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1960 Austin-Healey Sprite Project


The Sprite may be best known for its “bugeye” face, but we like them because they offered consumers the driving thrills of more expensive sports cars at a much lower price. It was basically the sixties’ version of the Miata. This one has been sitting since 1981 and is need of a full restoration. Don’t worry though, it will be so easy that a girl could do it! Find this project here on eBay where bidding is currently at $270.


  1. rancho bella

    Our U.K brothers call them frogeyes. Cute as a button and wonderful mileage. They are small so have a goodly amount of life insurance. I think parts are not problem, perhaps the more knowing could chime in.

    Nicely restored ones can fetch a decent amount.

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  2. FRED


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  3. geomechs geomechs Member

    I always get nervous when I see one with that much rust. I saw one that had actually collapsed right at the firewall from rusting completely out. Whoever buys this one is going to spend a small fortune curbing the Tin Worm.

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  4. paul

    While the Fred Flintstone floors look bad from the photos it doesn’t look like it’s into the cowl all that much so cut out the bad stuff weld in some fresh metal & then treat the car with POR-15, I would not consider this an all that hard a project from the photo’s & it looks to be pretty complete. It will take a good knowledge of Mig welding , air chisel & knowing how to use a hammer & dolly.

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  5. Mark E

    Ah memories! It was working on a project like this that I found out, from several neighbors, that they don’t appreciate an air chisel symphony on Saturday morning…

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    • paul

      I hear ya, we do this in stages for short periods of time.

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  6. Dave @ OldSchool

    ..OUCH !

    @Paul …Forget the floors, it’s the sills that are structural, especially since the rear quarter-elliptic springs are anchored in them…or what’s left of them

    This is not a car for a novice …… although it might be financially practical for a PRO

    The BEST part… the selling shop is being realistic in the cost of metal replacement…then add another 10-12 k and you can have a 15k Bugeye for about 20 grand …

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  7. bugimike

    Not quite as easy as you would like to believe! The rust worms have done their work well! Firewall rust is not the issue here! This was one of the early examples of unit body construction, Those rotted rocker panels look pretty far gone, and the mounting points for the rear suspension could be a major problem! As stated above, for about a 20 grand investment you could wind up with a decent 15 grand car!!

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  8. paul

    @ Dave The sills can be bought & maybe I’m not such a novice, as for the area where the leaf springs attach looks to be not all that bad looking at the second to last photo of the floor area behind the seat, so it may need a media blast & it ‘s hard to say of course from photo’s. Still I give this an easier project then many I see here & else where since these cars are very basic in configuration & have a bare bones interior.

    I have done inner & outer sills on E type Jags & quite a few Alfa Romeos, now those are a project.

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  9. Jim

    Even the patron Saint of Spridgets Frank Clarici would do a double take on restoring this one. I saw one he restored that looked worse than this one but this one needs inner and outer sills, floors, A-Posts, Firewall, and the rear suspension mounting point is the not to be take lightly. If you purchase this car, you will be a welding professional when you are done. Bonnet may be salvageable but there is a crack in sheet metal above LF Fender and appears to be lots of bondo in there.

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  10. Dolphin Member

    Far too much rust to make this a decent project. I would run away from this even if the listing wasn’t a hard-sell job.

    These are unit bodies, and this would take much more work than it would be worth to make it look good and also be safe. These are only about $10K – $20K cars in real good needs-nothing condition, and this one isn’t in the same galaxy as that. Better to think of it as a parts car and maybe get a car with a decent body that needs some parts.

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  11. Bernie H

    Hey, Boy is this one a sorry mess, I believe the term is ‘parts car’. If someone is really looking for a bugeye project, call Byron at Sportscarwarehouse.com, he’s got a good bugeye that only needs assembly, everything is done/painted/rebuilt/rechromed etc, and reportedly complete. The owner lost interest, and I think its for sale at $7K. I thought about it, but with 7 cars, my insurance agent said if I insure an 8th vehicle, he gets a trip to the Virgin Islands for two. The Sportscarwarehouse is located in Arlington, TX.

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  12. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

    Sold for $1,825.

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  13. @paul

    Paul, I am definitely not a novice. Bought my first BugEye new in 1959, you can see it on the BugEye forum, have done a dozen over the years, and currently doing the ex-Flessa race BugEye now to bare metal.
    If you have never done a Sprite/Midget, you should not be assuming there is much metal to work with, when you see this much rust in the sills. POR15 will only delay the demise awhile, and is NOT a repair ..
    My guessessment stands… when done, you can have a 15k Bugeye for about 20 grand

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    how much are the early 1960s Austin healey front clips going for these days? one of my neighbors got one him and his friend were building a autox/road course car but his friend died so hes just wanting to sell the front clip. its in great shape no major rust just a lil bit of surface rust but not much contact. me as soon as possible

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    • Jim Gruber

      Got pics and where are you located? Depending on condition $4-800 is likely a good price. Someone is trying to sell one for $2k on eBay right now and will never get it. FG bonnets are around $900.

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