Another great old “Sport Car” that has been in my personal collection for years is up for grabs!
This was a one-owner California car until my purchase in 2017.
Of all of the Mk.1 “Bugeye” Sprites produced the first few hundred very early cars are very unique due to some special details that were later “upgraded” or streamlined for ease of production or cost-cutting. For example, the thin chrome windshield frame supported by thin body-colored posts, the additional ribbing in the body tub, and shorter top frame are all hallmarks of a true early production 1958 Bugeye. In fact, all first-year 1958 Sprites are quite sought after versus the later model years by true Sprite aficionados.
This car is chassis number 2256, produced July 1st, 1958.
But this little dude is even cooler than being one of the first off the line of this now 64-year old endearing and iconic sports car. How? Because it is an incredibly original, never modified, never restored car that was, again, sold new, raised in, and lived for 59 years in sunny and dry California. Sure, its original Cherry Red paint and red leather aren’t going to win any shows but they certainly win hearts with their visible tale of a well-loved existence that makes people just want to look at them more. And its original little 948cc A-Series engine is just as much of a willing and eager participant in any kind of hijinks as it was six decades ago. Well, at least for as much hijinks as one can get into with a robust 48 HP.
Speaking of the oily bits, while extremely careful to not disturb any of the great originality or patina of this Bugeye, its original engine was fully rebuilt and balanced, transmission inspected and serviced (it was perfect), complete cooling/ braking/ and fuel systems overhauled, gauges rebuilt/ cleaned/ calibrated, and all kinds of stuff like that you can’t necessarily see but you can feel when you drive this car. It is absolutely “on the button” (actually a pull knob in this case) and a riot to drive. We’ve toured it, used it in hill climbs, and generally just had fun with it as you should do with a Sprite!
There is absolutely ZERO rust or corrosion anywhere, nor are there any prior bumps or bruises on its incredibly well preserved body. Check out the chassis photos- that’s all factory Cherry Red paint throughout. It has an excellent original convertible top with the early ’58 “Lift-a-Dot” studs across the windshield header that are a hallmark of these early cars.
Of course I also have the BMHT Heritage certificate for the car showing it was built exactly as it sits today. It is attached in the photo gallery here.
As they say “they’re only original once” and that’s what sets this one apart in my book. You just don’t find them like this anymore, which is exactly why I bought it years ago and exactly why I think the next owner will as well. If you want a great Bugeye that tells a story of a life well lived without saying a word, well, you may have just found the one. It isn’t a pieced together, improperly restored, color-changed, incorrect, formerly raced, crashed, replacement or missing VIN car that suffers from any of those or any other of the all-to-common sins most Sprites seem be guilty (or a victim) of.
An incomparable example at any price but an absolute bargain at $29,500
- Price: $ 29500
- Year: 1958
- Mileage: 1,234 mi
- Condition: Unrestored
- Exterior Color: Cherry Red
- Interior Color: Red
- Transmission: 4 speed
- Final Drive:
- Engine: 948cc
- Drivetrain: RWD