Picture of the week: The guys who made this are ingenious, Sportscar Craftsmen in Colorado.
Which is superior, a Frogeye or a Bugeye? This has long been debated without resolution. Dozens of comments on our Youtube channel claim that one is superior to the other, and that one (or the other) is the most correct and genuine of the breed.
BTW, did you ever notice that all Sprite steering wheels are canted, as though to make more room when you get in or out of the car?
Brits cry “Frogeye!”
Yanks cry “Bugeye!”
Can’t we all just get along? (Times like these, we gotta stick together!).
Frogeyes are home market right hand drive cars, while Bugeyes are left hand drive cars sent to America and other markets.
Before anyone claims superiority, I noticed something this week that is a tangible difference between the two species; Right hand drive cars have a more angled steering wheel than left hand drive cars. I believe this is because of the oil filter assembly, which nearly hits the steering shaft on a RHD car. If the steering wheel was parallel to the dash, the steering column would hit the filter. On a LHD car, there is a little more room because there is little in the way.
Alas, the difference… the steering wheel on a right hand drive car is further angled than on a left hand drive car
Now we all get back to arguing which is a better name for the cars we all love so dearly.
Bodhi and I took a 50-mile drive last Sunday to attend our biggest local mixed-marque car gathering, Caffeine and Carburetors in New Canaan, CT. Gumby attracted a lot of attention on a field of about 900 other interesting cars. I continuously marvel at the staying power of Bugeye Sprite popularity. With all the millions of dollars of machinery displayed at this event, the little Bugeye seemed to be a serious player and at times drew quite a crowd.
Driving to and from the event, I was also impressed to see three separate passengers film Gumby in motion on the highway. The most entertaining was a teenager who climbed all the way to the back of the family Blazer and filmed us at speed through the open tailgate window. People really do like seeing something different on the roadways and it was fun to share this car with everyone out for their Sunday drive.
In spite of all the cool Porsches and Lambos around the field, below is my favorite car of a the event, a 1960 Valiant Suburban. This machine is full of odd angles and curves and it seems completely remarkable that a designer presented this object to a board room of executives and they agreed to build it! In mass quantities!
1960 is our niche (this was the biggest year of Bugeye production). Check out the TV commercials below for a hearty dose of 1960 culture (station wagon commercials are later in the video).
My favorite accessory on the field was this locking gas cap, Land Rover style.
Favorite front end? This should come as no surprise.
And the favorite dog award goes to none other than Bodhi, resting at speed on the trip home under the hard tonneau, after a hard day at yet another car show.
At times this week felt a bit precarious, as we pushed to produce our next crop of great cars, electric or otherwise.
This week we put the new charger in our latest electric Bugeye. This one puts almost twice as much juice in the battery pack as the prior iteration. The quest to improve charge time for our customers had us take out a perfectly good 2KW charger for the new 4KW model shown below. This means each hour of charge time produces twice the range.
Soon, we’ll send this blue car out into the wilds of Maryland, where we are sure that faster charge times will be appreciated. There’s just a little more wiring to complete first.
Also this week we watched the slightly precarious transport of one of the fiberglass Bugeye noses (from our parts catalog) on the roof of Andrew’s FJ. It made it safely to his shop, where it will be graced with ample primer and paint, so that another (gas-powered) Bugeye can come back to life.
This week, we also said goodby to our stunning 1967 AH 3000, which is currently on the way to BC, Canada and then on to New Zealand for a month-long rally in February, 2020.
Before departure, we were tasked with protecting the oil sump and exhaust from impact with rocks or hazards on rough roads on the rally, so Kenny fabricated the impressive skid plate (above), as well as a trick exhaust guard which is drilled with holes to match the custom wheels already on the car.
These plates should save the underside of the car on rough terrain. I was delighted with the way the exhaust gaurd looks in profile, since it looks like it was there from the start, with the alternating holes just like the ones drilled in the wheels. We also raised the car a few inches to improve ground clearance.
After an action-packed week, I look forward to some quiet time this weekend, perhaps watching the grass grow (but it always seems to come back to Bugeyes).
I will confess that I am on a quest to design the ultimate Bugeye Sprite T- shirt. These are the foundation of my daily uniform, so I have to like them, because I wear a different one every day. These all make great gifts, so let’s spread the message that Bugeyes rule… take 15% off any of our shirts now through Monday Midnight Eastern time!
Below is our latest design, the “Pure” Bugeye shirt. It’s 100 percent cotton with a crew neck, in forest green, which is the closest we could find to match leaf green, dark green, British racing green and everything in between (tattoos not included, those are permanently attached to the t-shirt model, although we will work on some Bugeye stick-on tattoos too).
We have had some interesting ones through the years. Here’s a recap of some of my favorites. If you ever come to visit, you can be sure I will be wearing one of the designs below. Use code “t-shirt 15” and you can have 15% off any of these! I hope you’ll have fun with our favorite designs! Quantities limited so don’t delay!
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.