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

Our supercharged Bugeye Sprite in Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car!



We have another great article in the July, 2014 issue of Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car! (you can see their first article about our cars featuring three different Bugeyes at the top of our homepage) This new one is all about the blown Bugeye we built for a great customer in Vancouver. Click the link below to read the article! Thanks to David Lachance for another great Bugeye Story!

In the top picture, you can see the car as it looked once completed. In the picture beneath, you can see David shooting his detail pictures on his visit. The supercharger is a fantastic upgrade. We have kits in stock if you want us to build a blower Bugeye for you!

Click here to read Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car July 2014 “Blower Bugeye” article

Bugeye cover story in Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car!



We’ve had a great year, with our 100th Bugeye sold (more details on that shortly) and also a great cover story in the September issue of what happens to be my favorite car magazine, Hemmings Sports and Exotic car.

Editor David LaChance paid us a visit and drove three varied cars we sold to customers in the US and Canada. All three cars were ready for delivery, and he got to sample them before they left for their new homes. He photographed details on all three cars, and then we drove them around while he hung out of the back of the Hemmings Ford Flex for the action shots. That’s David (at left) checking his images on his viewfinder, with Bob Matcheski, who fabricated the LWB Bugeye, at the wheel of the white Bugeye. You can see the rest of David’s pictures in the PDF file linked below.

For the climax, David configured the cars on the local dock here in Stony Creek Connecticut, a backdrop that may look familiar to you if you have been following the Bugeyeguy site. He captured a great sunset image, and much to our delight, it ended up the cover photo! Imagine my delight when I opened the envelope to see the advance copy!

It was Bugeyed Bliss.

Back in 2008 we started building Bugeyes in my crowded tandem home garage. Now, roughly six years later, here are three Bugeyeguy Bugeyes on the cover of a premier international magazine. We rebuilt all three cars in our 5000 sq foot shop, which is chock full of Bugeyes and parts.

What I love most about Bugeyes is that no two are the same, and this story covers a great three car spectrum of Bugeye possibilities. From stock to modified and everything in between, we look forward to building the next 100 Bugeyes… and beyond!

On any given day, more than 100 Bugeyes we prepared, restored, resusitated or just simply made-work-properly are bombing around their neighborhoods, with lots of smiles on faces of drivers and watchers. We’re doing all we can to make these cars as wonderful for new owners, and we continue to get better and better at doing it. Thank you to our staff, and to all our subscribers, supporters, and wonderful customers who have propelled us to this moment in our journey. It has been a great ride!

Click here to read the Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car Cover story Sept 2013

Bugeyeguy in GQ’s online magazine, part 2!

We have a new video posted now as part of the GQ car collector series, check it out in the link below! This is the second of two short episodes they have made about our shop.

In this video you can see my first car (1966 MGB) and my third car, a 1965 Mini Cooper, back in the days when classic cars were nearly new and hair was staying in the places it was supposed to stay. You can also see my dad’s 1979 911S we used to autocross together. I couldn’t find any early photos of my fourth car, the 59 Bugeye I still have, and the only one of my early cars that I kept.

GQ has a great series about a few different car collectors, which you can search for on youtube…

GQ Bugeyeguy

Our GQ video is up! GQ has a new series of short videos featuring car collectors nationwide and we are psyched to be included!

They featured a number of cars I have collected over the years, including my Olde English white Bugeye, 1955 100/4 and black 1962 MGA MK 2. Most of the other cars in the video are cars we have for sale, or cars that have since been shipped to customers. To see our current inventory, please click on the “cars for sale” catergory on the right side of this page.

When I was in elementary school, I used to bring a different Corgi car to school every day in my pocket. Not much has changed, except now things have gotten just a bit bigger. In 1997, we set out to build a leading restoration facility dedicated to the preservation and restoration of Bugeye Sprites and other classic cars. This video represents a wonderful acknowledgement of what we have created and we are proud to be a part of this great series.

If you like the video, please like, comment and share. Thank you for your support of our endeavors!

Bugeye Sprites in GQ Magazine!

IMG_5063IMG_0452IMG_0459IMG_0458I was contacted by GQ magazine recently to be featured in a new online series about car collecting that they are creating for their website.

What an honor to share what we do in this new format!

It took all day yesterday to stage the shop and align all the gorgeous cars for photo appeal. We had six Bugeyes in a row on one side of the room, two MGs in the middle and four big Healeys on the other! We had a total of 20 Healeys in our building yesterday! It was wonderful to take a moment an appreciate how we have grown into a full time and national operation!

