So often we sell our antique cars and never see them again. Sometimes that is for the best. I used to have a beautiful 1967 VW Beetle, black with a red interior. After I sold it the car began to appear in pinups online. I could see what horrible things the new owners were doing to it. A couple years later I began passing it going the opposite direction on my way to work. I could never catch the new owner. Recently I saw it being towed up a local highway and the neglect of the car had been so aggressive that it needed a total restoration. That broke my heart.
At the Arcadia steam show I had a happy reunion. Hugo reappeared!!! I was looking through some antique tools and looked up to see my electrified 1955 Metropolitan (nicknamed “Hugo”) drive by. I was so ecstatic that I ran after it and my friends had to come find me.
The new owner is taking good care of Hugo. He upgraded the electrical system from 48 to 72 volts so Hugo can drive on regular roads. Hugo now lives with a friend, a 1959 Triumph Ten.
The Triumph ten has a twin that is being electrified like Hugo. The Triumph here came from California where it was destined for scrap until it was rescued. It is a very complete and rare little car.
Hugo was a project I did a few years back with my students at Owings Mills High School. In fact one of my current shop helpers, Vlad, was the student who suggested the project. We had rented a battered Metropolitan for the musical “Grease”. Vlad looked at the car and suggested that we could build a better one. Thus the concept of Hugo was born.
For more of the story of Hugo and photos of the restoration go to this link on my main web page: http://www.hansonmechanical.com/MetEV/Metev.html It was a very happy reunion seeing this car again, and seeing that the new owner is caring for and enjoying Hugo.