have done so to make the site better organized and easier to navigate.
Enjoy the material below but please make sure to visit the new site as
there is lots of new content only visible at that site.
Thanks for visiting!
foster friendship like few other cars... the drawing above was generously
created by Florida resident Jim Sprunger, who found this site while
reminiscing about the '58 Bugeye he had in the 70s. Thank you Jim for your
sharing your talents and for your generous contribution! Want a
drawing like this of you in your car? Email me and I will connect you with
Click the video below for
a celebration of 1960 Motoring!
Never leave home in your British car without a box of
Actually, Bugeyes are VERY easy to
maintain and, once set-up properly, can be quite reliable. Scroll down to
watch "Bugeye Maintenance Basics!"
Bugeyes always for sale-scroll down to
see current inventory
Each car we sell is carefully inspected-lovingly
prepared/restored/ improved and then -shipped direct to your door!
(get two! they're
1979, I've been passionate about these wonderful little cars. Now, I
specialize in the restoration and sales of great British cars. Let us
locate, restore and/or prepare your dream car just for you!
something wrong in the photo above-can you find it? This is like a back-of-the-cereal- box- game at the breakfast table... (answer under the
Which one is for you?
Will I fit?
ANSWER- The bumper overriders on the leaf green car are
upside down (they have since been righted)!
Average number of husbands who contact me each week
wanting to give Bugeyes to their wives.... 2
Average number of
thumbs-up and smiles per every 100 cars to pass a moving Bugeye on the
Average time required to erect a Bugeye top
(hood)... 4 minutes 30 seconds
you wanted a new Bugeye in 1960, you had five color choices: Iris Blue, Leaf Green,
Beige, Olde English White,
and Cherry Red
BUGEYES BOUGHT AND SOLD! British
Cars Wanted! Send photos or call!
Cars can be shipped/retrieved anywhere in the
Call or email
if you would like to sell your Bugeye... I can also locate a car for you
or evaluate one you are thinking of purchasing (from photos or in-person).
Got a Bugeye or British car you can't get around to restoring? I'll send a trailer with a
turn-key Bugeye and take yours in-trade!
Each of our Bugeyes for sale is put
through a set of rigorous tests!
Bugeye-Excellent condition, extremely quick with 1275 engine and custom
exhaust with header. Front anti-roll bar for great handling. Completely
rebuilt carburetors with re-bushed throttle shafts as well as an electronic fuel pump and many other new
parts, including new shocks and master cylinder.
is a real head-turner in
silver-blue metallic, an excellent color for Bugeyes that changes hue
slightly in different light. Excellent interior with new blue seats and seat foam
and matching new blue dashboard cover. Excellent blue short tonneau.
few photos below or click the first photo for a 36 picture slideshow
video below for backroad drive!
Video below for highway drive!
203 561 6929 for more details!
is a 1960 Restored Bugeye with an upgraded 1275 engine and disk brakes for
more power and better stopping. The car is completely restored and solid,
with a new paint job and new interior. All the fuss is done--just
jump in and GO! Click the first picture to see Petey's photo album...
Click the video below to take Pete for a drive...
was born in 1960 and is quite a presentable driver. He's solid with a
lovely red shine, not quite up to the high standard of some of our other
cars but priced accordingly. He affords a low entry price into the Bugeye
Universe (Bugiverse? Bugisphere?). He has a flip forward nose and 948
engine, new tonneau and luggage rack, and new steering rack boots, front
shocks, rebuilt and re-bushed carburetors and he has been given whatever
else was needed so you can jump in and go. We offer this car for anyone
who wants maximum Bugeye fun with a minimal up - front investment. Buddy
spent much of his life in Florida and just arrived in Connecticut for his
mechanical makeover. Call 203 561 6929 for more details!
Which would you choose... high power or highly accurate?
the video below to compare two high-end restorations. Both cars have been
sold but both teach volumes about about how to build a nice car!
Call 203 561 6929 for more information about any of the
Other BRITISH Classics for Sale
1974 Triumph 1500 TC
Here's a really fun four-door sedan with a spitfire
engine and twin SUs. A British sports car blast with family capabilities!
Rare, right hand drive and just 50k miles. All original!
Call 203 561 6929 (9-9 eastern only please, 7 days) for
more info on any of these exceptional cars!
