Aiden 1960 Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite for sale
This is Aiden, and this is an exceptional car and a show-ready Bugeye.
Like Doug, the white Bugeye you see in the next post, we prepared this car for a prior owner who sold the car back to us, so we know the car well, and it has had the benefit of our thorough inspection and upgrades. Unlike your average ebay car which comes with high promises and rarely delivers, these cars have been thoroughly reviewed and serviced and have the benefit of our experience and expertise. These are cars that work!
Aiden enjoyed an impressive multi-year rotisserie restoration. If you are unfamiliar, that means a very dedicated restorer took the time to mount the car on a jig that allowed for 360 degree access to the subject (a bit like a roast in the oven), which means complete restoration of the underside and generally a better overall job throughout. So few Bugeyes get restored to this high standard and it’s quite a luxury to see one done this way. This is a Bugeye that was made better than new. You can see an underside tour in the video below.
Not everyone needs a car this immaculate, although the builder did drive this car several thousand miles, so he intended that the car be used and enjoyed, as well as a show winner. Aiden was certainly given a second life care of the stewardship of his last owner.
Like so many restorations, this one reflects the personality of the restorer. He made selective upgrades and choices that left his signature for generations. For example, he chose gold-faced AH 3000 Smiths gauges from the period instead of the black faced similar gauges that were original to the car. It makes for a really nice black and gold dashboard. Not original, but done to a very high standard and in my book, it’s a nice custom touch. I often see Bugeyes with modern gauges, and while they may work better, I do not approve of this sort of modification. Aiden’s father, on the other hand, used gauges you would have found on a 1960 big Healey, which makes for an interesting period custom dashboard.
This restorer also made a custom Lucite fuse box cover, to provide some weather protection for the Bugeye’s comic two-fuse electrical system. Not stock, but done with care, driveabilty and quality in mind! Other choices he made–all in the name of reliability and driving fun– breakerless ignition (to get rid of ignition points), a deluxe new SU electric fuel pump with solid state electrics (again, no points to wear out), and an electric cooling fan as a back-up on extremely hot days in traffic. All good choices!
He also upgraded the car with disk brakes and gold calipers, had the master cylinder sleeved with brass and rebuilt last year and rebuilt the stock 948 engine.
This car drives beautifully. And the project is fully documented in a photo album showcased in the video below:
While the restorer invested a huge amount of time and energy into this car, the seats were its one weakness, and we have addressed this. Aiden now has lovely restored black seats with contrasting red piping. We’ve installed new foam and covers and these seats are now quite comfortable, and quite handsome! They now rival the quality of the rest of the restoration.
We also removed the rear wheels and drums as part of our routine inspection as we prepare these cars for sale. Rear hub problems are what we routinely find on the Bugeyes we purchase, and despite promises from sellers of perfection, (they often don’t even know that they even have problems…) we often remove a drum and are greeted by a mess of axle grease and brake fluid! We fix this series of problems on what seems like
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