I am starting my New Years resolution early with this-
I have at least 5 project bugeyes that I am going to sell. Each one has a story. I am going to post photos and list what comes with each car. Email me if you are looking for a project car or know someone who is. All of these cars with the exception of Flame had been left sitting since the mid 70's and most if not all have the license plate with reg sticker from the 70's. I will be doing the EBay thing too.
Autumn - one of my favorites and took over a year to buy. What made this unique is that it has never been restored. The original paint, leaf green, is faded and areas are showing primer. I had plans to just clear coat it and drive it as is. I found a registration card from the 70's in it and googled the name, found the owner and called him. The story why it had not been driven since the 70's was told to me. They loved the car and swapped out the original 948 to a hotter 1275 with a header and they also upgraded the brakes to front discs. However, after a few years of driving it the master cylinder started to leak and the brakes needed to be pumped in order to stop the car. The owner told his son to not drive the car until the brakes were fixed. Well, of course the son was caught driving it one night and got the keys taken away from him. From that day on the car has sat. It still has the college parking pass on the bumper from 1975. The owner said to me the engine ran great it just needed work on the brakes. This was a great find and I had every intention of keeping it as is and just getting it running. I would hope the next owner has the same intentions. The title has been lost, but I am willing to go to DMV here in Calif and get the paperwork straightened out. It has been in AZ its entire life and now is in S Calif.
Flame- I bought this one a few years ago. It a very straight, rust free, California car Bugeye. The owner had passed away and left the car to his son who was a welder/machinist. Unfortunately the son was a bit of a drinker and had a wild side to him. One day wafter having a few too many beers he was hit by a car while racing down a residential street. The accident was bad and he had to have his right hand re-attched. This left him unable to fix his Bugeye, which had quit running. His story to me was it runs fine all it needs is a set new Petronix ignition part. he even showed me the melted part. After getting it home I did a compression check and then pulled the head. The number 1 piston has a hole in it. The Bugeye shows a bit of his personality. He had screwed little stainless steel flames on the fenders and other areas of the car. Nothing big, but there are now little holes where the flames had been attached. I still have them if you want them :). The body is very straight and the paint is in good shape. It needs motor work and wiring.
Nemo- Another California car with lots of paper work showing it had spent much of its life in Northern and Central Calif. Registration paperwork shows ownership in Chico, Santa Barbara and most recently La Quinta (near Palm Springs). I was told it had been raced a lot in Sacramento and appears to have been painted 5 or 6 times but never sanded down to bare metal. They simply kept painting over the old paint. Body is ok, has some small dents but comes with a 1275 motor which may have been built up at one time.
Rosa- This very original unrestored Bugeye was owned by a father / son team who raced bugeyes throughout the 70's. This was not however one of their race cars. It is very original- wiring and all gauges have not been messed with. Motor is out, smooth case tranny is still in the car. It was originally Cherry red and has been painted one time. It has the "Manhattan Auto Sales" original dealer logo plate on rear of car. It appears this has always been a California car, but I can not verify it. This car appears very straight but shows a little rust on A pillars (bubbles / pimples in paint) and floor on driver side has rust.
Magic- This car has been in Santa Barbara and San Louis Obispo most of its life. Very solid and no apparent rust. There was a small dent in back left quarter where tail light is, someone cut the license plate area out to better access the dent and pound it out. The cut out is clean and the section removed is there. Not a big deal to weld back. For some crazy reason the front frame rails and radiator support have been cut off. I have a parts car that can be used to replace these or one could search on Ebay for them. Paperwork shows it was registered last in the 70's and was once owned/registered to a company called Magic in Santa Barbara.
YEAH BABY !!!!!!!! You have no idea how happy that makes me, definitely the right call. You can fake patina but you're only groovy once.
Ok, its got a name now...Groovy!
Plum caaaraazy paint and floral interior was definitely influenced by something. I have always loved Austin Powers nd now is my chance to have a hippie car all over again. I did have a few VW bugs in the day and now I am just reliving my child hood.
I changed the oil and filter, cleaned and put new distributor cap with purple wires no less and rigged a temp gas line and with no choke on the 3 rd crank that lil engine started right up. 70 lbs or so of oil pressure too! It has been sitting in a ware house since 1977.
This one is not for sale, but I thought I would share the excitement of the find. Its a two owner car, 35,000 miles on it and from what I am told once it was delivered to the dealer in Montana and it has never been out of the state of Montana where it was first sold. Its been in a warehouse since the 1970's, no mice and no weather issues. I am really impressed on how original the engine is and how the wiring is still intact. Its the only Sprite I have ever seen with the original cloth wrapped radiator hose. The fuel line has a unique coil from frame, around steering column to the mechanical fuel pump ( I took a photo of it). I have never seen that either. Its an odd looking bugeye, since its been painted purple and has a fiber glass bonnet. But I still really like it. Totally stock engine, exhaust has the correct hangers and even the stock muffler which has a bandage over a hole in it. And no rust at all! It needs a bit of TLC for sure though.