Drive It! 1960 Austin-Healey Bugeye Sprite

How could you not fall in love with this 1960 Austin-Healey Sprite? This absolutely adorable little car is listed for sale here on eBay with bidding a little over $3,500 as I write. It’s located in Dade City, Florida and there’s no reserve on the auction, so someone will be adding some British-built cheer to their life soon!

If you’ve never sat in or driven a Bugeye (Frogeye for our British/Aussie/New Zealand readers) you really owe it to yourself to do so. Think of it as the Ariel Atom of it’s time; motoring distilled to only what’s necessary; good handling, a top that goes down, enough space to fit a normal human and an engine that feels peppy (even though it isn’t particularly so).

I’d plan on a new top, but at least this means you can transport the car (it’s being sold as a non-runner although the seller has gotten it started) using an open trailer without fear of it getting wet.

I would view the interior as worn in rather than worn out. Folks, this is what the p-word means to me; signs that someone has been here before but taken care of it as a prized possession. One thing — a pet peeve — an unpadded roll bar — would have to either go or become padded with proper padding. That’s a good way to crack your skull.

The A-series engine looks ready to go apart from a very leaky heater tap. The car looks ready to go. It’s a driver with some fiberglass in the floors (look at the detailed pictures in the auction listing) but would be a great deal of fun. Personally, I’d use it “as-is” — how about you?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    This is one of the nicest Bugeye’s I seen in a while. For a time, Bugeye prices shot up, again, probably novelty more than anything, ( such a cute smile on the front) and the owners quickly found out, they aren’t the best road car. With the price of this still in the sane level, and 27 bids going up a buck at a time, tells me the bubble has burst on these. Great time to buy one, as shown. Simple, fun, 2 LANE cars. Interstates,with Ram pickups that could roll right over these,,not so much. Great find.

    Like 8
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    Redesign that roll bar slanted back and configured the same as the rear bow on the top frame and it’s out of your way and will support the top too. Needs two support tubes into either side of the trunk to be effective. Hope the fiberglass in the floor is the only repair….

    Like 4
  3. Ben T. Spanner

    Missing the front bumper! If I fit, I would like it. I would get a new top, because I live in South Florida, and rain does pop up.

    Like 1
    • Shawn

      Front bumper is included.

      Like 2
    • Little_Cars Little Cars Member

      Front bumpers were optional accessories. Not every BE came with one. And besides, it takes away from the smiling mug….like putting braces on a childs front teeth. Oh, and if you think the front bumper was a safety device, think again….as per the comment regarding RAM trucks. That’s exactly what they will do to you if you take the main interstates……

      Great starting price!

  4. Buggye

    Can’t use the “patina” word on the interior. Carpet and seat upholstery is inauthentic thus not original.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Sorry, have to disagree there. While it may not be original or even authentic, showing signs of human presence without abuse is patina (to me).

      Like 6
  5. UK Paul 🇬🇧

    Great little thing.

    Like 1
  6. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Never had a desire for one of these little sport cars, no matter the brand. But a friend of mine used to buy these things, all brands, and drive like there was no tomorrow. I rode with him once and he scared me half to death.
    God bless America

    Like 4
  7. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Friend had one right out of HS. Never drove it but got to ride in it and it was something to experience. Surprising how much you could stand your hair on end with such a small engine.

    Like 5
  8. Jay E.

    Nice original example of a very fun car. Drove the snot out of one 45 years ago, replaced the 948 with a 1275. You could really overdrive it into corners. Rollbar was great if you needed to transport 4 people, the extra two just sat on the back and held on! Time change… I think it is going to go for quite a bit more as this is 3X undervalued or someone is getting a bargain!.

    Like 4
  9. Dan

    Sills replaced poorly, with fiberglass and pop rivets … Could be challenging to make right. Given that rust inspection of quarter-elliptic spring mounts and A-pillars a must. Looks good overall but could be a tricky one. But parts alone worth the asking price. Buying this on pictures alone a risk.

    Like 1
  10. Peter berry

    I had one in the 60s great little car wish I had one now, as again only the two us, were is 2068 PX now, R.H.D. was in the U.k.

  11. Bill Wilkman

    I restored one of these a while back. All parts needed for a resto are available and reasonable. If the floors are rusted through, there is likely also rust in the A pillar and rockers. These are super fun to drive, especially if fitted with a Datsun 5 speed and later 1275cc engine.

    Like 7
  12. bobhess bobhess Member

    Good seams between door fronts and A pillars and scratched paint on the upper rear where the doors hit indicate weak rockers. Easy fix but not at a show car price. Hope this can be bought right. It’s a nice car.

    Like 1
  13. Ken Maxfield

    Hi Jamie … it’s a Bugeye in Australia. Adam Clarke will confirm. Ken

    Like 2
    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Thanks, Ken!!!

  14. TimM

    Awesome little car it would be a blast to drive this thing around town

    Like 1

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