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1961 Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite

1961 Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite

There are not many cars as characterful and fun to drive as the Bugeye Sprite. This 1961 Austin Healey Sprite has been in storage since the early 80’s and has now emerged to play again. It is located in Lima Ohio and is currently at auction on eBay with bidding at $4,550. The reserve has not been met but there is a buy it now price of $7,500.

1961 Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite Rear

The seller bought this car from a person who had owned the car since 1972. It had been parked for around 30 years, but the seller claims that after they purchased it they just drained the fuel tank, changed the oil, and it started right up. We would want to to go through all the mechanicals thoroughly before running the car any further though to avoid any damage.

1961 Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite Rust

The eBay ad states that the car only has two tiny spots of rust. After looking at the photos we have decided that the seller must be very optimistic because the areas right in front of the doors have some major rust. These cars are  known to rust out in this area so patch panels are plentiful.

1961 Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite Paint

Our other concern here is that the paint is peeling and you can see a different shade of white underneath. This may mean that the car has been re-sprayed sometime in its life. If that is the case, you will want to inspect it to make sure there isn’t more rust and body filler hiding under there.

1961 Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite Engine

This little 948cc four cylinder doesn’t put out much power, but it is enough to move this 1500 pound car down the road. Sprites are known for their quick handling, not their speed. The new owner could either keep the drive train stock or upgrade to the 1275cc engine for a little more punch.

1961 Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite Interior

Here is the car’s saving grace. The interior looks great for a car that has sat for so many years. We love the simplicity of these cars and would love to own one ourselves. Inspect this car before buying if you can because there are a few questionable details. If it all checks out, this could make a fun project for anyone with an interest in vintage sports cars.


  1. swm

    Yes, two tiny spots of rust. The others are really big.

    Like 0
  2. Douglas Broesamle

    i have one also the rear spring pulled away from body i live in south cental lower Hillsdale MICHIGAN about 55 miles from Ann Arbor Hey ANY greatt welders anywhere close by that are into these cars ?????

    Like 0

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