SOLD 01/23

1960 Austin Healey
Bugeye Sprite

Impressively restored. One of the cutest cars around.

  • VINAN5L38278
  • Exterior ColorPrimrose Yellow
  • Interior ColorBlack
  • MileageTMU
  • Engine
  • Transmission
  • StatusSold
  • StockFJ2708


1960 Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite
Chassis Number – AN5L38278
Engine Number – 66-1100
Exterior Color – Primrose Yellow
Interior Color – Black
Engine Type – 1098cc Inline 4-cylinder
Gearbox –4-Speed Manual
Current Mileage –29,950 (TMU)

Marque and Model History

The Austin Healey Sprite was produced from 1958-1971. The concept was simple. Build a low-cost sporting car in the spirit of the Austin Seven, one that was small enough to store in a bike shed and yet capable enough to deliver tuned performance for two occupants. Using unibody construction for both cost and manufacturing efficiency allowed for a very compact and simple design that could be easily built and annually updated. The compact 948cc engine and 4-speed gearbox propelled the Bugeye to a top speed of 82 mph, delivering 32 mpg.

Over the years, the Bugeye has continued to endear itself as a magical little car with a memorable face, compact shape, and the added benefit of being an inexpensive vintage car capable of delivering surprisingly strong competition numbers when in the hands of intrepid privateer racers. Enthusiasts today continue to seek out the Bugeye as a near universally loved example of prudent British engineering coupled with charming aesthetic qualities.

History of this Car

This car was restored under previous ownership and completed in the 1990s. The full rotisserie restoration was performed by a Portland, OR British car enthusiast who restored all major components including a rebuild for the engine to 1098cc and later series ribbed case 4-speed transmission. The car was finished using Sikens paint and triple coated for durability while the interior, dashboard, and instruments were fully restored to a high standard. After completion, this Bugeye participated in several local vintage shows. The restorer sold the car in 1998 and the next owner purchased this car in 2005. After 16 years of ownership, the former auctioned this Bugeye on BringaTrailer in December 2021

The current owner purchased the car on BringaTrailer and has enjoyed the car minimally, accumulating fewer than 50 miles since his purchase. Service records accompanying the car date from 2015-2020 including overhauling the rear suspension, new master cylinder, new timing chain and tensioner, new front transmission cover, rebuilding the rear shock absorbers, and trimming the rear bump stops. In 2019 the engine and transmission were removed servicing the rear plate and oil pan gaskets, front and rear sump seals, Powertune clutch kit, rear crank seal conversion kit installed, new cooling hoses, thermostat, radiator cap, new water pump, and fuel filter installed. In 2020 a partial belly pan was custom made and installed. The most recent oil change was performed in November 2020 with 29,861 miles indicated.

General Overview

Today this Bugeye Sprite presents as a very nice example that has not been exposed to inclement weather and is aging gracefully. Recent and ongoing regular care and maintenance by the current owner have helped maintain the excellent presentation both mechanically and cosmetically. In addition to being restored with original factory finishes and features, the colors, authentic presentation, and honest character of this Bugeye remind onlookers why these cars appear perpetually endearing to generation after generation of enthusiasts.

Bugeye restoration experts will appreciate the quality of the finishes, the nicely trimmed interior, and the ongoing quality of mechanical attention applied as needed. The period correct Primrose Yellow finish is glossy and smooth with consistent factory fit to the doors and tilting hood. The factory-correct 13” steel wheels are correctly finished with silver paint, chrome wheel covers with AH embossed branding, and Kumho black wall radial tires installed in 2019. The exterior trim is in excellent condition including the minimal chrome and emblems. Features of note include chrome plated rear bumperettes, chrome plated front bumper, external fuel filler, and the famous smiling polished grille.

The interior continues the themes of restoration excellence with properly finished seats in black upholstery accented by yellow piping, black dashboard, and correct materials for the floor, door inners, and black tonneau cover. The painted top frame is stored behind the seats in the area which also stores a spare tire. A Smiths heater is installed. The beautifully finished steering wheel and excellent instrument faces create a sporting feel to the cockpit.

Under the tilted hood, the slightly larger capacity 1098cc engine, rebuilt under prior restoration by Dick Ott, Portland, OR, is finished to proper standards with generally correct finishes. The engine is finished in the correct green color, featuring twin SU carburetors and a correct Smiths heater. The engine and engine compartment feature correct fasteners and hardware consistent with factory standards. Under prior restoration, the transmission was rebuilt using a later and more desirable “ribcase” type transmission which allows for smoother shifting. The underside of the car has been finished with equal attention to detail following closely the finishes and specifications for Bugeyes when delivered new. Additionally, a belly pan has been installed to protect the engine and gearbox from road debris. Finishes are indicative of enjoyable miles driven since the restoration was completed under previous ownership.

The car starts reliably and settles into a smooth and comfortable idle. The updated gearbox operates easily through all gears, warm or cold. The clutch takes up nicely, throttle response is quite good, and the brakes bring the car down evenly from highway speeds. Overall, this Bugeye is a delight to drive, charming in scale and presence, and brings a smile to everyone who sees it.

Included with this Car

This Bugeye is accompanied by a set of side curtain type windows with rigid window frames, a soft top with restored top frame, a Sprite workshop manual, a Texaco Sprite and Midget lubrication and general service guide chart, and a Moss parts catalog.

The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.

Inquire About This Car

Fantasy Junction  •  510-653-7555  •  1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608