Bugeye people

You never know where our cars will show up… here’s Dave P and his daughter-in-law Marenda in “Red,” (our 222 sold) at the Tennessee Soybean Festival parade in Martin, TN. this September. I am honored one of our beans was present! Could be the first time a Bugeye ever appeared in a Soybean festival. Looks like fun!

Striking 1960 Super Sprite for sale!

Here’s a chance to purchase a superb Super Sprite. The car was carefully built by Liberty Motorsports in Southern California, where the owner Jim is a passionate Porsche 356 restorer who builds cars to the highest level, including a first place car for the Amelia Island Concours in 2018 and invitations to Quail and Monterey Concours in the past. He always wanted a Bugeye and indulged himself with this build. We provided lots of parts for this build and when he decided to sell the car, we were happy to help. This car was delivered new to LA per the heritage certificate, and has been a California car all its life (delivered new in 1960 to LA).

What I love about this car is that it was built to look like it was modified in the early 60s, with period bits to evoke a very nostalgic feel. The interior in particular has a very analog feel, and the builder used period rally clocks and gauges to stay consistent with the theme. He also fit a rebuilt Judson supercharger, which looks fresh out of the back pages of a 60s copy of Mechanix Illustrated. Lucas “Flame Thrower” driving lights were also custom mounted on the bumper. An NOS Abarth twin tip muffler was also installed, a wonderful period muffler for the 948 power plant. A sweet vintage exhaust note is the result. He also fit a custom dead pedal in the driver footwell-he used a spare 356 gas pedal and rubber cover.

The builder fit our head fairing, and mini tonneau, both custom stitched with matching primrose piping and fat stitching. He also fit an EGT gauge and probe in the main pipe as well as a voltmeter. Tasteful black pin stripes are nice additional accents.

A Hertiage certificate is also included, which verifies that the original engine is present. Front disk brakes were also added, as were color matched wheels and a front anti-roll bar for best handling.

The car is ready to go. A new clutch kit and rear crank seal was installed about 250 miles ago. At that time the generator was upgraded to an alternator, and an electronic conversion performed to make the tachometer work with the alternator. An aluminum radiator was also fit at this time, very helpful for Southern California (and similar) cooling requirements. An electric cooling fan is also present, another cooling system enhancement.

Brooklands windscreens are currently fit on both sides as shown in the photos but the original windshield is included, as is a soft top and bows should the new owner want to use the weather in cooler or inclement weather. The car is currently in Southern California. A color matched original hardtop is also included, with custom black padded headliner. The underside is as clean as the topside. We’ll have more pictures shortly as he is detailing the underside this weekend.

Many of you have asked if I would sell Gumby, my green super Sprite… that one is not for sale, but if you want another show-winning custom Sprite, this is a very good alternative. It is finished to a high standard, with lots of fun accessories. It cost thousands more than the asking price to build. The owner needs more space, so here’s a chance to own something very special built by a master fabricator. Call or email if you are interested!

1960 Bugeye Sprite for sale, exceptional and beautifully restored!

This is “Tanner,” a rotisserie restored all-stock 1960 Bugeye Sprite, done to a very high standard and ready for a new home. The car is now back in our Connecticut facility and new pictures are posted below. We had hoped to sell the car while it was on the West coast to a customer in that region, but now that the car is back here, we can confirm this is still one of the nicest mostly stock Bugeyes on the road today. If you are looking for a fully-restored Sprite that looks like it just rolled off the showroom floor, this is the car for you.

Tanner shows just 399 miles on the odometer since it was restored. The car is finished in Olde English white with a red interior, exactly matching the creamy vanilla factory color scheme. With fully restored chrome, paint and an all-new interior, the car is a real head-turner. The top is nearly new too, stored in a fleece lined pouch so it looks new when you need it. And the car has a great new tonneau.

We originally purchased this car in 2012 when it was a fresh rotisserie restoration with everything brand new. We then sold it to Nick in British Columbia, Canada, where it has lived garaged inside a special “CarCoon” garage storage air capsule pretty much ever since (that’s the red oxygen tent shown below). He has only put a few hundred miles on the car, driving it only on nice days, and it currently looks exactly as it did in 2012 when it was fully restored.

The underside is immaculate. The car comes with new side curtains and top, as shown in the photo album. The switches and gauges are all in the right places, just like the original. Only the attractive wood Moto-Lita steering wheel is non-stock. Also, the aluminum trim strip above the dash should have been covered with red vinyl to match the dash. We can correct this if you prefer, but the polished existing trim strip looks great too. Some people like front bumpers. We have those too. It’s personal preference. As with all of our cars, we can help customize or fine tune any aspect, so that the new owner gets exactly what they want!

Give a call if you like the best of the best, and you want to make this stunning Bugeye your own!

Lime Rock Concours recap

We had a nice line-up of Bugeyes in our class at this labor day annual event. Three Bugeyes in one concours class was a major victory for the marque, it was great to see such a strong Bugeye presence. Judging from the response by the spectators, Bugeyes are more popular than ever. It was a particular honor for us to have two of our cars in the same Concours (a first). The third (silver) Bugeye was one I had not seen before, from North Carolina.

It’s difficult for a Bugeye to be acknowledged by judges in a mixed-make concours. Up against the most beautiful (and expensive) sports cars of the period, we don’t stand a chance. So in our class (C2), trophies went to a racing xk120M, twin cam MGA with racing heritage and a beautifully restored xk150S. That’s fine, if I owned a perfectly restored 150S and a Bugeye took my trophy, I would not want to be the judge who had to defend that choice.