The shoot took several hours, and we should be able to see it in about two weeks. We’ll post a link here.

The crew brought talent to interview me, named Oliver Trevena, and he’s the guy in the leather jacket seated in the MGA. He said he liked my black 1962 MGA most among all the cars we have.

In the videos, they interviewed me about car-collecting, and asked why we focused on Bugeyes. I told them many cars have sex-appeal, but bugeyes have “pure love” appeal, in that they attract and appeal to just about everyone, and that the rescue and preservation of these wonderful cars was essential for humanity!

I also talked about putting on a car like a favorite pair of jeans, about a car saying something about the driver, and about the sameness of modern cars. We’ll all watch together and see how it all comes out after editing!

I look forward to seeing these cars and our shop on screen!

Hemmings Sports and Exotics article on our 1960 Dove Grey MGA for sale

1960 MGA 1600
A long life led in the land of solid rocker panels made reviving this Dove Grey roadster a breeze

Feature Article from Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car
April, 2007 – Jeff Koch

When the MGA launched in 1955, it was a far cry from the bicycle-fendered T-series roadsters: The integrated body and voluptuous curves were an immediate hit with the sports-car-buying public. More than 101,000 MGAs were built from 1955 to 1962, according to, though just 31,501 were the three-year-only (1959-’61) 1600 models, and 12,503 were North American LHD exports which made it to the States. Even the name indicated a new beginning: This was the MGA, the first in a new series of modern MG sports cars.

The Dove Grey MGA seen on these pages desperately required a new beginning of its own when owner Bruce Perry found it languishing beneath a Tucson carport. Its back-to-basics approach was a plus for Bruce. “It was such a simple design. You can’t even lock this car. I love the door pull cables–without door handles, the body looks really clean. To start it, you pull a knob on the dash. I love the little things like that which make this car unique. And when I saw this one, I knew it was a diamond in the rough.

“My girlfriend’s father had it for 15 years, along with a second parts car. I bought both for $2,000, and his wife was so glad they were going! The one I was going to rebuild was old and tired, and missing the brake calipers, the cylinder head and the trunk latch, but it wasn’t rotten with rust. The strong point with this one was that it has the original rocker panels. MGAs rust out like you wouldn’t believe. When people pull them off the frames, the bodies literally come off in pieces. But this one was solid, and from that alone I knew I was way ahead of the game.” Such are the joys of working with desert-based cars.

The parts car, a 1500, was largely junked save for the engine and transmission, which we’ll talk about shortly. So the remaining MGA had never been apart before, but it was wearing its fourth paint job. “It was originally blue, someone painted it white, then green, then white again. It was just paint on top of paint. No one ever took out the fender welting either.”

Beyond that, the only surprise was that so little work would be needed to make it look good. “There was some surface rust, but once we sandblasted it, everything was fine. One of the rear fenders at the lower dogleg needed a piece of metal in the size of two silver dollars. Another critical spot on these is where the wooden floors meet the L-frame; those lips rust out. On mine, the floorboards were in pieces, delaminating like you wouldn’t believe. You’ll see restorations on them in print, and you see the bare wood. That’s just gonna suck up moisture and cause more problems. I grabbed some wood primer from Home Depot and some regular exterior wood paint for the floorboards.

“And the frame was really nice in that car–no pits. I’ve seen restoration photos in magazines, and you can tell where rust has eaten the frame, and they just ground it out or covered it up. This was smooth.”

Bruce sorted out the body, in its entirety, save for the actual exterior color coats. MIG welding stitched up the various rips, cracks and tears in the bodywork, but the only body panel that required a total replacement was the driver’s side door skin, sourced at Moss Motors. “I brought it to the sandblaster, he blasted it to bare metal, and I primed it with Val-Spar gray self-etching primer. I gave that to the bodyman, he ran his hands over it, he checked for any imperfections, then one coat of Mar-Hyde Ultimate 2K urethane yellow primer/surfacer. Then I got the panel back, blocked it with 200-grade wet paper, primed it again, let it dry, then blocked with 400-grit. Then it was ready to paint.” Bruce reports that his 60-gallon, 5-horsepower compressor blew 22 to 25 pounds through a $99 special paint gun, but that the p.s.i. range “varies–depending on the temperature, whether I’m mixing it thick or thin, that sort of thing. I avoided shooting in the 100-degree heat of the summer, and I used all medium thinners.”

