When it comes to the first production Bugeye, AN5L 501, we’ve become so focused on the concours details and the gold level point score (which is fundamentally obtained during a static judging process) that it’s difficult to remember the dividends concours restoration pays with regard to drive quality. A driving test is required for national judging; a judge did drive with me around the parking lot and made sure the brakes worked properly, all the lights were functioning, etc., but it was basically a couple hundred yards of driving and we were done. The remaining four hours of judging happened with the car at a standstill in a hotel lobby.
So now that the static judging is complete and I’m the proud owner of this massively significant piece of sports car history, how does it drive?
There is another very valuable benefit of national Concours judging, and that was very apparent to me on my drive in the video below, which we were able to make for you on account of the lovely weather we experienced early in the week. This is a car with no punchlist. There is nothing wrong with it. It does everything it was designed to do. Everything works. And that is perhaps the most valuable benefit of the concours judging process.
By returning this car to its original formula and doing so at a “gold” level, the car actually works just the way it was designed, and it works quite well. 501 drives like any of our fully sorted Bugeyes, and while this one is completely stock, it’s still ready to go in every way.
I’m constantly driving customer cars and trying to eradicate all gremlins. How nice that this car has none!