This is always an impressive show and for 2018, the Bugatti owners were there in force. I was most impressed with the interiors of the many Bugattis on the track. The leather work was exceptional, most of it with a stunning patina, which is understandable when you consider the conditions each cars sees courtesy of the adventurous pilots. Peppered throughout this post are some pictures of my favorite seats.

They are an intrepid bunch–I met one fellow from Belfast who brought his 30s era Bugatti from Ireland to England where it was shipped in a container to New Jersey so he could drive it to Lime Rock and other New England events this month.

1960 Austin Healey Bugeyes Sprite Barn find for sale! Stored since 1974!


UPDATE 9-9-18:
New pictures are posted. We have verified that that car is complete. For sale now at $5,995. I have seen Bugeye restoration projects trade at prices ranging from free to about $9,000. Incomplete or bondo-ladened or disassembled cars (which are harder to put together), can be had for less than this one. This car commands a premium because it has been off the road since 1974, it is complete and has not been molested (and it has a great story). Read about it below, and give a call if you are interested!

It’s getting harder and harder to find complete unmolested Bugeyes so we are pretty excited to find this one!

I first met AN5L 37802 in June of 2015 when the owner (“Skip”) was taking down his barn in the Catskills (in New York) where the car had been stored since 1974. In the picture above from 2015, you can see Skip extracting the car as the barn is removed. He had purchased it in about 1967 from the second owner.

You can still see the original Crandall-Hicks plaque on the back of the car. This was the New England British Motor Corporation distributor at the time, so this is a wonderful plaque to still see in place. You might enjoy reading a bit about Crandall-Hicks at the link here… they sold Indian motorcycles in the 30s and later helped bring the BMC line to our shores. I was amazed to read that in 1955, they built a Quonset hut (just slightly larger than ours) on their property, to house their shop and British car inventory! (That structure was destroyed in a snowstorm but was replaced with another Quonset hut!!! They are still in business, and it looks like they now sell power equipment, albeit not from a Quonset hut.)

Anyway, Skip ended-up trading the car for a Ford tractor and brush hog in 2015, but I was lucky last week to buy it from the latest owner (who merely stored the car inside since 2015). It still looks the same today as it did when it came out of Skip’s barn.

I enjoyed finding the 1973 Major League baseball rule book under the passenger floor mat. I called Skip this week and asked about this (he’s happy to meet the new owner) and it turns out he drove the car everywhere in the early 70s as an umpire for little league games.

The car is well-preserved. She needs a complete restoration and there are some small holes in the floor pans. But this is a great candidate, with minimal rust-through and a good underside. It’s somewhat crusty underneath, but thankfully, it looks like the car was sitting on wood planks instead of a dirt floor. Floor patches will be needed, but the underside is much more solid than most. Take a look at the underside pictures in the photo album for more details.

Skip parked the car in 1974 because it had low oil pressure, so you’ll need to rebuild the stock 948 engine in the car, which would likely need a rebuild from sitting all this time anyway. The original hardtop is a nice detail that comes with the car. But most importantly, everything is in place just as it was in 1974. The car is a bit of a time capsule. Original jack and jack handle is included as is original (torn) tonneau. Period Amco front and rear bumper bars are also nice to see.

Indicated mileage is 74,114. It’s always amazing to think back to a time where it was common for people to routinely use these cars as daily drivers. This one was parked after just 14 years on the road. We’ll never know if it went 74k or 174k miles in those 14 years. But it’s nice to see a car that hasn’t been modified or disassembled, which makes the restoration more attractive and a lot easier to organize and complete.

Tires will of course need to be replaced after sitting for so long. The car rolls freely and we can ship it anywhere in the world. The car is currently in our shop and comes with complete paperwork for the new owner to register the car, anywhere in the world.

Call 203 561 6929 if you are interested!

Bugeye identity

The car you wear makes a statement about who you are and what matters most.

Meet Gary, who recently purchased our Bugeye “Bliss” and brought the car home to Massachusetts.

Gary immediately renamed his car “Evinrude,” after the bug eye dragonfly in the Disney movie “The Rescuers.” His daughter designed a sharp magnet to match, which Gary proudly displays on the car. You can see Gary beaming in his new alter-ego.

I’ve never met a Bugeye owner I didn’t like, perhaps because we all have a fundamental passion for the same thing… you can’t drive a Bugeye without challenging the status quo. The cars are so petit yet capable. So adorable yet sporty and spirited. So curvy and simple, yet these little cars have impacted and influenced many people who are leading players in automotive culture today. Lots and lots of people started playing with cars with a Sprite.

Thus we do not get tired of supporting people to have and enjoy these cars, and even after years of this work, we continue to hear new ways to language the passion and enthusiasm that surrounds our work. This week from Jonathan (above) in California… ” I love this little car so much. I never knew it was possible to love a car this much.” Not a trivial statement from a guy who also owns a 356 and has had 911s and lots of other cars.

Jonathan lives in the hills above Palm Desert and routinely driving his Bugeye (that we prepared for him) up and down a 3000 foot incline (where it is 110 degrees at the bottom). Armed with little more than an off-white bikini top and aluminum radiator, he’s sweating his way up and down that hill between home and office in a daily hill-climb. That sweltering drive seems completely impractical, there are many other much more capable air conditioned vehicles for that task. Yet, this week he sent one of my favorite quotes. The personality of a Bugeye is that big. That one could drive this car in these unlikely conditions is a big part of the fun.

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