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On the Road in San Diego

Jim_Gruber

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I'm taking a few days of R&R in San Diego and staying with Bill and Joal Mayer(60FROG). Bill invited me out to come and drove 60FROG. Although Bugsy II is under reconstruction, my last time in my '68 Sprite was 3 years ago and alas, I've never driven a Bugeye. Dreamed about it but never driven a Bugeye. Well I got my chance to drive 60FROG and aslo got to meet and have Tech Session with the famous Bill Masquelier. I know his brother Mark back in Dayton but never had the opportunity to meet Bill M. in person. I got a lot of questions answered, and advice given that will be useful in Bugsy II's reconstruction.

No the important part. Bill Mayer and I got out of San Diego Traffic and headed East to the Otay Lakes region and then down Hwy 94 to SoCals Tail of the Dragon type of road. Absolutely perfect BE Weather with Sun coming through the overcast and low 70's for temps. We stopped at a bar that caters to weekend bikers just after 11:00 AM and had lunch. Virtually no traffic this early on Memorial Day weekend and so it was a treat riding shotgun down. Nice lunch but as we went outside for me to drive home over the winding mountain roads a sign outside the bard told the tale Deaths YTD 4, Injuries 29. A bit ominous to me for the journey home.

So let me get to the important part, what's it like to drive a fabulous BE for the first time. Engine is a 1275 +.030 over with a somewhat lumpy cam. Power, power, power, engine coupled to a 5 Speed and 3.9 pulled strong in every gear. First gear runs out quickly and the short shifter just clicks easily into 2nd gear. Clutch felt heavy at first but after a few minutes no issues engaging from a stop even up hill. Transmission is a delight and I've been promised I'd see how a Datsun 5 speed transforms this car and everyone was absolutely correct. It makes a huge difference in driveability and with the 3.9 rear end the combo is perfect. It can cruise all day at 75 and the car feels totally planted and solid. My '68 could get to 75 but getting there felt a bit scary with constant steering correction even with a rebuilt front end and rear and a set of Peter C. shocks. 60FROG absolutely flat and composed going into each and every turn. Disc Brakes up front and Sumitomo 175/60/13 tires stuck like glue. Braking wonderful and well modulated. Front sway bar kept things under control up front and the rear end followed nicely. Ride was firm but not bouncy. Seats comfy and well padded and driving position great. In short and absolute delight to drive. I can't wait to do it again.

My thanks to Scott MacDonald for doing a wonderful build on 60FROG and Bill M. for keeping 60FROG running so well. I'm excited to get back home on Moday to get back to work on Bugsy removing the rest of the PS Floorpan and making a decision on whether or not I need to replace the rear bulkhead on Bugsy II. Lots of stuff back there that does not look like it was properly repaired 35 years ago. Thanks again to Bill and Joal for the wonderful hospitality and the opportunity to see just how wonderful a BE can be to drive.
S
 
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Jim_Gruber

Jim_Gruber

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A picture of 60FROG on the road this AM. The sign in the background provides stats on number of folks killed YTD on this road. I'm sure with bikers racing up and down this road this Memorial Day weekend a few more stats will be added unfortunately.
 

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59diamond

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60 FROG is going to a big car show in Fallbrook Ca on Sunday. The show is 55 miles from home with 54 of those miles on the Freeway in 5th gear. This is the fifty first edition of this show with 450 cars in attendance. They are shutting down the entire Pala Mesa resort golf course for the event which will be on the grass. I am driving up and if Jim Gruber stays away from the beer garden he is going to drive back.
 

Bill H

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A picture of 60FROG on the road this AM. The sign in the background provides stats on number of folks killed YTD on this road. I'm sure with bikers racing up and down this road this Memorial Day weekend a few more stats will be added unfortunately.
Love that look, I am still considering OEW as a color for my 60 BE. Those tires look just perfect to fill the beautiful round wheel arches, No scrubbing? I was considering something in a 14 inch, but seeing those 175/60/13 I can't see going that route
 

smaceng

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Glad to hear that 60Frog is getting out to stretch her wings and that she is running so well. When I offered to sell my BE to BillM (Mayor) she was not for sale. But Bill had a better story to own her than I did. Ask him about it!
Cheers,
Scott in CA

CIMG2744aaweb.JPG
 

AngliaGT

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Jim,

You're welcome to stop by on your way home -
we're only about 13 hours North of there.
 

nomad

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Nice to see you guys are able to get out and play. Its been raining for a week almost daily and it's up to it again today!

Kurt.
 
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Jim_Gruber

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Cars and Coffee this morning. 6:30 am time to roll out of the bed.Then back to clean up 60Frog after putting almost 200 miles on him in the past few days.

Weather in San Diego for the next 10 days 72-73 as a high, either Sunny or partly cloudy. Grey right now but will burn off morning clouds. Pleasant Top down weather with a light jacket this am. Gotta go, or we're going to be late. ��60FROG.
 

59diamond

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Sunday morning and Jim and I are getting ready to drive to the car show. There are really low clouds and mist this morning so we will get a little damp on the ride.
We decided to wear hellments and leather jackets for a good impression on entering the car show. We plan to leave the house at 6:21 which is one minute after printing Jim's boarding pass for the trip back to Dayton. We will be shooting for an "A" boarding pass on Southwest Airlines. I am driving up and after we get our first place trophy (Wishful Thinking) but hey you have to stay positive. After the award ceremony Jim will drive back. Wish us Luck.
 
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Jim_Gruber

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Made it back safely. NO trophy. Lost out to a absolutely most pristine 1991 Acura NSX I have ever seen. HTH Does a BE and an Acura NSX end up in the same class is beyond me. ANyway I got to drive I-15 55 miles back to San Diego. 60FROG is absolutely stable at speed at times 75-80 with still more to go on the rev counter. Goes where you are pointed and changes in the Freeway surface do not seem to bother him. In spite of idiot drivers who wanted to race past us at 85-90 I could at least hear them coming. Stare straight ahead, hold my lane, and let the idiots blow by. Look ahead, pick your spots for lane changes and all went smoothly. COmpared to my '68 Sprite 60FROG is a dream to drive. GReat power, great handling so, and asunder lay put together BE.Again thanks to Scott, Bill M, and Bill Mayer for the opportunity to drive such a wonderful Bugeye. I already got invited back by Joal. I must havedonegoodand not worn out your welcome. Up early to catch a 6:20 flight back to Dayton. home around 4:00 EDT. A very, very, fun last 5 days, 320 miles on 60FROG and I'm encouraged to get back to work on Bugsy II. Thanks to all for your help and support. JIm G.
 
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