November, 2015: What are the chances? Twin Bugeyes with Consecutive VINs.
We've owned a '69 Bugeye for a number of years. The plan was to restore it, once we had some time. Well, time just flies by, and our Bugeye patiently sat in waiting. Time has been in real short supply, particularly since we purchased the big building to accommodate the expanding business. Keeping up with the demand for Series parts sales, and trying to deal with renovating an old building, left us with no time to move forward on restoring the Bugeye. But that hasn't stopped us from buying more old Rovers. It's a habit... some say a sickness.
Last month, we reluctantly brought home another Series 2a. Bit of a basket-case, (which is why we were reluctant - we already have a few basket cases on our hands), with a few extra parts for us to play with. Originally, we were under the impression that the truck was in much better condition. For that matter, we did the crazy thing of "cutting a deal over the phone", (not doing that anymore!), without even seeing a photo of it. On arrival to close the deal, we found a roof-less, sad looking late Series, and a whole lot of parts to be tied down to the trailer. A bit more work than anticipated, but we thought it might make a good project for ourselves or a customer. So back to the shop it went.
It was about a week later when we started to deal with the paper-work for getting the registration transferred. When we punched the VIN number into our records, at first we thought there was some sort of mistake... it showed up as a Bugeye. A quick run out behind the shop, and "Yep... it's a Bugeye!" Because of the issues when we first picked it up, we didn't even notice the tell-tale, protruding headlights. Back at the desk, another shocker! The VIN turned out to be one digit off from our first Bugeye. 24435911F, meet 24435912F!
It took a while to comprehend the fact that our 2nd Bugeye came off the production line right after our first Bugeye. "911F", (easier to say than "Bugeye 1" and "Bugeye 2"), had been re-painted a lovely Burgundy at some point in it's past. "912F" still has the original, but faded, green paint. The similarities between the two are obvious to us now. 911F is a very complete and un-molested truck. 912F has a few more issues, but could be restored at some point in the future.
Right away we thought that it would be great to get both Bugeyes, (the "Twins"), into the hands of someone that would either like them restored for them, or was willing to tackle the twins themselves? But, we were already into discussions with a customer who was looking for an interesting project for the Winter, and 911F has since moved on and will undergo a complete restoration. 912F will either be restored by us, or by someone interested in a great project.
Who knows? Maybe the Twin Bugeyes, 911F and 912F, will get re-united again in the future!