what to do/what to do?

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what to do/what to do?

Postby Jim Duffey » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:07 pm

I finished the Bugeye rebuild this time last year. Done to show as stock. In 4 All British shows, 4 firsts. I do it for the stories the car evokes from people. Folks like the originality. The car was just featured in The Marque magazine. Now, the question is do I upgrade to disc brakes? The car is used to show and drive minimally. No racing. Souped up original looking 948. Cruises fine at 70 MPH. It stops fine with drums. But, it only takes one errant driver to make me wish I had more stopability, and I do tend toward overkill, especially where my life is concerned. Maybe I just answered my own question, but I just so much appreciate the thrill I get when afficinados say "wow, you have the correct brakes on the car, and a smooth case (upgraded inside) to boot." So, do I yank these brakes out? The parts are all here. Bugeye Bill and I appreciate any and all advice/comments.
Jim Duffey
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Re: what to do/what to do?

Postby djimbe » Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:41 am

sounds like you answered your question real early in the post. You built a car for showing (minimal driving), and for having the personal thrill of knowing it's all stock and the way it left Abingdon. Folks drove the Mk I without discs for the first few years of the model's life, and the factory figured they were good enough when originally installed. Not my car, but I say keep 'em the way you built 'em, since it sounds like you have a survivor...
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Re: what to do/what to do?

Postby Jim Duffey » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:55 am

Yup, guess I mostly did Jim. The car was mothballed in dry storage for 25 years, in a million pieces. Yeah, one of those. Sometimes I think the car is mad at me for disturbing it's long slumber. So, thanks, think I'll spend the money on my "new" car.
Jim Duffey
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Re: what to do/what to do?

Postby djimbe » Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:15 am

I may be starting a "survivor" project later this year myself, which is why I initially responded. If the vehicle is what was reported to me, it's a '60 that's been garage stored for the past 35+ years. Has everything apparently too...both tops, the bags for the spare and windows, even supposedly the original interior. If that's the case, I'll be arguing with the owner (my father-in-law) about doing a bone stock restoration because I think an unmolested Mk I should probably stay that way at this point in the vehicle's history. There aren't many like that now, as you're finding out at shows. And pops won't be putting a lot of miles on it, given what it means to him and how he's living his life these days, so really, why not attempt a full on concours job?

My Mk I has been so drastically changed over the years that the discs and 1275/rib case box don't matter...it's a fun car, not a show piece...
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Re: what to do/what to do?

Postby Jim Duffey » Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:41 am

Sounds like a fun one. I have some bits here in Florida. Will be going on ebay soon.
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Re: what to do/what to do?

Postby Asolepius » Tue May 01, 2012 7:27 am

I thought the same when I bought my 2nd Mark 1 33 years ago. I kept it unchanged and even drove it from UK to Venice and back. The brakes virtually disappeared on one mountain pass, in clouds of smoke. Then I realised the shell was nowhere near as original as I thought, and 7 kilos of MIG welding wire later it is a rather different car. Since the rebuild I have been using Minifin drums on the front and they are a big improvement, but still require a huge push for an emergency stop. Hence the next project, to fit discs from a 1500 Midget.

It's all a matter of priorities. If originality turns you on, then don't change, but just stay well clear of anyone else on the road. The other day I saw 7 vintage Rolls Royces parked at a local hotel. They had no brakes on the front, and must have weighed 3 tonnes each. And it was raining! Some years ago I drove a 1928 Bentley 4.5 litre, and could not detect any significant effect of pressing the brake pedal. The owner said that driving on the road was frustrating because he had to leave such a long distance to the car in front that there was always someone else overtaking and filling the gap.

So my priorities have changed. Driving the Sprite wasn't much fun in standard form, but it is absolutely gigantic fun now - with a full page list of modifications. But for you, if winning shows is more fun then do that.
Les Rose, Salisbury, UK
1959 Sprite, owned since 1978
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