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

Bugeye Sprite racer takes to the track!


IMG_6260You may remember the white Bugeye race car (“Bonnie”) we prepared a few months ago for Karlo in Vancouver (see my driving video in our parking lot)… here it is in the video below blasting around the track in one of Karlo’s first novice races. We are delighted to see the car working so well and you can also see Karlo getting stronger and stronger with every lap! Click on “full screen” so you can ride along and watch his tachometer!

The car does have a bit of an erratic misfire when flat out, which unfortunately allows “the other Bugeye” to pass Karlo on the straight. But Karlo does a nice job of fighting back!
Karlo bought this racer off the web, invested in the car to get it race-ready, committed to the training, and heres a great story of a new and young racer launching a strong new race habit in his Bugeye. I am sure he will further tweak the car and we’ll see more in-car racing footage in the future!

Karlo also bought “Roxy” from our inventory, into which we installed a modern supercharger unit for fast street use. That car which will be featured in a major car magazine next month.

Bravo Karlo!

Austin Healey Sprites, Midgets and Big Healeys, hill climb racing action!

I had a great time watching this video and thought you would enjoy it too. It’s amazing to see how many interesting Sprite variants there are, and they are all interesting to me. In this video you’ll see an array of fiberglass noses on the fronts of both Bugeyes and later Spridgets. You’ll also see a fastback or two, and all these modifications are available for any of the cars in our inventory. We look forward to continuing to expand the custom work we do in our shop!

Click the full screen icon (lower right on the window) and turn up the volume for maximum enjoyment!

It doesn’t always look so effortless… check out this video below too!

This is a great 1275 powered 1960 Bugeye for sale called “Elliot”-take a test drive!


Elliot is now sold and will soon head to Michigan! Congratulations Marty!

Come for a drive in “Elliot,” a quick little Sprite, with a 1275 engine, disk brakes and wire wheels. We have him for sale at $18,995, which is very reasonable for a sorted and well-modified wire wheel car. Click the test drive video above!

This is a super nice car with a number of great modifications. For example, [Read more…]

How it feels to be strapped into a Bugeye Sprite full-on Race car! Test drive!

We had a lot of fun preparing this race car for a great customer of ours in Vancouver, Canada. He has the supercharged car “Roxy” that we modified, and he recently asked us to prepare this dedicated Bugeye racer so he could get some track time and begin his racing career.

The car had been sitting for some time and [Read more…]

A vintage 1960 Bugeye Sprite Race car preserved and made street ready!






This is one of our favorite Bugeyes (and it doesn’t even have eyes)! Our mission was to take this old race car and bring it back as a fun driver. Our goal was to make sure it was easy to drive without being too high-strung. Here’s a picture of the car in it’s former glory, in blue with a different roll bar and wire wheels, circa 1969. Click to enlarge it, it’s a great photo! Headlights were shaved for a more aggressive look, and for better aerodynamics. Of course the original Bugeye design featured hideaway headlights, so this racer evokes the style of the Bugeye prototype, which proved too expensive for Austin Healey to manufacture (there was also reportedly a problem with the headlights popping out at speed on the prototype, a problem they didn’t have the budget to resolve).

This was Gene Rullo’s race car in the 60s and 70s. That’s Gene in the blue car. When he passed away, he left the car to his son Gino, who wanted to bring the car back to life in his dad’s honor. Gino shipped us the car about six months ago. It hadn’t driven in a long time… and the last incarnation was as a race car in the current green and yellow paint scheme, with an open exhaust, no lights, a worn interior and no frills.

We went over everything and set out to make the car user-friendly while preserving the heritage of the car. In fact, we call this project a “preservation,” not a restoration.

First we had to handle the body, which was beat up with racing scars. It had a great patina, but the nose was dented and rusty. Gino suggested we use a different correct Bugeye nose, but we encouraged him to preserve his dad’s vision for unique front of his race car, so we set out to weld-up and fill the existing nose to bring it back to life.

Then we had to deal with the hinges, as the racing nose was removable-not very practical for street use-it’s heavy! So we fabricated flip forward hinges to utilize Gene’s former locking pins.

Then we went through all the systems-new inner fenders were needed, so Bob fabricated those, and air filters, exhaust with sport muffler, shocks, instruments, lights, horn, etc, all so Gino could legally use the car on the road. We painted the roll bar, the door insides, the cockpit and finally the nose. We set up everything for street use, leveraging all our experience from the 114 Bugeyes we’ve had in our shop before this one so we could build a reliable driver. And the result is exceptional.

