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Austin Healey Bugeyed Sprite
Austin Healey Bugeyed Sprite
Austin Healey Bugeyed Sprite
1960 Austin Healey Sprite
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Austin-Healey “Bugeye” Sprite

Otherwise known as “Frogeye” or “Spridget”, the Austin-Healey Sprite was manufactured from 1958 – 1971.

The “Bugeye” nickname was given based off of the pronounced headlights atop the car. These headlights were originally designed to retract upward into the hood when not in use, but this was later scrapped to cut market costs of the vehicle.

The design of Bugeyes was all about creating a low-cost automobile. A small build (11’ long and 4’5 feet wide), as well as a partial monocoque structure, were huge components to cutting costs.

With the structural support of the chassis being routed into the floor pan of the vehicle, the Sprite has a mostly monocoque design. This single-structure build helped cut costs drastically.

Sprite models were originally sold for only £700, about half the price of a Big Healey at that time. The price of a Sprite in combination with its size helped target the market of “everyday chaps” that could fit their vehicle into a bikeshed.

Mark I

The original Mark I Austin-Healey Sprite was produced from 1958 – 1961.

The Mark I has a four-speed gearbox to access the .9-liter A-series engine. The A-series engine produces only 40 horsepower, but this isn’t a problem for a vehicle only weighing 1500 pounds. This car runs similar to an oversized go-cart.

There were many things that Austin-Healey did to cut the costs of the Sprite, one of which is the storage space. The Sprite doesn’t have an openable trunk from the rear but instead features a storage space accessible behind the bucket seats within the cab.

Interestingly, the Mark II also didn’t have outside door handles. In order to enter, the driver and passenger needed to reach over to use a lever located inside the door.

All features were also as manual as possible. Turning signals could be turned on or off using a switch on the center console, same with the heater, and headlights. The Sprite featured a windshield cleaning fluid that sprayed from a manual pump within the car.

Although this car was sold as a low-budget sports car, it still handled extremely well for its time. The Sprite is known for incredibly nimble steering, and overall fun driving experience.

The Sprites performance:

  • Top speed of 85.8 mph
  • 0-60 mph in 20 seconds
  • Fuel consumption at an average of 43 mpg

Mark II

Produced from 1961 – 1964, the Bugeye Mark II featured modifications that drastically changed the appearance of the car.

The Mark II saw the repositioning of the headlights from the original “Bugeye” central location, to a wider seat on the wings. This change probably would have happened to the Mark I if not for the last-minute elimination of the retractable headlights to cut costs.

Many of the appearance changes were based on the MG, including additional metal being added to the rear bumper for practicality.

Other revamps of the Sprites aesthetic included a wider grill and more squared-off sidebar. These features took a more sophisticated appearance being referred to as the “Square Body” model compared to the Bugeye.

The Mark II also now featured an openable trunk lid, unlike the first model. All of these additional features costed an added weight of around 100 pounds, but many enthusiasts agree that it was worth it.

The performance differences of the Mark II include:

  • Larger twin SU carburetors
  • Close-ratio gearbox

Sprite Mark II stats:

  • Top speed of 83 mph
  • Fuel consumption at an average of 43 mpg

Mark III

The Mark III saw production from 1964 – 1966

The differences made to the Mark III are limited, but include:

  • Minor trim work
  • Wind-up side window
  • Exterior door handles
  • Soft top roof
  • Engine Casting
  • Modded rear suspension

Makes & Models We Buy

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Why Sell to Dusty Cars?

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Lev M
Lev M
11:26 02 Feb 20
People have been telling me to go look at Dusty Cars and I'm glad I did. One day, I took the family round and met Doug, the place is great. We saw some really nice vintage cars and even got taken for a drive in one of them.
Laura Levato
Laura Levato
17:18 29 Jan 20
It's been some time since I've been able to do something for myself and I was looking for something that wasn't going to cost me anything, but still give me a pleasurable outing. Dusty Cars was that one outing. I was able to just look around and take in all the cars around me.
Holly Barnard
Holly Barnard
22:21 02 Jan 20
Dear Dusty Cars, Thank you for your hospitality in welcoming us into your dealership. My grandson loved seeing all of your vehicles and committed to star saving his allowance in order to buy one as soon as he turns 21. He's not anywhere near where he needs to be yet, but we'll hold thumbs and keep you in mind for that upcoming visit.
Gabby Shaw
Gabby Shaw
12:28 13 Dec 19
Doug was fantastic to us when we first arrived, but after he had to go and do something urgently, we spoke to another worker there who took great care of us too. Their customer service is good!
Gustavo Costa
Gustavo Costa
13:56 04 Nov 19
Upon meeting John at Dusty Cars, we knew we were in the right place to get our new vintage car. The staff was very professional and friendly, they knew everything about all of the cars and were able to help us get exactly what we needed. Thank you for everything you've done for us. We'll definitely be back again.
George Guerrero
George Guerrero
23:42 29 Oct 19
I particularly love the details that the owners pay attention to. There are very few things better than sitting in vintage car with the smell of the leather seats, seeing brand new dials on the car. It's great to see how much care is put into restoring these works of art.
Noé Gérard
Noé Gérard
18:41 21 Oct 19
these cars are so sexy looking. The cars are right outta the games that we play, you can see all the classics just sitting on the floor its just nice to go and look!
Stuart Anderson
Stuart Anderson
18:15 16 Oct 19
I was accessing my father's storage garage after he passed away, which coincidentally, was just across the street from Dusty Cars! I knew there was a car in there and thought it must have been a sign from God to take my car there and sell it to them. It was such a nice experience and I'll go back again.
Jessica Messina
Jessica Messina
05:25 10 Oct 19
The dealership is a wonderful place to visit. Love the cars, love the people, love the dog!!! Even though I'm not a collector of any kind, there's something special about coming to see the love they put into their restoration process.
Glory Oye
Glory Oye
00:09 26 Jun 19
I've always been a lover of classic cars, precisely the 1956 Porsche 356 Coupe, which is considered as the grandfather of Porsche. I was filled with excitement when I saw my dream car listed on eBay by Dusty Cars. I could count almost a 100 stunning pictures of this car on display, with the metal components, the 4-cylinder, air cooled engine and the red leather interior all in good condition. Douglas is indeed a professional; his attention to details is flawless.
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