Now sold and heading to the UK! Congratulations Yannai! We hope to make it a cool driver first! Stay tuned for photos!
Want to be the talk of every car show you attend? Make this barn find a driver, and you’ll have something really special… a time-capsule survivor that you can drive. Anyone with deep enough pockets can restore a Sprite, but few people can claim they have an unmolested barn find that they brought back to life as an exercise in preservation (not restoration).
Every month we are offered Bugeyes for restoration. They are almost always completely or partially disassembled, stalled restoration projects or bodywork disasters that stalled for a good reason. The only way to bring this type of basket case back to life is to make everything new again.
But our barn find shown here is unique. In fact, I strongly encourage the new owner to think long and hard before completely dismantling this car and embarking on a lengthy restoration. Instead, I would fix the two underside issues…. 1) put a new floor in the driver footwell and 2) weld a patch behind the driver seat (these two areas have small holes, and are shown in the photo album). Then I would restore all the mechanicals and drive this car exactly as you see it. I would not repair the dents, or patch the rear fender bottom because that will merely complicate the revival, and would diminish this particular story. Instead, I would leave it alone and work toward driving and enjoying this car as soon as possible.
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, has not been molested and it has a great story.
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 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 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.
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. Or put in a rebuilt 1275 engine and enjoy the horsepower increase. The heritage certificate verifies this is not the original engine (9C-U-H 37496), but instead one from a later Bugeye (9C-U-H/47168). The stock 948 engine currently in the car is definitely from a Bugeye, one that was built a few months later near the end of production, in late 1960 (this car was built April 22 of 1960, per the heritage certificate).
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. 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.
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.
It’s getting harder and harder to find complete unmolested Bugeyes so we are pretty excited to find this one!
Call 203 561 6929 if you are interested!