We Find a Bugeye Austin-Healey Sprite | Austin-Healey Bugeye Sprite Project

Everyone seems to like early Bugeye Sprites. They're cute, simple to work on and easy to love.

The Sprite offers razor-sharp handling on the road, but its track performance made it a true winner. Huge parts support followed.

Time for a little back story on our example.

More than a decade ago, we built an MG Midget, the Sprite’s very close relative. Since then, we've felt the desire to revisit the Spridget.

Last spring, during the height of the pandemic, a friend sent us a Facebook Marketplace ad for an old Sprite race car. It was being stored in a warehouse in Okeechobee, Florida, not too far from us.

The engine was included in the sale, but it had been removed. The owner had been disabled by dementia, so the children were selling the car.

We were more interested in a Bugeye street car, but we still decided to take a look. What we found was a 1960 Sprite with a long racing record—in both SCCA Regional contests and vintage events. The logbook showed races from the ’60s through the ’80s.

While the effort had obviously been low-buck and decidedly amateurish, the car looked to be solid, complete and relatively undamaged. We didn’t see any worrisome rust.

Sure, it was missing some of its interior and had been mildly modified, so would most likely it never be a concours-correct car again.

So we came up with a new plan: Let's build a Sprite that's less show car and more hooligan. We offered $2500 and had ourselves a Sprite.




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