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Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite 60th Anniversary

I got a great forward this week of a photo of the Bugeye press launch in Monte Carlo, which would have happened about 60 years ago this week. This photo displays the first crop of demonstrators made available for the press when the Frogeye was first launched in 1958 on May 20, two days after the Monaco Grand Prix. Thanks to Jim g for the forward!

We have a new T shirt available to commemorate this event, it’s a high grade V-neck 100% cotton top, to celebrate 60 wonderful years of Sprite. You can order yours by clicking here.


We also have a great commemorative 60th anniversary boot badge, which looks great on your car or on the wall. You can order one of those by clicking here.

Even if you have already seen it, it’s well worth watching the video below, another early promotional BMC piece. In this one, you’ll see PBL 75, widely acknowledged as the first press demonstrator, run at Silverstone sometime in early 1958. I believe this video was shot before the Monte Carlo launch mentioned above. This video showcases a few novel early features, such as the shift tower screwed over the top of the original rubber tunnel mat and you might also notice a different knob on the windshield washer button. BMC was notorious for using what they had available, and so who knows what was rushed onto PBL 75 to make the press launch.

If you’re interested in celebrating the anniversary with other Austin Healey enthusiasts and Austin Healeys alike, there are three events coming up this summer in the US. Check out the details and links below!

Happy Birthday Bugeyes!

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