SOLD to Cory in Texas! Congratulations and thank you!!!
This is a really nice 1959 Bugeye Sprite we call “Belle.” AN5L 12297 is reportedly a lifetime California car with a wonderfully solid underside and no signs of any body rust. The car comes with receipts back to 1984, all from Northern California. 50,471 shows on the odometer. One sees many bright red Bugeyes… this car is the correct “cherry red” color used by the factory.
The car has been upgraded with many of the popular performance upgrades to make this car into a wonderful fast driver. If you are a purist and prefer all-stock, and you just want to noodle around town, you don’t need these upgrades. But this package of improvements is widely accepted as very useful for bringing out the best in a Bugeye. If you want more power and better handling, which for many collectors equates to more fun, then this is a car worth serious consideration.
She has a rebuilt 1275cc engine and upgraded 40 DCOE Weber side draft carburetor and header. The Weber is set-up right and the car performs quite well! Very quick! The carb and header add additional horsepower to the strong 1275 engine (which came from a later Sprite or Midget, before it was rebuilt). Incidentally, the original 948 and later 1275 engine have exactly the same footprint, which is why this is such a popular conversion.
Wheels are nearly new, JB from England, shod with wider 175 series tires with very little wear. Rubber is fresh, from 2015.
The transmission is a rebuilt ribcase unit with no issues, it still works like it’s newly rebuilt. The differential was rebuilt and upgraded for highway cruising, with a 3.9 ratio. If you are unfamiliar, the original differential had a 4:22 ratio.
Front brakes were upgraded to discs, and the electrics were converted to negative ground with an alternator installed for higher output. The alternators are also more durable than the original generator, with better bearings. A new electronic distributor was added with electronic ignition, again for more reliabilty. The tachometer was rebuilt to function as an electronic unit which means the sometimes problematic cable drive system is eliminated. It’s more reliable than the original mechanical version.
Other great features include an electric fuel pump, aluminum radiator with nice upgraded expansion tank, walnut burl wood dashboard and steering wheel, 3-point seat belts/shoulder harnesses, new wiring harness, rebuilt seats with new foam and upholstery, new rear leaf springs, new Halogen headlights, new LOUD Hella horns, brass fuel sender float, custom locking choke control with original knob and an original tool kit.
The top and tonneau are nice, both older Amco models, but still with plenty of life. Side curtains are also of similar vintage and quite usable. A front sway bar was added, for even better handling.
The exhaust system includes a small resonator and muffler perpendicular to the car. It works great, and sound nice. It’s also quite recent so there is no need to make any changes. However, if the new owner desires, we can put in a performance muffler with no resonator for a sportier exhaust note and perhaps less back pressure.
This car would also benefit from a five-speed conversion, for even more wonderful highway cruising. It is quite common for us build-out Bugeyes to the specifications of the new owner, so if you want a five-speed Bugeye, we can convert this one for you. Since it already has so many nice upgrades, it is a perfect candidate for this upgrade.
There is just one thing missing, did you notice? We took off the nice wipers to detail the car, and they are still sitting on the bench. Not to worry, I’ll put them on in the morning.
This is a good one, with great handling and performance, and overall, great fun, she’s a fast driver that will make you smile. We’d love to send “Belle” your way! Call or email if you are interested!