Bruce also jambed the fenders and all of the body openings before sending it to JJ Auto Body in Tucson for three coats of RM Dove Grey (BMC code GR.26) single-stage urethane, then recovered it in time to pull off a 1500-grade wet-sand on the top color coat. “I did all the color sanding here; I literally sanded till my thumb bled.” Fitting body panels became the toughest task during restoration: “These were hand-built cars back in the day!” Bruce says.

Along the way, while everything was blown apart, Bruce made a couple of performance and styling modifications: Electronic ignition, a new AutoZone fuel pump replacing the original SU pump and silicone brake fluid increased reliability; urethane suspension bushings front and rear firmed up cornering a touch, while style choices included a wire wheel conversion (including the spindles and rear axle from the wire-wheel 1500 parts car–wire-wheel cars and steel-wheel cars had different axle lengths and parking brake locations) and polishing the domes of the SU carbs.

One choice that was already made for him was the engine: a 1,622cc Mark II engine had been fitted to the parts-car MGA 1500. Swapping blocks meant that a substantial power increase–93hp, up from the correct 1600’s 80hp–would be both possible and invisible. The additional .8mm bore over the 1,588cc block helped (as would Bruce rebuilding the engine, balancing out the bottom end, and boring out the cylinders .030 over), but it was the new cylinder head, allowing an 8.9:1 compression ratio, that was responsible for the lion’s share of the power bump. But since the MGA was discontinued in 1962, finding the missing cylinder head became a challenge. “Typically, guys will put on an 1,800cc head and block out the emissions stuff, but I wanted the correct head. I called a wrecking yard back East. And someone there knew someone local to them who had a correct, uncracked 1,622 head just lying around. Bought it for $200. I couldn’t believe I scored one. For that money, it was a good core–I had it resurfaced, installed hardened seats, stainless valves, new springs, and even found modern valve seals to replace the originals.” He also sourced a crankshaft, which ran him another $300. Chris Machine Shop in Tucson refurbished the head to working condition.

The standard-issue four-speed trans was known for rapid synchro wear, resulting in all manner of odd noises while shifting, but even though Bruce rebuilds transmissions for a living, he lucked out here, too. “I disassembled the parts-car’s gearbox, and I saw that the cluster gear was fairly new–a sure sign that it had been rebuilt. So I put new bearings and synchros in it, and freshened the seals, but it was solid. I run regular 20/50 Castrol oil like the manual says, and it shifts fine. They’re known to wear out their second-gear synchros, but I don’t use it as a daily commuter car.”

Bruce also restored and re-installed the entire interior, including the rugs, door panels, dash, a new wiring harness, and broken odometer and fuel gauges. He’s particularly proud of fixing the fuel gauge: “I took it apart, went on the MGA guru’s Web site, and step by step, he taught you how to fix the fuel gauge. Mine had a broken lead … the wire was so thin it looked like hair. I unwound it on a Planters peanut jar, reattached it, put it on my drill, spun the spool and wound it back on. And now it works!” Only the red leather seat covers (which he was shocked to pay $700 a pair for) were wriggled onto their frames by an outside party. “It was such a nice car that I wanted to keep it looking right–it had leather when it was new–but I thought it was ridiculous money.”

Most surprising, perhaps, is the time in which the restoration was executed: just 11 months. “I put in two full days a week, and some nights also,” Bruce admits. “I’m really happy with the way it came out. I wouldn’t change a thing, except for using different types of gasket sealers. I’d also like a five-speed conversion. I’d recommend anyone who wants to undertake a job like this to get all of the restoration and mechanical books you can find. Also hit the Internet and find Barney Gaylord’s MGA Guru Web site (” He gets to drive it every weekend (“except in summer, when it’s 110 degrees outside”), and has put around 1,500 miles a year on it since completion.

Bruce has restored a variety of European machines over the years–his latest is a 1966 VW Beetle–and he’s also done an MGC. But the MGA will be his last British car effort. “After I did the MGA, I said I’d never do another British car again. They’re beautiful, I love the design, they’re fun to drive, but they’re a pain in the ass. It’s a love/hate relationship. Lots of oil leaks, and little finicky stuff. They’re really high maintenance. On my MGC, they want you to grease the kingpins every 3,000 miles. Read the maintenance schedule, and they want you to do stuff weekly–tire pressures, check oil, get the headlights readjusted every 6,000 miles. Crazy! And the seat covers for the Beetle I’m doing,” he notes, “are $225 for a set.”

This article originally appeared in the April, 2007 issue of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
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