One of the trickiest aspects of the Concours restoration process of a Bugeye (or Sprite Mark II) is the flooring. All Mark I and Mark II Sprites (And Mark I Midgets) from 1958 to September of 1962 had rubber floor mats that covered both footwells, both front cross members, the transmission tunnel, and several smaller areas around the seat mounts. Over time, these thin factory mats have proven to be incredibly brittle and fragile, and in the decades since their installation almost every one of them has deteriorated into an unusable mess.[Read more…] about New product! Our 501 Floor mat set is the closest you can get to an original Sprite Mark 1 and 2 floor covering! Exclusive!
Now that we have the very first production Bugeye Sprite gold medal certified for Concours accuracy, we have been asked what we are going to do with it; are we going to put 501 in a museum? Or can it be driven like any other classic British sports car?
As I describe in the videos below, most of the time we get a Sprite into our shop to recondition it, we look for drivability upgrades to make it more reliable for its future owner. In the case of this car, we actually removed a lot of reliability upgrades that had been installed in Australia in order to conform to the Concours guidelines and to accurately re-create the first production Sprite.
Much to our delight, configured exactly as new, these cars were quite capable and quite special to drive. It’s very refreshing to have a Bugeye in its purest form so quick to delight the driver. Sure, we’ll continue building 1275 Supercharged and custom decorated Bugeyes (and there are also more electric Sprites in our future), but this one, perfectly set up just like the day it left the factory floor, demonstrates that in their purest form, Bugeye Sprites are still wonderful and complete machines. I thought you might like to come along with me for a drive in this beautiful car. Click below for the drive video.
I’ve also included below a promotional video next (you’ve seen it before on our site, but it’s worth revisiting). I watched this video with a smile the first time years ago, because I couldn’t imagine that a pre-production Bugeye as shown would be such a blast to drive. It seemed to me that the hyped-up announcer was simply trying to promote the Sprite for the product launch. But after driving 501 today, I don’t feel that way any longer. In the driving video from 1958 and in the driving video from 2022, both drivers are smiling for the very same reason.
This little car, in it’s purest original form, works!
Show your appreciation for 501’s concours gold medal! 501 merchandise available now and for pre-order! Click on the photos below to get yours today!
When car AN5L 501 underwent the judging process last week in our effort to obtain Concours gold certification for it, we had an idea of what the process might look like because we have been through it before. However, we were quickly flooded with questions among our wonderful followers as to how the process works, what we got right and what we got wrong, what our score was, etc.
Unfortunately for some, the Concours committee and Austin-Healey Club have asked us to refrain from sharing the actual score we received when the judging process was completed, and we will respect their wishes. All that matters is that car 501 is a Concours Gold certified car, and that is what we set out to achieve. But what we can do is discuss with you what some deductions were and why they occurred, as well as share an inside look into the judging process live in action![Read more…] about 501’s Quest For Gold: What Was The Point?
We did it!
This past week, I attended the National Austin-Healey Club Enclave in Pennsylvania. I decided to bring two Bugeyes that could not possibly be more polar opposite from each other. Car 501 was there to be judged as a concours vehicle, undergoing 4 hours of relentless judging from a panel of 4 experts with the goal of attaining gold medal certification. Gumby was brought to show at the popular vote show in downtown Stroudsburg. Much to my delight, we left the Poconos with both cars receiving the highest possible awards![Read more…] about 501 & Gumby Return Victorious!
It’s crunch time here at Bugeyeguys! We have been spending our last week before the National Austin-Healey Club Enclave appearance ironing out the final details to get AN5L 501 ready to judge. This past weekend, we had a couple of unbiased third party observers mock judge car 501 and tell us some areas they thought we could improve. (More on that here.) However, there was one area that has been a real point of contention (and sometimes confusion) between the mock judges, our lead project mechanic Terry, our lead project researcher Nick, and myself. That area was the carburetor bowl vents.[Read more…] about Adding Fuel To The Fire
The end is near! We are so very close to loading AN5L 501 into a trailer and taking it to the Austin-Healey club national Enclave and concours event in Pennsylvania next week. We have spent the last 66 days completely disassembling the car, rectifying every non-concours detail we could find (and some we didn’t even know existed), and putting it back together. We did all of this in conjunction with our normal business operations, too! It has been two months of research, documentation, meetings, consultations, blood, sweat, and a little frustration to get to where we are today with 501, but we are elated with the final result, and we believe the concours judges will agree that this car is worth concours gold![Read more…] about Our Quest For Concours Gold Nears The Finish Line!