Customer Testimonials-meet some of the people who have
(click photo to watch
videos about these)
1960 AH 3000 mark 1 1961
AH 3000 mark 2 Bugeye parts car
1959 Bugeye Barn Find
Below is a car that was recently listed on ebay with a
trunk lid cut into the back deck. The story goes that it was too costly to
build a trunk lid into the car so all original Bugeyes have their boot accessed
only behind the seats. No lid cut-out also made the car stronger.
Apparently, a few factory prototypes were made with a lid, although the
owner of this particular car said this was not likely to be a factory
modified car. I found this car quite unusual and wanted to share it.
Thanks to Fred Jordan for the Nor Cal advert above-this looks to be a
surviving Nor Cal product! (BTW, where is the guy in the ad going to put
the other three suitcases?)
In the second photo, you can see what happens when you
have a boot lid... dirt, water and crud gets into your trunk! If you've
ever had the pleasure of climbing into a stock Bugeye boot, you know that
it is pretty rare for one to get this nasty-they're usually pretty clean.
But with a boot lid, anything can get in there! (Although I bet wiring the
tail lights is a lot easier!)
Diary of a repaint... This car is sold to
a new owner in Texas but here's the story of how it was reborn:
This car has a period correct Amco rear
bumper bar. Kinda cool! And it will protect the lovely new paint! Scroll down for pictures of the
The first phase of this restoration was to repair
any visible rust. This is a Texas car that spent its life in dry climate
and is thus surprisingly solid. So there was only one area that needed
obvious repair in the common Bugeye problem area behind the rear wheel. So
prior to the complete stripping of old paint off of this car, we
fabricated and welded a patch to the bottom of the rear fender. In the
video below, you can see how we removed the rust and replaced it with new
metal. Stuart is a master at this kind of metal fabrication and as always,
we insist on fixing these cars right.
we completely removed all the trim on the car and sent the car to a media
blaster who completely removed all the old paint. Below you can see the car after media blasting.
The car was stripped to bare metal. We
started with a solid mostly original Texas car with low miles and without
the common rust issues so common on cars in Northern climates. Blasting
allows us to reveal the foundation of the body of the car and gets rid of
any old body repairs and putty. Only a small rust area was revealed in the
bottom of the rocker panel just behind the right front wheel. The rest of
the car was surprisingly solid after 50 years!
The rocker panel was welded and the car was completely prepped
for paint. Below are contour stripes painted on to help see how fair all
the curves are. I had a great team of body shop guys working hard to make
absolutely certain all the curves were right and smooth. Bugeye back decks
are particularly challenging-over the years people put packages and pocket
books on the rear deck and all Bugeyes pick -up small dings and ripples.
People sometimes sit on them! So in pre-paint, all those imperfections are
removed to return to the body that left the factory. Mike sprays on these
stripes to read the quality of the foundation.
Here's the masking (and eyebrows) going on, she's almost
ready to be re-sprayed. Smile!
of sanding and smoothing to make sure that primer is perfect and any old
dings or nicks are long gone... it takes time and patience to make sure
the foundation is perfectly prepped for the next 50 years.
below is the finished paint... finally, the little Sprite is liberated
from the body shop... now for the careful reassembly and lots of brand new
rubber trim gaskets! Simple cars with few pieces
but to carefully assemble a freshly painted car takes a lot of time!
Coming together! She's almost done! This car has had hundreds of hours invested to make
her ready for her new home!
Take a walk around tour!
It's the B.M.C. (British Motor Corporation) 'works' team
line-up, with Austin Healey Sprites and M.G.A. coupes, parked alongside
Reed's Motel (in Avon Park, Florida) in March 1961.
They were competing at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida.
Special thanks to Ed Cooney for this photo!
Racing Time Warp!
This is a 42k mile car which I
purchased from the second owner, who owned the car since 1962!
As you probably know, Bugeyes were and are popular
weekend racers. Here's a series of photos from the 60s of the lovely
restored car pictured above, #17, which the former owner raced on weekends at Vineland,
Bridgehampton, Lime Rock and the like. He'd trailer the car behind his car
and join the H production excitement with this mostly stock Bugeye!
He shot this photo below of a track mishap (not of his
car) circa 1962
Here's the car today, restored by the same owner and
repainted red after just 43k original miles. He sold it to me after 47
years of ownership! This is a two-owner Bugeye still on the road! Notice
he has the slotted wheels on the car from a later sprite-he told me the
original round hole rims were weak and he put these on while he was racing
it because they are stronger!
The interior has been restored... Dashboard still has
original vinyl-notice the same dash in the old "before" pictures
Flip-forward nose makes engine access exceptional!
Take a fun drive below!
