(if a car is not pictured here, it has been sold)

1960 Bugeye Sprite for sale-supercharged temptress!

A supercharger in a Bugeye is a beautiful thing. You should be able to hear why I feel that way in the video below:

This is AN5L 37194 “Carmine.” This is a wonderful Sprite. It’s a car we have owned twice before and each time we have owned it, we’ve taken it to a new level. This is about the best Bugeye you can buy, given that it is has been fully sorted and upgraded, twice! Each of the prior owners invested in tons of improvements.

The new owner of this car gets the benefit of their loving care. All the choice goodies are already on-board. Our supercharger upgrade in this car includes a new SU 1.75 inch carburetor, K & N lifetime air filter, alternator conversion, locking choke mechanism, aluminum radiator and uprated cooling fan on a recently rebuilt 1275 engine with an uprated new clutch disk, new pressure plate and upgraded rear main seal. The stock tachometer was converted to an electronic mechanism when the alternator was fit, which makes this instrument much more reliable.

Also loaded in the car is a pair of three point retractible seat belts, electronic ignition, battery kill switch hidden in footwell, cigarette lighter for phone charging and accessories, new top, great tonneau, new windows (still unused) and two nice storage bags (one for the top, one for the windows).

At 74,428 miles we fit a rebuilt ribcase transmission, so the synchros in the car are excellent, still virtually new. We also fit new front shocks and completely rebuilt the front end with new king pins and bushings at that time. Indicated mileage now is just 74,711.

Tires and minilight wheels are also new, about one year ago. Upgraded tapered wheel bearings were also installed at that time, as well as a 3.9 differential for improved highway cruising and of course the marvelous Bugeyeguy twin-tipped muffler that sounds so good in the video above. It’s fed through a sweet exhaust header. We also welded-in a new floor pan on the driver’s side prior to the car’s delivery to the last owner, in central Oregon. Front disk brakes are also fit to this car as is a front sway bar, spin on oil filter, LED headlights, significantly brighter LED brake, park and turn signals and a very loud air horn.

It is quite customary for us to upgrade the cars we sell before delivery. This one has already been fully upgraded and is about as close one can get to a turn-key classic car, upgraded for modern life and modern roadways.

Mileage in the past few years has been under 500. Regularly enjoyed. Seldom driven by the last owner, but he was a great steward who enjoyed upgrading this car. And the next person shall smile on all trips to the Post Office… and beyond.

Pegged needles

Pegged needles are forever seductive. 

Highway cruising @72mph @ 6000 RPMs with a 5:38 rear end in our electric FrogE

When I first reported to driver simulator class in 1978, I ran into the room with glee, because this was a necessary step on the pathway to a driver’s license, and the freedom (and British cars) that came with it.

In the basement of the Archbishop Stepinac High School I ran to the first available seat in what looked like a well-anchored bumper car. This would be my first car, in a sense, even though it never moved. We were to simply follow along from these seats while a “Leave it to Beaver” era driver education movie played, with bouncing balls and doors opening when you least expected. We were to “drive” along with the film, and respond accordingly. Our cranky instructor may have seen this film a few too many times, but he did teach me about covering the brake, and about how much time that can save, so I thank him for that. But technology was so absent from this equipment that I would swear the entire modern video game industry was inspired by these prehistoric simulators.

We each had our own controls, but the period GM steering wheels freewheeled and the gas pedal didn’t seem connected to anything. However, if you floored it, which we all did upon sitting down, the horizontal speedo climbed all the way to the far side of the dial, about 120, and that felt really good, even though it made no difference at all when the Impala in the movie pulled out into your path, or the lumber fell off the truck you were following down Elm Street.

We are all hopelessly addicted to the top end.

And so I found myself on the highway this week in our Frog-E electric, which we have re-geared for max acceleration. The higher gearing means higher RPMs, which is good with our particular electric motor, which can run up to 10,000 RPMs. I’ve driven more than 250 different Bugeyes. This was the first one I have held at red line for my entire journey. It was smooth and effortless. And also a whole lot of fun.

My modern-day driver simulator, with a 100-mile range.

1960 Bugeye Sprite driver for sale

Now SOLD to Jim in VA. Congratulations!

If you are looking for an inexpensive Bugeye Sprite with a recently rebuilt 1275 engine,”Suzy” is an excellent choice. This is an affordable Bugeye that still shines nicely and offers tons of fun.

The car has received tons of new parts courtesy of the prior California owners, who kept the car well-maintained, leading up to installation of a new rebuilt 1275 engine that was added within the last 1000 miles. The transmission shifts nicely with no issues. A spin on oil filter conversion and electronic ignition have already been added. This is a great driver. I have added a photo of the stack of receipts that come with the car that detail history back to about 1993.

The performance exhaust sounds wonderful and new minilight wheels and tires make for a nice ride.

