(if a car is not pictured here, it has been sold)

Father, son, Bugeye.

Father and son

It’s always moving when kids get together to give their parent a really nice gift, and we have been lucky to be a part of many such Bugeye celebrations.

Here’s Dan with his dad Joe as they try out “Robin,” which all siblings ultimately agreed to give to dad for his birthday (he tried on a few different colors before they all settled on this red Sprite).

After some upgrades and a thorough check-over, our 256th Bugeye took off like royalty on a throne. We normally ship cars in enclosed trailers to keep them clean on their maiden journey but since Joe lives about an hour from our shop, an open trailer was fine.

Off went Bugeye Robin to bring joy to this particular family, and to conquer Interstate 95 on its journey, winner of the award for smallest car on the biggest trailer.

Better than Netflix-25 Sprites battle for National SCCA title

In the video below, you will see the 1980 SCCA H Production runoffs, with about 25 Sprites battling for the national title. You’ll also see interviews with the lead drivers at the end of the footage, in decidedly 80s costume.

I love the video below because it takes me back to a time when I didn’t have 30,000 emails to process, instagram photos to post, and a smart phone to charge. I love and rely on technology and have used it to build our business. I also love the pure sportscar simplicity (and Sprite popularity) evidenced in this video. And David Hobbs as commentator is a nice bonus.

Feel free to skip around in the video (the race starts three minutes in) and enjoy!

Bugeyeguy shop video tour

Your videographer

The Bugeye-lover above paid us a visit last week to explore our universe and he subsequently forwarded a video of his field trip, which you can enjoy below. The video stars our Bugeye “Prim,” which you can see (for sale) in the gallery above.

Thanks Geoff!

“It Came with Oil”

I love this book.

This is a compilation of the trials and tribulations of a restoration mechanic/shop owner. Within these pages, you will find fun stories about broken things and how they might be repaired on the side of the road. You’ll also find the sense of humor most Bugeye owners enjoy, from a wise author with a great perspective about how cars, conveyance and our culture have changed through the years.

The title is rooted in a conversation the author had with a customer who limped into his shop, with a clattering sleek and new Range Rover. When he asked when the oil was last checked or changed, the owner said, “It came with oil, didn’t it?”

This is a book for anyone who grew up when cars were user-serviced and occasionally uncomfortable (although he also writes about his Hudson with seats that folded into beds).

Recommended! You can order your copy by clicking here.

New Bugeye/Original bill of sale

We have had a busy week, preparing a few more Sprites and sending them on to new homes. We’ve now sold 256 Bugeyes. It wasn’t long ago that we crossed the 100 car mark, and that seemed unimaginable to me. Our current Bug-o-meter total of 256 is a number that fills me with tremendous gratitude, for a glorious journey and a great team that helps make it all happen.

I can’t help but wonder what kind of difference 256 Bugeyes makes in the world, as they actively run around and elicit smiles from pedestrians, passing motorists and owners alike. If one Bugeye makes one person smile at a rest area or filling station, what impact has 256 healthy Bugeyes upon the world? We hope to shift this country’s happiness quotient, one Bugeye at a time.

Above you’ll see David from Martha’s Vineyard, smiling with his new Bugeye “Hudson,” later loaded in an enclosed trailer for delivery. That particular car came with the original bill of sale, which is reproduced below and worth a closer look.

This car was sold new on March 9, 1962, for $1,980. Mr Marconi traded in TWO cars on that day, a 1954 Ford sedan and a ’53 Ford two door, with a total trade in value of $780. This left him a balance due, which he paid off in 30 installments of $52.32 (also note the mere $50 deductible for collision).

So, for less than the price of your monthly cable TV bill…

Also of note is the timing of this transaction. We know from production numbers that this car, car number AN5L 38415 would have been built in 1960. It was listed as a 1961 model even though no USA models were supposedly built after 1960. Moreover, it was first sold in March of 1962. How could this handsome car have sat with no suitor for all of 1961? Here is one more story of BMC dates and numbers that are difficult to reconcile. All that we can really know for certain is that this particular car was sold new in March of ’62.

Congratulations on your purchase David, and thanks for keeping the original cherry red color and original bias ply white walls in place, on your restored car! May you keep it as long as Mr Marconi (more than 20 years)!

Planting Bugeye Seeds

I received a call this week about a Bugeye for sale that was “a bit rough.” The price was $800, but he would take $500 cash. To make matters more urgent, he said that someone was coming to grab it Saturday with a trailer and cash in hand, but no money had yet been exchanged, and as a courtesy, he wanted me to have a shot at bringing this classic back to life.

As luck would have it, I was planning to be just .7 miles away from this investment opportunity that very evening, and so I decided to stop by for a look.

What I discovered was a self-composting Sprite.

I started to make a mental list of what might be saved here. An original dashboard has value. And the gauges can be restored, after all, they have been shaded all these years by the cowl. And the steering wheel is restorable, as is the cockpit trim.

As I thought about what it would take to liberate the fasteners holding each of these parts in place, I marveled at the pull of gravity as a non-negotiable force, on the fuel tank, for example. Long after the gasoline evaporated, and the varnish left behind had outgassed, the top of the tank rusted through, filling the tank with water, which eventually rusted the floor of the tank.

Perforated on top and bottom, the weight of the now lacy and empty tank itself was still sufficient to have it fall to the earth, as the trunk floor finally evaporated after one last terminal rain drop. Who needs the The Lion King? British classic car lovers have long embraced the circle of life.

Sometimes, the raw power of nature is simply too much, even for the mighty Bugeye Sprite. Clearly, the earth is winning this battle, and soon this car will be fully digested and beyond revival by mere mortals. I paused to salute the impermanence of all things, snapped a few pictures to share, and headed home, amused by the notion of a tree that might one day sprout forth from this ground, and leak 20W-50 sap from its limbs.

But, wait, it comes with a spare nose!

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