My Favorite Barn Find!
seller told me that the MGA featured below was completely restored. "When," I
asked? "In 1972," he said, "and it's still perfect..." watch below
and see if you agree! (BTW, I didn't buy this one)
Bugeye of the future?
Shift tower is now a cup holder!
to the owner:
car is very simple to drive and makes no noise. Many people have driven
this car with ease, one did not even know it was electric. Basically you
put the key in and turn on, then press the button for the main contactor
to engage. After that you flip the switch to forward or reverse and you
are off. It is direct drive so there is no changing of gears or anything,
basically it is like an automatic car. The
weight of the car is about 200lbs more than the factory car.
has a 30amp Manzanita Micro PFC-30 Series charger that can be connected
on-board or outside the car. This charger works on 110v and 220v and has
the optional amp gauge so you know how much amperage you are drawing. I
typically charge the batteries at 8amps on 110v which takes under 2 hours
(I charge while I am at work so I have plenty of time and thus no need to
increase the amperage). It comes with a ~15’ cable that plugs into the
new gas door (RV style) and then has an attachment for 110v or 220v.
are 8 batteries in the rear and 4 in the front making the car close to a
50% / 50% weight balance.
gauges are Autometer electronic (modern style with digital odometer) and
work perfect. The “fuel” gauge is a state-of-charge gauge that
measures in percentage.
great part about this car is it does not produce any heat or leak any oil
(only oil is in the differential). This car also requires almost no
maintenance as there is no oil to change. The batteries are sealed
gel-cell so there is nothing to do there.
fast will it go – It will go over 65mph, but it uses a considerable
amount of battery power at this speed. I use it to drive to work and run
errands around town, typically between 35-40mph.
is the range – Using it to drive around town, I gain about 35 miles
of range taking the pack to above 50% drain.
Thanks to Jason
Hassenbusch for sharing his radical Bugeye conversion!
I don't have any more
info on this car-- contact firstname.lastname@example.org
for more info.
in case you prefer the other extreme
minimum miles per gallon and maximum environmental impact) check out this
racer! There's a Bugeye for every taste...
Thanks to Kevin Berry
for sharing his awesome car!
Here's my story about an (almost) 30-year
relationship with one particular Sprite.
I bought this car in 1979 while I was a senior in High
School. Back then, it barely ran and was finished in gray primer. Since then, I have
replaced just about every part on the car (some have now been replaced a second time).
I’ve taken the engine out three times, most recently installing a rebuilt 1275
engine from another car. The stock engine was just 948 cc. That’s tiny.
It’s such a simple car to work on that it only took
me a day to remove and replace the engine last time. Other projects are not so simple;
I recently rebuilt the brake calipers. That was a messy job that squirted brake fluid
everywhere and required lots of new little springy pieces, which periodically shot
around the shop. This was necessary because the brakes were seizing. The
caliper seals were old and
corroded so the brakes would work and not stop working! The pads would smoke, the
engine would labor and finally, on my way to my hospice volunteer course one night,
the car would barely roll. So I parked it in front of someone’s house, put out my
thumb and got a ride from the first car to pass.
Although I sometimes arrive at my destination with
dirty fingernails, this is all part of the “fun” of owning an old British car.
Weather protection is almost useless so I generally use
it with the top down, like a little open cockpit biplane. It’s windy and sometimes
cold but I am always in touch with my surroundings and completely available to notice
any adventures in my path. In the Bugeye, you do not cruise down the highway insulated
in a sealed climate controlled cabin. There is no radio, no cruise control and
certainly no GPS. In the Bugeye, you spend your time driving. You listen to the sounds
of the engine (and for the sound of parts breaking or falling off) You focus on the
surrounding traffic (lest you get squashed) and you actually stop to ask people for
Weather protection is a relative term.
Although I often drive the Bugeye on the highway at 60
MPH, comfortable top speed is about 45 MPH, ideal for motoring down back roads, with
little between you and the adventures lurking on the roadside. As such, you actually
stop in front of a house with an unusual array of lawn ornaments, to compliment the
owner. You pull into an apple orchard to taste the fresh cider. You stop at a roadside
rest and actually take a rest, so you can perhaps notice the particular way the trees
are in bloom... or shedding their leaves. Stopping seems easier the Bugeye than in the
seductive cocoon of a modern car, in which the urge to stop for an adventure can be
all too easily dismissed in favor of proceeding to the destination.
