be dismissive of Concours fanatics as an oddly detail-oriented bunch, who perhaps don’t understand all the benefits of modern improvements.
I am beginning to realize, however, that Concours is not evil. In fact, it has been a real gift for us to take on this project; in sweating these originality details, in spite of any self-proclaimed mastery, we still have to sweat just as much as anyone else. The pursuit of concours gold has allowed us to come back to the very humble beginnings of the Austin Healey Sprite and to appreciate and acknowledge the beautiful simplicity of its design. I’ve said before this a second honeymoon, but I’ll say it again: we’re falling in love with these cars in a whole new way.[Read more…] about The Perfect Engine Bay!
Our latest project started as a bit of a nightmare… Imagine waiting seven months for your number one Frogeye to arrive and then completely filleting it on the floor of your garage. With just eight weeks to rebuild the car completely to concours specs, the voice in my head kept saying “what on earth are you thinking?” 501 showed up nicely restored but with disk brakes, HS2 (later) carbs, an electric fuel pump and lots and lots of incorrect hardware. It all had to go in our quest for concours gold.
August dawned this week with a lot of key concours point sucking issues behind us. We corrected foundation issues and started the rebuild and now this project has taken on an entirely new dimension.
It has become a lot of fun.[Read more…] about Bugeye Second Honeymoon!