Austin-Healey “Bugeye” Sprite Custom Package Deal

This package deal of Austin-Healey Sprites, which is located in Greenacres, Washington, will offer the next owner a few different options to consider. Given the fact that it includes two cars, maybe one of those options will be to sell one car to help finance the completion of the other. If you are up for a challenge, then you will find this pair of Bugeye Sprites listed for sale here on eBay. While there is a BIN price of $8,000 for the pair, there is also the option to make an offer.

Let’s tackle the red Sprite first. This is a 1961 model, which makes it the last of the Mark I, or “Bugeye” Sprites. It seems to be in generally good condition, with no real rust issues to identify. The fiberglass body modifications were believed to have been performed very early in the car’s life, and have held up quite well. The paint has a number of scratches and marks, and the car will probably require a repaint at some point. There are some parts of the custom work that I really quite like, but I will admit that I’m not that taken with either the door openings or the tail-lights, but that is purely personal taste. While it is only visible from a distance, the interior also looks like it is in pretty decent condition.

The grey Sprite is a 1959 model, and it’s in a partially restored state. The body has been media blasted and coated in grey epoxy primer. There are a few rust issues to attend to, but these all seem to be very minor and should be able to be repaired with patches. None of these spots appear to be structural. The owner says that the car is fitted with a set of Dan Gurney Wheels, but I’m not 100% convinced that they are the real deal. Some aspects of their appearance and finish look right, while other details don’t. Hopefully, one of our knowledgeable readers will be able to clear that little fact up for us.

Now we jump back to the red Sprite, and the news here is pretty good. The owner claims that the car is mechanically original, right down to the hoses and clamps. It has been in storage for many years, having last been registered in Montana in 1966. A long hibernation doesn’t necessarily equate to a lot of work for the new owner, because not only does the Sprite run and drive, but the owner says that it is really fun to drive. One thing that the next owner won’t have to worry about is antique tires because the little Sprite has recently been fitted with new ones.

So, over at the grey car, we learn that the red Sprite is not the only one with custom bodywork. I like the tilt front on this car because it is a bit of a subtle surprise. This one doesn’t run or drive, and it has essentially been assembled as a roller to assist with shipping for the next owner. The custom work extends below the skin, as the entire drive-train is from a Mark II Sprite. When up and running, that 1,098cc engine should produce 56hp against the original engine’s 43hp. This also raises an interesting prospect when it comes to performance because while the Mark II offered noticeable performance improvements due to the extra power, the Mark I was lighter be around 100lbs. The combination of the bigger engine in the lighter car could make for some reasonably entertaining motoring. The seats and gauges are from the same source, and also look to be in good condition.

This Austin-Healey Sprite package deal is an interesting one. In addition to what has already been described, the cars come with a substantial inventory of spares, including body panels, body hardware, suspension parts, and sundry other components. It would certainly be possible to purchase the lot, keep one car, and then sell the other to help fund the completion of the other project. Alternatively, it would be quite enjoyable to complete both projects and have two cars that would surprise the purists out there in the big wide world. What would you do?

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Comments

  1. Brakeservo

    Whoever “built” (sic) the red one seems to have really wanted a Crosley Hot Shot and tried to make one out of that poor misfortunate Sprite!

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  2. bobhess Member

    Most of that extra 100 lbs on the Mk II came from the addition of the trunk lid and associated reinforcements/seal area that was necessary to make it work. A small portion of the additional weight came from the separate hood and fenders of the square body. Not sure the mods to the red car did much for it.

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  3. John

    Whoever did that to that little Sprite has a special place somewhere warm waiting for him. the best bet would be to move all of the “good” parts from the red car to the grey car. The red hulk could then be turned into an artificial reef at some deep part of the ocean (maybe a tax write off?).

    That much fiberglass and filler have got to be heavy and they will form a protective barrier to ensure that the tin worms can feast on the metal below in complete comfort. Have you ever ridden in a Sprite? You must be able to reach out and touch the road beneath you through the space where the doors were intended to be.

    Nope. These little cars will be hard pressed to find a loving new owner. Sad.

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  4. Dallas

    Agreed, the red car looks terrible. The mods really ruined that lovely styling.

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  5. waynard

    Red car: Awful. Whoever did that should be pilloried.

    1
  6. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    Ugh. Looks like somebody was enamored of the Crosley Hot Shot for that door inspiration. Totally unsafe and a waste of filler + (presumably) reinforcement material. And a boot lid so long you could lose two sets of golf clubs in there. The gray one looks far better even in it’s primered state.

    I didn’t think any Dan Gurney wheels were available in 13″ size. I would verify what makes the seller offer that claim. But, in the end I’m a fan of every Spridget that comes to market. Too bad everything showing up on Barn Finds lately is on the wrong coast.

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  7. W9BAG Member

    These cars just make me smile. They seem to be smiling all of the time :)

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  8. Edward

    The rear view of the red vehicle reminds me of the Jensen.The scalloped door openings are very odd.

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