It’s hard for me to imagine producing 46 Bugeyes in a day, but that’s just about what happened in the Abingdon factory that made Austin Healey Bugeye Sprites in the late 50s. It would take us about two years to upgrade 46 Sprites (and we have been practicing for 15 years) so it seems impossible to build two of these cars in an hour. The symphony of moving parts at the factory back then must have been very well-tuned to make it all happen on time.
All of the roughly 48,000 Bugeyes were made in 1958, 1959 and 1960. So roughly 16,000 Sprites were made in each of those three years. That equals about 1300 per month, 325 per week and about 46 per day based on a seven day work week.
Given what must have been an exciting day of production each day for three years straight, you can start to understand why there were inconsistencies. The cars were cheap, they needed to get them out the door, and they sometimes used what they had to get the job done. So occasionally, we see features that are inconsistent with what the text books say.
This Bugeye, “Ducky” is one of the first 1000 cars, and is unique in that it has many of the 1958 features visible. In the video below, you can take a quick tour of some of those “1958 only features.”
The cars were upgraded through the production run, and most of the changes happened early. So some people love to see the 1958 cars, with their unique early attributes.
“Ducky” is for sale and you can click here to see her profile page.