The Bugeye is not my only car but I try to use it as
much as I can. I have driven the car about 5,000 miles in the past year, which is more
than I drove it in the last ten. In the summer of 2001, I replaced the engine, top,
and side curtains, to make the car useable year round, unless it’s raining or there’s
snow on the ground.
That summer I also repaired the one speed heater
blower. Peter Egan, one of my favorite automotive writers, once said that the heater
on his Lotus produced the heat of a hamster blowing through a straw. Now, with my one
speed fan on “ON,” I have heat that would rival a panting raccoon.
This car is my everyday adventure-mobile.
I'm a career and life coach and I specialize in helping people bring more
vitality into their lives. I help people find joy. I help people design
fulfilling careers that make a lasting difference. I help people extract
themselves from the soul killing work that is rampant in our culture. The
Bugeye is the ultimate envoy for this message. It's a car that says that
life is meant to be lived. It is the antithesis of the Toyota Camry. It is a
car that invites people to come out and play. (For
more information about my coaching services, click here)
It’s so cute and so non-threatening that people of all
ages are drawn to inquire, “what is that?” It’s almost impossible to park it
without having a conversation with people nearby. It encourages people to share
passionate stories about their past. It makes people smile. It seems to open up the
possibility of people actually relating to one another in front of parking meters, in
bank drive-thrus and in shopping center parking lots. This car facilitates
relationship adventures. That’s why I love the Bugeye.
It wasn’t always this way. I’ve owned this car
since 1979. It never used to be such a novelty. But in the last ten years in
particular, we seem to have become insulated in big cars that all look somewhat the
same. Along comes the Bugeye with its smiling face and something wonderful happens.
People seem to open up and become human once again.
A simple visit to the gas station (to fill up the
7.2-gallon tank) continually draws baby boomers off the main drag, to pay a visit and
tell of childhood memories in Dad's first sports car in the 50s or 60s. On the
highway, most overtaking drivers slow down and peer over their right shoulders with a
smile and a “thumbs up” for the little Bugeye and the possibility that a mundane
drive to town could be such an adventure. Children universally acknowledge the Bugeye
with a giggle.
This car is # 14,908 of about 50,000 Bugeyes
manufactured in England between 1958-1961. In 1962, it was replaced by the Sprite Mark
2, which was nearly the same car but lacked the distinctive frog headlights and as
such was not nearly as popular. Austin Healey went out of business in 1967.
Sprite Mark IVs were still imported into the US until 1969 and I am told
there were also Sprite Mark IVs available in England until 1971.
This particular car has a 1275 cc 65 horse power engine, 2 seats, a
marginal top that barely keeps out the rain, one speed non parking windshield wipers and plastic
side curtains. I've also upgraded the front brakes to disks and added an
anti roll bar in the front, both from a later MG Midget.
The Bugeye was marketed as the poor man's sports car and cost just $1795 in
1958. Roll up windows and a radio would have pushed the price of the car out of reach
of the target market, although an AM radio was optional. The cute little headlights
were originally designed to be of the "pop up" variety, but because they
couldn't afford the tooling, Austin Healey was forced to simply stick the headlights
on the front of the car, and this is how the Bugeye was born.
British sports cars are really easy to maintain. With a
good manual and set of tools, anyone can learn to fix them, although I wouldn’t
recommend an old British car unless you like to get your hands dirty. A lot.
Gas mileage is about 32 MPG (better with the
original 948 cc engine). Range is about 200 miles.
Parts are readily available and relatively inexpensive. A water pump, for example, is
only $26. A brake disk, $28. The Bugeye shares many parts with later Sprites and the
MG Midget. There are several good catalog companies who stock almost every piece of
these cars. Other parts are available used, from wrecks.
(This guy was living in the Bugeye battery box. You never
know what you'll find under the hood!)
4-car garage re-defined
(not my garage, I wish tho!)
Bugeye dies after Hard Life
I really ever wanted was more horsepower, says victim..."
this nose will live again, shipped to Alabama, adopted by a new chassis)
I was shooting a video that began with me driving up in
a bugeye... here's a blooper, in which I was
almost swallowed by a (great?) white Bugeye!
When I turned into the drive, the sliding battery was
pulling the starter cable and engaging the starter-but I couldn't imagine
this until I opened the hood. New Battery hold- down fixed the problem!
Your car-Your project-Your passion!
I am all for originality,
but I also like Bugeyes done in creative and interesting colors and
stripes. Love 'em or hate 'em, it's still interesting to me to see what
Bugeye owners do when it comes to expressing their own personal style! (PS
the cars below are readers' cars-send me a pic of yours!)
