Bugeye Beauty: 1959 Austin Healey Sprite

Bob is selling his Bugeye Sprite which is located in Eden, Utah.  I have never been to Eden but it looks like a pretty scenic place based on the backdrop of the pictures that are posted here on eBay. This car appears to have had a restoration started with the engine and drive train rebuilt. Bob is restoring another Austin Healey so he is selling this one to finish his keeper. The car is bid to $3,050 with six days remaining.

The rebuilt 1,275 cc 4 cylinder engine looks cute sitting in engine compartment and is an upgrade compared to the original 948 cc A series engine that were originally installed in the Mark I cars. The 1,275 cc engine produced 65 hp vs. the 948 cc engine that produced 46 hp. Percentage wise, that is a big leap in horsepower!

The Austin Healey Sprite was originally designed to have pop up headlights like the later Porsche 928 but due to cost constraints, the headlights were fixed in the upright position. Many enthusiasts refer to these cars as “frogeye” or “bugeye” Sprites. British Motor Works produced almost 50,000 bugeye Sprites from 1958-1961.

This car comes with lots of parts as seen above including the transmission, gas tank, convertible top, original hub caps and some interior parts. The exterior of this car was originally red and the interior was black which is a popular combination. I have always admired Austin Healeys. Who has owned one and can tell us more?


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  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Looks pretty solid. You can assume that with the smooth case transmission on the ground there is probably a rib case in the car that came with the 1275 engine. There is no rear motor mount, just the rear transmission mount so both have to be in place at the same time. Replacing the rockers on most cars is necessary and he is providing those. We are building a race car out of a rust free shell, one of very few we’ve seen over the years. If there is any hidden lower rust the patch panels are readily available. This car will make a great rebuild project.

    Like 3
  2. wizzy

    I have a running / driving ’60 Mk1 and I’m in the process of doing a sympathetic restoration cleaning, some re-plating, fixing, replacing parts, but not body-off, show car level. It’s a very straightforward car to work on, parts are reasonable and very available here in the States as well as overseas. For those who have not done a restoration, this is a great car to start with and learn. Prices are going up and we’re seeing a lot of cars being over restored and selling for immense (IMO) prices.

    Like 3
  3. Paul

    The very first car I ever drove was a 1960 Sprite my uncle owned. I was 12 and just reached the pedals. This is what got me started down the road to having owned over 50 vehicles. A good friend is working on his 1960 and has a 2.5 out of a S10 pickup with 5 speed trans plus Cosworth Vega 13×6 wheels. Looks great and should be crazy fast LOL

    • Little_Cars

      funny you mention the Vega, the subject vehicle appears to be wearing a set of standard Vega steel wheels. A common upgrade to get a wider tire on BugEyes for not a lot of moolah. Good luck to the seller. Wrong side of the country for me.

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