Top is older, but will get you home. Tonneau is excellent (see photos). Original side curtains are included, they will need restoration. The car has a nice custom vinyl divider/screen across the trunk opening, to partition the trunk and keep out any curious spectators. Paint has a few nicks and imperfections, nothing major, shines well, but 10-footer paint work. Presentable cosmetics with 1275 fun driving is the value within this car.

No heater, but we could add one for you. There is some more maintenance you might want us to do before sending the car your way. For example, the horn push and the speedo don’t work. Include a budget of a few thousand for us to go through the car to prepare if for you. Or you can do it yourself.

Give a call if you would like to take Suzy home!

Two Bugeyes to go

We are the Hotel California of Car shoppes. Sprites check in all the time and they never leave. That’s because it takes time for us to sort out cars on which we put our name. Our cars are very carefully vetted.

Once they come back from their final test drive and everything works with no strange noises and no issues, then they pass through our pre-departure check list. This list is a describes a stem to stern check over of anything that might need a final tightening before we send the car on its way. The PDI also has us double check anything that has broken on prior customer cars in the past. This is our last chance to locate anything out of the ordinary. Only after this process is complete is the car ready to be loaded into a trailer and take on the world.

Two departures in one day represents quite an accomplishment, worthy of celebration with a (blog) post.

In the foreground is Mr Preston’s Bugeye “Mellow.” This car got polished cockpit trim before departure, for a final cosmetic indulgence (see post below).

In front above is Mr Wellman’s blue bugeye you saw in a previous video. It was ready to depart shortly after that drive. But the second gear synchro was weak, and the owner decided to splurge on a Ford five speed transmission. Out came the engine, and the car was transformed to the next level. Now they are both on their way in an enclosed trailer, shown below.

A word about Ford vs Datsun five speeds. Full disclosure, I have Datsun five speeds in two of my own Bugeyes. I love the set up. But for customers, I am very much against them because we have had many problems with them. We find the Ford Transmission to be much more robust. We have not had one failure of the Ford product, while we have had several Datsun gear boxes with problems, clutch problems, and parts availability issues. You’ll pay more for the Ford Five speed, but you’ll only install it once, and it will last you for the life of your car.

You can read more about our Ford kit here.

Bugeye Sprite Tailor

We have a gifted tailor on staff. While he refuses to shorten my trousers, he does make a mean tonneau. We just bought him a double needle sewing machine, which he is putting to good use on all sorts of projects.

If you are unfamiliar, this machine moves two parallel threads, and affords lots of new creative possibilities. You can see the twin spools feeding the machine in the photo above. Below, you can see twin needle stitching on a stunning black and red short tonneau he made for a red car recently. Notice the single row on the outer trim and twin rows around the steering wheel pouch.

Below, you can see Ken fitting the steering wheel pouch that will be sewn to the tonneau above. Wheel size matters.

Below, you can see the template for the custom double needle black dashboard cover with white contrasting thread. This “one of a kind” dash is for the black and white Bugeye we are building now. That car is Olde English White, with black dash with white stitching in the black hardura floor mats, and blacked out wheels, on a sharp white body. We’re putting in a five speed and 1275 now as we build another Super Sprite!

Stay tuned for more pictures!

And if you would like your own custom short tonneau hand made in our shoppe, please click here.

The long and storied journey of Bugeye Sprite cockpit trim

Oh, what a long, strange trip it has been…

It’s quite common to see Bugeye cockpit trim that looks like it has been through a war. Side curtains are the enemy, their hooks can gouge and scratch. Perhaps this car pictured above once lived in an area prone to thunderstorms or flash floods, and time was of the essence when installing the side curtain lest the car would wash away. Hence they were thrown on with reckless abandon, and the door top trim paid the price. (So make sure to apply your side screens with great care, and put them on before the sky opens up)

After: Only the deepest scratches remain

This is “Mellow,” a nice yellow Bugeye that left this week for its new home in Michigan. Before it left, one of the many services we provided for car and owner was to polish the cockpit trim. I thought folks might enjoy seeing the before and after pictures. Polishing is something you can try at home if you have the equipment.

Before: Side curtain collateral damage

In the case of this trim set, there were as series of deep gouges on the upper edge of each piece. This meant aggressive air sanding to remove the gouges, with 220 grit paper. Once the profile was right, only then did we move to the polisher. We didn’t try to completely remove the craters, because that would mean removing a ton of material. Instead, we removed most of the canyon and left a few of the deepest scars. In this way, the trim looks nicely restored but not perfect, and thus the pieces fit the overall identity of the car.

The top bow will also destroy the finish of the rear trim piece, be extra careful removing and installing the bows.

The wheel buffer brings the luster up nicely, as long as you are patient. Once finished, the overall look is wonderful, ready for another hundred thousand miles, with a side curtain (or sweaty palm) attached!

New chrome side curtain screws complete the look. We sell those in our catalog, where you can find them by clicking here.

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