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1960 Bugeyed Sprite for sale, “just right” driver!

IMG_6438We call this car “Bliss,” because it wears an original 1962 Fort Bliss base sticker on the front bumper. I’ve heard lots of Army base Bugeye stories over the years, and here’s car that clearly lived on the Army’s second largest base in the dry Texas/New Mexico climate. And it shows. The car is very solid. [Read more…]

Bugeyeguy in Automobile Magazine!

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Automobile Magazine’s Jamie Kittman came to our shop recently, in the 641 HP McLaren 650S you see parked in these photos, to ponder the rise and rise of British sportscars from Bugeye to McLaren. He drove two Bugeyes; the 43 HP box stock Nevada Beige Bugeye barn-find we recently restored for a client from Ohio (above), and the modified Sprite “Cole,” with a 110 HP 1380 cc engine and five speed transmission (below). Then he let me drive the McLaren (two Bugeye drives for every supercar ride? Perhaps a fair trade…).

I never drove anything quite like this $332k supercar, and while it was blindingly fast, I felt more like I was sitting in a moving computer than driving a sportscar. It shifted for me, and teased me with some paddles which didn’t really do what I wanted, unless I kept pulling to keep the car from shifting. Perhaps if I read the manual I would figure out how to find manual mode. But for now, I would have to say that the big orange Mac was a bit like a smartphone driven thermostat that requires a proper WIFI hook up before you can lower the air conditioner a few degrees (and sadly, I can’t remember the password for the network). Sometimes, an old honeywell thermostat with a big plastic dial works just fine. But then again you might expect such a perspective from a Bugeyeguy.

It was a great visit and we had a blast discussing flings we’ve had with cars. Click here to read his dispatch from our bastion of 1950s technology.

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Starter 1960 Bugeye Sprite for sale

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Now SOLD SOLD SOLD to Scott in NY! Congratulations! Our 160th sold!!!

This is “Angus.” I like this car a lot for anyone wanting to get into Bugeyes without much up-front cost. The car looks great but has a few small rust issues. It’s otherwise a surprisingly solid and nice looking car with an upgraded 1275 engine. [Read more…]

Wonderful restored 1960 Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite for sale!

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SOLD SOLD SOLD to Tim in Wisconsin! Well done sir! Our 159th sent to a new home!

This is “Chad,” (AN5L 12068) a car I have thought about keeping for myself, because it’s so much fun (I have four of my own already, it’s enough!). The car was wonderfully restored about 15 years ago and has seen less than 5000 miles since. We purchased this car in about 2011 and repaired a paint issue by stripping and repainting the entire car. We added the black stripes at that time. The and then sold the car to a fellow in Maryland who drove it only on sunny days. When he offered it back to us, I jumped at the opportunity because this is a good one! Video drive below and photo album beneath that…

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Striking restored 1959 Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite for sale!

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#161 is SOLD SOLD SOLD to Bob from Florida. Congratulations!

We call this Sprite “Pedro,” and it’s a beautiful 1959 Bugeye, AN5L 15196. The car was restored by a very passionate and meticulous car guy, who spent countless hours detailing every inch of the car. The result is stunning! The burgundy base/clearcoat paint work is outstanding and this car is a knockout.

Take a drive below, and click “read more” below the video to see the photo album…


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How to build a gold level concours Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite

We are proud to announce that we attained a gold award in the concours class at the Austin Healey Enclave in Gettysburg, PA this week! Our 1958 Sprite AN5L 552 scored 965.5 points. Gold is awarded for 950-1000 points. This was a huge achievement for us!

Each car starts with 1000 points. Then four judges pour over every nut and bolt on the car for two full hours, deducting points for any imperfection. Owners get to watch and learn, while hoping that the points don’t come off too quickly!

This is the first of a series of posts I’ll share about the event. It took us a year rebuild this car. It was a wonderful restoration, but we had to undo a lot that was done on this car and redo it with concours standards in mind. That meant taking off a lot of accessories that help drivability, but which were not factory correct. It was an arduous process, and we now have a lot to celebrate. This car is now the oldest Gold level concours Sprite in the world. (make sure to click “read more” below the photo to see a short judging video)

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Barn-Find Bugeye Sprite preservation

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So many old British cars get completely ripped apart, with the intention of blasting, stripping, washing, removing and renewing every last inch. Most people love new, clean, and sterilized… ready for another long run on the open road.

With this particular barn find, however, the owner took a different tack, and hired us to preserve and refresh, without losing the weathered charm. Anyone can strip and paint a car. But to preserve a car’s patina is a different matter.

The mix of old and new is inevitable, and the fine line between the two must be managed carefully. Too mildewed and weathered and no one will want to ride in the car… and too painted and clean means that the car is, like so many other restored cars, perhaps a bit too sterilized.

Meet “Beans,” a 1960 Bugeye we prepared for a discerning collector, who wanted the car faithfully set up just as it was when new– cleaned up, refreshed, renewed, mechanically sorted, but not restored. We started with a remarkably solid car needing only new footwells, which we welded in place. The engine was toast after 40 years of hibernation, so we rebuilt it. We rebuilt the original transmission. Replaced the fuel tank and pump. All the rubber was perished so we replaced it. Shocks and hydraulics were all leaking, and replaced. The original paint was hammered, but we carefully brought it back to life, still weathered, but now with some gloss. Seats were too far gone, so the owner framed them in clear boxes to hang on the wall next to the car, and asked for nice new ones to match the originals.

The result is a great driving and clean one-of-a-kind Bugeye.

Patina perfected.

Our 150th Bugeye Sold!

The Blue Bugeye we called “Marsha” was a milestone, our 150th out the door (now we’re up to 154!). Here’s Cici, the proud new owner of #150, united with her car at home in the Lake Tahoe area.

When I bought my first Bugeye “Gumby” back in 1979, I never would have guessed that one car (and the passion that ensued) would one day result in such a robust Bugeye business. We’ve been at this full time now since 2007, and with each Bugeye we sell, we learn more about how to make the next one even better.

Cici in her bugeye

Restored Bugeye Sprite heads to Canada

IMG_5490This fantastic Bugeye has moved to Canada, and here’s the new owner in the video below, ready for his trip home. This car had an amazing ground up restoration, yet the new owner still used our resources to build a list of accessories into the car, and make it even better before departure! Each of our Bugeyes is unique, and customized to meet the needs of the new owner.

664 miles in his new AH Bugeye Sprite on the first day

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Steve bought “Coleman” from us a week or so ago, and had his wife drop him off at our shop on her way to Vermont. He then drove 664 miles home, non-stop! He left Bugeyeguy at 2pm and arrived at his driveway in West Virginia at about 2AM the next day.

We’ve had several new owners make long maiden voyages in Bugeyes they purchase from us. I’ll admit I am usually a bit anxious because I’m on call in the event of a problem, but as with others before him, Stephen drove pretty much 12 straight hours without issue. He even detoured north to take the Newburgh Bridge across the Hudson, adding more miles to an already long journey.

Cars we’ve prepared have logged thousands of miles with very few issues. Each pilot like Steve helps us to gain valuable information about any vulnerabilities, and each long trip helps us to be our best. To Steve and all the other inspiring long haul Bugeye drivers, we salute you!