David Silberkleit bought his first Bugeye Sprite in 1978 for $1100. It was a beater he found in the Sunday New York Times classifieds, painted in gray rattle-can primer, with vinyl seats finished in shiny metallic teal blue. He retrieved it from a busy street in New Haven, Connecticut, where it had been paralleled parked for far too long, with all the dents to prove it.
By 2007, that Bugeye was the only thing David still had from High School, and by then enough people had asked where they too could get a car that one might want to keep for more than 30 years, so David founded bugeyeguy.com as a means to match Bugeyes with new owners. At that time, he was running his own executive coaching practice, counseling people to pursue what they love most and to use the web to focus on a niche about which they were most passionate.
Sports cars had always been David’s greatest passion. He bought his second Bugeye, and when it sold quickly on the new Bugeyeguy website, he closed the coaching practice and went into the Bugeye business full-time.
Since then, bugeyeguy.com has sold a more than 200 Bugeye Sprites, more than anyone has ever sold. Bugeyeguy cars are now located all over the world. The website is a leading resource for information about these wonderful classics. Bugeyeguy YouTube videos have been viewed nearly two million times.
In 2015, Bugeyeguy built a gold metal concours Bugeye Sprite, which was certified at the Gettysburgh Austin Healey Club Enclave, after two hours of judging by four judges. “This was the hardest thing we ever did,” says David. “Everything had to be exactly correct AND immaculate. We had to deconstruct a perfectly nice car and reconstruct it to make it completely factory-accurate.”
But Bugeyes have routinely been modified since they were first offered, by racers and sports car lovers alike, which sets a great precedent for cars that push the envelope. In 2016, Bugeyeguy built the first fuel-injected and supercharged Bugeye for a client in Michigan. They also restored their first celebrity Bugeye for Caitlyn Jenner. And “Gumby,” that primer gray Bugeye that started it all, is now fully restored, this time to showcase the array of custom parts that the Bugeyeguys use to make these wonderful little cars extraordinary.
All of those custom parts on Gumby, by the way, are now offered in the Bugeyeguy parts catalog, the premier resource for restoration parts for Bugeye lovers worldwide.
The Bugeyeguy world headquarters is located in Branford, Connecticut, in a restored 1951 Quonset hut. In this location, Bugeyeguy restores and assembles cars shipped in from around the country. Here they also fulfill catalog orders and develop new Sprite products for the customers around the world.
Visitors are always welcome, by appointment.