View Full Version : My "First Bugeye" is in Texas!

03-26-2004, 12:41 AM
Last week, my 9 yr old daughter and I spent her Spring Break driving from Lubbock, Texas (in the Panhandle) to Green Bay, Wisconsin (in the snow) where we picked up my "new" 1960 Bugeye. As it turns out, the little Bugeye will need a bit of work before it is ready to hit the streets. There is a leak in the master cylinder. As a result, there are no brakes and the clutch needs to be pumped. Several of the gauges do not seem to be attached to anything. The tach is a dummy, stuck in for appearances. The good news is that nothing blew off during the 1500 mile trailer ride. The top stayed on and the hood didn't blow off. When we got to Lubbock, the engine fired up right away. I drove off the trailer and nearly took out part of my fence as I discovered the above-mentioned brake problem. Lack of brakes notwithstanding, I couldn't resist offering my wonderfully understanding wife a ride around the block (using the emergency brake if necessary.) We made it to the end of the drive way before the clutch lost enough pressure to keep the car in gear and kill the engine. My wife got to help push the car back to the garage. Welcome to the happy world of little British cars. In the next few days, I will tackle the master cylinder problem and bleed the brakes. Then it will be the horn and one non-functioning turn signal so that I can get the little Bugeye inspected and registered. In the meantime, I can walk out into my garage and sit in it. Life is good.

03-26-2004, 12:52 AM
Congratulations on a successful trip. Now the fun really starts! It doesn't sound as if there is anything major to deal with, though.
Does it still have the drum brakes on the front, or has it been converted to discs?

03-26-2004, 05:54 AM
Goodbye, free time.....Hello, dirty fingernails!
Anyway, sounds like a great adventure.
Don't forget to use DOT 4 brake fluid or Castol GT LMA fluid in your hydraulics (in fact, I would bleed all the fluid out of the brake and clutch cylinders and flush some DOT 4 through it, just in case the previous owner put DOT 3 in it by mistake....happens all the time).

03-26-2004, 07:00 PM
Glad you made it. The trip with daughter will always be remembered. Wish I would have done the same. Got my 60 before her mother was even in the picture.
As I rememer even when the brakes are functioning properly they weren't much better than no brakes - get used to it. That's how the bonnet got buggered (not too bad though). I would consider converting to disks as the first mod.
How did the loading go.
& what is the serial no? Mine is 25142.

03-26-2004, 08:12 PM
I have a friend with some racing / car building experience who is coming over to help with the brakes next week (I have a daughter/Dad campout to go to this weekend.) My plan is to get the car running and then start making a list of repairs / improvements for this Summer. A disk brake conversion is high on the list.

It appears that the PO was using DOT3. Is it the concensus of this forum that I should switch this to DOT 4? Are there any downsides?

As for the loading...all went very smoothly. When the buyer and I met up (in the parking lot of a truck stop) we were going to use the ramp on his enclosed trailer as a "bridge" to my open trailer. We then decided to load the car onto my trailer facing backwards, so that the top would be less likely to blow off. This entailed driving the car out of his trailer and then backing it back in, before transfering it onto my trailer. (It was at this point that he disclosed the brake problem.)When I got home, I tilted the trailer up using the tongue jack and then drove off with no problem...other than the aforementioned near miss with my fence.

One funny aspect to the unloading: this is truly my "first" Bugeye, as I had never been in one until I got to Green Bay, much less started or driven one. As my wife and daughter watched , I climbed in to move the car off the trailer. It was at that point that I realized that I had no idea how to start the thing. I knew there was a separate key and starter switch but I had no idea which switch/button/knob was the starter. (I forgot to ask the PO.) I worked my way across the dash, until finally hitting the proper button. Thankfully, the motor started right up. My wife is none the wiser. You guys can laugh.

03-26-2004, 08:14 PM
Oh, and my serial number is 24215. Original color was Iris Blue over Black. The car is now black.