Even in the 25 degree weather we had today, I tested the car and ran some errands. The brooklands screen does a fine job of keeping the wind off one’s head. The car has tons of power, and a bit of a lumpy idle because of the race cam, but it is easy to drive and great fun!

It was very satisfying to improve the cosmetics without going too far. The car retains so much of the original race character, it makes the experience of driving the car that much more exiting. I am really glad we didn’t repaint the whole car and make it too nice, too restored and too intimidating to throw into the turns. We had talked about putting in carpet but that would have been a mistake. Thus the car still has painted (uncarpeted) floors just like it did when Gino last ran it at Lime Rock.

We recovered the seats but left the period wood grain contact paper and dyno labels for fuel pump and ignition. We did hide a horn button under the dash, and added a hidden battery cut off with a removable key. Notice there is still no ignition key, as you would expect in a race car.

Congratulations Gino! Thank you bringing this car back to life! Look for the car at car shows on Long Island (NY) this summer!

New! Like us on Facebook! More video posted on the bugeyeguy FB page.

How to fully sort an already great British Sports car





It was very hard to part with this amazing modified 1965 Sprite, but we recently sold it to a great new owner in Nashville, where it will certainly have a great home. After the purchase, we were tasked with improving any weakness in the car, and so we further upgraded this already wonderfully upgraded car. Each improvement made the total package that much better, and now the car is TRULY ready for it’s next chapter.

As with most of the cars we purchase, there is an initial punch list of mechanical issues that need to be addressed, so we handled those first. No matter how well restored a car may be advertised to be, there are always issues that the prior owner either didn’t know they had, or couldn’t address with their resources for whatever reason. That’s why we get so many calls from people who have made recent EBAY purchases, because the listing seldom matches the actual car, no matter how good the photos look. We have the luxury of a fully stocked shop and a whole lot of experience knowing what is truly possible for these cars.

So here is the list of what we did before we could let this car go… first, the brakes were not operating at their potential. Even though they worked OK, I could tell from driving a lot of Sprites that they could be better. The rear brakes, it turns out, were assembled with the springs on the wrong side, so the rear brakes weren’t doing much, and the shoes were wearing at an angle. The Ebrake linkages were also installed incorrectly, so the rear brakes were compromised. Add to that a pair of leaking rear wheel cylinders and so there was brake fluid on the rear shoes. In total, the rear brakes needed to be completely redone.

Next the master cylinder had started weeping a bit, and the new owner elected to have us put in an upgraded sleeved master for improved longevity. There was a plug in the slave cylinder with no bleed screw, so we addressed that, bled the whole system, and that took care of the hydraulic system.

We next tuned and synched the carbs, and changed the ram air inlets to K and N lifetime air filters. I couldn’t tell that there was any degradation in performance but we feel a lot better now that the incoming air is filtered. We did notice a flat spot at about 3500 rpms, and a rich pair of needles fixed that, which was not surprising given the upgraded power plant in this car.

Next we moved on to modern drivability, and enhanced all the lighting, with LED lights on all four corners, and LED brake and tail lights. Cibie-style headlight bulbs also improved the look and lighting on the front end. We needed to convert to negative ground for the LEDs to operate, and that meant converting the electronic tach for negative ground. Complete disassembly of the tach is required for this.

We then added an air horn to replace the “road runner” style “meep meep” horn that was in there.

Another issue was a loose baffle that was rattling in the handsome twin tip muffler. The new owner opted to replace that with our slick Sebring Sprite muffler we have developed, with more petite tips that look more to scale on the car, and a deep and serious exhaust note.

Next were three-point retractable shoulder belts, which really help to make the driver feel more secure.

Shifting was difficult, especially when cold, so we added MTL synthetic, which I love in these Datsun five speed transmissions. It is a magic cure for difficult gear engagement in this particular gearbox.

Add to all this complete service of all the other routine items, and the car is ready for it’s new home. You can see me and Bodhi take our final February test drive here before loading the car into an enclosed trailer for (much warmer) Nashville.

I am not sure what you get when you pay for “dealer prep” shown on the window sticker of every new car. But at Bugeyeguy, dealer prep means 20 or 30 hours of careful enhancements for modern roadways and a thorough diagnostic discussion with a new owner to make sure that the car that arrives is exactly as expected. We’ve had customers who want to do it themselves, and customers with great local mechanics who they want to use for any enhancements. But most of our customers want to take advantage of the expertise that comes from now 120 Sprites we’ve shipped to new homes. With every car we learn something new, and we leverage that experience to make the next car even better!

Contact us at or call (203)-208-0980 during business hours