(if a car is not pictured here, it has been sold)

The world’s most reliable (and fun) Bugeye Sprite

Wipers work too! Photo Dom Milano

Above is Jeff in his blue Bugeye “Peggy,”, a car we prepared with a supercharger, rebuilt 1275 engine and five-speed transmission. We also performed about 100 additional improvements, to make the car as reliable as possible.

This is Jeff’s car, before it departed our shop, with supercharger installed.

Much to our delight, Jeff took the Amtrak train to our shop, jumped into the fully serviced car and drove it three hours to Boston, then got up the next morning and drove 145 miles to Lime Rock Park where he ran about 20 hot laps on Saturday in a driver school, drove to the hotel (about 40 miles roundtrip), back to the racetrack for another 20 laps of racing, then another 145 miles home to Boston.

Photo: Ed Hyman

Do you think the average Bugeye sold online or on an auction site can survive this sort of intense mixed use driving?

I doubt it.

After 246 Bugeyes through our building, we know what to look for, and what to change proactively to keep your British sports car on the road. Thanks, Jeff, for demonstrating that our processes work. Thanks for the drivable (and racing) testimonial!

If you’d like a supercharged Bugeye of your own, we have “Carmine” available, a car that would be equally at home on the track or at the golf course. You can see Carmine by clicking here…

Photo: Richard Campbell

Don’t do this to your Bugeye Sprite

When was the last time you inspected your water pump bypass hose?

Please take a close look before you attack the roads this driving season, because this little hose will ruin your day if it fails on the road. Don’t leave yours unattended, like the one shown here.

Right of center, left of hose clamp lurks a failure about to happen

If you are unfamiliar, this little hose bridges a port on the water pump to the engine head. You can see it in the top center of the photo below, its the corrugated hose that is horribly cracked.

‘Bout to burst

This one is all done, and needs to changed ASAP. Corrugated is popular, since the hose is hard to get in place and the corrugations allow you to compress the hose to get it between the two nipples. We find that straight hose if far more durable. So if you order one of our bypass hoses, that’s what you’ll get.

You’ll find this repair a lot easier with the radiator removed. And while you are at it, now is a good time to upgrade your cooling system for hot weather driving ahead. Nothing is worse than waiting on a long line to get into a car show while watching your temperature climb to dangerous levels. These are easy to install when the water pump is removed.

We recommend a new six blade cooling fan and, aluminum radiator. We change water pumps proactively too while all this is apart, since the seals can fail and cause coolant leaks. I suggest you fit a deep impeller pump even if you have a 948 engine. You might have to remove a tiny bit of cast iron inside the water jacket to get it to fit, but you will move more water with every revolution. Of course a new thermostat is a good idea too while the cooling system is drained.

There is no such thing as too much cooling on your Spridget. The products listed will help you enjoy the hot weather that lies ahead! The heater valve is a common leak point, so you might want to carry a spare.

Right Hand Driver 1960 Bugeye Sprite for sale

If I could only have one British Sports car, this one would be at the top of my list. It’s inexpensive, fun to drive, nice (but not too nice) and will be the only one at just about every car show this summer (only RHD Bugeye, that is).

This is “Righty,” AN5 48822, a home market bugeye purchased from an air force veteran in England and imported years ago, perhaps in 1985 by a prior owner who had the car from 1985 through 2011 in Minnesota. In 2011, the car went to Alabama, where it rested until 2019 when we brought it here. Car #49201 was the last Bugeye, BTW.

The Notice the lack of an “L” in the vin number, which designates a home market original RHD car.

We recently refreshed the mechanicals to put this great car back on the road. We have rebuilt all the hydraulics-new slave, master and rear wheel cylinders- and also the original carburetors-the correct H1 carbs are working great and the engine runs strong. By the way, this appears to be a factory gold seal rebuilt 948 engine, a nice novelty.

Front disk brakes are present, a nice upgrade, as are new tires from 2011, with less than 25 miles. 12,205 miles are showing on the odometer. The back of the cockpit has been enlarged slightly, a modification we have seen on several cars through the years. While non-stock, it seems popular since some folks seem to like the larger cockpit and better access to a parcel shelf. This rear deck modification accomplishes that goal.

The wood interior kit is also an unusual modification. We’ve heard more than once that this sort of wood trim kit was a factory option, but this was never the case. An industrious woodworker took on this cockpit and there is something quite charming about it from my perspective, as it speaks to the way these cars were inexpensive and accessible. People have been modifying their Sprites for eons, why should this one be any different?

Gold seal factory rebuilt 948 engine plaque. Runs strong!

Underneath the wood trim you can clearly see the original RHD Bugeye foundation, which is a lot of fun. For example, of the perhaps 100 master cylinders we have changed over the years, RHD masters are shrouded by the heater blower, which, while easy to remove, changes the nature of this particular job, and reminds us where these cars were built (should we ever forget).

This car runs and drives great. RHD turns up the smile factor that much more, and I appreciate a chance to be ambidextrous with my gear shifting. I think you will too.