Dashboard reference... Above: wrong temp guage/combo
gauge, wrong switches next to key, no turn sig switch or washer...
Proper dash layout-heater/blower to right of ignition,
wiper to left, washer pump to far right. This car with 5 speed...
Keep 'EM safe Departement
We're all for originality around here but sometimes you
need modern safety gear, especially if you plan to wrestle with all those
folks sending text messages while driving. Below are Inertia reel shoulder
belts and air horns installed by Stuart on Bugeyes here at Brainerds
garage. If you use the seat belt installation, make sure to plan for
location of the top frame once it is in its holders. Be safe!
Laws for British Sports Cars
May 1994 By Don Hayward
1. LAW OF PECULIAR RANDOM NOMENCLATURE
The name of a British Sports Car shall consist primarily of letters and numbers chosen in random fashion so that the resultant vehicle name is wholly devoid of meaning.
The law explains why British cars always have spectacularly bad names like “XKE” or worse yet, “MGBGT”
2. LAW OF CRYPTIC INSTRUCTIONS
Any book, manual, pamphlet, or text dealing with the maintenance, repair, or restoration of a British Sports Car shall be written so that at least every fourth word will be unknown to the average reader. In the event that any portion of the text is understandable, the information contained therein shall be incorrect.
Most people are familiar with this law. Here is an excerpt from page 132 of the MGA shop manual. Before rebushing the lower grunion banjos, you must remove the bonnet fascia and undo the A-arm nit with a #3 spanner. All attempts to publish an English-language version of this manual have failed.
3. LOVE OF HARDSHIP LAW
The more a British Sports Car malfunctions, breaks, and/or falls apart, the more endearing it becomes of the owner.
You buy a British Sports Car. You have had it’s a year and a half and have replaced every item on the car at least twice. When the engine is started it sounds as if someone has thrown a handful of ball bearings into a blender. But when someone offers to buy it, you are offended because it is like a part of the family and besides, it is so much fun to drive. British Sports Cars owners often stare into space and smile a lot. This is referred to as the “Foolish Person Syndrome.”
4. LAW OF NON-FUNCTIONAL ATTRIBUTES
All British Sports Cars, regardless of condition or age shall always have at least one system or sub-system of components which is entirely non-functional, and cannot be repaired except on a semi-permanent or semi-functional basis.
5. RECENTLY DISCOVERED COMPONENT FAILURE LAW
Any component of a British Sports Car which is entirely unknown to the owner shall function perfectly, until such time that the owner becomes aware of the component’s existence, when it shall instantly fail.
Case in point: I have owned a rather natty MGB for six years. I never knew there was such a thing as a “Gulp Valve” until I saw new ones offered for sale by Moss Motors. The next day while driving my MGB to work, the Gulp Valve fell off the engine and was run over by a truck.
I do not know what the Gulp Valve gulps, nor do I particularly care to know, since it sounds messy and dangerous. But I figured I would buy anew Gulp Valve and install it myself. One look at the shop manual and I decided to have somebody else install it (see LAW OF CRYPTIC INSTRUCTIONS, above).
While I’m driving the car over to the local repair establishment, I notice that the MGB is performing just as well as it ever did, and that the loss of the mysterious Gulp Valve has not and any effect on its behavior. I figure this is due to the NON-FUNCTIONAL ATTRIBUTE LAW, which means that the Gulp Valve probably wasn’t gulping anything anyways, so I decide not to replace it after all.
Three days later the engine had no more oil in it and promptly seized into a solid mass of metal. The tow truck operator, being ignorant of the LOVE HARDSHIP LAW, offered to take the car off my hands for $100.00. I just smiled.
Reprinted from CT MG club news
Remember, driving antique cars requires extra vigilance
and concentration. Always leave extra stopping distance and remember to
watch your rearview mirror whenever you come to a stop, while giving
yourself an "out" in case an approaching vehicle is bearing down
Drive your British car hard, have a blast, but remember
that driving styles have changed and all of us in the Antique car
community need to be a little more mindful when we hit the streets and
tangle with big cars and often distracted drivers!
Also, please pull over to use your cell phone and be sure to
Many apologies to Ben's dad for the crash above. I was
glad to hear that no one was hurt in that crash. I have no knowledge of
the circumstances of that accident and we wish that lovely Bugeye a speedy
Farewell Bugzilla! A particularly fantastic car bound
for a new home in the midwest! Click the photo above for one last drive!
33 Wallace Road
Stony Creek CT 06405