How to make a Bugeye Sprite bonnet flip up and forward

A Sprite’s hood and front fenders flip open as a single unit. Unlike a Triumph Spitfire, however, the Sprite’s nose is hinged at cowl, not down near the front bumper.

Where the Spitfire’s arrangement provides ample engine access, the same can’t be said for a Sprite.

As we’re not doing a concours restoration on our Sprite as it's more of a hot rod, we opted for a flip-up nose kit. Several Sprite parts purveyors sell these kits, and we found ours new in the package at the Carlisle import meet for about $10.

With this kit in place, our Sprite bonnet now flips up and forward, allowing complete engine access.

We also needed a way to guide our bonnet into place when lowering it. A Triumph TR6 uses clever conical rubber pieces that locate each corner of the hood; these bushings simply fit into corresponding holes. We simply duplicated these fittings and mounted them to the firewall.

The final step in mounting the hood was fabricating a latch. While we have seen people fabricate complicated and delicate internal releases, as this is a bit of a hot rod, we opted for some simple leather straps.

Moss Motors had both the TR6 conical pins and the straps in stock, and the whole adventure costs us less than $100 with shipping.

For another $20, we ordered the rubber bumpers that sit on the tops of the rocker panels and support the nose.

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Comments
lieb923
lieb923 New Reader
12/15/22 2:15 p.m.

On my HP Bugeye I used T shaped rubber straps much stronger,easier to release and weather ressistant. They are used on many truck cab hoods. Inexpensive.

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 UberDork
12/16/22 4:08 p.m.

I have done two of these conversions recently, and made my own hinges that spread the load a lot farther into the bonnet structure and do not put the up limit load into the hinge area at all.  Hinge just prior to paint. Upstop is done with fishing leader fron the original prop point on the bonnet to the front corner of the inner fender, with a lightweight bungee to retract it when closing.

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