Every British car should come with a soap dish in the cockpit! (actually an ashtray… mind the carpet underneath!)

The underside is solid on this car. The passenger side rocker panel is a bit rumpled. The story that came with the car is that the rocker was replaced by a prior owner and damaged in shipping but still installed anyway because the eventual repaint prep would smooth it out anyway. I can find no crash damage.

A two-piece top bow is included and this fits snugly in the boot. The original tonneau could be restored, but I would suggest a new one.

I would not repaint this car. It looks just fine as is. If you want a fresh paint job, we have other Bugeyes that provide a higher level of finish, albeit for a higher price.

I hope you will give this car a serious look and if you want to talk about making “Righty” your own, we look forward to the opportunity to ship it to your door!

Bugeye Sprite custom gauges

We have just completed further modifying our Bugeye “Goldie” for her new owner in Wisconsin. This is a custom Bugeye with a unique performance vibe. For the new owner “Gary,” we were tasked with taking the cockpit one step further.

Gary wanted more guages, but how to do this without detracting from the style of this particular car? We were lucky to locate a rare pair of vintage Smiths rally clocks for the dash and installed them on the dashboard as shown below.

The challenge with any modifications of this nature is to integrate the graphic style and type font so that the gauges blend together. These Smiths clocks have been built in the same era as the original gauges, and I love them for this reason.

We also built a custom center console for an ammeter and voltmeter under the dash. The challenge here was to keep the gauges away from the shift knob so they don’t get smashed by your knuckles in first and third gear. To accomplish this goal, we wanted to move the gauges forward of the edge of the dash yet still make them visible to the driver. So we built a custom metal console to fit the bill. It anchors easily to the flange on the body of the car at the top of the console.

We love the result so we made up a few and they’re available in black, red or blue. You’ll find them in our catalog where you can order yours by clicking here.

This is a custom welded metal piece wrapped in pebble grain vinyl. It holds two standard 52 mm gauges and also provides a storage cubby for a phone, flashlight, keys or dog treats. We also stock the ammeter and voltmeter shown in our catalog if you want to make your own electric system information command module!

Best of the best 1959 Bugeye Sprite for sale

This is “Aiden,”(AN5L 15221).

After the roughly 250 Bugeyes that we have loved, we can say with confidence that this is one of the best. Take a good look if you are the type of person who loves exceptionally well-restored cars. This one is better than any new Bugeye… the build and finish quality is far better than what you would find in the dealership in 1959.

What makes it better is the last restorer. The fellow who restored this car (and completed it in 2010) was a master. He clearly spent a lot of time getting every panel gap just right, because this is not the norm for a car that was $1,795 when new. Every seam and gap is perfect.

He also used a chip guard paint in the wheel wells, under the car and under the hood. This is not the way the factory did things… probably because of cost of material and complexity that would impractical given manufacturing line application… but this had made a huge difference and helped keep the underside of this car looking brand new.

It hasn’t been used much since restoration. 29,364 shows on the odometer and the car presents as though it has been driven fewer than 1000 miles since completion.

Other great features… the builder painted the inside of the drive shaft tunnel… no one does that… and the car has AH emblems on the three point seat belts… very elegant. Handsome wood steering wheel, uprated cam, K&N lifetime air filters, custom fuse box weather protector. Electric fuel pump upgrade. Spin on oil filter too.

This car is top shelf.

What impresses me the most is that this car is still perfect nearly eight years after the rebuild was completed. The car still looks like a new ground-up restoration. I salute the restorer for this particular car. He did an exceptional job.

The car has a four speed smooth case gear box and stock 948 engine, with larger HS2 1.25 inch carbs. Front disk brakes were also added. The car rides on premium Michelin XWX radials. I love the look of these tires- but few builders choose them because they are significantly more expensive than the other brands available.

The car is loaded with nice top and windows, both in custom storage pouches. New tonneau in 2014, new top and side curtain pouches too. New sleeved master cylinder in 2015.

Big Healey gold face gauges are installed. These are of course non-stock but the correct vintage… I love the way they look… a nice touch for a bit more style… and if you don’t like them, we can have plenty of other gauge options available. Call to discuss making this car your own!

You’ll be hard pressed to find another this nice that you can drive and show! You can see the restoration album video below.

There are only so many great examples like this one… and it would cost a whole lot more to build one than the asking price.

Call if you are interested in owning Aiden, one of the best!

FrogE Electric Bugeye Sprite top speed run

Top speed is not often discussed in the Frogeye-sphere. But we are in the sure-footed business. And each week we take another rattling car that should not be driven above 40 or so mph and turn it into a highway capable roadster.

Our electric cars are particularly capable, because we know upfront that the power plant puts the car in another league, and everything has to be set up right because they go fast in a (relative) hurry.

While out in FrogE number one the other day, I had to see what kind of top speed is possible for an electric Bugeye. Our GPS speedometer captures top speed as one of it’s many functions, which it saves as shown in the photo above. This photo was taken after the drive while in the garage.

Note that the analog needle stops at 100 and the peak digital meter seems to be without limits…

No valve clatter at high RPMs.
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