And maybe do this with your Bugeye too!

Matthew has been a great customer. Not only did he buy one of our cars (Marco), he also had us modify it for speed. We attached a five speed transmission to his 1275 engine and an aluminum radiator so he could do battle in the DC area with his Sprite. We powder coated his new black rims and set up his 3.9 diff so that he could cruise at high speed per his request. His car serves as an excellent test bed for our product and we were gratified to get the following message from him:

I am driving her almost every day usually with a typical speed around 80 mph. According to my GPS speedometer, top speed so far has been 103 mph (not sure if that is accurate or not, although I have pushed her a few times on a straightaway at the local track) and my best 0 to 60 is 14 seconds….although I really don’t accelerating too aggressively. Not bad for a 60 year old car…you and your mechanics certainly do a good job on these cars!!!



He’s using our new GPS speedometer, which gives GPS based readings so it sure better be accurate! It also has a 0-60 recorder, which is how Matthew is getting the data above. The original 0-60 time for a 948CC Bugeye was around 23 seconds! You can get yours by clicking here.




Our new tachometers just arrived as well (pictured below). You can find these in our catalog by clicking here…

Matthew is also a pilot who loves vintage aircraft. Here’s his Bugeye parked with his two tail draggers!

Do this with your Bugeye Sprite

Jeff Hoover last drove this car 33 years ago, and now that it runs again, here’s a picture of him and his dad, out for a drive.

Jeff reports that at least half a dozen guys at dad’s assisted living facility shared Sprite stories, and that everyone became quite excited at the facility when Jeff arrived in the Frogeye. One reason we love Bugeyes is for the stories and the memories.

Jeff’s car will be heading here soon for further sorting, from Idaho, where these pictures were shot. Jeff, by the way, owns several old British cars and is also the architect for our Quonset Hut renovation and expansion. You can see more about Jeff’s firm by clicking here.

Here are some pictures of our building before and after, and we are glad that Jeff shared the vision for transforming this wonderful space!

Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite 60th Anniversary

I got a great forward this week of a photo of the Bugeye press launch in Monte Carlo, which would have happened about 60 years ago this week. This photo displays the first crop of demonstrators made available for the press when the Frogeye was first launched in 1958 on May 20, two days after the Monaco Grand Prix. Thanks to Jim g for the forward!

We have a new T shirt available to commemorate this event, it’s a high grade V-neck 100% cotton top, to celebrate 60 wonderful years of Sprite. You can order yours by clicking here.


We also have a great commemorative 60th anniversary boot badge, which looks great on your car or on the wall. You can order one of those by clicking here.

Even if you have already seen it, it’s well worth watching the video below, another early promotional BMC piece. In this one, you’ll see PBL 75, widely acknowledged as the first press demonstrator, run at Silverstone sometime in early 1958. I believe this video was shot before the Monte Carlo launch mentioned above. This video showcases a few novel early features, such as the shift tower screwed over the top of the original rubber tunnel mat and you might also notice a different knob on the windshield washer button. BMC was notorious for using what they had available, and so who knows what was rushed onto PBL 75 to make the press launch.

If you’re interested in celebrating the anniversary with other Austin Healey enthusiasts and Austin Healeys alike, there are three events coming up this summer in the US. Check out the details and links below!

Happy Birthday Bugeyes!

Electric Bugeye Sprite Update

The electric Bugeye Sprite (FrogE) is leaping forward. This week we made big strides with the creation of the polyethylene boxes to isolate and protect the precious Lithium Manganese batteries. Each one is in its own little safe. Kenny fabricated beautiful boxes this week to house each set of cells. In the photo album below, you can see the boxes going together to fill the engine bay with new (cleaner) power. Is it cold and plastic under the hood or hot stuff?

This week we also mounted our new custom drive shaft, which you can see below linked to the electric motor. This photo shows how neatly the team linked the electric motor spindle to the drive shaft. In this image you are looking down through the shift tower at the connection between motor and drive shaft.

Some electric conversions use the existing gearbox but we went with a direct drive configuration, to eliminate one more source of oil leaks. These cars are so light and the performance envelope for the motor is so broad that a gearbox is not needed. Losing the gearbox also saved us about 46 pounds and allowed is to mount the motor closer to the center of the car, down low.

The car has a 12 volt system for the lights, horn and accessories. This is charged through the main plug in the fuel tank through an inverter. The main motor batteries (inside the black boxes) are 144 volts and 500 amps.

Our goal is to have this complete in one week in time for British By the Sea in New London, CT. Will we make it? (Now, where does that white wire go?)

Classic British car low power diagnosis

We had a TR4 in the shop recently, running a bit rough and not developing full power. Quick for sure, but I thought we could do better. We checked over the usual suspects, tuned and synched the carbs, checked all the ignition components and drove it again, without much change.

The one tool that made the most difference for this job was a pair of insulated pliers, with which Russ removed one plug wire at a time while listening for changes in RPM. Cylinders 2-4 had a consistent drop with the plug wire removed. But number one made only a slight difference when with the spark plug lead disconnected. We checked compression, and it was consistent in all cylinders.

Next we removed the valve cover to check valve adjustment. A simple push of the thumb downward on each of the valves revealed the issue- all of them were too firm to move by hand except one. The intake valve spring on number one was broken. There was enough tension to keep the valve from falling into the combustion chamber, but it was broken still, and once we replaced the springs and adjusted the valves, the car ran, well, about 25 percent better. It’s amazing how good valve timing requires good springs. You can see the broken outer spring in the photo. (it’s the one that’s a little short.)

Simply removing and replacing the plug wires one at a time is an easy way to verify that each piston is pulling its share of the load. If your car is making noises or feeling anemic, this is a useful low-tech diagnostic tool.

Budget 1961 Austin Healey Sprite Mark 1 Bugeye for sale

Now SOLD! and will soon head to Dave in Tennessee! Congratulations Dave, this one is our 222nd sold! And if you are sad you missed it, another great choice is “Hampton,” which you can see by clicking here!

This is AN5L 48247. We call this one “Red.”

If you have been looking for an inexpensive Bugeye Sprite, don’t miss this one! For $11,495, we have this nice shiny red 1960 Bugeye with a strong 948 engine, recently serviced drum brakes and good four speed transmission. She has new aluminum radiator, electric fuel pump, alternator conversion, new seats with matching piping, new carpet and a thermostatically controlled electric cooling fan. She also has electronic ignition, new clutch and flywheel ring gear as well as a new gas tank and exhaust header. The prior owner went out of his way to make the car a great driver. We’ve changed the rear axle pinion seal to stop it from leaking.

The car is a “10 footer,” which means it looks great but shows some body imperfections when you get up close. She has some paint blemishes and amateur bodywork. But if you want to get into a shiny Bugeye you can enjoy this summer, with lots of nice new components, this is a great deal.

The car has an older top that will get you home but should be replaced. Side curtains are included (wrapped in bubble wrap), but they will need restoration. (We also sell new ones).

We got this car as a trade for one of our other cars. We have gone through it and fixed a few items that needed attention, and we are happy to work with the new owner to handle any other upgrades before the car departs for a new home. We have priced it to sell promptly. It’s really hard to find Bugeyes in this price range any more, so don’t delay, and give a call or email if you are interested!

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