(click to enlarge)

Year: 1960

Austin Healey Bug Eye (Mk I Sprite for the formal name)


Stock # NE-1960-60


I guess like most classic cars there are cars that fit into several categories, Restored, ratty, in between and perhaps five other subcategories. And then there is THIS car:

Indicated 38,000 miles (no way to substantiate BUT in most every way, to me, it is believable), body appears to be perfect, no indication of body, old damage, and with new show quality Bugatti blue paint (understand, our idea of `show` is a local show, NOT serious national show). And the floors/chassis, sills? Essentially perfect. No repairs, no rust, no phony undercoating to hide issues, the best i have ever seen. THIS APPEARS TO BE ONE INCREDIBLE WELL PRESERVED BUG EYE.

New light tan interior, brand new top, side curtains, and tonneau, very good chrome (what little there is but it is common for a Bug Eye to not have a front bumper assembly which this car, of course,has), all working original instruments and switches, correct wheels and hub caps with new Vredestein H rated radials. And in the drive train and electrical system: engine is a 1275 unit, painted and detailed, compression: 150-153 psi in every cylinder, 85 psi oil pressure cold and 70-75 psi at operating temperature, zero smoke cold or hot, rebuilt twin HS2 SU carbs (far better the ancient H1 carbs when new), .new wiring harness, gearbox is a bit noisy in 1st, but good synchromesh, and a noisy 1st is rather common in cars such as this.

Heater works, wipers work, handbrake works (and has a new cable), original steering wheel, overall, a lovely Bug Eye. The cutest sports car ever built.

I know, have owned my own Bug Eye for a dozen years or more. Went a but over the top with a high geared 3.9 diff, a T9 five speed, a slightly detuned Oselli 1312cc race engine with an aluminum crossflow head, roller rocker assembly, twin Weber, servo assist disc brakes, racing back axle shafts, a tilt nose, and chrome wire wheels. To be candid, I added some of these bits when I sold my Lotus Elan S2. And in fact, the Bug Eye with all of the options has made an excellent alternative, not as fast but still very quick, better gearbox, higher gearing, fun handling, better straight line stability, and even smaller than the tiny Lotus. And it virtually never breaks.

Bug Eye Sprites are wonderful cars, stock, slightly modified (as in this 1275 powered car), or super modified. And yes, I LOVE my Bug Eye.

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