Garage Find: 1959 Austin Healey Sprite

This tired 1959 Austin Healey “Bugeye” Sprite is said to be a recent garage find from somewhere in New York State. These are among the most recognized of classic British sports cars, and there’s an enthusiastic following for them, even in condition like this. The seller provides only a few details and it’s hard to discern how solid it is underneath, but being from New York is always a cause for concern. Find the Sprite here on eBay with a cheap $3,950 Buy-It-Now. 

The good news is it appears relatively complete, even if the cosmetics are quite rough. Good glass, a fair amount of trim, and relatively straight panels all make this one appealing as a parts car if nothing else. The soft top appears to be a lost cause, but that’s not entirely surprising. Four good hubcaps will also accompany this long-stored Bugeye.

The interior is a mixed bag, as it looks far more complete than expected. But it also reinforces that this is very big project, as the wood dash almost looks home-made and the door panels are long gone. The seats don’t appear to be a lost cause, but with a robust network of spares and reproduction parts, there’s not much value in trying to save musty or damp components.

Again, under hood looks very complete and un-messed with. The engine shows no signs of having been partially disassembled, so at least the baseline will be fairly easy to establish for a project like this. However, I still see this as a parts car unless the seller can verify that the undersides aren’t completely rotten and the frame is sound. The seller is working on tracking down a title, so the next owner will have that going for them.


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  1. Capt RD

    Whoever buys this should put these guys in their contact list!

    Like 4
  2. Brock

    Seats are from a 1963 onwards. Looks like the proper engine with some early bits on it. Dash makes no sense and it’s got a bunch of stuff that shouldn’t be there.

    It’s a “work in progress” for sure.

    • angryjonny

      Agree. That dash should have a choke, an ignition key, a pull-start, a turn signal, a wiper switch, and that’s it. I wonder if the assembly straddling the transmission hump is some sort of home-made heater/blower thingy?

    • philthyphil

      even has the tach drive on the generator

  3. Wayne

    These don’t come with door trim panels. So they can not be missing.

    Like 2
  4. waynard

    This would be a real crowd pleaser at any cars & coffee. BringaTowtruck.

  5. Bryan W Cohn

    Even if rusty underneath all the panels exist to rebuild it, but can this Bugeye be restored and have the owner come out even or on top financially? If you were paying I think not, if you are a shop, possibly.

    Still, who doesn’t love an old Bugeye???

    Like 2
  6. Mike

    Is this a chameleon? The color practically blends in with the asphalt.

  7. Brian S

    I’m not sure what has happened to me, I’ve been a 67-72 chevy/gmc and a Pontiac lemans/gto guy since I was a kid and my dad bought a red 66 gto new. I went to college for auto collision repair right out of high school and bounced from shop to shop for about 6 years before starting my home shop. As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized I would love to do the mechanical and body restoration on a British car and especially one of these. I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d say that about anything but an American auto !

    Like 1
  8. stillrunners stillrunners Member


  9. Steve Phillips

    Had a friend in high school that put a CheVy 283 in his sprite

    Like 1
  10. Kelly

    Someone modified the bonnet to tilt forward instead of the bang your head lift from the front factory method. The dash should be steel.
    I had one in the 70s in Ohio. The poor thing dissolved from the road salt.

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