1960 Austin Healey Bug Eye Sprite Exclusive!

Reader Jennifer O doesn’t have much to say about this Bug Eye Sprite, but then again there isn’t a ton to say about such a simple sports car. These cars are about as basic as it gets, but Jennifer offers just what you really need to know about it. There’s some rust, but that isn’t surprising for a 60-year-old British roadster. Overall, it looks to be in complete condition with a fairly straight body. If you just getting into the hobby and want a fun classic to restore, you really can’t go wrong with an Austin Healey Sprite. They are simple, easy to work on and parts are plentiful. Jennifer is asking just $1,900 for this one and you can find it in St. Petersburg, Florida. You can contact her via the form below with any questions or to make an offer.

What Makes It Special? Rare vintage British Sports Car

Body Condition: Overall, its in good vintage condition. There is rust on some of the seams and some rusted through in the floorboard area. Very few dents and dings.

Mechanical Condition: The engine and drivetrain are intact. Has not run for several years though.

The engine does appear to be complete, but there’s no word on whether it turns over or not. If it was running a few years ago, then it seems likely that it would at least turn over still. These 948 cc engines were good for about 40 horsepower and 50 ft.lbs. or torque, but with such a low curb weight you really don’t need much power to have fun in one of these. A popular upgrade is to fit these cars with the 1275 cc engine from the later Sprites. It could be a good option for this one if the engine is seized as it does increase the power quite a bit, but if you are going to the work of swapping the engine a more modern 4-cylinder would give you more performance and improve driveability. Personally, I’d try to get the original engine running before thinking about a swap.

From what can be seen in the photos, this looks like a great project and a decent deal. Original Bug Eyes are getting hard to come by in any form and this one looks like it is a worthwhile project. I would be seriously tempted to leave the exterior looking rough. I’d repair any rust issues, replace the interior and freshen up the engine so that it would be fun and safe to drive. The current look is shocking enough that it would stand out at any event or car show you take it to and it would save you a bundle of money on body and paintwork. And as long as you treat the body with a good rust inhibitor, you’d always have the option to get it painted once the novelty wears off.

  • Asking Price: $1,900
  • Location: St. Petersburg, Florida
  • Mileage: 75,000 (not sure)
  • Title Status: Clean
  • VIN: BAE 21 975

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Comments

  1. ccrvtt

    $1,900 is a steal. Someone please buy it before I obsess over it any more.

    4
  2. bobhess Member

    ccrvtt. Please do so I won’t have to. Already got two….

    3
  3. Capt.R. D.

    A great resource for anyone interested in these special cars and a must see for the buyer.
    https://www.bugeyeguy.com/

    1
  4. Bruce

    About as good as you can get for smiles per miles cars. I have worked on many and I will repeat that a new wiring loom is critical and then just strip it down and repaint with the best paint you can find. Go to Moss Motors or Victoria British Car Parts and spend your money.

    The bigger motor has one serious advantage because you need to get the later heater as well. Put the side curtains on, the Tonneau Cover in place and go for a dawn drive in the early fall morning. Let the air caress you as it pulls the warm air over your body. Only the back of your ears will get cold but you will not really care. If you have a special person that would fill the second seat bring a big blanket or sleeping bag for warmth but feel the world pass by and know that you are truly alive.

    There are cars that make you feel alive by going fast or with amazing handling but this while rough riding puts you into the world. So find that twisty road filled with trees that are starting to change color, listen to the birds that are flying around you as you pass and live well. Such good memories in these.

    13
  5. KevinLee

    I know nothing about these, just wanted to comment on what appears to be a happy little guy this car is from the front.

    4
  6. Chuck F

    That does seem like a good deal, there’s a pretty rough one in Mobile AL on Clist for $1,000.

    2
  7. Sunbeamdon

    After my HS Days and Hot Rods I “graduated” to a three year old Bugeye (’58) – ($800 CDN) rebuilt motor, bored 30 over, ported and polished and added Sebring Stage 5 cam, upgraded Transmission from Granny gear to full Sebring Specs. Finished the car on a Friday afternoon, test drove it 60 miles, parked at the reception hall used it the next day for Honeymoon Car. Only a couple of problems – the bow clipping the top into the windshield would flex, opening the top and allowing the rain to pour in – wife hated it because it destroyed her “Beehive” hairdo; somewhere west of I5, in the dark, on the road to Crescent City the dynamo fell off and shorted against the block – simple fix – stretch fan belt on, wedge dynamo into place and keep the primary wire from continuing to short and carry on. Next day part of the parking lot at motel was under 12 – 18 inches of water – couldn’t go anywhere, even if we wanted to. We survived, made it back, got sun north of Seattle, top down and all was forgiven. Fifty eight years later, I’m now facing the loss of my wife to rapid onset Parkinsonism with LBD. Bugeye gave way to Sunbeam Alpines and ultimately Sunbeam Tigers!

    10
    • grant

      That was a nice story, Don.

      3
  8. Tort Member

    Always wanted one and this seems to be a steal. Maybe I can convince my wife that we need to head to Florida for some sunshine!!!

    3
  9. Chris

    Anybody know if this sold? I emailed the owner and haven’t seen a response. I’m local, so I was hoping to go look at it.

    When I was a kid there was a soft drink commercial where a group of guys pick up a Bugeye and carry it across a creek flooding the road. Then they all have a drink (7Up, I think, which was odd since the car was a Sprite). We had British cars growing up, including an MG Midget and an MGB, and when I saw that Bugeye on the television I decided that was going to be my first car.

    I ultimately ended up with a TR6 instead, which was a great car and probably a better car for a teenager. But all these years later I still want one of these old Sprites.

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