Barn Find Bugeyes

1959 Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite Front Corner

When Austin Healey introduced the Sprite in American it made a big splash with the sports car enthusiasts. Not only was the Bugeye an affordable open top roadster, but it was a blast to drive. The Bugeye followed a simple formula of lightweight plus nimble equals fun. Well we found not just one of these fun little cars, but two Bugeyes that have been stored for several decades. The first one is this 1958, which can be found here on eBay with a current bid of $4,050 and one day left on the auction.

1959 Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite Interior

This car is going to need some work, but it is a complete and unmodified Bugeye which is starting to become a rare thing these days. The seller claims the car was parked in a garage in 1975 where it sat there on blocks until just recently. They saved the car from its garage with the goal of restoring it, but decided they already have too many projects. Part are cheap and plentiful so the restoration shouldn’t be too difficult as long as there isn’t too much rust.

1959 Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite Rear Corner

We are not sure if the paint is faded or if it has been re-sprayed, but the color almost looks orange in the photos. These cars are very rust prone, but this one looks fairly solid with surface rust in all the typical places. There is some rust through on the rear panel so you will want to do an inspection to make sure there isn’t more cancer lurking underneath.

1958 Bugeye Sprite Barn Find Engine

The biggest problem here is that it currently isn’t running. The seller says they haven’t tried to start it because the gas smells bad, but they have turned it by hand. You may just need to flush out the fuel tank and replace the fuel lines to get it running again. Or it may need a complete overhaul, but t if you’re hunting for a fun winter project, this car could be a great starting point.

1959 Austin Healey Sprite Front

If the bright color is too much for you, than you may want to take a look at this more subtle white 1960 Bugeye. It can be found here on eBay, where it has a current bid of $5,000 with the reserve met and one day left. This car might not look as clean as the orange one, but it’s very original and is being offered for sale by the original owner. The car was bought new in Stuttgart, Germany in 1959. The seller brought it back to the States and in 1972 they parked it in their garage and left it there until 1990. In 1990 they got the car back on the road and drove it occasionally till 2002, when it was parked once again.

1959 Austin Healey Sprite Engine

A major advantage of this car is that it is currently running. It’s not running great though, so It’s going to need some work done to get back to peak performance. The 946 cc has low compression and is burning oil, so it’s probably going to need a rebuild. It may just need some work on the heads and new seals, but it’s hard to tell until you get in there. There are also some rust problems in the quarters and the floors, but the owner has patched them with fiberglass. We would recommend knocking out the fiberglass and replacing it with steel.

1960 Bugeye Sprite Barn Find Interior

The interior of this car looks great. We love the white on red color scheme here. It is all business on the outside with a party on the inside. If everything inside is actually as good as it looks in the photos we would just want to re-stuff those seats, clean everything, and leave it as is.

1959 Austin Healey Sprite Rear Corner

Both of these Bugeyes are projects, but we think the fun factor when complete will make it worth the time and money. We probably wouldn’t spend much money on the paint and body of either cars and just focus on getting them running again. Of the two we are definitely leaning towards this white one, but both cars will make fun drivers with a little work.

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Comments

  1. fw hunt

    These were very popular when I was in high school in the early 60’s. Cheap and Fun..!

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