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Garage Find Bugeye: 1960 Austin Healey Sprite

1960 Bugeye Sprite Garage Find Side

UPDATE 1/15/12 – This Bugeye ended up selling for $8,800 with 32 bids.

Bugeye Sprites are great fun and we wouldn’t mind finding one tucked away in garage somewhere. This one was found in Helena Montana and it is in great original condition. The seller has replaced a lot of the consumables and has gotten it running. It is rust free and well preserved. Find it here on eBay with bidding at $6,250 and no reserve. The seller even took lots of photos to document the discovery…

Back Alley Garage Find

If you ever have the good fortune of digging out a barn find car, make sure you snap a few photos. You will be glad you did later, even if it is something as common as a Sprite. The photo of this little shed makes us want to drive up and down the back alleys looking for potential finds.

1960 Bugeye Sprite In Garge

Here is what the car looked liked when they opened the doors. Boxes and junk piled on top of it, but at least they stuck a car cover on there first. The seller claims that they bought it from the second owner who had done a bunch of work on the car before putting it into long term storage. We ca’t understand how anyone could have this fun little guy out back and not take it out once in a while.

Happy Bugeye Barn Finders

Ah, the joy of a good find. These guys look pleased with their purchase. We are sure they picked it up for a good price too. The seller is fair with his listing though and doesn’t even have a reserve price. He doesn’t even require a deposit and mentions that the auction winner can inspect it and back out if they change their mind. Seems like a nice guy. We wouldn’t be in hurry to sell this one either because we would be out driving it around country back roads.

1960 Bugeye Sprite Garage Find Engine

The engine looks sorted and ready to go. The seller states that they replaced all the fluids, put some fresh gas in it, and it started right up. They went through a few things here and there so the car can be driven. The gauges all work and the sale even includes the jack, tonneau cover, side screens, and convertible top.

1960 Bugeye Sprite Garage Find Red Interior

The white and red combo look great. The paint is assumed to be original as well as the seats. We have to guess that the carpet has been replaced, but we could be wrong because the odometer is only at 635 miles. Don’t get too excited though because the odometer was not working when the seller purchased the vehicle.

1960 Bugeye Sprite Garage Find Rear

Buy it, preserve it, and enjoy the heck out of it. Bugeyes may be small, simple, and underpowered, but they are one of the most iconic sporting cars ever built. The handling makes up for any deficiencies they may have. In fact, Sprites are still seen at SCCA events today. How many fifty year old cars can claim that?


  1. Bob

    Fake..a garage with no dust..clean boxes..i’m not buying it

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  2. Paul

    Nope… I’m not buying it, either. Also, it looks like they cut the branches and put them in front of the shed. Everything’s clean as a whistle inside the shed. No long term storage there!

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  3. Dolphin Member

    A 1958 Sprite was my first car, bought in 1960 for around $400 because 1st gear was bad. Brand new a Sprite was under $1900. My father helped me fix the transmission. Actually, to be honest to his memory….I helped him fix the transmission. I drove it for a year or so until I bought a 1959 MGA for $500. Those were the days–when a kid could afford a real Brit sportscar.The Sprite was like a go kart to drive, but the SU carbs had to be exactly right for it to wind up to redline and produce much power, which was 48 HP if I remember correctly. It was a VERY TINY car. I would not want one now. This one looks pretty good in the photos, but I am with Bob–I don’t think the garage would be so tidy and dirt free if the car had been sitting there for 50 years. But if the condition can be confirmed it should be a good purchase for someone who wants a very small British sportscar cheap. If you have sat in one before I suggest that you do before bidding on it.

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  4. Dolphin Member

    Oops…that’s “If you have NOT sat in one before I suggest that you do before bidding on it”

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  5. Barn Finds

    Sorry for the confusion guys. The ebay listing makes it sound like the second owner put the car into storage around 2001 and that it has been there since. It definitely hasn’t sat in that shed for fifty years though.

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  6. Bear

    -I currently own 6 Spridgets. 3 Bugeye (aka “Frogeye”) Sprites & 2 later series Sprites & one Midget. They are FUN, FUN, FUN!!My ’60 Bugeye & my ’66 Midget are street cars, mostly stock, mostly original, with a few performance & safety enhancements. Th

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  7. tom

    That`s not a real Barn Find LOOK at his Ebay feed-back He`s sold Austin Healey,Mercury : Monterey ,Yamaha : LT2,Triumph : TR6,Indian : Apache,BSA : 441 Victor,& more this guy is a car dealer

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  8. Barn Finds

    I wouldn’t say that the car is not a barn find just because it is offered by a dealer. Lots of dealers sell barn finds. It just means that they picked it up at a barn find price.

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  9. Bear

    Barn-find or not, that appears to be a pretty nice Bugeye. :-)Especially if he’s allowing buyer to inspect it 1st-hand before paying anything.Rust is what kills these little cars… & while everything is fixable, it is always better to find a car with little or no rust….& although “dealer” tends to cause fear in many potential buyers, there are some dealers out there who are actually pretty nice guys to deal with.Sure they are trying to make a buck or two from the sale, but doesn’t everyone??

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  10. Ron

    I’ve owner a second genearation Sprite but always fancied the frog eye. Add disk brakes and go for broke.

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  11. johnny

    just love these old barn fine’s… I remember a while back when a friend of mind up in Long beach,ca… came a crossed a old ww2 Chev in mint conditions…it turned out that when the father went off to war… he bought the car for his wife… who only drove it once… and that was from the car lot to the house… it had been parked inside for nearly 50yrs… with only about 30 miles on it… lot of bird droppings and dust but other then that it was like a brand new car… tho the tires were flat… from sitting so long… how he came about the car… was she had passed on… and a friend of his bought the place… and said that he could have any thing he found in the old house … cause they were going to tear it down… and this is how he got it. I am sure that he never sold it… mainly cause of its age and how good it looked inside his shop that he owned…wow what a fine’

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  12. Chris

    There are many legends about “barn finds”. My find was out of an estate with a two stall garage. The old canvas covers were over a 1932 Packard convertible coupe with a note saying don’t try to start the engine as the bearings were shot that also said the chassis had been greased about 10 years back. Horrible attampt at a repaint. The second car was a 1937 Packard Super 8 in really good shape that had been put up during WWII. The Super 8 also had a grease note from the same date. Both cars were up on blocks with ancient cracked rubber tires. They both went into some auctioneer’s hands. The thrill was pullling the covers off to see what was under them.

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  13. Barn Finds

    Sounds like a great find Chris. Do you have any photos?

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  14. Wagoner

    The blatantly staged “discovery” is annoying, but the car looks good and it went for a good price, even with the various imperfections. The unmodified/unmolested condition is nice to see. I hate fixing the mistakes of previous owners.

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  15. Arthur

    For someone that sells vehicles frequently it’s surprising that he couldn’t tell if it was a repaint or not. Seems to be a fairly obvious repaint when looking at the exposed original paint in the damaged areas and such. Not a very good paint job either. A bit rough and some paint on seals around lights. This one would have required an in person inspection before making much of an investment.

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  16. Chris Junker

    Barn Finds. I just checked and rumor has it the cars are still there! I’ll have to check it out. My pictures went to the attorney who is since deceased. The cars, if still there, are 25 miles away. The last person (a Packard Club member) who had seen them said the wood in the convertible was in rough shape.

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  17. roy whittall

    Its affectionately known as the frog eye sprite in England, great little car

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