I drove this Bugeye recently and it was flawless. Really. I don’t say that lightly. EVERY British car has a punch list, even if it’s a small one.
Not this one.
The car is awesome. Everything works. It drives right. It’s fun. It goes. It handles. And it looks great. The new owner is going to get one of the best Bugeyes money can buy.
This 1959 Sprite (AN5L 14380) which we call “Crane” was exceptional when we sold it to the current owner a few years ago, an excellent rotisserie restoration that we fully sorted and tastefully upgraded to that owner’s taste. For him we added electronic ignition, spin-on oil filter kit, new tires, three point retractable seat belts, an improved engine cooling fan and he even had us ceramic coat the already deluxe stainless steel exhaust header. But it’s what happened next that makes this car so special.
That owner, (Crane), is THE guy you want to purchase a car from… forget what he asked us to do to make the car great, which included upgrading the engine with a 1098 head with better performance and new valves, springs and hardened valve seats. (We also put on completely restored larger HS2 carbs, a great upgrade from later Sprites.) These are wonderful upgrades. But that was just the beginning.
Once he got it, Crane lavished on this little Sprite every indulgence one could offer a four-wheeled vehicle. The car was stored in a what amounts to a museum, the seats were covered with stay fast protective covers made for him when he purchased the car, and I don’t think they have seen any UV light since the car last left our shop.
This car’s dermatologist would be proud.
One chronic issue with Bugeyes is a small arc of scratches on the back that usually result from the convertible top chafing this area. While this was fine in 1959, it is not the way Crane rolls, so he had a piece of clear plastic invisible clear BRA strategically applied to the back deck, to make a nifty protective layer between convertible top and painted surface. It’s perfectly executed.
Top and windows are new BTW, and come in their own fleece-lined pouches. So does the top bow, if you prefer to stow it in your garage. You can see the protective pouches for top bow, side curtains and top in the slideshow below.
He powdercoated the rims too, and these are some of the nicest original Sprite steel wheels I had ever seen, with not a single mark.
When you run your hand along the finish of this car you can tell it has something different going on, Crane hired the worlds’ finest detailer and I don’t know how many hours he must have spent but the car feels like it is sufficiently protected to last into the next millennium. That detailers receipt is included… he spent more time detailing the windshield glass than most people spend on their entire car. And it looks that good.
This is a 948CC drum brake four-speed equipped old English white car with the “Crane Package,” which means it was given everything and anything to make it absolutely one of the nicest and cleanest examples you will ever see of the 1959 Bugeye Sprite. Even the top bow has been preserved in a protective case Crane had us make, so it could live in his garage without getting blemished.
You get the idea. This car is not for everyone, but only for the person who wants the best of the best. Comes with its own birth certificate too! (see Heritage Certificate picture above).