Live Auctions

1959 Austin Healey Bugeye: Not That Original


This Bugeye here on craigslist for $6,500 might be nice and it might be a bit over priced. What caught my attention was the ad. It’s all about attitude and poor grammar with this guy. Perhaps he’s had some bad experiences on craigslist in the past? Thanks to reader Jay for finding this one. Jay knows Bugeyes and says this one is not at all original. It does come with lots of new parts including a new top and roll bar as well as boxes of new and old parts. It will need the usual mechanical attention after sitting. After reading the ad, how do you think you’d get along with this guy?


  1. jimbosidecar

    I don’t see anything offensive about the ad. having placed vehicles on Craigs List before, I know how many scam e-mails he will get. Car looks decent enough from the pictures, but the key will be what does the under carriage look like.

  2. Dave at OldSchool Restorations

    other than the white faced gauges, what has beed done looks decent…and if the car is SOLID, the price is about right… actually might be a good find, and maybe a STEAL at 6500..

    Unless you are buying a Concourse Sprite or a true “Survivor” …. , “original” is not a big price determining factor, IF the mods are in line with what would have been done by the mid 60’s… the top. steering wheel, wheel trim rings and forward tilt nose are all ” correct” mods ,… only the guage choice is a bit much.

  3. AK CarNut
    I’d buy the one that’s all put together and has history first.

  4. Bugeyeguy

    If spring pockets are reasonable I would easily drop 7500-8500 for that car

  5. Dolphin Member

    The attitude I see in the listing tells me that I can expect more of the same if I try to get information for a serious purchase. A VIN plate photo that can’t be read, repetitive photos that don’t tell you much, a “last true sportscar” claim that’s BS—-no thanks.

    The only way to deal with this is to be close to San Diego, go there with cash in your pocket, check it out, and then offer something close to the value that you see if you still want it. “BOXES of New & Old stuff” could be anything—it needs to be seen. The guy has set this up to sell locally. Working on this from a distance is going to involve frustration, pain, or both.

    If an offer is refused, walk. They made a lot of these, and there are better ones for equal or less money.

  6. Doug M. (West Coast) Member

    It actually looks like a pretty nice car! white walls, chrome trim rings, the carbs may have been rebuilt, but if not, at least polished, showing some attention to detail, steel braided fuel lines… It may not be exactly the way you want it, but, again, someone has put some effort into this. I would check this one out if looking for a bug-eye.

  7. grant

    My issue is, and I mean no offense; when someone obviously has failed to master 3rd grade grammatical rules, it usually says a lot about everything else they do too. Maybe I’m a snob but really, the Random Capitalization makes him sound like he doesn’t have the Brains to Pour pee out of A boot.

    • Geoff

      I agree.

    • Dolphin Member

      Completely agree….. There’s a technical writer named Mike Miller who writes for 2 car magazines that I read. He advises people wanting to buy a good used car that when you’re evaluating a car you should also be evaluating the seller. Is he knowledgeable about the car and its history? Can he discuss it intelligently? Does he seem careful or careless? Did he save the car’s service/repair paperwork? The more knowledgeable and careful the seller, the more likely he took care of the car properly, especially if he serviced and fixed it himself. I’ve walked from possible car purchases because I just didn’t have confidence in the seller.

      • grant

        Exactly. It’s like when the seller can’t even correctly spell the name of the car he’s selling, WHEN IT’S WRITTEN ON THE CAR! !! I assume he doesn’t know how to properly care for it, either.

  8. Andrew S Mace Member

    I didn’t see anything in the ad claiming the car was original. OTOH, in looking through the pictures, those whitewalls might be almost original (and, of course, useless for anything but a: holding up the car and b: possibly for show).

  9. jim s

    i too think a PI is needed. seller should get the car out of the building and take lot of good photos. interesting find.

  10. Kevin Harper

    I guess it is different perspective but I did not find the sellers ad the least bit offensive. It was short and to the point with no BS. The pictures were ok, not great, but I have to take into account that Craigslist is designed to be a regional sales tool, and there is enough information in the ad, that if a person in that region was interested they could call and probably stop by to get a further look.
    In the end he is selling a 6500 dollar car not a 650k one and there is enough relevant info that I could easily work with this person.

  11. Dolphin Member

    jimbo & Kevin, I don’t think the listing for this Sprite is offensive either. Maybe ‘frustrating’ would describe it. The car is said to be perfect for a vintage racer or daily driver, but there’s no information about the integrity of the chassis, which would be essential for both of those uses.

    People have used ‘attitude’ to describe this seller’s approach, which is to ask for thousand$ for the car but not provide much information about it or be willing to ship the car, or maybe even allow a carrier to come and pick it up, or?? Is this sale local only?

    I think anyone who would want this car already knows that it doesn’t have a cupholder, but to actually say that in the listing says something about the seller’s attitude. Yes, it’s a true sports car but it’s not “the last true sports car”. I think most readers of this website could name lots of true sports cars built after Series 1 production ended. And it does have a trunk, just not a trunk lid. Like I said, a frustrating ad.

  12. Jack T

    I also don’t find the ad’s tone offensive, but dubious about the rust shown on a California car. The fiberglass replacement bonnet might indicate tin worms made off with the original steel. (Pitty they didn’t take those hot rod gauges too!)

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