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Tires for classic sportscars

How old are your tires?

This one is probably 30 years old (it did pop)

I’ve seen recommendations that we should all change our tires every seven years. But we all stretch it, and with good reason. Even if you drive your classic car 1000 miles per year, after 7000 miles, that’s hardly noticeable wear for a modern 13 inch tire that is probably good for 40,000 miles or more. And there are plenty of Sprite drivers out there who just noodle around town, so why bother changing your tires if you never go above 40 mph?

Why leave your tires to chance? Roll with “Fate-O!” (these old tires came to us on a Sprite)

One of the great advantages of driving so many identical cars over the same roads day after day is that I get to experience lots of subtle differences between cars. More and more I am convinced that fresh rubber really makes a BIG difference. I have been to one of the largest tire dumps in America (tire pond) and I hate to see more tires discarded. But old tires provide less traction. Old tires don’t brake as well. Or corner as well. And in an panic situation, this could be particularly important. More importantly, new rubber provides more ride comfort for the occupants. Sure, comfort is not a priority when setting off in a Bugeye, but there is a noticeable difference when new supple rubber. It’s more compliant, and makes the car feel a lot better.

Sprites need all the suspension they can get, and tire sidewalls help provide that suspension. This is one reason I am very much against any tire with a profile lower than 70…. 60 or 50 series tires may look cool, but you sacrifice any cushion the sidewall provides. If you lost a dental filling on your last Sprite drive, you need higher profile (or new) tires.

Lots of original Sprite steel wheels are bent too. These Minilights repros are strong and round and well worth considering whenever you invest in new rubber…


Sure, everything else has to be set up right, and your shocks need to be working properly too. But don’t underestimate the importance of good rubber. Learn to read the date code on your tires so you can stop lying about their age. The date code is a four digit code in an oval box on the sidewall, usually next to a DOT number. 3604 would mean the tire was built in the 36th week of 2004. 1815 is the 18th week of 2015, etc. The new tire at left is 0618, made February 2018 (click the photo to enlarge if needed). If you can only find a three digit number, you are way overdue… in 2000, this designation changed from three to four digits, so if you have only three digits in your date code, your tires are more than 18 years old. Rubber that old just can’t grip the asphalt the way you need it to.

Tires are cheap! Click here if you want to order a set today. We have 155 and 175 series. We also have new wheels available and can mount and balance your tires are wheels and ship them to your door. Click here for more info! And click here to add mounting and balancing…

Don’t do this to your Bugeye Sprite

We’ve seen quite a few broken windshield stanchions. This one lost its tip, a break likely caused from pushing the car from the windshield frame, or pulling oneself out of the car by the top of the frame.

Remember to be careful with any loads you apply to your Sprite windshield, as the pillars are not available new.

All about Bugeye Sprite Front bumpers

This photo depicts about the ugliest application of a front Bumper I have ever seen. This particular car wears a later sprite Bumper (which has the wrong shape for the front of a Bugeye) on a custom mount and it just looks wrong in every way. Correct front Mark 1 bumpers can look nice when done properly. In this post, I will share some basics about front bumpers on Bugeyes.

“The Egg”

First, a front bumper was optional on Mark 1 Sprites sold in the UK. However, every Bugeye bound for the US of A was shipped with a front bumper. That said, many (if not most) have been removed by now, for reasons I will get into below. Most importantly, there is no law of which I am aware that requires a front bumper on a classic vehicle. I often get that question… people fear that they will not be able to register their Sprite without a front bumper. That has not been an issue on the more than 225 cars we have sent to new homes and new states. Old cars are generally immune from this sort of safety standard (not that a Bugeye bumper provided much safety anyway).

Click “read more” for additional bumper information and pictures… [Read more…]

Don’t do this to your Bugeye Sprite-Part 3

This picture tells the story of time, and what happens as an immobile Bugeye is slowly digested by other non-mobile, non-British flotsam and jetsam.

Never place anything heavier than a feather on the back deck (or nose) of your Bugeye, as it is easy to flex, rumple and/or crease. When pushing these cars, make sure to push from the outer edges near the seams, or from the bumpers, to support your push without denting the rear deck or nose. It can take a lot of hours to make them smooth and fair during restoration once they get dented. It’s best to avoid the problem in the first place.

This is a car that has sat in one place for about 30 years. It’s now on its way to our shop (without the raised panel doors, baskets, and fluorescent light tube) to be made running and driving again.

No more errant holes! Our new rear deck template is here to help…

Here’s another new product that will help you make your Bugeye better!

Back in the old days when Bugeyes were just cars and not wonderful classics, people seemed to drill into them regularly, without pause or planing. A case in point is the red kellison car shown above, which was quite perforated before we prepared it for new paint. Kenny welded shut no less than 19 errant holes. There were 6 extra holes alone for the license plate mount (now there are two, in the right place). Notice all the ground welds, each shiny patch is a former hole. Sometimes it seems like hole-filling is our number one occupation! Nothing ruins a new restoration quite like extra holes that the restorer neglected to fill.

Our templates saved the day! In fact, with our dash template, rear deck template and back end template (click to order), you can properly locate every hole and return your car to its factory greatness! Below you can see the template at work, which tells you which holes stay and which ones need to be filled.

With this car, we chose to weld shut all the short tonneau lift dot stud holes and convert this one to a long tonneau car. Short tonneaus are great, but given a choice, the long tonneau makes the back deck much cleaner. Notice in the photo below how we filled all the holes along the back cockpit edge for the short tonneau formerly fit on this car. Now we only need the four rear tenax fittings which accommodate both the top and tonneau.

There is no longer any excuse for a vacant hole!

Bugeye Basics-How to fit a Bugeye Sprite top frame and top/hood

Here’s the first installment of a new series we call Bugeye Basics. In these videos and posts, we will answer the most common questions from new Sprite owners.

Today, we cover the operation of the top bows and top. You can see this detailed in two separate videos below. We’ve added a new category in the right margin called “Bugeye Basics,” so you can find this and other basics posts easily in the future.

In the video, we highlight a few useful products, which you can order at the link below. In particular, every one of these tops is very vulnerable to boot rash, which happens when the clear plastic window gets scratched up from sliding around in your trunk. Our bag ensures your top will look just as good when you take it out as when you put it in.
Check out all of our Bugeye Top product offerings by clicking here.


Contact us at David@bugeyeguy.com or call (203)-208-0980 during business hours